Rebecca and the Sunny Brook Farmers

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 ()
- Ernie Eremita -- bass, backing vocals

- Mickey Kapner -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

- Ki-Ki (aka  Alexandra Brooks) -- vocals

- Clifford Mandell -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Ilene Novog -- viola, harpsichord, backing vocals

- Ilene Rappaport (aka Lauren Wood) -- vocals, guitar, recorder,





- Chunky, Novi and Ernie (Ilene Rappaport, Ilene Novog and 

  Ernie Eremita)

- Country Joe and the Fish (Mickey Kapner)

- Freeway Philharmonic (Lauren Wood)

- Group Image (Mickey Kapner)

- Lauren Wood (solo efforts)




Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Birth

Company: Musicor

Catalog: MS 3176

Year: 1969

Country/State: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor corner wear; small cut out hole bottom left corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4240

Price: $200.00

Cost: $1.00


Boy, here's a true obscurity ...  


Bassist Ernie Eremita, guitarist Mickey Kapner, vocalist Ki-Ki (aka Alexandria Brooks), drummer Clifford Mandell,  viola player Ilene Novog and multi-instrumentalist Ilene Rappaport (aka Lauren Wood), supposedly met and became friends while attending high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  After graduating, Kapner briefly played with the New York-based The Group Image, while the rest of the band were little more than accomplished amateurs.


Signed by the New York based Musicor label, the group's debut teamed them with producers Bob Schwartz and Stu Kuby.  Reportedly recorded in a week, "Birth" is pretty amazing!  Probably due to the fact we were expecting something in the bubblegum pop arena (c'mon just look at the band name), the resulting collection of original material knocked us out.  Largely penned by Kapner, Novog and Rappaport, material such as "Two Blind Sisters", "Endless Trip" and "David & Sally" is quite eclectic, effortlessly mixing classical, folk, pop and psych influences into an extremely likeable stew.  Unfortunately, this is one of those set's that's just hard to adequately describe.  Kicked along by an ominous cello pattern (rock and roll viola !!!), the opener "Oh Gosh (Running Through the Forest)" actually sends a shiver up your spine, while Rappaport's performance on the bizarre ballad "Love" sounds like something out of Kate Bush's catalog - albeit a decade before Bush started to record.  The album's simply unlike anything else we've heard, yet retains a distinctly enthusiastic and surprisingly commercial edge.  Worth checking out !!!


"Birth" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Oh Gosh (Running Through the Forest)   (Mickey Kapner - Irene Rappaport) - 3:08

2.) Two Blind Sisters   (Mickey Kapner - Irene Rappaport) -2:35

3.) David & Sally   (Mickey Kapner - Irene Novog) - 3:14

4.) Love   (Irene Rappaport) - 3:12

5.) Endless Trip   (Irene Rappaport) - 2:39


(side 2)

1.) Better Dead Than Red   (Mickey Kapner - Irene Rappaport) - 5:47

2.) All These Ties   (Mickey Kapner) - 2:12

3.) What Do You Think of the War   (Mickey Kapner - Irene Rappaport) - 5:15

4.) Ma-Ma   (Irene Rappaport) - 2:47

5.) Ghost   (Mickey Kapner) - 1:38


The band actually toured, opening for the likes of Blood, Sweat and Tears, Jethro Tull, and The Lemon Pipers.  They even played Woodstock, though their performance came a year before the historic rock festival. 


Novi went on to play with Country Joe McDonald and the Fish.  A couple of years later Rappaport, Novog and Eremita recorded two LPs as 'Chunky, Novi and Ernie'.  Wood's also recorded a couple of solo efforts.  She has a small website at: (in case you're wondering, there's no real mention of this outfit on her website)


Totally unexpected, I got this email related to the group:


Hi There~ 

Wanted to correct some misinformation about a recording by Rebecca & The Sunnybrook Farmers you were selling called Birth. 


The cello is a viola played by Novi who went on to play with Country Joe not Mickey Kapner. She also played with Zappa, Prince, The Doobies,Tom Waits, and too many other people to mention here. She has her own band now "String Planet." They have a .com

Mickey went on to be a street evangelist after a sterling career as an industrial cleaning product salesman.

As a matter of fact the only pro musicians in the band are and were Ilene aka Lauren Wood, Novi Novog the viola player and Ki-Ki ( real name is Alexandra Brooks ) who is a singer/songwriter. No one else is in the business. 

It is Ki-Ki and not Lauren Wood that sings LOVE on the album. She was 16 years old at the time. Alex still sings but earns a living which her blog site explains more fully.


The band opened for Procol Harem, Blood Sweet and Tears, Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper, and countless other bands at the Civic Arena and in local clubs in Pittsburgh back in the 60's and early 1970.

Lauren Wood wrote the hit song from Pretty Woman called Fallin.' 

All I can think of for now but the corrections would be appreciated. 

Dr Alexandra Brooks aka Ki-Ki