Magnificent Seven
Originally known as The Temptashuns, The Magnificent Seven were one of the more popular recording groups in Lexington, Kentucky from the late ‘50s through the early ‘70s.  Although they did incorporate the sounds of the British Invasion into their shows, their act—and their recordings—were more heavily influenced by the top soul and R&B groups of the era.  Tony Stallard, guitar/Hammond organ, and original lead vocals, formed the band in 1959, but left before their eventual breakup in 1972.

The Magnificent Seven, L-R: Doug Hammonds, John Page, Carter Hackney, John Burrows. T-B: Meade Brown, Tony Stallard and Larry Orr. Lexington, Kentucky.
An Interview With Tony Stallard

60sgaragebands.com How did you first get interested in music?

Tony Stallard (TS): Radio was the most influential thing on me, my window to whatever signal I could find out there. A 50,000 watt radio station at night was a wonder. My parents had me in piano lessons when I was seven and I followed that with about five years of study. I also was influenced by music of hymns in church and popular music beginning around 1950. The fifties was a time ripe with new opportunities for us kids coming of age in an age of change. I believe rockabilly was a most important bridge…and we crossed it.

60s: Was The Temptashuns your first band?
TS: Yes. We were together about twelve years, from the summer of 1959 through 1972.  I formed the band.

The original group was Tony Stallard, lead guitar/vocals; Shelby Lorrison, rhythm guitar;
Wendell Sams, organ/vocals; Doug Hammonds, tenor sax; Larry Kelley, drums; and Earl Morgan, bass.

The second lineup was 
Tony Stallard, Hammond organ/vocals; Shelby Lorrison, guitar; Doug
Hammonds, tenor sax; Larry Kelley, drums; John Page, bass; and Larry Orr, lead vocals; The Tempettes, Susan Farmer (deceased), Pam Nallinger, Bettye Jo Betz and Mickey Levy, were with the band for a time. Mickey Levy remained with The Temptashuns doing lead and backing vocals.

Three high school friends--Mike Marsh, John Bell (deceased) and Charles
Holdaway taped ‘live’ recordings of The Temptashuns beginning in 1961 as well as ‘tinkered’ with the sound system with slap-back type echo and other recorded ‘sounds’ introduced into the mix.

Another friend of theirs, John Chaplin (deceased) supported the band through the years as 'Herb Oscar Kent,' a popular radio deejay personality and producer.  The support of local radio, TV, and its personalities was instrumental in our early growth and professional development.

The1963 lineup was 
Tony Stallard, Hammond organ/vocals; Doug Hammonds, tenor sax; John
Page, bass; Larry Kelley, drums; John Burrows, trumpet/flugelhorn; Larry Orr, lead vocals; Carter Hackney lead guitar; and Mickey Levy, lead and background vocals. (Mickey left the band fall semester 1964).

The 1965 lineup was
 Tony Stallard, Hammond organ/vocals; Doug Hammonds, tenor/baritone
sax; John Page, bass; John Burrows, trumpet/flugelhorn; Larry Orr, lead vocals; Carter Hackney lead guitar; and Meade Brown, drums.

The n
ame of the band changed from The Temptashuns to The Magnificent Seven in February
1965. We were most commonly referred to as The Mag 7 in Lexington. The Magnificent Seven was Tony Stallard, Hammond organ/vocals; Doug Hammonds, tenor/baritone sax; John Page, bass; John Burrows, trumpet/flugelhorn; Larry Orr, lead vocals; Carter Hackney lead guitar; and Meade Brown, drums.

In
the summer of ’66 and after (the band remained with this lineup of players to midsummer 1966), Tony Stallard was replaced with Randy Evans on organ (he was later replaced with Richard Peck and eventually Tom Martin for a brief time); Larry Orr was replaced with Charlie Shuck on lead vocals. Carter Hackney was later replaced with Bob McCaw on lead guitar and vocals (he was later replaced with Les Taylor on lead guitar and vocals). John Burrows (deceased) was replaced with Roger Dane on trumpet. John Page was later replaced with Earl Grigsby on bass and vocals. Singer Archie Himons appeared and recorded with this lineup briefly. Paul Million (deceased) later joined the band’s horn section on trombone. 

