The Black Oak Arkansas band grew from a boyhood bond forged in Black Oak and other small towns nearby. Jim “Dandy” Mangrum and Ricky Reynolds played in high school together.
Early in the bands career, they were signed to Stax Records, as The Knowbody Else, and released the album Early Times. The band got signed to Atlantic records when a representative of the label caught a Los Angeles concert. That’s when they changed their name to Black Oak Arkansas. The band debut on the Atco label featured Mangrum, Reynolds, bassist Pat Daugherty, guitarist Harvey Jett, drummer Wayne Evans, and guitarist Stan Knight. Jett was replaced by Jimmy Henderson and Evans was replaced by Tommy Aldridge.
The initial releases were laden with driving, guitar based rock and mystical lyrics. Listen to the saints-and-sinners sermon Mangrum delivers on “Lord Have Mercy On My Soul”, the tale of “Mutants of The Monster”, or the simple plea “Keep The Faith”. But the group was hardly a gospel choir. In a hint of what was to come, the debut contained the sexual “Hot And Nasty”.
With constant touring and LP’s being released every six months, the work would have broken lesser souls fast. Many years of fast living also took its toll on the band and by 1977, Mangrum was the lone original member. After recording Race With The Devil and I’d Rather Be Sailing, Reynolds joined the band again and they released two albums in the 80’s, Ready As Hell, and The Black Attack Is Back.
Mangrum suffered three broken vertebrae in a car accident in late 1991 and was expected to never walk again. But that didn’t stop him. By the spring of ’92 he was performing again. In 1998, Live on The King Biscuit Flower Hour 1976 was released, followed by The Wild Bunch in 1999.
The band lineup now includes 3 original members, Jim Dandy (vocals and scrubboard), Ricky Lee Reynolds on guitar, and Pat Daugherty on bass, along with Terry (Mr. Slydeguitar) and Johnnie Bolin on drums.
Look out and prepare once again to get Hot and Nasty!
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