The Kickin’ Mustangs

The Kickin' Mustangs
Back row from left: Albert Richardson, Larry Creech, Larry Talerico, Buddy McCoy, Brad Rhodes; Front row from left: Danny Shortridge and Bruce France. Missing is Pat Loving.

Unlike the other 45s on the Plato label, the Kickin’ Mustangs record is not garage, but has a wild two-minute funk number “Kickin'” on the top side and a fine ballad “Take a Miracle” on the flip. It was recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio the same day as the Outcasts’ record, which shows the range of musical styles of the time.The band was from Ashland, Kentucky, original billed as simply the Mustangs. The original band included

Danny Shortridge – lead vocals
Larry Creech – sax
Darrel Tucker – trumpet
Rudy Hester – keyboards
Boots Shelton – bass, replaced by Larry ‘Frog’ Johnson
Dave Osborne – drums

By the time of the Kickin Mustangs single, Danny Shortridge and Larry Creech remained from the original group, but the rest of the members were new:

Danny Shortridge – lead vocals
Bruce France – lead vocals
Larry Creech – sax
Larry Talerico – trumpet
Pat Loving – lead guitar
Brad Rhodes – keyboards
Albert Richardson – bass
Buddy McCoy – drums

“Kickin'” was written by Parnell, Loving, & Minnefield. “Take a Miracle” on the flip is a nice ballad written by Bob Minnefield. This is also the most valuable record on the Plato label, by the way.

Keyboardist Brad Rhodes sent in the photo above and gave me some background on the group:

I was the keyboardist for the Kickin’ Mustangs when we recorded our 45 rpm disc in Cincinnati. At the time, the members were Larry Creech, Pat Loving, Danny Shortridge, Larry Talerico, Bruce France, Buddy McCoy and Albert Richardson.

Attached is a promotional photo of the Kickin’Mustangs from back in the day with Hal Scott Enterprises. The only person missing is Pat Loving, our guitar player. This photo may have been taken when Pat was laid up after a car accident.

I had joined the Mustangs around 1966-67 after playing in a band out of Flatwoods, KY. “Frog” Johnson was the bass player initially and the group always had an R&B / soul feel to it, but when Albert, Buddy and Bruce were added, it created a whole new sound that complimented the R&B scene during those days. Bruce, Buddy, Albert and Talerico were from Huntington and they were instrumental in taking the Mustangs to another level. Man, I miss the days of R&B!.

We played the usual Tri-State venues, but were also fortunate to have played with Cream, The Grass Roots, and performed in an event in Ashland with The Left Banke and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

I remember when Hal Scott came to us with the opportunity to cut a disc with Plato Records, because all the bands he booked received the same offer. Although I do not recall the date, I remember traveling to Cleveland, Ohio after cutting the record, and appearing on “Upbeat”, a syndicated T.V. show. I imagine it is lost in the archives!

Brad Rhodes, July 2010

Later members included Terry Sanders on drums and Mike Tolone. Pat Loving and Larry Creech have since passed away.

29 thoughts on “The Kickin’ Mustangs”

  1. So my cousin Mark Fosson who had a band in Ashland, Ky called “Revolution” told me a great story about the Kickin’ Mustangs — he said they were an incredible band who dressed really sharp in sharkskin suits and shiny Beatle boots, and one night a few members of Revolution (who were wearing psychedelic flower power ponchos to their own gigs) stole some of the Kickin’ Mustangs clothes. They were very excited to take these back to the rest of the band, and while many members were reluctant — no one could resist the Beatle boots. So they wear them at their next gig, and in saunters The Kickin’ Mustangs, “Hey man, cool boots…” God, to have been there that night!

    Mark said there was another soul band in Ashland called “The Explosive Dynamics” who were really amazing too. He seemed to think one of the guys, maybe the singer, in The Kickin’ Mustangs was studying at Marshall University in nearby Huntington, WVA and went on to become a doctor.

    God this record is so amazing! Makes me so proud of the talent in my hometown!

    1. I have a copy of both of the Mustangs’ songs, as well as the song The Outcasts recorded, and two songs The Terrifics recorded.

