Mike Rabon

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Mike Rabon was the lead guitar and lead singer of the 1960s hit group The Five Americans.[1] He was also co-writer of the group's hits like "Western Union" and "I See The Light".

Early life[edit]

Rabon was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in April 1943 but moved to southeastern Oklahoma in the first year of his life. His father and mother, both born Oklahomans taught school in a tiny community in Oklahoma called Spencerville population about 300. It was there that Rabon taught himself to play guitar. By 12 he had joined a local group called The Buckaroos.

After high school he joined the Army Reserve for a 6 months stint in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After the Army he enrolled in college at Southeastern State University in Durant, Oklahoma.

The Five Americans[edit]

In college, he formed the beginnings of The Five Americans. The band was named The Muntineers but was later changed to The Five Americans to combat the rock and roll British influx in the mid-1960s. The group became successful charting 5 records: "I See The Light", "Evol Not Love", "Sound of Love", "ZipCode" and "Western Union", the last covered by The Ventures, The Strangers (Australia) and The Searchers (England), and also used in the film Vanilla Sky starring Tom Cruise.

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. Rabon later formed a group called Michael Rabon and Choctaw which also included Five Americans drummer Jimmy Wright. One album was released by Uni in the early 1970s to good reviews but was mostly overlooked by the label due to promotional and legal difficulties.

After 10 years in the music business, Rabon went back to college and obtained his master's degree in administration. Rabon is currently involved in education technology in his hometown of Hugo, Oklahoma.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie &; Eder, Bruce. "Biography: The Five Americans". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 June 2010.