The Royal Cavaliers

The Royal Cavaliers

 

May 1967 at Kutztown Armory - Left to Right: Randy Hoffman (bass), Kevin Snyder (guitar), Rick Gougler (drums), Randy Schlegel, founder (guitar), Steve Haring (keyboard)

The Royal Cavaliers was a rock garage band of the 1960's. The band was founded as The Jupiters on January 8, 1966 by lead guitar player Randy L. Schlegel at the age of 13. All of the band members were students at Kutztown Area Junior High School. The original band members were:

Randy L. Schlegel age 13 Gibson Melody Maker Hollow Body Guitar
Randy Hoffman age 14 Bass Guitar
Richard "Rick" Gougler age 14 Leedy Drums
Kevin Snyder age 13 Sears Silvertone Guitar
Stephan "Steve" Haring age 13 Farfisa Combo Deluxe organ

 

The Jupiters, first gig, March 4, 1966 photo taken at a dance in the Wood Shop classroom of the then Kutztown Junior High School. Left to Right: Randy Hoffman (bass), Rick Gougler (drums), Kevin Snyder (guitar), Randy Schlegel, founder (guitar)

 

The band held many Sunday afternoon practice sessions in Randy Hoffman's parents' basement on Highland Avenue in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Many hours were spent rehearsing top 40 tunes like Gloria, Louie Louie and As Tears Go By. In September of 1966 The Jupiters changed the name of the band to The Royal Cavaliers when keyboard player Stephan "Steve" Haring joined the band. The addition of Haring's Farfisa Combo Deluxe portable organ was considered a huge asset to the young band. The Royal Cavaliers played dances and other events in the Kutztown, Pennsylvania area playing current rock music hits and various songs written by Randy Schlegel.

In February of 1967, a recording session for the band was arranged by Randy Schlegel's father, Roy Schlegel, a locally renowned area bass player for various country music bands who had previously worked on several country music recordings there. An engagement was made for the band to record two of many songs written and copyrighted by lead guitarist, Randy Schlegel: I'll Try Again and Was It Love.

On a cloudy/rainy Saturday afternoon, April 29, 1967, the young band members and their equipment were anxiously chauffeured (since none of the band members were old enough to drive) to the Barclay-Ferraro recording studio in Shillington, Pennsylvania by Randy's father, Roy Schlegel, in his 1962 beige Chevy II Nova station wagon and by Randy Hoffman's father, Norman, in a George Y. Brubaker Inc. service van.

A $100 fee was required for the cost of the recording session. The band played several area dances to obtain the recording fee. In order to keep the cost of the recording session within the $100 budget, the band practiced the two songs over and over hoping to record in the least amount of takes. Finally when the songs were recorded by producer Clay Barclay, the song I'll Try Again was recorded in one take, and Was It Love was recorded in two takes. The recording session was quite a magical experience for the young musicians. That evening, after the recording session, the band members were sure they would become rock stars!

May 2, 1967 Randy Schlegel received a phone call from Pat Ferraro who informed him that Jamie Records, Cameo Records, Mercury Records and Smash Records would be interested in pressing records with the recordings. However, the best price Mr. Ferraro could negotiate for the band's side of the contract to press records would be $500 from Mercury Records. The parents of the band members agreed that the cost of the contract was just too expensive, and the records were not produced.

Many years later, as the band members were approaching their 50's. It was discovered that a CD was produced from the master tape reel recorded by Clay Barclay at the recording studio. Happily, it came as a total surprise to all the band members that the two songs they recorded in 1967 were indeed included on the CD titled Eastern PA Rock Part Two (1966-'69) by Arf! Arf! Records, PO Box 465, Middleborough, MA 02346 USA

 

June 1967 - The Royal Cavaliers at Lyons Playground Dance

 

 

Hear the recordings from the master reel at Clay Barkley's studio . . .
I'll Try Again Was it Love

 

 

" . . . the times, they are a changin' "

 

 

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The Royal Cavaliers    P.O. Box 187    Lyon Station, PA 19536 U.S.A.