The Raphaels

 The Raphaels from top left: David Leroux, Claude Gravel, Greig Lund, Daryl Wadsworth and Pete Christensen
The Raphaels from top left: David Leroux, Claude Gravel, Greig Lund, Daryl Wadsworth and Pete Christensen

Raphaels Ottawa 45 SomedayUntil now, this 45 by the Raphaels has been unknown outside of Ottawa collectors circles. Both songs are well-written mid-tempo numbers with harmonies.There’s not much info on the label other than Ottawa, Canada 1965 and the matrix number QC 272. The QC prefix indicates a Quality label custom pressing.The songs are “Someday” by Peter Christensen and “I Change My Mind” by Dave Leroux.

The Raphaels – Someday
The Raphaels – I Change My Mind

I didn’t know anything about the group until Alex Taylor commented, below. I’ll repeat his comment here in its entirety:

The Raphaels, like The Beaux Geste, were among the most promising garage bands from the Ottawa-Gatineau scene, and that too this day, remain the least known. Their single was cut at HH Bloom studios on Bank Street in Ottawa (the QC prefix was Bloom’s own). This was the same place that Don Norman & The Other Four had cut “Mustang Sally” and where Those Naughty Boys made their first demos too. Only a couple hundred copies of The Raphaels single exists (the single was custom pressed in Toronto by Quality Records).

As for The Raphaels, they fell apart at the close of 1966, right around the same time The Skaliwags were breaking apart. In early 1967, Raphaels member Pete Christensen joined up with the remaining Skaliwags for a second stab at fame!

Check my page on the Skaliwags for a little more information on that band.

Raphaels Ottawa 45 I Change My MindSince first writing this post, David Leroux wrote to me with more info about the group:

David (Dave) Leroux: Lead vocals and lead guitar
Claude Gravel: Rhythm guitar and vocals
Peter Christensen: Bass guitar and vocals
Daryl Wadsworth: Organ and vocals
Greig Lund: Drums and vocals

My name is David Leroux and I was a member of the Raphaels. The Raphaels name came from the artist/painter Raphael. My school principal suggested it in my Rideau High School days. Since I was one of the early folks with long hair not yet allowed in schools at that time, I quickly agreed with him! He said we were all good artists!

We were always a definite part of the “BIG 12” shows. The “action” pictures from from those shows.

My Mom made all our frill shirts…and that my sister ironed them for each gig! My poor Mom was our biggest fan but passed away in 1973 at the age of 42 from cancer. The shorts and suspenders were my idea. In those days the friendly rivalry between bands was pretty cool. Everyone was looking for that little edge over the other for recognition … quite fun at times.

I still cherish and hold safely the original metal press of the record!

The website finding was an incredibly timed event. We have not seen each other in about 40 years. Two of the members last month accidently found themselves standing at an ATM machine and then recognized each other. They knew where I was located through some previous email contacts. We are having a band reunion this coming Saturday as a result!

After the finish of the The Raphaels, I eventually formed a new band called “A Group Called BUBS” with my brother, Ralph, from the Skaliwags and guitar player, John Bacho along with other local musicians of the times. The “BUBS” had a very successful time and then we all decided it was time to say it was fun and time to move forward. CFRA radio gave us an incredible farewell concert at Pineland of those days. We all moved on in life but have maintained contact and reunion times over the years.

I am now moved on as a Labour Law Advisor with the Federal Department of Labour working and living in Kingston, Ontario.

David Leroux, August 2012

Thank you to Dan Lee Laymann for sending the scans and transfers of the 45 and alerting me to its existence. Special thanks to David Leroux for the photos and news clips seen here, except where noted.

Raphaels, Ottawa
Raphaels, Ottawa
 Peter Christensen of the Raphaels
Peter Christensen of the Raphaels
Daryl Wadsworth of the Raphaels
Daryl Wadsworth of the Raphaels
David Leroux of the Raphaels
David Leroux of the Raphaels
 Claude Gravel of the Raphaels
Claude Gravel of the Raphaels
 The Raphaels
The Raphaels
Raphaels Agency Photo
Raphaels Agency Photo, thanks to Ivan Amirault for this scan
The Raphaels in POT, December 1966 Thanks to Alex Taylor for this scan
The Raphaels in POT, December 1966
Thanks to Alex Taylor for this scan

 Raphaels profiled in POT, December 15, 1966
Raphaels profiled in POT, December 15, 1966
 Raphaels featured in CFRA Swing Set
Raphaels featured in CFRA Swing Set
 Rapahels in the Ottawa Citizen
Rapahels in the Ottawa Citizen
 Raphaels reviewed by Ian Connerty
Raphaels reviewed by Ian Connerty

9 thoughts on “The Raphaels”

  1. The Raphaels, like The Beaux Geste, were among the most promising garage bands from the Ottawa-Gatineau scene, and that too this day, remain the least known. Their single was cut at HH Bloom studios on Bank Street in Ottawa (the QC prefix was Bloom’s own). This was the same place that Don Norman & The Other Four had cut “Mustang Sally” and where Those Naughty Boys made their first demos too. Only a couple hundred copies of The Raphaels single exists (the single was custom pressed in Toronto by Quality Records). As for The Raphaels, they fell apart at the close of 1966, right around the same time The Skaliwags were breaking apart. The Skaliwags are best remembered for their double-sided masterpiece “Turn Him Down / “365 Days” which was a surprise chart-topper in Ottawa. In early 1967, Raphael members Pete Christenssen & Dave Leroux joined up with the remaining Skaliwags for a second stab at fame! This new Skaliwags formation cut one final pop single (“Broken Man (I Am)” / “Me Minus More” also on Excellent Records) before breaking up for good later on that year.

  2. My aunt Kathy grew up in Ottawa, recently passed away and left me a copy of this record. Unfortunately it’s warped but I will make every effort to make it playable again.

    1. Hi Chris. What a weird small world. Kathy was my sister/cousin. I didn’t even know she had a copy of that really old and not so good Raphaels record. I think we have met at least once in Danville when I was windsurfing at the Delta with Jim. We both just got back from Baja. Peter

  3. Just found out that my Aunt Kathy Ransom was Peter Christenson’s Sister. That’s why she had the single and it’s signed by the bandmembers, but warped and unplayable. I will be looking for a 2nd copy to play on my radio show.

    1. Hi Chris. What a weird small world. Kathy was my sister/cousin. I didn’t even know she had a copy of that really old and not so good Raphaels record. I think we have met at least once in Danville when I was windsurfing at the Delta with Jim. We both just got back from Baja. Peter

  4. Knew the Leroux’s as neighbors. I remember their practices. Had the record but have no idea where it might be. Also have the picture of the Raphael’s don’t know where it is either. What a blast from the past.
    Dave and Ralph were great guys as was the family.

    1. Many thanks Dianne. Wow…so long ago eh? Good times. Ralph and I and now my youngest Brother Jimmy do some reunion moments playing the old tunes. My Brother Jimmy does open mic shows under the name–Jumpin’ Jimmy Leroux”. in the Sttittsville/Ottawa area. I join him from time time and we do some of the songs from days gone by. Keep Smilin’ eh ! Dave

      1. Thanks for that David. Helen and I often reminisce about you guys. It was great music and great times. I’ll have to check out Jimmy when I go to Ottawa some time. My mom is still. Really great hearing from you..
        Dianne

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