Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more, all six original members of The Royal Guardsmen are set to record. The band, who rose to worldwide fame in 1966 with the hit single “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron,” will be recording its first ever LIVE album at Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College at 2 p.m., Sunday, November 7.
The LIVE album project is in conjunction with The Royal Guardsmen’s “Over and Out Tour,” which will continue through early 2012. The group’s founder John Burdett says the album and tour are The Guardsmen’s way of saying thanks to their fans for over four decades of support and devotion.
“People have been asking us for years to come out and make music again and quite frankly, it’s time,” said Burdett. “We may be old men, but as long as we have a comfortable bed and restrooms are close by, we’re good to go.”
At the height of their illustrious career, The Royal Guardsmen achieved what most rock groups only dream of. The sextet from Ocala, FL hit it big in 1966 with its single, “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron,” which was released on Laurie Records. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and remained there for 12 weeks. It went on to sell one million copies, earning it Platinum certification from the R.I.A.A. in 1967.
Subsequent chart-toppers followed, including: “The Airplane Song,” “Wednesday,” “I Say Love,” “Snoopy’s Christmas” and “Baby Let’s Wait.”
The Royal Guardsmen’s original lineup consisted of: Bill Balough (bass), John Burdett (drums), Chris Nunley (vocals), Tom Richards (guitar), Billy Taylor (organ), and Barry Winslow (vocals/guitar). Richards died of a brain tumor in 1979 and was replaced by Pat Waddell, who is still with the group today.
Despite its massive success, the band split in 1969. However, its recordings continued to sell and are still in high demand around the world. In 2008, Burdett and Winslow teamed up to write and record “Snoopy Vs. Osama” in honor of the U.S. troops fighting the war in Iraq. The song has been featured regularly on the syndicated radio program, The Dr. Demento Show.
In the Spring of 2009, The Guardsmen’s hit, “The Airplane Song,” was chosen as the theme song for Red Bull’s Flugtag events and was aired in television commercials nationwide. The group recently played at the Cannery Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they received a rousing standing ovation from fans who had come in droves from all across the United States.
More info about The Royal Guardsmen can be accessed by logging on to: www.theroyalguardsmen.com. For tickets to their show at Haugh Performing Arts Center (Citrus College), log on to www.haughpac.com.
Also, fan luncheon for Saturday afternoon (Nov. 6) in Glendora. For information, call 760-553-6775.