The Sincerely Yours was a short-lived studio band hailing from Detroit comprised of Rick Stahl and Erik Dahlgren. The duo never played out live, as the project was intended to establish each as songwriters. As typical of the time — and with all of the artists on the Impact label — studio musicians and arrangers cut the tracks, with the writer-singers themselves regulated to only performing the vocals. By the time of the single’s release, Rick Stahl co-founded his next band, a harder-edged concern known as Wilson Mower Pursuit.
According to singer-guitarist Rick Stahl, the writer of the A-Side, the single reached #18 on the Detroit radio charts. The B-Side, “Little Girl,” features the lead vocals of Erik Dahlgren, with Rick Stahl on background vocals.
Issued in January 1967, the single was recorded on October 18, 1966, at Tera Shirma Studios founded by Ralph Terrana and Al Sherman; their chief engineer was Milan Bogdan. The studio is best known for its work with Issac Hayes. The label of issue, Impact Records, was founded by Harry Balk, known for his work with Edwin Starr, as well as co-producing the million-selling single “Runaway” by Del Shannon.
John Rhys, who produced both sides, went on to work as an engineer at the world famous Hollywood Sound Studios, which hosted the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Jackson Browne, and many others. His own band, John Rhys and the Lively Set, also record a single at Tera Shirma issued by Impact. The singles by Sincerely Yours and the Lively Set appear on The Best of Impact Records compilation issued on compact disc in 1997.
The Sincerely Yours featured:
Vocals — Rick Stahl
Vocals — Erik Dahlgren
Whistling — John Rhys (on “Shady Lane”)
Bob Babbitt — bass
Uriel Jones — drums
Joe Hunter — piano
Ron Koss — lead guitar
Dennis Coffey — guitars
Babbitt, Jones and Hunter were known for their work with Motown’s the Funk Brothers. Ron Koss—known for his Motown session work—recorded two albums for Reprise with Savage Grace. He was a one-time member of Detroit’s the Lazy Eggs.
Dennis Coffey culminated his Funk Brothers-era session work on numerous Motown-cut R&B and soul recordings with the instrumental “Scorpio” by Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band. Featuring ex-Funk Brother Bob Babbitt on bass, the Gold-selling single landed in the U.S. Top 10 in 1971.
Rick Stahl’s next band, Wilson Mower Pursuit, is remembered in Detroit for its many live appearances at the Grande Ballroom, as well as for their opening shows for the MC5, the Stooges, and Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes. After failed offers from Capitol and Kit Lambert’s Track Records, Wilson Mower Pursuit independently recorded their lone album, Last Night Out: Live at the Silverbell. The band’s final live show, it was captured-on-tape by Bill Julius, one of the band’s roadies (the album has since been reissued on compact disc). WMP’s Shawn Murphy joined the cast of Hair alongside Meatloaf, formerly with Detroit’s Popcorn Blizzard. Together, they formed the duo Stoney and Mealoaf in 1971.
Concentrating on a songwriting career and retiring from live performances, Rick Stahl returned to Detroit stages in 1981 with Pendragon. After releasing two, private-press 45s in 1983, Pendragon disbanded. A live version of one of their songs, “Queen of Air,” appears on the radio promotional album Live at Hart Plaza issued by WRIF radio. Rick Stahl then retired to Colorado
Springs, where he produced music and designed album art for local indie artists.
Article written by R.D. Francis