BLOOMSBURY PEOPLE - 'Witch Helen'/'Gingerbread Man' (MGM K14158) July 1970

The Bloomsbury People were formed sometime in 1968 at the University of Wisconsin in Waukesha. Their first of two 45s was cut at Raynard and came out on Page Records during 1969. 'Have You Seen Them Cry'/'Madeline' were both written by keyboard player Sigmund Snopek III and both cuts display psych prog moves, a sound becoming increasingly popular in the late 60s, especially in England due to groups like Cream and The Nice.

After appearing at the 1969 Midwest Rock Festival in West Allis they were talent spotted by Jim Croce who was managing The Carpenters and Randy Newman at the time. This led to a deal with MGM Records.

The Bloomsbury People cut enough songs for an album at Audio Finishers Studios in Chicago on 17th April 1970 and according to MGM's studio records the songs were mixed at their L.A. studios where strings and horns were added, arranged by Dave Kennedy, who produced their first single on Page. It appears that the legendary Michael Lloyd was the A&R coordinator for the release.

An album followed during the Summer of 1970 with 'Witch Helen'/'Gingerberead Man' selected as the single to represent the long-player. 'Witch Helen' is a tasty psych rock effort with some strong lead guitar. Once again there is a definate progressive rock influence.

The Bloomsbury People don't appear to have been around for that long after the release of the LP with no other releases on MGM. Sigmund Snopek III went on to record several solo albums then became a member of The Violent Femmes during the mid 80s.

Sigmund Snopek III (harpsichord/piano)
Jon Wyderka (vocals)
Dennis Lanting (lead guitar)
Greg Janick (organ/sax)
Michael Du Jardin (bass)
Rick Harris (drums)


  1. Hell yeah! This one's a real rocker. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really appreciate your site's notes about each band’s geographic background. As a former Wisconsinite, I love this story of Waukesha’s Bloomsbury People. I would like to make one clarification, however. Although Snopek has played keyboards or other instruments on some of their tours and recording sessions, the members of The Violent Femmes are Brian Ritchie, Victor de Lorenzo and Gordon Gano, with Guy Hoffman replacing de Lorenzo for a while during the 90's. Excellent website!

  3. Thanks for your information about The Violent Femmes.

  4. "Witch Helen" was written about a professor at UW-Waukesha.


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