Talk:Bobby Kris & The Imperials

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


This musically interesting band was originally called J.S & The Imperials and was led by singer Jim Snowdon and featured pianist Pat Ricio Jr, who was replaced in 1964 by Martin Fisher (born December 26, 1945, Vancouver, British Columbia). The other original members comprised guitarist Al Waugh, bass player Brian Sefchek, saxophone players Jerry Mann (aka Shymanksi) and John Crone, and drummer Gordon MacBain (born August 5, 1947, Toronto). During the early part of 1965, the group underwent further changes in personnel, which saw Gene Martynec (born March 28, 1947, Germany) replace Waugh and Rick Haynes replace Sefchek.

In August 1965, the group changed name when Bobby Kris (real name: Bob Burrows), who was studying philosophy at Toronto University, joined as lead vocalist. (Originally the band had asked Jay Smith of The Majestics but he declined the offer). At the same time, Dave Wayne (aka Konvalinka) succeeded Haynes on bass and Rick Loth came in on saxophone instead of Crone who left to join The Majestics. Haynes later played with Gordon Lightfoot. The group’s debut single, a cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s ‘Walk On By’ was released in November 1965 and reached #8 on Canada’s RPM chart early the following year. The follow-up 45 was a Bob Dylan cover but was not as successful. The group also did an orange juice commercial, which was never released, around this time.

In early 1966, the group opened for Wilson Pickett at Toronto’s Masonic Temple (when Jimi Hendrix was his guitarist) and supported The Beach Boys in Sault St Marie. Bobby Kris & The Imperials were chosen as opening act for The Lovin’ Spoonful at Toronto’s Massey Hall in mid-1966. Shortly afterwards, Wayne Davis (born April 28, 1946, Toronto) from The Just Us replaced Dave Wayne who left to join The Majestics briefly. Loth also left at this point. The new line-up continued to play extensively in the Toronto area, although no other singles appeared. They were however, one of 14 local groups to play at a 14-hour pop show at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on September 24, 1966. The following month, Jerry Shymanski left to join Eddie Spencer & The Power, which evolved into Grant Smith & The Power.

In the spring of 1967 the band started to fragment. Martynec left to form Kensington Market, and was replaced by former Majestics keyboard player Jimmy Oskirko. The new line up started to experiment more and played regularly at the Concorde Tavern where the band performed a cover of The Beatles’ "A Day In The Life". This version of the group also opened for Jose Feliciano at Massey Hall. By September, however, it was all over. Fisher and MacBain left to join Bruce Cockburn’s Flying Circus. Kris replaced Jimmy Livingston in Livingstone’s Journey in late October while Davis subsequently joined 3’s a Crowd in December.

Bobby Kris reformed the band in mid-1968 with MacBain, Oskiro, Davis and former Jon and Lee and The Checkmates guitarist Larry Leishman (born April 4, 1947, Dunfermline, Scotland) but broke up in mid-1969. Leishman subsequently played with Rhinoceros while MacBain joined Peter Quaife's post-Kinks band, Mapleoak in England.