The band eventually relocated to Louisville and performing ended in 1972 after several more lineup changes. 

Epliog:

Earl Grigsby and Tony Stallard were players in The Charlie Wiley Band, a house band at a popular local night spot, The Fireplace, for a year before Earl joined The Mag 7. Earl later left the band for a two-one half year recording and touring experience with The Charlie Daniels Band.

Les Taylor became a member of the successful country music band Exile in the
eighties. His voice was a compliment to the multi-talented singer-songwriter J.P. Pennington in that band. 

Norman Higgins (deceased), an all-everything drummer, was with The Mag 7 for a time.  Norman later played with noted jazz artists and was recognized beyond Lexington for his contributions to the community of music. 

Gary Falk, saxophonist, was a player in The Charlie Wiley Band during the same period as Tony Stallard and Earl Grigsby.  Gary remains active in Louisville with his group, Indigo.

Sadly in recent years, players have passed away; John Burrows in Salinas, California and Bob McCaw in Lexington. John had made a change from trumpet and flugelhorn to valve trombone in the mid-'70s and settled in the Carmel-Big Sur-Salinas region of California. Bob had returned to the bluegrass from many years in Los Angeles and set up a recording studio out in the country.

Doug Hammonds, tenor/baritone saxophone, passed away in 2011 near Lexington. Doug, a musician all his life, later became a member of The Trendells during the ‘80s, featuring a great horn section.  It’s hard for me to think of R&B being any better; I believe that to be the best lineup ever, for that band.

60s: I assume the band changed names due to the emergence of The Temptations. H
ow did you decide on the Magnificent Seven name?
TS: The name changed February 1965. I don’t recall how we came up with The Magnificent Seven. I do remember there was an urgency to rename the band so that the new records being pressed at Columbia's Terre Haute records plant could have the band's new name on the label.  The record was really beginning to move regionally.   

The reason for the name change was not so much due to the emergence of Detroit’s
Temptations as the emergence of our record ‘Stubborn Kind of Fellow’ as a "Regional Breakout" in the Midwest and Northeast, in particular Detroit, Chicago, and Boston, and a message of concern from Motown to our agent. Following a Four-Star Review in Billboard and other trade publications in 1965-1966, The Magnificent Seven obtained a record deal with Buddy Killen’s Dial Records in Nashville, including an exclusive national distribution agreement with Atlantic Records in New York, New York.

60s: How would you describe the band's sound? What bands influenced you?
TS: The Temptashuns/Magnificent Seven bands had a rich full sound considering we used a very simple sound system. Today it might be best described as high performance music, i.e., very driven. The rhythm section was solid and the horns had some nice figures to compliment, e.g., passages from horn figures in arrangements found in Oliver Nelson/Jimmy Smith and Nancy Wilson records. Much of the depth I believe came because the organ was a more supportive instrument in the sound than a solo instrument. With a little reverb and four-finger chords, both hands, you can get a lot of depth with a Hammond organ. There was enough solo opportunity to go around for all of us players.
 
Early influences were WLAC Radio, Nashville, Johnny & The Hurricanes, Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, girl-groups and most anything in the Top 40. Emphasis changed around 1963 to a more horn-based soul blend under the influence of local R&B bands of color--James Brown, King Records, Cincinnati; Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and others in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Mar-Keys and artists at STAX Records; Little Milton and Gene Chandler; Marvin Gaye and others at Motown.

Something that needs to be said here is the often overlooked importance of the
songwriter in all this. For example, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham at Muscle Shoals, wrote some terrific soul material…and still do. The signature writers from the Brill Building to Muscle Shoals and local R&B bands of color, I can’t say enough about them and what they meant to the music we played.

