The Royal Guardsmen
Listen/Download – Royal Guardsmen – Leaving Me
The tune I bring you today is a number I first heard (and fell in love with) back in the 80s on the Mindrocker comp.
It shocked me at the time because I had no idea that the Royal Guardsmen had done anything outside of their Snoopy-related tunes, especially nothing like ‘Leaving Me’.
I searched high and low for a copy of the 45, not realizing at the time (pre-interwebs) that it was one of the rarer tracks on the label, so I kept my copy of the comp and whipped that out whenever I needed to hear the song.
Then, last year I was out digging and found a cheap copy of the second album by the band and was gassed to discover that the fantastic, fuzzed out ‘Leaving Me’ was the last track on side two!
Though I was a little pissed that I’d wasted so much time looking for the 45, I was finally happy to have a copy of the tune (as well as a couple of other very interesting cuts from the album).
Formed in Ocala, Florida in the early 60s, the Royal Guardsmen released their first 45 ‘Baby Let’s Wait’(which had ‘Leaving Me’ on the flip) in 1966. That tune went nowhere at the time, but hit the Top 40 when it was reissued (with a different B-side) in 1968.
All of their biggest hits were Snoopy/red Baron-related, with ‘Snoopy vs the Red Baron’ (#2 in 1966), ‘The Return of the Red Baron’ (#15 in 1967) and ‘Snoopy’s Christmas’ (which hit #1 in 1968, #15 at Christmas 1968 and again at #11 during Christmas 1969!).
They broke up in 1969 after two albums, though their Wikipedia page says that a reformed band has been playing together for years, even recording a new Snoopy song, ‘Snoopy vs Osama’ (?!?!) in 2006.
I hope you dig the track, and I’ll be back next week with the latest installment of the Iron Leg Radio Show.
See you then.