Thursday, August 01, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Mad Lads

Artist:The Mad Lads
Song:Don't Have To Shop Around
Album:Don't Have To Shop Around

The Mad Lads had some success on the Stax label Volt Records in the mid-60s with songs like Don't Have To Shop Around and I Want Someone. Their career was interrupted by The Draft and they weren't as successful when they returned. The Mad Lads were unusual because Stax wasn't known for vocal groups and these guys were more doo wop than southern soul. They were all students at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis led by lead singer John Gary Williams. Other members were Julius Green, William Brown and Robert Phillips. They signed with Stax in 1964 as The Emeralds but they had to change their name as there was already a group called The Emeralds. Stax office employee Deanie Parker suggested The Mad Lads after local DJ Rueben "Mad Lad" Washington. Their first single Sidewalk Surf was not successful. So producers Isaac Hayes and David Porter went back to the drawing board and came up with Don't Have To Shop Around. It reached #11 on the R & B Singles chart. The song was written by Allen Jones. He was a Stax studio musician who went on to produce The Bar-Kays. I Want Someone and I Want A Girl were also top 20 R & B hits. At the end of 1966, Williams and Brown were drafted and served in The Vietnam War. They were replaced by Sam Nelson and Quincy Billups Jr. but The Mad Lads weren't as successful. When Williams and Brown returned in 1969, the other guys didn't want them back. But Stax co-owner Jim Stewart intervened and they returned to the group. They had a top 30 R & B hit with By The Time I Get To Phoenix in 1969. Then Julius Green was imprisoned for cheque fraud and The Mad Lads split up in 1972. This CD is a good intro to their music. John Gary Williams recorded a solo album in 1973. He reformed The Mad Lads in 1984 and still leads them today. Here's a video for Don't Have To Shop Around by The Mad Lads.

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