Formed in Oshawa by high school friends Mike O’Neil and Paul Andrew Smith, they recruited drummer Randy Begg and bassist John Dufek shortly after. With O’Neil handling the majority of the vocals, guitars and banjo, Smith took care of keyboards and guitars. By 1973 they’d gained a reputation on the Ontario circuit playing covers of all the hits of the day. They went to Manta Studios in Toronto and put together some demos with producer John Dee Driscoll. Before long their cover of Frankie J Wilson & The Cavaliers’ “Last Kiss” was on every radio station in Toronto, and soon the country.
They released their debut album (also known as LAST KISS) on the Ampex Tape company’s record label in the spring of ’74. Rather unusual was the fact side one was five covers, including remakes of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” and “Roses Are Red” made popular by Bobby Vinton. Though the band was criticized by some for sounding too much like fellow-Canadians Fludd and Motherlode, before long “Last Kiss” and “Teen Angel” both peaked inside Canada’s Top 20. Tho none of the five original songs on side two were released as singles, “Last Kiss” was issued on 4 different 45’s & 7″ singles and would turn out to be their biggest seller. The record also gained some airplay south of the border and eventually sold over a quarter million copies. They toured Canada and did some dates in the US before taking some time off for the next project.
After switching to Skyline Records, they returned to Manta Studios and LOVING YOU BABY was released in the summer of ’76, also produced by John Dee Driscoll. Backed by the title-track written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin, the album served up another helping of radio friendly rock that was leaning more towards glam, and away from mainstream pop. The lead single was “Fly Away” written by Gary Stellard, then the title track. Although there were several tracks the band themselves didn’t write, “Loving You Baby” was the only actual ‘cover’. It was also the highest charting, peaking at #17. Their second single “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” also gained a respectable #30 ranking. The fact the band was allowed some creative power sat well with them, who were egging the label execs on to let them go that direction. Other noteable tracks included “Thinking Of You” and “Send A Little Love”. Their second straight gold record came while they were on the road in support.
Irrelevant to what the band wanted, the heads at Skyline wanted more of what had gotten them 2 gold records – covers. Driscoll returned as producer and they tried to deliver. The group was starting to sound more like Sweeney Todd or Sweet – and less like Fludd. The most drastic noticeable change was their name, now ‘Wenzday’. Recorded at Toronto’s Sounds Interchange, NEARLY MADE IT came out in the summer of ’77. With covers of Leiber/Stoller’s “Ruby Baby”, Les Emmerson’s (5 Man Electrical Band) “I Was Built For Comfort” and “Fancy Pants” (made ‘famous’ by Bay City Rollers), the band tried to appease the execs. But the musical tide was definitely sweeping away all but the disco waves. Despite a decent push from the label, the singles “Ruby Baby” and “Ride Me” failed to make much of an impression on the charts. Financial woes were plaguing the label and Skyline soon went black …. or red … depending on how you look at it. The band carried on a couple more years but called it quits by the turn of the decade.