THE THOMAS GROUP – \’Penny Arcade\’/\’Ordinary Girl\’ (Dunhill 45-D-4027) March 1966

The Thomas Group, for whatever reason, have rarely been compiled and are unknowns to most. They were a group of clean cut teenagers that formed in 1965 at Beverley Hills High School, their style of play was not influenced by the so called Brit Invasion but pure pop with surf and folk rock overtones.

They were talent spotted by Dunhill Records and put under the tutorage of famed songwriters P.F. Sloan & Steve Barri who wrote, arranged and produced most of their material. The Los Angeles \’Wrecking Crew\’ of Hal Blaine (drums), Joe Osborne (bass) and Larry Knechtel (keyboards) laid down the backbeats. What The Thomas Group contributed in the studio is therefore unclear, probably just the vocals.
Curiously no Thomas Group songs were compiled on the recent Sloan & Barri CD collection released by Ace in 2010.

Both sides are sunshine pop charmers, well written and executed as you would expect. The falsetto on the chorus of \’Penny Arcade\’ is P.F. Sloan.



  1. I had this 45 when I was a kid (DJ 45 just like the one pictured) and while I knew it wasn't a hit, it may as well have been as many spins as it got on my record player back then. The fact that it's virtually unknown is criminal.Another fun fact I haven't seen mentioned here is that drummer Tony Thomas is the son of actor Danny Thomas.

  2. Yo, Bubblegum Skinny-A real pleasure to hear that you enjoyed this record back when!!Thank you for your comment. It's way cool.Greg GilfordTHOMAS GROUP

  3. I was the project creator of the Ace Records Sloan-Barri CD. I'd originally hoped it would include a lot more Dunhill material. Alas, the evil Universal/MCA monster own all the Dunhill masters. Their exorbitant licensing fees lessened our ability to have Dunhill material on the disc. Ace Records hasn't spoken to me since the CD came out, so I assume it hasn't sold well. They won't answer my e-mails and I've quite frankly given up on pursuing more projects in the CD realm.

  4. Hi Frank – thanks for your insight…I've got that CD you worked on and it's fabulous. It's a shame you encountered problems with Universal/MCA…I'm well aware ofthat sort of thing happening.That's why I intend to create my own 2CD Dunhill Records collection and master everything from my own vintage 45s.

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