      L. Evans

  2. Hi Allison!
    I just happened on GarageHangover website and was amazed to read about the “Kickin Mustangs”! I played drums with the earlier “Mustangs” when they first started. Larry Creech on Sax, Danny Shortridge, lead singer, Darrel Tucker, trumpet, Rudy Hester, keyboard, “Boots” Shelton, bass. We played a lot at the Flatwoods Roller Rink, school dances, street dances…the usual! I had earlier played about 3 years with the Thunderbirds before we disbanded when three of the four members graduated from Ashland Senior High. I was a senior at Catlettsburg. After graduation, I joined with the Mustangs until we began squabbling and I started playing with Dave & Teena Chinn in the Teena Chinn Trio (cocktail lounge and club work). I enjoyed the information you provided to this site.

    Best wishes…Dave Osborne

    1. Really great to find this site. Been looking for these guys for a long time…Shortridge owes me money. Juusssttt kidding. Rudy H and I used to share an apartment. Y’all, when Dave O played drums he would come out first, set a beat, then the remainder would be announced. Don’t know if that happened every time but it did at a ‘do’ at ACC. Loved to listen to you play, man. Of all those who sat on the ‘throne’, you were the best. (please send the check to…)

      1. Long time since you posted on this site Kent, But i needed to say hello to you. We had a great time hey? Those were the days and you were a star.
        Any idea where Rudy Hester is these days? I’ve really lost touch with so many good musicians and friends.

        Danny

  3. Dave. Nice to see your comments about the Mustangs, and most of all making contact with you after all these years.

    My e-mail address is dans@citlin.net. Let me hear from you. We can catch up.

    My best, Dan

  4. What a band!!!!! Their name says it all. How they got lost in the suffle is a sin. The single was a hit in at least Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. The nice thing about this group was they were so professional. And God what a show. The 2 african-american singers (1) could sing, and (2) complimented each others styles.
    The only other “black” artists from the area who were in their league —– (1) Lord Jim (Jim Terry) with the Mystics and then the Invaders, and “Cat” Weems with the Continal Five.

  5. My name is Pat Loving I came across your sight and I would like to have anything you have to do with my dads group. I might be able to help you get more info. My dad died when I was little and I want to get any info I can on him for my kids to see and learn about their grandfather.

    Thanks Pat Loving

    Fell free to call or email me at anytime
    304-633-8725
    ploving@specialmetals.com

    1. Pat,

      I don’t see it mentioned, and you may already be aware, but your dad’s nickname was “Biggie”. He was a monster on guitar and a big favorite when he played it behind his head. Normally quiet on stage until “Land of 1000 Dances” was played. I had a ‘seizure’ one night and the man healed me right there on the stage. He then give me a sip from his cup, which I took to stay in character, but it didn’t take long to remember he drank that Ripple crap mixed with battery acid, or something.

      Your dad was a unique individual with a unique presence all his own. This at a time when there was an abundance of ‘unique’.

  6. We all loved the Kickin’ Mustangs!!! They were the kind of band that we all wanted to have!!!!

    (I’m missing a few pairs of shoes, too. Mark?)

  7. The Kicking Mustangs were indeed one of the happening bands in the late 1960s in the Huntington – Ashland – Ironton tri-state area. Not mentioned in the lineup of the band was the drummer Buddy McCoy who also did some double-duty on vocals. Buddy is one of the most solid musicians to come out of that area.
    He was also responsible for the next generation of the Kicking Mustangs which I was privileged to have played in for the first 9 months of 1969. What a great time!

  8. Hey …this is “Rico” in New Orleans….Played on the record (trumpet) with Larry Creech on Sax.. The good old days…..Actually “Who take the girl with skinny Legs” was written about me and my girlfriend at the time, Donna Artis…After the army, I traveled and played in the horn section with “Jackie Wilson”…Been in New Orleans since 1979…Started a dixieland brass band here called “the Storyville Stompers”…….Still playing…….Hello to all my music brothers in West Virginia……..What a time we had back then……Anybody know where Creech is?????? Later

    1. hi larry,

      long time no see. i play the trumpet and we were in the allstate band together in wv in the late 60’s.
      i remember your band.
      i still play. i am the director of women’s health at florida state university and teach that the med school.
      jack “jay” lipps

  9. RICO !

    I have ofter wondered where you were. New Orleans, wow!

