John D. “Johnny” Wyker III died of congestive heart failure Sunday at his home in Decatur, Alabama.
Wyker’s was not a household name. He was one of the inventors of the Muscle Shoals sound in the 1970s. Dick Cooper, the curator of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, told the Decatur, Alabama Times Daily, “He could make you believe anything. He made me believe I could make a life for myself in the music business, and convinced me to quit the Times Daily. I told him, ‘I know nothing about the music business.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry, nobody else does, either.’ And he was right.”
Wykers life-long friend Donnie Fritts, one of the original Muscle Shoals studio musicians said, “He obviously was a really interesting guy. He was very eccentric, always trying something new. He loved his music and was a talented man.”
Wyker appeared on American Bandstand once. He played Carnegie Hall once. He wrote one song titled “Let Love Come Between Us” that hit number 23 on the Billboard chart after it was recorded by James and Bobby Purify in 1967. But he will be remembered, for a little longer at least, for the title song of an album he recorded with his band Sailcat. The album barely broke the Billboard Top 40 in 1972.
But the single rose to Number 12. It was called “Motorcycle Mama.
Johnny Wyker died peacefully in his own bed with music in his head. He was 68.
Requiscant In Pace