The Magnificent Men Biography

A white R&B vocal septet from York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, the Magnificent Men (often abbreviated to the ‘Mag Men’) drew their members from doo-wop groups called the Endells (who released one single, ‘Vicky’, in 1963) and the Del-Chords (who released ‘Everybody’s Gotta Lose Someday’ in 1964). From the latter band were culled singers Dave Bupp and Buddy King, with instrumental backing provided by the former Endells (Jim Seville, Bob Angelucci, Tom Hoover, Terry Crousare and Tom Pane). They signed to Capitol Records and ‘Peace Of Mind’ was released in 1965. The follow-up single was ‘Maybe, Maybe Baby’, radio exposure for which brought them to the Apollo Theatre in New York. Their legendary performance here drew James Brown up from the audience, joining them in a 45-minute set. However, the group was facing difficulty in outgrowing their local popularity, with ‘Stormy Weather’ failing and ‘I Could Be So Happy’ only managing a meagre number 93 in the Billboard charts. Joining the Motortown Revue as its only white act, their next effort was ‘The Sweet Soul Medley’, a version of the Arthur Conley standard reworked to include nods to their favourite groups of the day. The rest of their Capitol singles failed significantly to embellish their reputation (despite a strong reading of Jimmy Webb’s ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix) and in 1969 the Magnificent Men moved to Mercury Records. Both ‘Holly Go Softly’ and a version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’ also stalled. When Bupp left he was replaced by Stan Sommers (ex-Del-Satins) but the group did not record again.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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