The first incarnation of the band was formed in 1964 by Cavan Grogan (vocals), Lyndon Needs (lead guitar) and Terry Walley (rhythm guitar) under the name "Count Dracula and the Vampires". In 1968, joined by Brian Thomas (piano) and Don Kinsella (bass), they took the name "The Sundogs". Then in 1970, with the addition of Mike Coffey (drums), they took the name "Crazy Cavan 'n' the Rhythm Rockers", a name which has endured.
In 1973, the band formed its own record label, Crazy Rhythm Records (named after their own description of their music) and released their debut single, "Teddy Boy Boogie" (backed with "Bop Little Baby"). In 1975 they released their first album Crazy Rhythm on the Dutch Rockhouse label. In 1976, they signed with Charly Records in the UK, and released their second album, Rockability.