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Sailcat was an American rock band that was signed with Elektra Records in the early 1970s and best known for the hit song "Motorcycle Mama".


Sailcat, an early Southern Pop/Rock band, was the innovation of John Wyker and Court Pickett who formed the group in 1971 near Decatur, Alabama. Wyker was a veteran of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama rock music scene who had been in The Rubber Band with John Townsend (later of the Sanford-Townsend Band). Court Pickett was the vocalist and bass player from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who had just moved from Macon, Georgia where he had been playing and singing for Sundown, a band that also had Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers), Charlie Hayward (Charlie Daniels Band), and Lou Mullenix (Alex Taylor Band, Dr. John). He's also the brother of The Rubber Band's, Ed Pickett. An early demo tape cut by the duo, which included the song "Motorcycle Mama", was initially discarded by the band but after it was presented to Elektra Records led to a record contract and 1972 album release titled: Sailcat "Motorcycle Mama". The resulting album was produced by Pete Carr, was a concept album with biker theme, about a motorcycle riding drifter in the Easy Rider vein who tires of life on the road and falls in love with a young woman. The cover art and drawings inside the gatefold cover were drawn by Jack Davis, featuring motorcycles, predominately the Harley-Davidson with a series of drawings for each song on the album. The concept album's songs loosely tell the story of a motorcycle vagrant, who apparently bums for a living, meeting a woman and settling down to start a family. However, he apparently keeps some of his selfish behaviors as the last drawing shows him reclining on his porch while his wife hangs the laundry and his child hoes the garden. In 1972, single "Motorcycle Mama" hit #12 on the Billboard magazine singles charts, and the album went to #38 and led them to appearances on American Bandstand and at Carnegie Hall. John D. Wyker and Sailcat perform Motorcycle Mama and Walking Together Backwards on their first televised appearance on August 26, 1972.[1] Sailcat toured to promote the album, released one more non-LP single, "Baby Ruth". Soon after releasing the album, Sailcat broke up. The album was officially re-released on CD in 2004.

Sailcat leader Johnny Wyker, who had been a member of the Rubber Band who recorded the original version of "Let Love Come Between Us," later a hit for James and Bobby Purify, went on to play with many of the great Southern rock musicians like Eddie Hinton, Dan Penn, Delany Bramlett, among others. On the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát, the song is covered by The Sugarcubes featuring Björk. Wyker worked on a benefit project called The Mighty Field of Vision Anthem, a group dedicated to raising funds for musicians who have fallen on hard times. Wyker died at his home on December 8, 2013.[2]

Courtland Pickett later issued a solo album, Fancy Dancer, on the Elektra label in 1973.[3] Court Pickett now lives in Rock Hill, S.C.[citation needed]



Year Title US Top 200 Label
1972 Sailcat #38 Elektra


Year Title (A-Side) Billboard Hot 100 Label
1972 Motorcycle Mama #12 Elektra
Baby Ruth
1973 She Showed Me #115

The latter two singles were non-album cuts.

Motorcycle Mama[edit]

Motorcycle Mama
Sailcat Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Sailcat
Released May 1972 (1972-05)
Recorded Between October 1971 and February 1972
Widget Recordings
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Genre Southern rock
Country blues
Producer Pete Carr
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Billboard favorable[4]

Track listing[edit]

  • Side one
    1. "Rainbow Road" John Wyker - 4:00
    2. "The Thief" Court Pickett - 3:30
    3. "Highway Rider/Highway Riff" John Wyker & Court Pickett - 5:40
    4. "The Dream" Court Pickett - 2:45
  • Side two
    1. "If You've Got A Daughter" Court Pickett - 1:33
    2. "Ambush" John Wyker, Clayton Ivey, Pete Car - 3:06
    3. "B.B. Gunn" John Wyker - 2:48
    4. "It'll Be A Long Long Time" Court Pickett - 2:12
    5. "Motorcycle Mama" John Wyker & Court Pickett - 2:06
    6. "Walking Together Backwards" John Wyker - 3:19
    7. "On The Brighter Side Of It All" John Wyker - 2:23


Art Direction, Design– Robert L. Heimall Backing Vocals– Faye Sanders (tracks: B1, B6, B7), Laura Struzick (tracks: B6, B7), Terry Woodward (tracks: B1, B6, B7) Banjo– Tom Russell Bass– Bob Wray, Court Pickett* Concept By– John Wyker Drums– Fred Prouty, Lou Mullenix Fiddle– Al Lester, Scott Boyer Guitar– Joe Rudd, John Wyker, Pete Carr Horns [Memphis Horns Inc.]– Andrew Love, Ed Logan, Jack Hale, James Mitchell, Wayne Jackson Illustration– Jack Davis (5) Keyboards– Art Schilling, Chuck Leavell, Clayton Ivey Percussion [Extra]– Bill Connell Performer [Sailcat Is]– Court Pickett*, John Wyker Photography By– Frank Bez Producer, Engineer [Remix]– Pete Carr Sounds [Sound Effects]– Brenda Hagan, Marlin Greene Spoons, Other [Buck Dancing]– Jesse Gorell Strings– Charles Chalmers Vocals– Court Pickett* (tracks: A2, A3, A4, B1 B4, B5), John Wyker (tracks: A1, A3, B3, B5 to B7) Written-By– John Wyker (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B3, B5 to B7), Pete Carr (tracks: A3b, A4, B2, B4)

See also[edit]