|King Richard and the Knights, They're back!|
The Knights (a.k.a. King Richard and the Knights) had their beginnings in 1961 in Albuquerque, New Mexico during a time when guitar instrumental rock ruled the nation with the Ventures leading the way. Thus, this band (or combo a they were called back then) became a Ventures clone and played 40 to 50 instrumental guitar songs per gig with no vocals other than a Chuck Berry tune here and there to break the monotony. By 1964, The Knights developed an identity and released "Precision" on a little label called Red Feather Records. This guitar rock instrumental with classical piano accompaniment became a regional hit and set the all-time record for the longest time a number one for an original local release on the then ruling Albuquerque AM rock station, KQEO radio. But when The Beatles invaded the U.S. in February 1964, it was a bad omen for the band. The Knights just couldn't give up their beloved guitar rock efforts that were rapidly being replaced by the new British expressions and after a few notable frat-rock vocals on John Wagner's Delta label, The Knights threw in the towel in 1967.
In early 1997, Dick Stewart (a.k.a. King Richard and lead guitarist of the Knights) contacted one of the group's original bass players, Gary Snow, and asked him if he would be into taking a trip back to their rock roots. He jumped at the chance and together they dedicated one year (1997 to 1998) of intense, one-on-one practices relearning early 60s Venture and Fireball covers. During that time, Dick Stewart wrote more than eleven instrumentals as well as create a number of instrumental arrangements to some choice melodious popular songs of the early 60s that were released originally as vocals. At the close of 1998, Dick and Gary scored big with a very talented Albuquerque drummer (Steve Hudgins) who besides possessing a great attitude, owns a garage sound studio (literally) where this album was recorded. Although he was only 2-years-old when The Knights first formed, he picked up on the early 6Os garage style with ease and great interest.
When Stewart was asked why the interest in the rebirth of The Knights, his reply was, "When Cicadelic Records out of Tucson Arizona released our old 60s 45s on CD via Collectable Records worldwide in 1996, that gave me the inspiration. And it helps to have a legacy no matter how modest it might be."
But not only have The Knights been reborn, but Lance Records as well which, aside from this album production, has recently signed an agreement with German Distributor, Harry Vee for immediate LP vinyl releases throughout Europe with The Knights leading the way. Also released in April 1999 is "The Lance Record Story" on Collectables, a collection of Lance's best mid-6Os psychedelic efforts during which time the label had more psychedelic and R&B 45 releases between 1966 and 1967 than the rest of the aspiring active New Mexico labels.
The Knights are: