Originally a Kingston Trio styled folk trio formed in 1960 based in Sacramento, California. In 1963 they added a drummer and became a surf band named 'The Contenders'. A further name changed to 'The New Breed' happened in the spring of 1965. Shortly thereafter, the group recorded their first single. This was successful regionally. They then recorded material for an album which was commissioned by but it not released. Three further singles were released over the next year and a half. In 1968 the group signed with and changed their name to .