For a time, we included a British flavor in the play list: Beatles, Rolling Stones,
Zombies, Kinks, Animals and Dave Clark Five, but we never drifted far from what brought us to the dance…rhythm & blues. Soul material was what we did best and we rode the Night Train to where the tracks led. The Beatles were huge in their influence but Lexington seemed to be, as it had been for a long time, an R&B town due in large part to
its proximity to Cincinnati, long a center for R&B music, from Hank Ballard to James Brown.
Temptashuns on Fraternity Row, 1962. L-R: Larry Kelley (drums), Earl Morgan, John Page (hidden), Doug Hammonds, Tony Stallard, Wendell Sams.
60s: Where did the band typically play?
TS: We began with high schools and private parties, played a lot of proms and formal dances. The campus at The University of Kentucky soon became our base venue for fraternity and sorority jam sessions, parties, formals, and university events. Shortly after, we were performing at other colleges and universities in the state, and also in Indiana and West Virginia. We played nightclubs and did limited touring, mostly in summer, and as time went on, appeared ‘live’ in-concert on occasion opening for and/or being the concert band for nationally known artists: Chuck Berry, The Coasters, The Shirelles and The Chiffons.

60s: How far was the band's "touring" territory?
TS: Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia, and in the later '60s and early '70s, up and down parts of the east coast.

60s: Did The Magnificent Seven have a manager?

TS: Yes. Our manager was Cecil Jones, owner of Lemco Records, who had Cecil Jones Entertainment. The agency booked local bands and brought in nationally known artists on occasion. Mr. Jones learned about us primarily through the American Federation of Musicians Local and hearing about us from others. The band itself and records we made were the primary means of promotion. Mr. Jones did rely on his contacts in Cincinnati and Nashville for our recording efforts.

60s: How popular locally did The Magnificent Seven become?
TS: Very popular, especially on any college campus in the state and some in the Big Ten. We had regional success. Charting outside the coveted Billboard 100, the band didn’t achieve recognition in a national sense. A homecoming reunion of The Magnificent Seven in February 2001 was well attended. Later that summer, the band appeared with The Monkees in Lexington.

60s: What were the circumstances leading to the band's opportunity to record?
TS: I had co-written an original instrumental with Doug and Shelby titled ‘Autumn Love’ and Cecil Jones, our manager had a recording studio.  We wanted to "make a record."  We used our first record as a vehicle to ask for more to play, which we used to make a second record and get better gear. In reality, we were becoming a much better band mirrored in the number of gigs The Temptashuns were playing.

60s: Where did Temptashuns/The Magnificent Seven record?
TS: Most all recording was done in the studios of Lemco Records in Lexington. Four-tracks for two records were recorded at King Records Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio. One record was recorded in Columbia Records’ Owen Bradley Studio in Nashville.  I remember all recording was done ‘live’ in a neighborhood studio (a converted garage). We were all in the same space in the beginning, and later used isolation for vocalists and drums. It all had to be right beginning to end or a new take was done. We always went in prepared and were quite serious about all of it. All recording was Analog beginning with an one-track Ampex tape deck only and eventually to two and later four-track equipment and a mixing console in a small control room. (Note: See complete discography below...)

60s: Did The Magnificent Seven write many original songs?
TS: Yes. I wrote 'Strawberry Man,' 'In Mist and Rain,' 'You’re Gonna’ Cry,' 'Love Gone, Love Return,' 'Heartbreak Overdue' and 'Autumn Love' (as co-writer).

60s: Do any (other) '60's Magnificent Seven recordings exist? Are there any vintage live recordings, or unreleased tracks?
TS: They exist but are very difficult to find. Vintage record collectors may have them. Their availability is unclear to me. No unreleased tracks exist. Vintage ‘Live’ recordings were made beginning in 1961 and do exist. Deterioration of tapes, however, over time, render quality to be not good or restorable.

60s: Did the band make any local TV appearances? Does any home movie film footage
exist of the band?
TS: Appearances were made on local radio and television programs, a Saturday afternoon Bandstand-like dance party called Coke Time. A radio spot was done introducing our first record. The Temptashuns provided "live" instrumental background as part of an in-studio video recording produced at a local television station for a talented local high school girl singer/dancer.  No home movie film exists.

