The Royal Guardsmen

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The Royal Guardsmen
OriginOcala, Florida, United States
GenresRock, pop rock

The Royal Guardsmen are an American rock band, best known for their 1966 hit singles "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron", "The Return of The Red Baron", "Snoopy For President", and the Christmas follow up "Snoopy's Christmas".


Originally known as the Posmen, the Ocala, Florida-based sextet adopted their anglophile moniker during the British Invasion, led by The Beatles and other British artists. The group was originally composed of Bill Balough (bass), John Burdett (drums), Chris Nunley (vocals), Tom Richards (guitar), Billy Taylor (organ), and Barry Winslow (vocals/guitar). The band was managed by Leonard Stogel and Associates.

Although the Guardsmen's first single, "Baby Let's Wait", failed to reach national success, this tune reached a position of no lower than #11 according to the November 12, 1966 WYND hit parade. The group's second offering, "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron", reached #2 in the Billboard Hot 100, remained in the bestsellers for 12 weeks, and was certified gold by the RIAA in February 1967.[1]

Since the band did not ask Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz for permission, the Canadian arm of Laurie Records refused to issue the single until the legal problems were ironed out: instead, the band recorded the thinly-disguised "Squeaky vs. the Black Knight",[2] which was released north of the border and became a hit on at least one Canadian station.[3] Eventually, Schulz gave his okay, and "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" was released in Canada.

Snoopy, the Red Baron, and aircraft became recurring themes in their music, though they did have some chart singles on other subjects, including "Any Wednesday", "I Say Love", and the Top 40 hit "Baby Let's Wait", a re-release of their first single.

The original group split in 1969, but a band with some replacement players continued for another year. Two compilation albums and the original albums (doubled up) have been released on compact disc. Tom Richards died in 1979 and Pat Waddell became lead guitarist. Waddell with several former bands throughout Central Florida got his start at bass guitar with a local Ocala garage band "The Dawn Patrol", with Courtland (Cory) Richards, (younger brother of Tom Richards of the Royal Guardsmen) (lead vocals), Harold Rankin (rhythm guitar), Mike Driver (lead guitar), and Terry Walters (drums).

The Royal Guardsmen made a comeback in December 2006, when they released a new Snoopy song, "Snoopy vs. Osama", which became a hit on The Dr. Demento Show. Rick Cosner has been the alternate drummer since 2006, substituting for John Burdett as needed. The current band performs regularly around the United States.



  • Snoopy vs. the Red Baron (1966) #44
  • Return of the Red Baron (1967) did not chart
  • Snoopy and His Friends (1967) #46
    • Also on Billboard's Christmas Album chart at #6 in 1967 and #19 in 1968
  • Snoopy for President (1968, re-released 1976) #189 in 1968, did not chart in 1976
  • Merry Snoopy's Christmas (1978, 1980, 1982, 1984)
  • Anthology (CD, April 1995)
  • Best of the Royal Guardsmen (CD, May 1998)
  • Snoopy vs. the Red Baron / Snoopy and His Friends (CD re-release, June 2001)
  • Return of the Red Baron / Snoopy for President (CD re-release, June 2001)


Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart Positions Album
1966 "Baby Let's Wait"
b/w "Leaving Me" (from Return of the Red Baron)
Snoopy vs. The Red Baron
"Snoopy vs. The Red Baron"
b/w "I Needed You" (Non-album track)
2 8 1 8
1967 "The Return of the Red Baron"
b/w "Sweetmeats Slide" (from Snoopy vs. The Red Baron)
15 37 7 - The Return of the Red Baron
"Airplane Song (My Airplane)"
b/w "Om"
46 - 11 2
b/w "So Right (To Be in Love)" (from Snoopy and His Friends)
97 - - -
"Snoopy's Christmas"
b/w "It Kinda Looks Like Christmas"
- [A] - 1 1 Snoopy and His Friends
1968 "I Say Love"
b/w "It Kinda Looks Like Christmas"
72 - - -
"Snoopy For President[B]"
b/w "Down Behind The Lines" (from Snoopy and His Friends)
85 - 68 - Snoopy For President
"Baby Let's Wait" (reissue)
b/w "Biplane Evermore[C]" (from Snoopy For President)
35 - 62 - Snoopy vs. The Red Baron
1969 "Magic Window"
b/w "Mother, Where's Your Daughter"
112 - - - Non-album tracks
"The Smallest Astronaut[D]"
b/w "Quality Woman[D]"
- - 60 -
1972 "Snoopy For President" (reissue)
b/w "Down Behind The Lines" (from Snoopy and His Friends)
- - - - Snoopy For President
1976 "Snoopy For President" (reissue)
b/w "Sweetmeats Slide" (from Snoopy vs. The Red Baron)
- - - -
1978 "Snoopy's Christmas" (reissue)
b/w "The Smallest Astronaut[D]" (Non-album track)
- - - - Merry Snoopy's Christmas
2006 "Snoopy vs. Osama" - - - - Non-album track
  • A ^ Charted 3 times in the US – 1967, 1968, and 1969 reaching #1, #15, and #11 respectively but only on Billboard's "Best Bets For Christmas" chart.
  • B ^ Original version contains intro mentioning real 1968 candidates; 1972 and 1976 re-issues omit this.
  • C ^ Only the 'B' side "Biplane Evermore" charted in Australia. Some versions released elsewhere contain "So Right (To Be in Love)" as the 'B' side.
  • D ^ ^ ^ Barry Winslow solo, but features on some of the Royal Guardsmen's compilation albums.


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 211. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ "The Royal Guardsmen – "Squeaky Vs. The Black Knight". YouTube. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "CHLO AM, St Thomas Ontario, Chart for the week of December 21, 1966". Retrieved April 4, 2014.

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