Years: 1964 - 1969
Styles: Bubblegum Rock, Garage Rock, Pop Rock
John Durrill - Keyboards, Organ (in band: 1964 - 1968)
Norman Ezell - Harmonica, Rhythm guitar (in band: 1964 - 1968)
Mike Rabon - Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1969)
Jim Grant - Bass Guitar (in band: 1964 - 1969)
Jimmy Wright - Drums (in band: 1964 - 1969)
Bobby Rambo - Guitar (in band: 1968 - 1969)
Lenny Lee Goldsmith - Keyboards, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1969)
Five Americans was a 1960s American band, most famous for the song "Western Union", which reached No. 5 in the U.S. Billboard chart and was their only single to chart in the Top 20.
The Five Americans hailed from Durant, Oklahoma. The band was comprised of singer and guitarist Mike Rabon, guitarist Norman Ezell, drummer Jimmy Wright, bassist Jim Grant and organist John Durrill. Under the leadership of lead guitarist Mike Rabon, they formed a group called The Mutineers.
The band played local beer joints and frat dances until the summer of 1964 when Mike suggested that they go to Texas to try and make enough money to pay for tuition for the following semester.
The band achieved some local notoriety in a Dallas bar called The Pirate’s Nook. With the onslaught of the British Invasion by bands with strange sounding names, the group also took on a new handle. They were not bugs or beasts of any kind, they were simply The Five Americans.
In the summer of 1965, after a couple of failed efforts, the band released an original tune entitled “I See The Light“, which climbed to #26 on the Billboard chart. “I See The Light” was followed by “Evil Not Love” which also charted in the Top 50 nationwide. Five more singles were issued, but none met with much success.
While passing through a small town in Oregon, the band saw a sign that said Western Union and quickly formed the idea for a song about someone receiving a Dear John letter by telegraph. Released in early 1967, “Western Union” rose to #5 on Billboard and #3 on the Cashbox Best Sellers list. The single sold in excess of one million records and paved the way for the group to appear on The Steve Allen Show, American Bandstand twice and Where The Action Is four times.
The Five Americans broke up in 1969 and went their separate ways.
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