1964: Bob Andrews (trumpet) invited me to join this group. Previously, the Regents had been one of the Club Bluenote premier house bands with Kay Taylor as their lead vocalist.
History of The Regents dates back to 1959
- Photo 1 (1959) L-R: Tommy Goodings (lead guitar), Jim Gray (drums), Tony Sarino (guitar), Brian Massey (guitar) playing at the Club Trocadero
- Photo 2 (1959) L-R: Steve Kennedy (sax), Tony Sarino (vocals), Pete Groschel (drums), Brian Massey (bass), Tommy Goodings (guitar). [Kennedy would later go on to form the Silouettes, a Club Bluenote house band that started after Kay Taylor and the Regents] Brian Massey: “When the Regents first hit the Blue Note we had two tenors. Steve Kennedy and Les Terrell; when Les left because of family issues he was replaced by Bob Andrews. ”
- Photo 3 (1962) L-R: Tommy Goodings (guitar), Brian Massey (bass), Bob Andrews (trumpet), Jimmy Arndt (sax), Fred Theriault (drums) and Kay Taylor (lead vocals)
- Photo 4 (1962) L-R: (back row) Brian Massey (bass), Jimmy Arndt (sax) / (front row) Dave Lewis (drums), Tommy Goodings aka “Tommy Graham” (guitar), Bob Andrews (trumpet)
- Photo 5 (1962-64) L-R: (back row) Brian Massey (bass), Jack Arsenault (guitar), Bob Andrews (trumpet) / (front row) Wayne Harmon (drums), Jimmy Arndt (sax), Barry Lloyd (organ)
Tommy Goodings went off with some friends to play music in LA and was replaced by Jack Arsenault on guitar. I think it was around that time Tommy adopted the stage name “Tommy Graham”.
Barry Lloyd left Ritchie Knight’s band to join the Regents at Andrews’ invitation.
Major upheaval came to The Regents around the time singer Shirley Mathews hit it big with her recording of “Big Town Boy”. When Tommy Goodings / Graham came back from LA, he, along with Brian Massey and Kay Taylor, quit the Bluenote to form a new group, The Big Town Boys (BTB). It was Bluenote founder Al Steiner who bankrolled the Shirley Mathews recording that took place in New York City.
Brian Massey: “When the Regents left the Blue Note…Bob, Tommy, Brian and Kay we replaced Steve with Jimmy, Fred with Dave Lewis [photo 4]. Then things began to get larger with Jack, Wayne, Barry. Once Jimmy and myself left the Regents the original group had turned into clone of Bob Andrews doing, and a fine job I must admit.“
The Regents during my tenure (1964-1966)
The original Regents became the house band at the Bluenote from 1960 to 1962. After that, the Silhouettes became the house band.
Bob Andrews carried on with the some of the Regents as musical director and augmented the group by hiring Bruce Staubitz (bass) and Judi Jansen for lead vocals. After my stint with the Silhouettes (1962-63), Bob brought me on board to play sax.
The group soon became an 8-piece show band when Duncan White (great voice) was added as lead male vocalist and Brian White replaced Berry Lloyd on organ. Lloyd left the band to concentrate on his good day job.
During 1964-65 the Regents went into the recording studio at Hallmark Studios in Toronto and produced an album “Going Places with the Regents” plus four 45 rpm singles (including two fine instrumentals, Night Train From Tunisia and Space Walk).
Click HERE to listen to tracks.
Club 888 became a major venue and steady gig for our shows with Dunc and Judi.
By the end of 1966, after some limited success in Toronto, the Regents decided to take their show to the road as “Dunc And Judi And The Regents”, with some further personnel changes.
Being a “weekend warrior” with family commitments and having decided (re. Ronnie Hawkins) to NOT make Music my full-time profession, I saw this as an opportunity to say “goodbye” and move on to play with another Toronto group, The Majestics.