60s: Did you join or form any bands after The Magnificent Seven?
TS: Yes.  I joined the Charlie Wiley Band in 1967 for a year in the house band at The Fireplace, his nightclub in Lexington. I also played keys in The Wellingtons in the summer 1968, and Hammond B-3 in The Eddie Everitt Band in the summer of 1969. After 1969, I played keys with various bands on a limited, on-call basis until 1971. I wouldn’t play again for thirty years.

Today, I am retired after 35 years as an architect, and am married with two grown children. I write prose and poetry, take photographs, and feel blessed. My music interests, 2005 to present: I play keys as a solo artist in my own band Sunset Boulevard, presenting music from the '50s to today. I still continue to write, arrange and record music and work now and then as an ensemble player in other bands.

60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Magnificent Seven?
TS: It profoundly changed my life. The friends I’ve made are priceless.


The Tempettes, L-R: Susan Farmer (deceased), Pam Nallinger, Bettye Jo Betz, Mickey Levy ca. 1962.
Temptashuns/Magnificent Seven Discography
'Strawberry Man' record sleeve, 1964. Front: Tony Stallard, Meade Brown (friend of Temptashuns); Standing: John Burrows, Larry Kelley, Cater Hackney, Larry Orr, John Page, Doug Hammonds.

TemptashunsMagnificent Seven Archive/Stallard, Anthony
Copyright ©2005 wordAScraft. All rights reserved.

People and Places and Making the Music

Session personnel are all members of The Temptashuns/Magnificent Seven. Other
musicians and singers are listed where appropriate. All recordings were produced on 45-RPM vinyl singles and packaged in plain paper slipcovers.

Studio Session Notes:

Sessions 1, 2*, 5, 6, 7, 8**, and 9 were recorded in Lemco Recording Studios, Lexington, Kentucky
Session produced by: Cecil Jones and The Temptashuns/Magnificent Seven
Recording Engineer: Cecil Jones
Sound Technician: Cecil Jones
Studio Mix: Cecil Jones
Engineered and Mastered at Owen Bradley/Columbia Recording Studios, Nashville, Tennesee
Columbia Sound Engineer: Unknown
Records production: Columbia Records, Terre Haute, Indiana

*Photography: Photographer unknown
*Artwork layout and liner notes for record sleeve: Tony Stallard

Original recordings by The Temptashuns and Magnificent Seven were released on seven record labels: Lemco, Federal (a subsidiary of King Records), Dial, Sue, Symbol, Eastern, and EMI/Stateside London (2005) and EMI (America).

Sessions 3 and 4 were recorded in King Recording Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio
**Session 8 tracks were re-recorded in Columbia’s Bradley Recording Studios, Nashville, Tennessee


Session 1
ca. September 22, 1963
1) Autumn Love (Stallard-Hammonds-Lorrison) Lemco Music BMI 2:10 Lemco 877, ZTSB-83409 (Instrumental)
Tony Stallard: Hammond Organ; Shelby Lorrison: Electric Guitar; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; John Page: Four-String Electric Bass Guitar; Larry Kelley: Drums.

2) The Big 'B'
(J.B. Edmondson) Lemco Music BMI 2:05 Lemco 877, ZTSB-83410 (Instrumental)

Personnel: Same as on 'Autumn Love' and including Johnny Burrows: Flugelhorn; and J.B. Edmondson: Mellophonium. (John B. Edmondson appeared as a courtesy to our band.  Thank you John.)

Session 2
ca. early February 1964
3) Sexy Ways (Hank Ballard) Lois BMI 1:58 Lemco 878, ZTSB 93450
Larry Orr: Vocals; Tony Stallard: Hammond Organ; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: Four-String Electric Bass Guitar; Larry Kelley: Drums.

4) Strawberry Man
(Tony Stallard) Lemco Music BMI 2:43 Lemco 878, ZTSB 93449
Tony Stallard: Hammond Organ; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: 4-String Electric Bass Guitar; Larry Kelley: Drums.

