- Peak Date
- Years (together)
- Song Highlights
The band was formed in 1965 in Louisville, doing mostly covers. But as competition among Louisville groups to write and record original music increased, the Rugbys recorded and released two singles in 1968, “Walking the Streets Tonight”, written by Doug Sahm of the Sir Douglas Quintet, later included on the compilation album Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 8, and “Stay with Me”, written by Steve McNicol.
Both songs were released locally and played on Louisville radio stations WAKY and WKLO. But it was not until later that year when the band decided to release the B-side of “Stay with Me”, a song called “You, I”, also written by McNicol, that they found success. “You, I” climbed to #1 on both local radio stations. They were then signed to Shelby Singleton’s Nashville, Tennessee, record label, Amazon Records, which re-released the single “You, I” in 1969, and the song became a national hit, climbing to #24 on the Hot 100 and #21 on the Cash Box magazine charts.
There are several posts of “You, I” on YouTube. “You, I” was also released worldwide on labels from Spain (Exit Records), Italy (Akarma Records), England (Polydor Records) and Thailand (Thai Records). Akarma also released the album “Hot Cargo” on CD in a limited edition, which is very rare and hard to find on the internet. The song ” You, I ” was also covered by a couple of other international groups, (The Pepper Smelter Group, from Peru, and the Climax, from Belgium ).
Both of their versions are also on YouTube. The latter part of 1969 and all of 1970 were spent touring the midwest and northeast, playing on the same bill with artists like Bob Seger, Grand Funk Railroad, the James Gang, and many others. Check out the 1969 Palm Beach Music Festival poster. Later that year, the band released their only album, Hot Cargo, which received only mild success due to a complete lack of national promotion and a failure by Shelby Singleton in 1969-70 to recognize the upsurge of FM radio. “Wendegahl the Warlock” was the follow-up single to “You, I”, but it did not chart.
Hot Cargo would later be released on CD along with an album by a group named Lazarus on the same disc, called The Rugbys meet Lazarus. More recently, in 2007, Gear Fab Records released an anthology type album on Steve McNicol and the Rugby’s (previously unreleased original material) called the Rugbys, the Lost Sessions, which is available on E-bay.
- garage rock
- 1965 – 1971
- Steve McNicol (guitar)
- Mike Hoerni (bass guitar)
- Eddy Vernon (keyboards)
- Glen Howerton (drums)
- 1969 Hot Cargo
The Rugbys – You, I – [original AM radio version]
The Rugbys – You, I
- Amazon Records