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Five Americans in 1967
|Also known as||The Mutineers|
|Origin||Durant, Oklahoma, United States|
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. At first one might think that, in Casey Kasem's "Book of Records" category of most repetitive word or phrase in a Hot 100 top 10 hit, "Western Union" would hold the record (in this case, the two 40-fold and one 50-plus-fold repetition of the imitative word "dit"). But the lyrics contain three many-fold repetitions of "dit, da dit, da dit" instead. In a March, 1967 interview that appeared in Michael Oberman's Top Tunes column in the Evening Star newspaper (Washington, DC), Norman Ezell, guitarist for the group explained how they came up with "Western Union Man". "Mike Rabon, our lead guitar player, was just fooling around with his guitar when he came up with a unique sound," Norman said. It sort of reminded us of a telegraph key. "That's when we decided to write 'Western Union Man.'"
The Five Americans, previously known as The Mutineers, were from Durant, Oklahoma (Southeastern State College). For a short while after their hits "I See The Light", "Western Union", "Sound of Love", "Evol Not Love" and "Zipcode", they toured. 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.
After Abdnor's death in 1996, all rights to their songs should have reverted to the original group, but Sundazed Records bought the original tapes. The Five Americans had at least five singles in, or close to, the Top 40 and are now receiving the sales and publishing royalties.
The Five Americans broke up in 1969 and went their separate ways.
Mike Rabon had a successful touring career afterwards, released two albums that sold well, and played guitar for the Tyler, Texas, pop group, Gladstone, whose "A Piece of Paper" reached No. 45 in October 1972. He later returned to college, acquiring a master's degree in public school administration, and has been in the Oklahoma school systems for 28 years.
Bassist Jim Grant died on November 29, 2004.
Drummer Jimmy Wright left the music industry to become a freelance photographer. He died at Texoma Medical Center with his family at his side on January 30, 2012.
- Mike Rabon
- John Durrill
- Norm Ezell
- Jim Grant
- Jimmy Wright
- I See The Light (BB No. 136) — HBR HLP-8503 (Mono) / HST-9503 (Stereo) (1966)
- Western Union (BB No. 121, CB No. 66) — Abnak ABLP-1967 (Mono) / ABST-2067 (Stereo) (1967)
- Progressions — Abnak ABLP (Mono) / ABST-2069 (Stereo) (1967)
- Now and Then — Abnak ABST-2071 (1968)
|1965||"Show Me"||-||-||-||ABC-Paramount 10686|
|"Say That You Love Me"||-||-||-||Abnak 106|
|"I See The Light"||-||-||-||Abnak 109|
|1966||"I See The Light" (Re-Release)||26||41||-||HBR 454|
|"Evol-Not Love"||52||68||-||HBR 468|
|"Good Times"||-||-||-||HBR 483|
|"It's You Girl"||-||-||-||Jetstar 104|
|"I'm Feeling OK"||-||-||-||Jetstar 105|
|"If I Could"||-||-||-||Abnak 116|
|1967||"Western Union"||5||7||35||Abnak 118|
|"Sound of Love"||36||31||-||Abnak 120|
|"Zip Code"||36||55||89||Abnak 123|
|"Stop Light"||132||-||-||Abnak 125|
|1968||"7:30 Guided Tour"||96||-||-||Abnak 126|
|"No Communication"||-||-||-||Abnak 128|
|"Con Man"||-||-||-||Abnak 131|
|"Generation Gap"||-||-||-||Abnak 132|
|1969||"Virginia Girl"||133||-||-||Abnak 134|
|"I See The Light '69"||-||-||-||Abnak 139|
|"She's Too Good To Me"||-||-||-||Abnak 142|
- Jim Dawson, Steve Propes (2003). 45 RPM: The History, Heroes & Villains of a Pop Music Revolution. ISBN 0-87930-757-9.
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed May 2010
- The petition may be found at www.petitiononline.com.