In mid-Sixties Detroit – where cool white R&B bands were as common as cars – the big three were Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Bob Seger and the Last Heard and, from nearby Ann Arbor, The Rationals.
Ryder had the big national singles, Seger got the long platinum career, but The Rationals were the local Rolling Stones, Kinks and Small Faces all rolled into one, cutting regional hit versions of Otis Redding‘s Respect and Eddie Holland’s Leaving Here as tense, brash pop with the tightness of a Motown rhythm section.
Singer Scott Morgan didn’t howl like Ryder or growl like Seger – he had a long range and bright, biting intonation that meant he could cover the entire waterfront. From his Motor City-meets-John Lennon attack on The Rationals’ 1965 debut Look What You’re Doing (To Me Baby), to his high, rippled-note submission in the 1968 slow-ballad inferno Temptation’s ‘Bout To Get Me.
The group eventually switched to heavier psych-tinged rock, as exemplified with their 1968 monster Guitar Army.
Scott Morgan still records and tours.