Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1972 Sailcat – Motorcycle Mama

John Wyker III grew up in Decatur Alabama and attended the University of Alabama before striking out to build a career singing and playing guitar. He also took up song writing, and co-wrote the single Let Love Come Between Us, which James and Bobby Purify took to #23 on the Hot 100 in 1967. He later moved to Muscle Shoals and joined The Rubber Band with John Townsend (who later was a member of the Sandford/Townsend band) and Ed Pickett. Ed’s brother Court was a singer and bass player in the band Sundown in Macon.

Court and John met up somewhere near Decatur Alabama in 1971 and began recording some demo songs that turned into an entire album themed around a biker. They abandoned the project and stopped pursuing the completion of the album until Elektra Records heard the demos and signed them to a recording contract. The group began using the name Sailcat.

Pete Carr worked alongside the duo in the final studio recording of their album. He had played in the group Hour Glass with Duane and Gregg Allman in the late sixties but decided he was more interested in doing studio work. He met John when he moved to Muscle Shoals and became the lead guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Besides playing guitar on the Sailcat album, Pete wrote or co-wrote some songs and engineered and produced their album.

Jack Davis provided the cover art for Sailcat’s album. Jack’s style is instantly recognizable thanks to his work on early EC comic books, Mad magazine, and covers he illustrated for TV Guide.

John wrote the song Motorcycle Mama, and he and Court shared the vocals on the single. In the Summer of 1972, the song reached #12 on the Hot 100, the only time the band was on the chart. The duo toured to support the album and also performed the song on American Bandstand. The group also recorded the single Baby Ruth, but when that failed to chart the group split up.

Court did record an album for Elektra in 1973, Fancy Dancer, while John returned to doing studio work. John also worked on The Mighty Field of Vision Anthem, a project that sought to raise funds for musicians who were facing financial difficulties. John died in 2013.

Pete went on to co-produce and/or play guitar on successful singles and albums by Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart,  Barbra Streisand, and many others.


John D. Wyker III


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