Peanut Butter Has Always Had A Lot Of Fans

I guess it might be a little bit of a stretch to call the Sixties group Peanut Butter Conspiracy a one-hit wonder, mainly because their biggest seller barely made it into the top 100. But they were pretty representative of the many psychedelic groups that appeared in those days, and they certainly had one of the best names. After all, who doesn’t like peanut butter?

Formed in Los Angeles in 1966, the group was fronted by singer Sandi Robison, accompanied by harpist/guitarist pbLance Fent, and three guys from a defunct group known as the Ashes; guitarist John Merrill, bassist Alan Brackett and drummer Jim Voigt.

The new group recorded a single called “Time Is After You,” and it sold well enough to earn them a contract to cut a full album with Columbia Records. That debut — cleverly titled The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Speading — included a few songs that caught the attention of fans, among them one that would become their biggest hit, “It’s a Happening Thing.”

The group’s debut album did have a few interesting songs, including the one that probably struck a chord with many fans when it asked the musical question, “Why Did I Get So High?” (video below). But even though the PBC was sometimes compared to groups like Jefferson Airplane, record sales didn’t follow suit. Later recordings — sometimes with personnel changes — didn’t hit the best-seller charts either, and eventually the remaining members of Peanut Butter Conspiracy put the lid on the jar and went their separate ways.


11 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Has Always Had A Lot Of Fans

  1. That is an absolutely amazing album title haha. And it’s true, who the hell doesn’t like Peanut Butter? Only you could uncover a gem like this! I wonder if the kids these days would appreciate it… I don’t think they’re ready for this jelly…or should i say peanut butter?


  2. A couple of things – Barbara (Sandi) Robison was also in The Ashes with John Merrill and Alan Brackett – but not drummer, Jim Voigt. He, Lance Fent and Alan started a group after The Ashes called The Crossing Guards and were playing the Sunset Strip in Hollywood when John and Barbara joined them – they then became the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Time Is After You was then recorded along with other cuts on the Vault Records West Coast Love-In lp sharing billing with the Chambers Brothers and The Ashes. This resulted in the contract with Columbia Records. The group has a lasting presence in 60’s music history and is well worth listening to if you haven’t already. Their harmonies and songs were unique and Barbara’s voice was perhaps the best female voice of the era.


    1. Thanks Jeff for setting things straight about our history. By the way, I put out a cd featuring Barbara because so many people love her voice. You can catch it and a lot more on our website: – AGAIN – THANK YOU TO YOU AND ALL OUR FANS OUT THERE. It’s pretty amazing that we’re still “Spreading” after 50 years! New releases every couple of years = SPREADING FROM THE ASHES is a pretty good release if you’re iinterested in The Ashes and PBC obscure recordings. I have a new vinyl lp coming out this year in Spain of songs I wrote while in PBC but never used – just recorded and forgot about. Pretty amazing, and it seems Europe is more into us even though we never went abroad.


  3. Jeff — glad you liked it.

    Psycherocker — appreciate the input and you could very well be correct. My source was PBC’s biography on ALLMUSIC, which says: “…the Ashes recorded a self-titled LP for the Vault label before disbanding,with Merrill, Brackett and Voight recruiting singer Sandi Robison and harpist/guitarist Lance Fent to form the Peanut Butter Conspiracy.”


  4. Allmusic is many times wrong and doesn’t correct misinfo – I know – I’ve tried! It’s too bad but once something is stated on the web it many times is taken as the truth when in reality it isn’t. Then, somebody else repeats it and on and on it goes. The Ashes self-titled lp happened actually after the PBC broke up.


  5. I usually try to combine info from two or three sources, but as you said it’s sometimes the same faulty facts being repeated. As we all know, the internet is a great resource — but the info should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.


  6. It’s great to see posts from people that are after the truth. I agree that once something is posted on the web it’s taken as the truth and it’s hard to correct. It’s nice to see that there are people who realize this and keep the truth alive.

    I would like to personally thank all of you for this interest in our music. By the way, because one of my songs, “Eventually”, was included on the Rhino release of “LA Nuggets – Where The Action Is” and we actually performed the song at Amoeba Record Store in Hollywood in September ( which you can see a video of at the Amoeba website under videos and “LA Nuggets”) we were so excited playing again after 40+ years that we have now recorded four new songs with original members John Merrill, Lance Fent and myself and Karen Mitchell as our female vocalist. We are finishing these up on this Saturday and they will get out hopefully soon.

    Also, I have put together a cd to be released on Sunray in England this year featuring Barbara. These are recordings that were never released before and I wanted her fans to be able to hear her wonderful voice. Included are some obscure movie recordings and intimate home rehearsals along with studio recordings of songs that we – PBC – did not include in our releases. I feel that if I don’t do this nobody will and these recordings will be lost forever. She was so wonderful – everything she ever sang was just so beautiful – no matter if it was just for fun or a rehearsal or in performance – she was always just beautiful. We can never replace her.


  7. Great to hear from you, Alan. And best of luck with your current plans. 🙂

    And I’d urge all our readers to check into this — in fact, you can click on Alan’s name at the top of his comment and go to the PBC website to read up on the group.


  8. I finally have finished the cd featuring Barbara and it’s available at:
    She is featured on every song and there are a handful of never previously released songs along with some rare movie soundtrack songs and others highlighting her wonderful voice. Please do check it out. I’m trying to get the word out to the people who love her voice and would like to hear more of it.


NOTE: Comments are welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s