Session 3
recorded June 4, 1964 in King Recording Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio
Session produced by: Syd Nathan
Recording Engineer: Gene Redd, King Records
Sound Technician: Gene Redd, King Records
Studio Mix and Mastering: Gene Redd, King Records
Records production, artwork and promotion: King Records, Cincinnati, Ohio
National Distribution: King Records, Cincinnati, Ohio

5) Pretty Ways
(formerly Sexy Ways) (Hank Ballard) Lois BMI 2:00 King/Federal 12530

Released on King Records subsidiary Federal label, K11911.
Personnel same as Lemco Session 2 and including Hank Ballard: Tambourine (Hank Ballard appeared through the courtesy of King Records).
Tony Stallard used a Hammond C-3 organ for this session.

6) Strawberry Man
(Tony Stallard) Lois-Lemco BMI 2:45
King/Federal 12530; Released on King Records subsidiary Federal label, K11910
Personnel same as Lemco Session 2 and including Hank Ballard: Tambourine.
Tony Stallard played a Hammond C-3 organ for this session.
Two drummers, Larry Kelley and Meade Brown were used for King session.

Session 4
recorded June 4, 1964 in King Recording Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio
Session produced by: Syd Nathan
Recording Engineer: Gene Redd, King Records
Sound Technician: Gene Redd, King Records
Studio Mix and Mastering: Gene Redd, King Records
Records production, artwork and promotion: King Records, Cincinnati, Ohio
National Distribution: King Records, Cincinnati, Ohio
Two recorded tracks from this Session 4 were unreleased

7) You’re Gonna’ Cry
(Tony Stallard) Lois BMI King/Federal (unreleased)
Larry Orr: Vocals; Tony Stallard: Hammond C-3 Organ; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: 4-String Electric Bass Guitar; Larry Kelley: Drums: Meade Brown: Tympani.

8) Love Gone, Love Return
(Tony Stallard) Lois BMI King/Federal (unreleased)
Larry Orr: Vocal; Tony Stallard: Hammond C-3 Organ; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: 4-String Electric Bass Guitar; Larry Kelley and Meade Brown: Drums.

Session 5
recorded November 29, 1964
Additional session notes: Live audience recorded track provided by and added to the studio mix at King

Records, Cincinnati, Ohio by Recording Engineer Gene Redd and was an original live recording track from the James Brown ‘Live’ At The Apollo album recorded October 24, 1963, Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York.
Engineered and Mastered at Columbia Recording Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Columbia Sound Engineer: Unknown
Records production: Columbia Records, Terre Haute, Indiana

9) Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
(Gay-Stephenson-Gordy) Jobette BMI 2:16 Lemco 882, ZTSB 95636. Later released on Dial Records with national distribution by Atlantic Records, Atlantic Record Sales, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Larry Orr: Vocal; Tony Stallard: Hammond Organ; Doug Hammonds: Baritone Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: 4-String Electric Bass Guitar; Meade Brown: Drums; Alonzo ‘Snooks’ Robinson: Tenor Saxophone.
Chorus: Gary Edwards, Bobby McCaw and Robin Reed, friends of The Magnificent Seven, who gave us some of their considerable talent on a Sunday afternoon as a courtesy to our band. (Thank you Gary, Bobby, Robin, and Alonzo.)
November 30, 1964: Second voice track recorded and added to recording done on the previous day.

10) In Mist And Rain
(Tony Stallard) Lemco Music BMI 1:55 Lemco 882, ZTSB 95637
Later released on Dial Records with national distribution by Atlantic Records, Atlantic Record Sales, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Larry Orr: Vocals; Tony Stallard: Hammond Organ; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: 4-String Electric Bass Guitar; Meade Brown: Drums.
November 30, 1964: Second voice track overdub recorded and added to recording done on the previous day.

