In his article on Margo Guryan [“Scared of Her Own Voice,” May 3] J.R. Jones hazily characterizes Spanky & Our Gang as “one of the coed vocal groups following the Mamas & the Papas on the west coast.” In reality, the group’s sunny sound evolved from working with producers based in New York and Philadelphia. Not insignificantly, Spanky and friends formed and got signed while playing on the folk-club scene in Chicago. Couldn’t somebody have looked that up?
J.R. Jones replies:
I think you’re misreading an ambiguously phrased sentence: Spanky & Our Gang followed the Mamas & the Papas, who were on the west coast. But since we’re on the subject, I’d like to correct some actual errors in the piece: (1) Guryan’s demo session with Tom Dowd led to a full-fledged recording session, at which her voice was deemed unsatisfactory; (2) Guryan’s recording of “Think of Rain” features a plucked acoustic bass, not a bass guitar; and (3) Shirley Manson has expressed interest in recording Guryan’s song “Love Songs.”