One of the few vocal groups on the Stax
roster during the '60s, the Mad Lads' doo
wop-influenced harmonies were more akin to
what you might find in Philadelphia soul
acts than those of their native Memphis.
Featuring the high, innocent tenor of John
Gary Williams, the group was still in high
When they were signed to Stax in late 1964.
In the mid-'60s, they enjoyed solid R&B hits
with "Don't Have to Shop Around," "I Want
Someone," and "I Want a Girl," although they
never would cross over to the pop audience.
Williams and fellow Mad Lad William Brown
were drafted in 1966, and their recording
career was suspended while they were in Viet
Nam (although the group continued to perform
live with replacements). After their
discharge, the Mad Ladsí subsequent efforts
were more in the Stax soul/funk formula, and
not as memorable as their more atypical
They did return to the R&B Top Thirty in
1968 with "Whatever Hurts You."