    I live in Bluefield WV and have been a banker for almost 40 years now. Last played any music professionally about 1978. Still play around the house occasionally. I do miss live performances some times.

    You asked about our good friend “Creech”. Unfortunately he died about three years ago.

    My e-mail address is:(dans@citlink.net) let me hear from you !!!

    Dan Shortridge

  10. Hey….Found this tune on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD89e9h7T4c If that doesn’t work just go to you tube and type in the name of the tune…..Funny..I’ve been in Real Estate for about 40 years now…..My…how we change……my email is Ltalerico@latterblum.com I’ll send a compulation of my current band at jazz fest last year….Quite different from the r&b that we played….Wish we could go back in time….Later Rico

  11. Hey Mike! This is Buddy McCoy the last drummer who played with the Kickin Mustang’s also played on the 45! Thanks for the comment! I am playing in three bands at the present time and still kickin it!! Playing with the Dynamics/Mike Thomas, Sanford Morgan & Greg Adkins. I have group pictures and a magazine article about the kickin mustangs, playing on stage with the grass roots and cream.

    Please contact me at (304) 417-0371!!! Like to catch up!

    Still living in Huntington, West Virginia. Playing a big gig this summer!!

    Buddy McCoy
    Huntington, WV

  12. Hey Sanford… my name is Mike Lyzenga. Back around ’81 you and Greg and Herb played background for me on a record I made at Rare Summer Studio. If you’re interested…. I have a copy of the two songs you guys played on. Send me an email and I’ll send you the mp3’s of Cash Money and Don’t Rain On My Parade.
    Now I’m off to try and find Herb and Greg!

    Cheers,
    Mike.

  13. Hey, this is Brad Rhodes. I was fortunate to play keyboards with the Kickin’ Mustangs when we recorded the 45rpm disc in Cincinnati. Group members at the time were Larry Creech, Larry Talerico, Pat Loving, Danny Shortridge, Bruce France, Albert Richardson, and Buddy McCoy. The voice on “Kickin” is that of Bruce. Bruce, Buddy and Albert were from Huntington, and along with Talerico, took our group to another level. Man, do I miss the days of jamming in the Tri-State area!
    I’m currently retired in Georgia but I never miss a chance to play the old R&B songs we played back when.

  14. A sad note: Terry Sanders, mentioned here and with other local bands, passed away Sunday, Dec. 12, following a six-month illness. He was married to Karen for 42 years and had 3 children and several grandchildren. On a personal note, Terry was a neighbor of mine on Hilton Avenue while growing up. My early experience with music and instruments included hearing them jam from time to time at his house up on the hill there in Ashland. I’m not sure which band it would be, as I was 9-,10-, 11-years old at best, but i remember the bass player had one of those early Gibson basses with the violin head. RIP Terry and thank you for serving our country.

  15. Really enjoyed this group in my younger days in Huntinton. Any chance you can load up the back side of Whole Lotta of Loving. I remember this song being equally good but slower. Thanks

  16. Brad, in your writeup for the band, you say you performed in an event in Ashland with The Left Banke and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. My first concert was an afternoon performance of The Left Banke and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in the Ashland National Guard Armory. However, I remember Bunny Chevil (sp?)and the Downbeats being the local group who was the warm up band. Could you have performed at the evening concert? I know the concert must have been in late 1966 or early 1967, but I have always wondered what the exact date was. Would you know?

  17. I have a band that consists of eight. The Band Unique! We have been together for a couple of years and are playing from Huntington to Charleston to Morgantown. We are R & B with a Jazz twist. My wife Brenda has been a huge factor in my continuing to play what I love….DRUMS! Brenda has supported me with my career and financing and moving equipment from job to job. Just to give a big shout out to anyone reading this….call me and I can tell you where we are playing … I also DJ for parties. Love to hear from you!!!!

  18. Buddy, Roger Bryant, from the old INCO among other days. I gotta catch up and talk with you. I see a phone # posted here for you, and I will try to call you, if you don’t hear from me, my cell # is 843-619-1963….I’m in Charleston, SC….talk to you soon!!