Session 6
recorded ca. April 1966
The Magnificent Seven recorded Lerner and Loewe’s classic 'Gigi' on a Sunday afternoon for the family of a debutante. Our previously released recording of 'Stubborn Kind of  Fellow' was on the B-side of the record. Copies of this private recording were distributed to guests on June 24, 1966 and are rare.
Records production (Limited edition of 500 copies): Columbia Records, Terre Haute, Indiana. 
Record was produced for a private release.

11) Gigi
(Lerner and Loewe) Chappell & Co. ASCAP 1:55 Lemco 901, 193-45901-A
Larry Orr: Vocals; Tony Stallard: Hammond Organ; Doug Hammonds: Tenor Saxophone; Johnny Burrows: Trumpet; Carter Hackney: Electric Guitar; John Page: 4-String Electric Bass Guitar; Meade Brown: Drums. Arrangement by The Magnificent Seven.

Session 7 recorded in summer 1966 at Lemco Recording Studios, Lexington, Kentucky by The Magnificent Seven
Released on Eastern Records. Label colors: Unavailable.
The song, 'She’s Called A Woman,' is included in a 27-track album, released in the summer of 2005 titled, Soul Of Sue Records: New York City, EMI. Original recordings were remastered at Abbey Road Studios, London.
The song, 'She’s Called A Woman,' is also included on Disc 4, Track 24, in a 4-CD boxed set album, released in 1994 titled, The Sue Records Story: New York City, EMI (America) label,
EMI 7243 8 28093 2 6.
Sue Records was formed in 1963 as a subsidiary of Island Records out of England. This is a nice up-tempo R&B piece with a whole lot of drive. Original release of the record was on Eastern label.

12) She’s Called A Woman
(Archie Himons) Lemco Music BMI 2:12 Eastern 611
Vocals; Bob McCaw: Other session personnel, and label notes unavailable.

13) Since You’ve Been Gone So Long
(Archie Himons) Lemco Music BMI Eastern 611
Vocals; Bob McCaw: Other session personnel and label notes unavailable.

Session 8
originally recorded at Lemco Recording Studios, Lexington, Kentucky by The Magnificent Seven
Tracks were re-recorded in Columbia’s Bradley Recording Studios,
Nashville, Tennessee and released on Dial Records, Nashville, 1968.

14) Ooh, Baby Baby (Moore-Robinson) Jobette BMI 2:59 Dial 45-4074 DL-14048SP
Vocals; Charlie Shuck: Other session personnel not known.
A Mag 7 remake of one of Smokey Robinson’s best recordings, produced by Cecil Jones. National distribution, by Atlantic Records, Atlantic Record Sales, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y.

15) Never Will I (Make My Baby Cry)
(Archie Himon) Lemco Music, Tree Publishing, BMI 2:35 Dial 45-4074, DL-14049SP
Vocals; Archie Himon: Other session personnel not known.

Session 9
recorded at Lemco Recording Studios, Lexington, Kentucky by The Magnificents
Released on Symbol Records, A division of Sue Records, Inc., New York, N.Y., Label colors; Orange and Black. A Lemco Production.
Note: “A ‘Juggy’ Production” appears on Symbol Records’ Black label release with Silver printing.

16) Take Me On
(Archie Himons) Sagitarius-Lemco Music BMI 2:30 Symbol SY221 (66SY295)
Vocals; Larry Orr and Archie Himons: Other session personnel not known.

17) Skokie Drive
(H. Murray, Jr./Archie Himons) Sagittarius-Lemco Music BMI 2:20 Symbol SY 221 (66SY296) (Instrumental)
Session personnel same as Take Me On.


Sound Samples
Media
Temptashuns - 'Walk, Don't Run' (Live, 1962)
Media
Temptashuns - 'Strawberry Man' (1964)
Media
Magnificent Seven - 'Stubborn Kind Of Fellow' (1965)
Media
Magnificent Seven - 'She's Called A Woman' (1966)
Temptashuns in Tony's garage, L-R: John Page, Shelby Lorrison, Tony Stallard, Wendell Sams (at organ). Summer 1961.

©2008 wordAScraft.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission from Tony Stallard.