Black Oak Arkansas (the band) put their hometown of Black Oak, Arkansas (population 272) on the map in 1973 with their number one remake of the old LaVern Baker hit Jim Dandy.
Despotic management and the claustrophobia of living together ultimately drove the band apart.
In 1979, with BOA now defunct, lead vocalist James L Mangrum – the son of a cotton farmer – moved to Oklahoma, and for a year, he says, “I sat in the house and did cocaine and marijuana and watched HBO”.
After the band’s million-dollar Arkansas mountaintop retreat – set on thirteen hundred acres in the Ozarks – burned down, he sold the land to pay off the debts.
In 1983 Mangrum resettled in Black Oak with his third wife, Nancy, and his three children. Eventually, he formed a new version of the band, with original BOA guitarist Rick Reynolds, and released The Black Attack Is Back – featuring the particularly adventurous track, (I Want A Woman With) Big Titties.
James Mangrum has continued recording and touring with a series of different BOA line-ups.
Rick Reynolds passed away on 5 September 2021, aged 72. Harvey ‘Burley’ Jett died on 21 December 2022.
Jim ‘Dandy’ Mangrum
Harvey ‘Burley’ Jett
Ronnie ‘Chicky Hawk’ Smith