Upon signing hard rock combo Fanny in 1970, Warner Bros. claimed their new acquisition was the first all-female rock & roll band -- a statement far from the truth, of course, but as one of the first self-contained distaff groups to land on a major label, they were an important harbinger of things to come. Fanny formed in California under the name Wild Honey, teaming singer/guitarist June Millington, her bassist sister Jean, keyboardist Nickey Barclay, and drummer Alice de Buhr. With Wild Honey signing to Reprise, the new name Fanny was suggested to producer Richard Perry by no less than ex-Beatle George Harrison; though a relatively innocuous term in the band's native United States, its more scandalous meaning overseas was only known to the group much later on. Fanny's self-titled debut LP appeared in 1970, earning radio airplay for its cover of the Cream favorite "Badge." The title track from their 1971 follow-up Charity Ball was the group's first Billboard chart hit, although they enjoyed greater commercial success in the U.K., touring in support of Jethro Tull and Humble Pie. (They were also banned from performing at the London Palladium on the grounds they were "too sexy.") After contributing as session players on Barbra Streisand's self-titled 1971 album, Fanny issued Fanny Hill a year later, but following 1973's Todd Rundgren-produced Mother's Pride, June Millington and de Buhr left the group, and were replaced by guitarist Patti Quatro (formerly of the Pleasure Seekers and sister of another pioneering female rocker, Suzi Quatro) and drummer Brie Howard, soon replaced by Cam Davis. The reconstituted lineup landed with Casablanca for a disappointing final album, 1974's Rock'n'Roll Survivors, before dissolving. The Millington sisters later recorded as solo artists before reuniting as the Slammin' Babes, while Barclay later toured as part of Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen troupe and in 1976 issued a solo LP, Diamond in a Junkyard. de Buhr, meanwhile, also remained in the music industry, at one time working as a retail marketing coordinator for A&M -- where she was assigned to promote the Go-Go's, one of the bands for whom Fanny clearly paved the way. ~ Jason AnkenyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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