The Royal Guardsmen are a pop/rock band from Ocala, Florida that became famous during the 1960s for their many epic hit songs about the "Peanuts" cartoon dog, Snoopy, and his nemesis, the Red Baron. Formed in 1966 while most of the band members were still in high school, the original lineup consisted of Bill Balogh, John Burdett, Chris Nunley, Tom Richards (d. September 1979), Billy Taylor, and Barry Winslow, with some personnel changes. The Royal Guardsmen took their name from a line of VOX amplifiers they were using at the time.
Signed to Laurie Records, The Royal Guardsmen made their debut on the Pop/Rock charts in 1966 with the first in a series of upbeat Snoopy-themed novelty hits, "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron," which shot up to #2 on the charts and soon after went gold. This smash was followed by "The Return Of The Red Baron" (1967), "Snoopy For President" (1968), and the chart-topping "Snoopy's Christmas" (1967) which remains a holiday favorite. The Royal Guardsmen had another novelty hit in 1967 with the lilting "Airplane Song (My Airplane)," a departure from their run of mostly Snoopy-themed songs. The band also revealed its versatility and depth in such lesser-known hits as "Wednesday" (1967, a.k.a. "Any Wednesday"), "I Say Love" (1968), "Mother Where's Your Daughter" (1969), and the serene, gospel-infused ballad, "Baby Let's Wait" (1968), which became The Royal Guardsmen's final Top 40 entry.
By 1969, most of the original members had quit the band, and The Royal Guardsmen continued performing through 1970 with some replacements. The original members reunited several times over the years starting ca. the mid-late 1970s, and Balogh, Burdett, Nunley, Taylor, and Winslow came together once again in 2005 to reform The Royal Guardsmen. The following year, they released a more contemporary sequel to their beloved Snoopy series titled "Snoopy Vs. Osama." As of 2006, the lineup for The Royal Guardsmen consisted of all five surviving original members plus lead guitarist Pat Waddell and alternate drummer Rick Cosner. The band continues to perform actively around the U.S.
- The Royal Guardsmen discuss their 2011 documentary, "Burned By A Beagle! The True Story Of The Royal Guardsmen," in an interview with ocala.com.
- The surviving original band members - Bill Balogh, John Burdett, Barry Winslow, Billy Taylor, and Chris Nunley - are interviewed by Ed Tucker of crazedfanboy.com about The Royal Guardsmen's history and the making of the band's Snoopy hit songs series.
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The Royal Guardsmen
- Airplane Song (My Airplane) 1967
- Baby Let's Wait 1968
- I Say Love 1968
- Mother Where's Your Daughter 1969
- The Return Of The Red Baron 1967
- Snoopy For President 1968
- Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron 1966
- Snoppy's Christmas 1967
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