picture belowand info. courtesy Tommy Stuart
Howdy, my name is Tommy Stuart, I was a member of the Magnificent 7, which became the first version of The Rubberband in 1966. This is the basic story, hit me back for more details or questions: The Magnificent Seven was formed in the summer of 1965 of members of 3 bands, Johnny & the Monkeys, Dirty John & the Nightcaps & myself from The Stingrays. The members were: Johnny Wyker, Joe Sebotka from Decatur, Johnny Townsend, Tippy Armstrong, Denny Green, Jackie Sims & Tommy Stuart from Tuscaloosa. The band was initially sort of a clone of The Swinging Medallions but the range of music was much broader. The band was a white R&B based band which had a lead singer capable of more difficult vocals than most bands & the aid of several backup singers in the group may have added to the general success of the group. The band played Al.,MS,Fl,TN & some GA mostly & gained significant success as a working band. The only recording was a promo 45rpm, a cover of Farmer John, a well known party song with an original song on the B side entitled For Today & Tomorrow (my first song is why I mention it.)
The band played in the Summer & spring break at The Old Hickory in Panama City, FL, which is where the band was playing just prior to making it's first trip to N.Y.C. to record for Columbia Records in the summer of 1966. There is a photo of the whole band at the Old Hickory signing a contract & the article is about the groups upcoming trip to N.Y.C. to record. I believe the photo of only 4 is an after the fact photo done later for the local news after the recording was done. There were 7 members, not 4. When the band returned from NYC to play again at the Old Hickory, we received notice the record company did not want to use the Mag 7 name, I believe due to another band. We sent seven names in to the record company, one for each of us, they chose The Rubberband, which was my entry & in later years, I trademarked & restarted a band with that name in 1969, some time after the original band had broken up. So, the story of The Magnificent Seven is one that lasted essentially one year, a successful working band with one promo record & became another name, the same exact 7 guys, recording for Columbia Records, the first single was Let Love Come Between Us, a pretty fair chart success, written by Joe Sebotka & Johnny Wyker. During the Mag 7 days, the band did some shows with some very well known artists , including a show in Mississippi with The Animals & several other known acts of the day. The band was a success, worked all the time & had a phrase on the van,"The hardest working band in show business" after James Brown of course & of course, like every other white R & B band, we did a James Brown routine with the cape & all. Johnny Townsend did a great job of that too but the boy could sing Little Anthony stuff, Jerry Butler or whatever too. I have a friend who will send that photo from the Old Hickory of all 7 members. If you have questions, hit me anytime. Tommy Stuart
Check out the band's sound
According to band member Johnny Wyker, the band also pressed a 45 version of the song "Double Shot" (same song the Swingin' Medallions did). Maybe about two or three hunderd copies were pressed. Possibly recorded at Ed Boutwell's Old Church Studio in Birmingham. Johnny Wyker passed away in December of 2013 at his home in Decatur, Al. After Columbia Records released "Let Love Come Between Us" they changed the name of the band to The Rubber Band. The later spin off group with a couple of former members released their later record as TheRubberband. (info courtesy Randy Coleman.