Wes Dakus

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Wes Dakus
Birth nameWesley Dakus
BornApril 2, 1938
DiedAugust 18, 2013 (age 75)
Genresrock 'n' roll
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Instrumentsvocals, guitar
Years active1958–68
LabelsQuality Records (Canada), Gallio (US), Capitol Records (Canada), United Artists (US), Kapp (US)
Associated actsBuddy Knox
The Fireballs
The Nomads
Barry Allen
Dundeeville Players

Wesley "Wes" Dakus (April 2, 1938 – August 18, 2013) was a Canadian musician and the leader of Wes Dakus and the Rebels, Canada's most popular instrumental group of the 1960s.[1]

Wes Dakus and the Rebels[edit]

Dakus was born in Mannville, Alberta, and in 1958 formed Wes Dakus and the Club 93 Rebels. Shortening to simply "The Rebels", band members included Barry Allen, Stu Mitchell, Gerry Dere, Dennis Planidin (aka Dennis Paul), Bob Clarke, and Maurice Marshall. In 1960, they were signed with Quality Records, and released their first album in the same year titled El Ringo. The group began recording with Norman Petty in his Clovis, NM studio in early 1963, resulting in 10 singles for Capitol Canada and 2 LPs. A brief trip through California had them recording 2 tracks for the Gallio label "Surfs U Rite / Dog Food" released in 1963.

In 1965 The Wes Dakus Album – With The Rebels was released and helped the band create several singles. In 1967 their album was issued on KAPP as "Wes Dakus's Rebels".[1] In Canada, the album was split into singles. RPM voted the band "Top Instrumental Group" in 1964 and 1965.[1] The group disbanded in the summer of 1967. The 1968 single "New Sound Of Wes Dakus" had no band involvement whatsoever and was a group of session musicians from Gary Paxton Studios who had recorded demos. Wes licensed two instrumental tracks from his Paxton sessions to complete his Capitol contract.

Sundown Recorders and Vera Cruz Records[edit]

In 1972, Dakus opened a recording studio called Sundown Recorders in Edmonton, Alberta.[1] The studio existed from 1972 to 1987, after which many of its audio tapes were donated to the Provincial Archives of Alberta.[2] Artists who recorded there included Hoyt Axton, One Horse Blue, Bobby Curtola, Gary Fjellgaard, and Fosterchild.[2] During the 1978–1982 period, Dakus also owned Vera Cruz Records, releasing albums by One Horse Blue, Fosterchild, Bryan Fustukian, Hoyt Axton, and Don Everly, among others.

Later career[edit]

Dakus still dabbled with music projects while residing in British Columbia. His last public appearance was at the Alberta Rock Reunion held in Edmonton in October 2006. CDs of his '60s output have been released on the Super Oldies label, with more unissued material to be released in the future.

Dakus suffered from health complications after a stroke in 2012, and died on August 18, 2013, in Vancouver from a cancerous brain tumor that had spread quickly.



Year Artist Credit Title Peak chart position
1960 The Club 93 Rebels "Pink Canary"
Wes Dakus & The Club 93 Rebels "Taboo"
"El Ringo"
1962 Wes Dakus & The Rebels "Cavalier Twist"
1963 "Dog Food"
1964 Wes Dakus "Side Winder"
"Las Vegas Scene" 23
1965 "Hobo" 9
"She Ain't No Angel"
"Come On Down"
"The Hoochi Coochi Coo" 4
1966 "(We've Got A) Groovey Thing Going" 77
1967 "Mama's Boy"
"Shotgun" 54
Wes Dakus & The Rebels "Come On In"
1968 Wes Dakus' Rebels "Casting My Spell"
The New Sound of Wes Dakus "Organized"


  • 1965
    • The Wes Dakus Album – With The Rebels (Capitol)
  • 1967
    • Wes Dakus & The Rebels (Kapp)


    • Wes Dakus & The Rebels – Volume 1 (Super Oldies)
  • 2007
    • Wes Dakus & The Rebels – Volume 2 (Super Oldies)
  • 2012
    • Wes Dakus & The Rebels – Volume 3 (Super Oldies)


  1. ^ a b c d "Artist: Dakus, Wes". Canoe – Jam. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Archives Canada, Sundown Recorders Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  3. ^ Canada Top Singles peaks RPM magazine

External links[edit]