MAX MERRITT & THE METEORS
Western Union Man
(Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff - Jerry Butler)
Australia 1969
#29 Sydney #5 Melbourne #6 Brisbane #23 Adelaide #21 Perth

The first Meteors were brought together by Max Merritt in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1956. After becoming one of the country's top bands while based in Auckland, they moved to Australia in 1964. The Meteors went through many personnel changes along the way, before arriving at their classic late-60s line-up of Max Merritt, Bob Bertles, Stewie Speer and John 'Yuk' Harrison. Their biggest hit didn't come till 1976, with Merritt's own composition Slipping Away (#2 Sydney, #6 Melbourne, #1 Brisbane, #2 Adelaide, #1 Perth, #5 NZ). See also I've Been Trying (1965).

Further reading: Max Merritt and the Meteorspage at Bruce Sergent's New Zealand Music site. The Max Merritt & The Meteors site has a detailed biography.

JERRY BUTLER
Hey, Western Union Man
(Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff - Jerry Butler)
USA 1968
Original version
#16 USA

Single on Mercury, from the 1968 album The Iceman Cometh.

Jerry Butler had been lead singer with The Impressions, formed 1957, with whom he had one major hit, For Your Precious Love (1958).

He left The Impressions in 1958 for a solo career which saw such hits as He Will Break Your Heart (1960), Moon River (1961) and - with Betty Everett - Let It Be Me (1964).

In the late 60s he teamed up with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and his first album with them, The Iceman Cometh (1968), produced four charting singles in the US: Hey, Western Union Man, Never Give Up, Are You Happy and the #4 hit Only The Strong Survive.

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Hey, Western Union Man was also recorded, for example, by Al Kooper (1968, on I Stand Alone), Diana Ross & The Supremes (1969, on Let The Sunshine In), William Bell (1969, on Bound To Happen), Bobby Rush (1979, on Rush Hour, prod. Gamble & Huff).

THE STRANGERS
Western Union
(Mike Rabon - Norman Ezell - John Durrill)
Australia 1967
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as "Western Union Man" by Max Merritt & The Meteors.

  Go here for history of Western Union by The Strangers.
THE FIVE AMERICANS
Western Union
(Mike Rabon - Norman Ezell - John Durrill)
USA 1967
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as "Western Union Man" by Max Merritt & The Meteors.

  Go here for history of Western Union by The Five Americans.

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