THE STRANGERS
Western Union
(Mike Rabon - Norman Ezell - John Durrill)
Australia 1967
#27 Sydney #48 Melbourne #27 Adelaide #9 Perth

Single on the Go!! label.

Co-charted with the original version by The Five Americans.

The Strangers: Melbourne band, formed in 1961, started out playing instrumentals after the fashion of The Shadows but went through several stylistic and personnel changes until breaking up in the mid-70s. The Strangers backed numerous local and Australian artists, notably Colin Cook with whom they released the LP Colin Cook and the Strangers (1964). In 1966 they became resident backing band on the TV pop show Go!!.

One of The Strangers' better known alumni is John Farrar, who joined British post-Shadows guitar group Marvin, Welch and Farrar and then the
re-formed Shadows. He later produced and wrote for Olivia Newton-John. In Grease (1978), Olivia performed You're The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You, John Farrar's additional songs for the movie version of the musical.

Founding member Peter Robinson, who was earlier with The Thunderbirds, was also an active producer, arranger and session musician, and went on to replace Athol Guy in The Seekers from the late 70s. For news of Peter's latest band, The Beach Buddies, visit www.thebeachbuddies.com.

See also Cry Of The Wild Goose (1963, an early instrumental), If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody (1965), Happy Without You (1968), Melanie Makes Me Smile (1970), Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl (1970) and Mr President (1970).

References: Ian McFarlane's Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop. Privately published 2000 biography of The Strangers by Geoff Jermy with Peter Robinson.

THE SEARCHERS
Western Union
(Mike Rabon - Norman Ezell - John Durrill)
UK 1967

Single on Pye label.


Buy At Sanity.com.au

THE FIVE AMERICANS
Western Union
(Mike Rabon - Norman Ezell - John Durrill)
USA 1967
Original version
#5 USA #27 Sydney #48 Melbourne #17 Brisbane #27 Adelaide #9 Perth #4 NZ

The band was formed in 1962 by college students in Durant, Oklahoma and was signed by Dallas label Abnak. The Five Americans took four original songs to the national US Top 40 charts in 1966-67, including Western Union, their biggest hit.

In Australia, the original co-charted with the local cover version by The Strangers in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide; Brisbane preferred the original.

Further reading: 1. The excellent official site FiveAmericans.com. 2. All Music Guide's Five Americans biography.
MAX MERRITT & THE METEORS
Western Union Man
(Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff - Jerry Butler)
Australia 1969
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as "Western Union" by The Strangers.

Go here for the history of Western Union Man by Max Merritt & The Meteors.

JERRY BUTLER
Hey, Western Union Man
(Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff - Jerry Butler)
USA 1968
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as "Western Union" by The Strangers.

Go here for the history of Hey Western Union Man by Jerry Butler.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.