The Strangeloves

The Strangeloves

The Strangeloves was the creation of an American songwriting/production team in the 1960s who were from New York but, pretended to be from Australia. Their biggest hits were "I Want Candy," "Cara-Lin" and "Night Time".

Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer (FGG Productions) had already scored big hits for other artists, including "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels, when they decided to invent The Strangeloves.

According to the press releases, The Strangeloves were three brothers named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange who had grown up on an Australian sheep farm. The brothers' faked backstory involved getting rich with the invention of a new form of sheep crossbreeding (the long-haired "Gottehrer" sheep, allegedly registered with the Feldman-Goldstein Company of Australia), allowing them the time and finacial freedom to form a band. The story did not exactly capture the public's imagination, but the music still performed respectably on the charts.

When "I Want Candy" became a hit single in mid 1965, the producers found themselves in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable position of performing as live artists. This short-lived experience was followed by a road group made up of four of the studio musicians who actually recorded these songs. The musicians who made up the initial road group were bass player / vocalist, John Shine, guitarist, Jack Raczka, drummer, Tom Kobus and sax player / vocalist, Richie Lauro. This troup was replaced in early 1966 by a trio of FGG studio musicians that more closely adhered to the founding concept of the Brothers Strange; the trio was made up of guitarist, Jack Raczka (Giles Strange), drummer / vocalist, Joe Piazza (Miles Strange), and keyboardist / vocalist, Ken Jones (Niles Strange).

While on the road in Ohio as The Strangeloves, Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer came upon a local band known as Ricky Z and the Raiders, lead by Rick Derringer (who was Rick Zehringer, at the time). Recognizing their raw talent, the producers immediately brought Rick and his band to New York, recorded Rick's voice over the existing music track from The Strangeloves' album, "I Want Candy", and released "Hang on Sloopy" as a single under the name The McCoys.

The Strangeloves' only LP, I Want Candy, was released in 1965 on Bert Berns' Bang Records, with several of the album songs having been released as singles. Other singles by The Strangeloves have appeared on Swan Records and Sire Records.

Their songs have been covered by the J. Geils Band, The Fleshtones, and (with great pop success) by Bow Wow Wow.

Gottehrer went on to later fame as a record producer of early CBGB's luminaries Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Blondie, as well as being the co-founder of Sire Records along with Seymour Stein. He also worked with Robert Gordon who was one of many who revitalized rockabilly in the late 1970s.

In his role as a producer and manager Goldstein also continued to have an effect on the music world. He suggested to the band Nightshift that they team up with Eric Burdon, who became War, and had the Circle Jerks on his Far Our Productions management company and LAX record label.

Charted Singles

TRIVIA: The following credit appears on every Strangeloves' record, "Arranged and Conducted by Bassett Hand." In fact, there is no such person as "Bassett Hand."

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