Friday, September 23, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 09/23/2016 Update

Today we return yet again to our 1967's Super Spectacular Singles Superstars mix and check out another small-time continental act that had by far its biggest moment in 1967.

Though not quite one-hit wonders (they cracked the top-100 five or six times in the back half of the 60s), Oklahoma-born, Texas-based pop act The Five Americans had only one major chart topper in their 1965-1969 career, that being their AM classic Western Union, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard weeklies.

Primarily known for their fine Beatles/Hollies-esque vocals and heavy use of electric organ, the group came up with the lyrical concept for the super-catchy Western Union almost by accident, after band members suggested an unusual riff lead-guitarist Mark Rabon was poking around with sounded like an old-time telegraph key.

But unlike many of the acts featured on this mix, The Five Americans never forged ahead on the nostalgia circuit after their peak years ended.

Following the band's split in 1969, Rabon and organist John Durrill moved on and found a fair degree of success in other musical songwriting and performing ventures (quite literally in Durrill's case - he was also a member of The Ventures), while bassist Jim Grant, drummer Norman Ezell, and rhythm guitarist Jimmy Wright all left the industry and moved on to careers in education and photography.

Nonetheless, the ear-candy delight of Western Union endures, so here's a televised performance of it and another song from the band's small catalog.

No comments: