The Short Musical Career of Crazy Elephant


Introduction to Crazy Elephant

Crazy Elephant is one of the several manufactured studio groups by the Kasenetz-Katz production duo during the bubblegum pop fad in the late 60s music era. Session singer Robert Spencer (formerly of the Cadillacs) sang most of Crazy Elephant’s songs, including the hit “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’,” a 1969 Top 20 hit in both the US and the UK. Despite the hit single, Crazy Elephant failed to follow up its success. Along with the downfall of the bubblegum pop in the following decade came the inevitable demise of the group’s existence.

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Producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz headed Super K Productions, the production outfit of Buddah Records. Bubblegum pop was the rage during the late 1960s, so Kasenetz-Katz wasted no time in cashing in on its popularity by launcing bubblegum pop acts such as The Ohio Express, The Music Explosion, the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Crazy Elephant. So needless to say, these groups were all manufactured acts from the studio.

Like a lot of manufactured groups, Crazy Elephant needed to have some gimmick to catch the listening public’s attention. So they made a rather elaborate story which said that they were a group of coal miners who came all the way from Wales.

Vocalist Robert “Bobby” Spencer had been a member of the doo-wop group The Cadillacs, who were known for their groundbreaking hit “Speedo” in 1955. He was employed by Kasenetz-Katz as Crazy Elephant’s lead singer. However, Kevin Godley later sang lead vocals on one of Crazy Elephant’s songs, “There Ain’t No Umbopo.” Godley would become a member of the 1970s rock group 10cc.

Crazy Elephant’s only hit with “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'”

Super K produced a song for Crazy Elephant entitled “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’,” written by Joey Levine and Ritchie Cordell. However, Super K’s label Buddah rejected the master version of the “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’,” so instead Kasenetz-Katz brought the song to Bell label which eventually released it as a single.

“Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'” reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. It also made to #12 on the British chart, making the single a transatlantic hit. The group tried to follow it up with other singles such as “Gimme Some More” and “Sunshine Red” but both yielded disappointing sales. When the bubblegum pop faded into oblivion in the next decade, so did the bands associated with the short-lived genre, and Crazy Elephant was no exception.

Crazy Elephant also released their only album Crazy Elephant in 1969.

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