The Five Americans

From: Durant, OK, USA

The Five Americans were a 1960s American rock band most famous for their song “Western Union”, which reached #5 on the US Billboard chart. The song was also the band’s only single to chart in the Top 20.

Originally known as The Mutineers, the band formed in Durant, Oklahoma in 1962. The band members met at Southeastern State College and began performing a repertoire of Bo Diddley and Duane Eddy standards within the campus. Their debut single, “Jackin’ Around”, was recorded in 1963 in Dallas, Texas, an instrumental which received quite a bit of airplay in their college. The British Invasion was a big influence on The Mutineers who soon started adding Beatles’ numbers to their repertoire. The band acquired notoriety playing frequently at The Pirate’s Nook in Dallas. It was there that they came to the attention of Abnak Records whose president John Abnor took the group under his wing. After a short while, the band started identifying themselves as the Five Americans.

The Five Americans had a handful of singles that landed in the top 55 on the charts including “I See The Light”, “Western Union”, “Sound Of Love”, “Evol Not Love”, and “Zip Code”. After these were released, the band toured for a short while. However, their manager, Jon Abdnor Sr., president and owner of Abnak Records and Bankers Management and Services Insurance Co., was allowed control of their finances. The band broke up in 1969 and went their separate ways after their single “7:30 Guided Tour” stalled at #96 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mike Rabon (vocals, guitar) had a successful touring career afterwards, and released two albums that sold well. He also played guitar for the Tyler, Texas, pop group Gladstone. John Durill (keyboards) went on to write “Dark Lady” for Cher and “Misery And Gin” for Merle Haggard, and was also a member of The Ventures. Jim Grant (bass) died of a heart attack in 2004. Norman Ezell (guitar, harmonica) became a teacher and minister in Northern California. He died of cancer in 2010, at the age of 68. Jimmy Wright (drums) left the music industry to become a freelance photographer. He died at Texoma Medical Centre in 2012, at the age of 64.

Artist Info: Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1966 album I See The Light

  • I See The Light

From the 1967 album Progressions

  • Con Man
  • Zip Code

From the 1967 album Western Union

  • Sound of Love
  • Western Union

From the 1969 album Now And Then

  • 7:30 Guided Tour