  19. The Explosive Dynamiks cut one of my favorite funky soul tracks of all time, ‘Whole Lotta Loving,’ in a small Lexington, Kentucky studio in 1966. Great horn arrangements, tuba fills, churchy organ playing over the solid rhythm, and lyrics “I used to think I was a pimp and a player, but now she’s got me uptight and all I wanna say, I got a whole lot of love baby, gotta whole lot of love for you.”

    The band was from Huntington, West Virginia, and members on the record were Mike Thomas lead vocals, Larry Sumpter lead guitar, Charles ‘Tyke’ Stover keyboards, Buck Huntley bass, Rick David drums, and Lindsey Blair and Lorenzo Bates on backup vocals. Later members included Wayne Brown on bass, Greg Adkins, Sanford Morgan, Dave Lusk, and Steve Varney.

    The song was written by Archie Himons, who also recorded for Dial as Little Archie, and is now known as Aashid.

    The Dynamiks may have played Whole Lotta Loving live on an episode of Cleveland’s Upeat show that featured James Brown, which I’d love to see.

    Check the Capitol Soul Club for more info and photos of the Dynamiks.

    1. Hey Cheryl. This is Dan. Is this site great or what. I hope this finds you well. It’s been a long time Lady since I have seen you. You have no idea how crushed I was to learn about Larry’s passing. It made me set down and recall all the good times we had together.

      There are not many of the original guys left that were in the Mustangs. So sad.

      Connie and I live in Bluefield, WV and have since 1991. Scott, you may remember him, gave us one grandchild, Nathan. They live in Charleston, SC. They are a great little family.

      I would love to chat with you and catch up on all the years that have passed.

      My e-mail address is dans@citlink.net. Let me hear from you and we will exchange contact information. Hope to hear from you soon.

      Dan Shortridge

  20. I thought it more than appropriate to comment about Aashid Himons, better know in the TriState area as Little Archie.

    I was the lead singer in “ The Kickin’ Mustangs” from Ashland, Kentucky. One summer I ran into Little Archie, whom I barely knew personally, but I was very familiar with this giant of a talent. He was “The Man” in the Tri-state area of Huntington, WV, Ashland, Ky. and the Ironton, Ohio areas. We talked a while and Archie asked if he could work with the Mustangs that summer. It was the mid sixty’s and we had a lot of bookings in place in three states.

    The Mustangs were going through another musical change of direction. We were now playing the new R&B, Soul, and Blues that was sweeping the nation. We recently added two black guys from Huntington, WV to the band. Albert Richardson, on bass, and Bruce France on drums to complement our musical change. Our band just kept getting better.

    I was so excited by Archie’s request, that I immediately said yes and invited him to your next practice. When I told the rest of the band members they were as excited as I was. We met for practice, and Archie fit like a new glove. The band just stepped up a notch, better than ever before.

    In a funny way Archie and I made a rather odd couple fronting the band. Me being white, Archie black. I was a skinny 5″8″ tall and Archie was 6″11″ tall. Can you imagine that ? 🙂

    Archie introduced us to additional songs and artists to cover, new ways of making our own interpretation, and he wrote two songs for the Mustangs that we played many times with him. I don’t know what ever happened to those songs but they have been all forgotten.

    I enjoyed this period in my musical career the most, being associated with Archie Himons. Late that summer Archie informed us that he was leaving for Canada to do some recording. We went our way ever effected by what we learned from Archie. Archie went his way and became a bigger giant that ever before.

    When I learned of Archie’s passing I was crushed even though I had not seen him in many years. So sad to lose such a talented gentle giant like Aashid Himons. I’m still sadden by his passing.

    Archie was just another of many talents we were pleased to be attracted to.

    Thanks to everyone who has remembered the bank from so long ago and left funny thoughts and comments about the Mustangs.

    As i read though the comments I have found several things that are not correct about who played with us, and several names who were not mentioned.

    I plan the get my thoughts together soon and add mention of those players not included and correct the few things that are mistakes.

    THX garagrhangover for reminding me of such good days in another life.

    Danny

    Dan Shortridge

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