at Alvin's 1984
Layabouts on stage at Alvin's doing a sound check.
(Left to right), Alan Franklin, Mel Roses, Stephen
Goodfellow, Ralph Franklin, Mary Richards.
By 1984, the Layabouts had become a band in demand. Although
remaining local and playing somewhat sporadically, the band was now an item. The Band
always played to packed crowds, and you had to get in early is you wanted to get in the
Alan Franklin's songs had given the band a substantive menu of tunes and Mel tried
his hand at songwriting, producing the "B
Movie", one of the Layabouts most popular songs.
The bands songwriting had matured, showering the audience with rock, reggie and ska
tunes that focused on the ills of the world. Dance 'till you drop...and...oh, yes; don't
forget to smash the state!
Ralph Franklin was now writing songs for the band, his style of writing lending
itself to the female voice. By 1996 Janice Mae Pope had joined the band to become its lead
singer, and remained so until she moved to the North of Michigan in 1998.
Mary Richards had joined the band by this time and new shades of rhythm and vocal
excellence issued from the stage. Mary was (and is) a professional violinist, and her
contribution made the band rock and dancers jump. When she left the band in the early
1990's, her absence from the band was felt acutely.