The Mad Lads were an American 1960s doo
wop group from Memphis, Tennessee.
Featuring the tenor of John Gary Williams, the
group were still in high school when they were
signed to Stax in late 1964. In the mid-1960s,
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 the service (although they carried on
live with replacements). After their discharge,
Williams and Brown were told by fellow original
members Julius Green and Robert Philips that
they did not want Brown in the group; Brown
and Stax co-owner Jim Stewart forced them to
reinstate Williams, but their subsequent efforts
were more in the Stax soul/funk formula, and
not as their more atypical mid-1960s singles.
They did return to the Top 30 in the US Billboard
R&B chart in 1968, with "Whatever Hurts You."
The song "Pass the Word (Love's the Word)" was
sampled by the Australian hip-hop group Hilltop
Hoods on their song "Chase That Feeling." The
guitar and horn samples from "Make This Young
Lady Mine" were used extensively in De La
Soul's "Eye Know".
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