|Also known as||The Mutineers|
|Origin||Durant, Oklahoma, U.S.|
The Mutineers formed in Durant, Oklahoma (Southeastern State College) in 1962. The band members crossed paths at the university, and began performing a repertoire of Bo Diddley and Duane Eddy standards within the campus. In 1963, the band recorded their debut single, "Jackin' Around", in Dallas, Texas, an instrumental which received extensive airplay in their college. The British Invasion influenced The Mutineers to include Beatles numbers to their repertoire, a change in outfitting, and a slight emphasis to vocals. However, their most impactful acquisition was their utilization of the Vox Continental electronic organ, a later highlight of the group's sound. While in Dallas, the band achieved prominence playing as a frequent attraction in a venue called The Pirate's Nook. There they came to the attention of Abnak Records whose president John Abdnor took the group under his wing. Shortly thereafter, the band identified themselves as the Five Americans.
For a short while after their five top singles "I See The Light", "Western Union", "Sound of Love", "Evol - Not Love", and "Zip Code" were released, 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 are now receiving their share of the sales and publishing royalties.
In a March 1967 interview that appeared in Michael Oberman's "Top Tunes" column in the Evening Star newspaper (Washington, D.C.), Norman Ezell, guitarist for the group, explained how they came up with "Western Union." "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.'"
Mike Rabon had a successful touring career afterwards, released two albums that sold well,[clarification needed] and played guitar for the Tyler, Texas, pop group Gladstone, whose "A Piece of Paper" reached number 45 in October 1972. He later returned to college, acquired a master's degree in public school administration, and has been in the Oklahoma school systems for 28 years.
- 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)
b/w "Love, Love Love"
|–||–||–||ABC-Paramount 10686||Non-LP tracks|
|"Say That You Love Me"
b/w "Without You"
|"I See The Light"
b/w "The Outcast"
|-||-||-||Abnak 109||I See The Light|
|1966||"I See The Light"
b/w "The Outcast" (re-release)
b/w "Don't You Dare Blame Me" (from I See The Light)
b/w "The Losing Game" (from I See The Light)
|-||-||-||HBR 483||Non-LP tracks|
|"It's You Girl"
b/w "I'm Gonna Leave Ya"
|"I'm Feeling OK"
b/w "Slippin' and Slidin'"
|-||-||-||Abnak 114||Western Union|
|"If I Could"
b/w "Now That It's Over"
b/w "Now That It's Over"
|"Sound of Love"
b/w "Sweet Bird of Youth"
b/w "Tell Ann I Love Her" (from Western Union)
|1968||"7:30 Guided Tour"
b/w "See Saw Man" (from Western Union)
|96||-||-||Abnak 126||Now and Then|
b/w "The Rain Maker" (from Progressions)
|-||-||-||Abnak 128||Non-LP tracks|
|"Lovin' Is Livin'"
b/w "Con Man" (from Progressions)
b/w "The Source" (Non-LP track)
|-||-||-||Abnak 132||Now and Then|
b/w "Call On Me" (Non-LP track)
|"I See The Light '69"
b/w "Red Cape"
|"She's Too Good To Me"
b/w "Molly Black"
- Jim Dawson, Steve Propes (2003). 45 RPM: The History, Heroes & Villains of a Pop Music Revolution. ISBN 0-87930-757-9.
- Bruce Eder. "The Five Americans - Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved May 18, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Five Americans". classicbands.com. Retrieved May 18, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Pore-Lee-Dunn Productions. "Five Americans". Classicbands.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Brief History". thefiveamericans.com.
- "The Dead Rock Stars Club : July To December 2004". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The Dead Rock Stars Club : January to June 2010". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "FindAGrave "James Thomas 'Jimmy' Wright"". Retrieved 19 September 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Five Americans Chart History - Billboard". Retrieved January 29, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)