Wes Dakus (April 2, 1938 - August 18, 2013) was a Canadian musician and the leader of Wes Dakus & The Rebels, Canada's most popular instrumental group of the 1960s.
Wes Dakus and The Rebels:
Dakus was born in Mannville, Alberta and in 1958 formed Wes Dakus & The Club 93 Rebels. In 1960 they were signed with Quality Records, and released their first album in the same year titled El Ringo. They toured with such artists as Buddy Knox.
In 1965 The Wes Dakus Album - With The Rebels was released and helped the band create several singles. In 1967 their album was issued on KAPP as "Wes Dakus's Rebels". In Canada the album was split into singles. RPM Magazine voted the band "Top Instrumental Group" in 1964 and 1965. The 1968 single "New Sound Of Wes Dakus" had no band involvement whatsoever and was a group of session musicians from Gary Paxton Studios who had recorded demos. Wes licensed two instrumental tracks from his Paxton sessions to complete his Capitol contract.
Sundown Recorders and Vera Cruz Records:
In 1972, Dakus opened a recording studio called Sundown Recorders in Edmonton, Canada. The studio existed from 1972 to 1987, after which many of its audio tapes were donated to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Artists who recorded there included Hoyt Axton, One Horse Blue, Bobby Curtola, Gary Fjellgaard, and Fosterchild. During the 1978-1982 period, Dakus also owned Vera Cruz Records, releasing albums by One Horse Blue, Fosterchild, Bryan Fustukian, Hoyt Axton and Don Everly, among others.
Dakus still dabbled with music projects while residing in British Columbia. His last public appearance was at the Alberta Rock Reunion held in Edmonton in October 2006. CDs of his '60s output have been released on the Super Oldies label, with more unissued material to be released in the future.
Wes suffered from health complications after a stroke in 2012 and died on August 18, 2013 in Vancouver from a cancerous brain tumor that had spread quickly.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license