One of the strangest off-ice oddities of the old World Hockey Association was the Cincinnati Stingers’ Rick Dudley’s foray into pop music.
Born Jan 31, 1949, the Toronto native cracked the NHL with Buffalo in ’72-’73, but released a self-financed indie ’45 in the fall of 1975 called “Natural Man,” backed with “I Don’t Want To Cry.” Dudley wrote and produced both tracks, and issued the record on his own Do Right Records label, and published by Mad Dog Music.
Both tracks were typical 70’s syrupy soft rock formulated for the then-hip AM market. Seeing as how the Stingers had just taken to the ice, the song was a marketing novelty to the club’s brass, and garnered a fair bit of local airplay, at first. A moderate marketing attempt failed to gain any credible interest outside the Ohio market. And before long the quirkiness of the project had worn off, and Dudley concentrated on hockey.
After four seasons with Cincinnati, he jumped from the WHA in time for the ’79 Stanley Cup playoffs, since the Stingers had been denied entry for the NHL/WHA merger. He was traded to Winnipeg midway thru the season two years later, but resurfaced in the 90’s as coach of the Sabres.
NATURAL MAN (1975)
I Don’t Want To Cry