Friday, February 27, 2015

Mid-West Spotlight: The Five Americans - I See The Light/The Outcast

Back with day six of On The Flip-Side's Mid-West Battle of the Garage Bands. 

The Five Americans hailed from Durant, Oklahoma, a ninety minute drive north of Dallas, Texas. The band was comprised of singer and guitarist Mike Rabon, guitarist Norman Ezell, drummer Jimmy Wright, bassist Jim Grant and organist John Durrill. The Five Americans scored a local Dallas hit on Abnak Records with I See The Light in November of 1965. It was the band's 5th attempt.  In swooped HBR to take the song national a month later. A pretty solid full length LP followed.

We give you, today, both sides of that first release on HBR, I See The Light/The Outcast. Both songs were written by Ezell, Rabon and Durill. I See The Light is a real rocker with dominant organ, tight harmonies and a great, great instrumental break. I'm particularly fond of the repeated guitar riff wrapping up the guitar lead at 1:11 as it gives way to a solo organ riff back into the raver before it all wraps up at a tight little 2:06. Curiously the song would be covered on the other side of the pond by Freakbeat mods, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound some 11 months later. 

The Outcast is quite different. The Flip-Side is a slower more somber number. The bass dominant song showcases the country influence of the Oklahoma band with nice harmonies and a harmonica solo. Enjoy both sides. I usually do.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side.


  1. I See The Light - simply a brilliant song.

    Outcast could easily be a Q65 composition. Somehow when I listen to it in that context I appreciate it even more. Spare unadorned instrumentation, pretty simple composition, forlorn lyrics and vocals. Yeah!!

    1. I hear that now re: Q65. Except it would be in broken English with odd references to middle age and dead dogs.