Black Oak Arkansas
lack Oak Arkansas, named after their location, was founded by vocalist Jim Dandy' Mangrum (who took his moniker from a 1950s song) handled the evolution of the band from the 1960s act Knowbody Else. Subsequently settling in L.A. with Stan Goober' Knight (guitar/vocals), Rickie Reynolds (guitar/vocals), Pat Daugherty (bass/vocals), Harvey Jett (guitar) and Wayne Evans (drums), they would release their self-titled debut in 1971 and followed it up with Keep The Faith in 1872 on Atco/Atlantic' based on a solid reputation, mostly in the southern states; the former album was simply too much of a risk for the golden disc for it just missed the U.S. top 100. The follow-up, If An Angel Came To See You, Would You Make Her Feel At Home, corrected this inconvenience in 1972 by squeaking by at 93 U.S. After this, Black Oak Arkansas became a very prolific act by releasing an average of 2 albums per year starting with a live effort, Raunch N' Roll - Live (live; 1973) and High On The Hog (1973) where they assumed a more Gospel Rock direction for the next several years for Street Party (1974; featuring Ruby Starr replacing Jett), Aint Life Grand (1975; featuring Jimmy Henderson replacing Starr). X-Rated (1975) was an album that barely made 99 in the U.S., to be followed by Balls Of Fire (1976) before a complete line-up change occurred with Dandy and Henderson returning to recruit Andy Tanas replacing Daughterty, Jack Holder replacing all of Reynolds, Knight, Starr for the 10 Years Overnight Success (1977) before shutting it all down and assuming the name Black Oak.
As Black Oak, Greg Redding stepped in to take over guitar and keyboards for Race With The Devil (1977) and I'd Rather Be Sailing (1978) before splitting in 1978.
Splintering off into separate endeavors, Dandy would be the noted one who recruited Steve Nunemacher (guitar), William Lemuel (bass/vocals), Jon Wells (drums) and Billy Battle (keyboards) to release Ready As Hell (1981) under his own name. He would then form Jim Dandy & Black Oak Arkansas in 1986 with the Black Attack Is Back (1986) release following.
The act then reformed in its original form with Magnum, Reynolds, Johnny Roth (guitar), Buddy Chruch (guitar), Artie Wilson (bass) and Johnny Courville III (drums) but it was only for a rare reunion before another attempt occurred shortly later with Dandy, Dougherty and Reynolds with Johnnie Bolin (brother of deceased legend Tommy Bolin) on drums for The Wild Bunch (1999; released on CD as Black Oak Arkansas & Jim Dandy), an album featuring impressive new material mixed with Tommy Bolin classics.