Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Five Americans--Western Union (1967)

     The Five Americans were a band out of Oklahoma and was signed by a small label out of Dallas called Abnak/Jetstar and produced several regional hits in the mid-60's. A couple of those songs, "I See the Light" (1966) and "Evol-Not Love" (1966) made it to the charts. It was a riff by guitarist Mike Raybon however, that provided the foundation for their biggest hit. "Western Union" had a instrumental hook (the sound of the guitar aping a telegraph), and a vocal one (the dit-dit-dits that one hears throughout the song).
     The song reached number 5 in the spring/summer of 1967 and it's followup, "Sound Of Love" also reached the top 40, but subsequent songs never got close to the top 40 again and the group disbanded in 1969. Guitarist Mike Raybon had another song in the top 100 with the Tyler, Texas band, Gladstone, then returned to college and is working in education. The keyboard player, John Durrill, was the only one to become a music lifer writing and performing. He is probably best known for writing, "Dark Lady" for Cher in 1974.


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