We wrote and recorded "My Baby Left Me" nearly 50 years ago (yes, we're that old!) Released in 1966, this is the first and only vinyl single the Rubber Band ever recorded. Co-written by Larry Crandall, Tommy Stahr and myself, this ballad tells the tale of a lovelorn man who decides to join the Army to escape his broken heart.
In the mid-'60s Leonard Matter (owner of Matter's Ballroom in Decorah, Iowa) took a young, rock 'n roll band from West Union, Iowa under his wing and signed them as the house band at his ballroom. The group's name was the Runaways consisting of Larry Crandall, Tommy Stahr, Don Eberhart, Mark Stahr and myself.
Each and every Friday and Saturday night the band played for teens and twenty-somethings in the ballroom's lower level - affectionately referred to "Someplace Else" while old-time and polka bands entertained in the upper-level. In those days it was not unusual to have 1,000-2,000 people circulating from upper level to lower level and back again during the course of the evening!
With the band becoming more and more popular due to their weekly exposure at the ballroom, Mr. Matter soon arranged for a recording session and took them to Coulee Studios in La Crosse, Wisconsin to cut "Five Foot Two" backed with "My Baby Left Me." The promotion was centered on the A-side, "Five Foot Two" with "My Baby Left Me" relegated to the B-side.
Prior to releasing the record, Matter convinced the band to change its name from the Runaways to something more novel - so was born the Rubber Band. And a hearty promotion was mounted for "Five Foot Two" as Mr. Matter hoped to ignite somewhat of a retro-dance craze (as in the "Charleston.") But that's a whole other story!
With very little airplay, "My Baby Left Me" languished in near-obscurity as the B-side of a novelty record. However . . . fast forward to 2008 when suddenly out of nowhere "My Baby Left Me" lands a spot on Gear Fab's nationally-released, compilation CD (click here) featuring songs from the "psychedelic '60s."
How the song got selected for that album is a mystery to us as the only thing remotely psychedelic about "My Baby Left Me" was the Farfisa organ!