Category Archives: Worcester

The Bristols on Audio Dynamics

Bristols Cash Box Record Reviews 1967 August 26The Bristols have a 45 well-known among soul collectors, “(Go Away) With a Girl Like Her” / “Where Am I Going”. Cash Box gave it a positive review in August, 1967.

According to a youtube comment from band member Dale Monette:

The black label was the first issue of the recording. After Audio Dynamics re-released it on the white label. It was engineered by Don Carmody who owned the studio, and Dick Booth who was a great guy and helped us get airplay on WHYN is Springfield MA and other stations around the western New England area in the summer of 1967. It rose to number 11 on the WHYN top 40. It stayed on the chart 8 weeks.

The band was from Worcester, Massachusetts, and included Dave Rivers on vocals and Dale Monette on drums. Judging from song writing credits on their first 45, other members may have been Gabrenas and Strom.

Bristols Audio Dynamics 45 Cross My HeartMuch more obscure is their second single, also on Audio Dynamics. “Cross Your Heart” has some of the soulfulness of their first single, but I like the slow dreamy quality of the flip, “I Need Only You”. Both sides lack the commercial production of the “(Go Away) With a Girl Like Her” / “Where Am I Going”.

Like their first single, there’s a credit to Dick Booth for arrangment and production, but no song writing credits, only the Audyn Music BMI publishing.

The Audio Dynamics discography is a jumble of different codes, making an exact release chronology difficult. Some releases have numbers ending three digits beginning with 6: the Pentagons is 671, the first Bristols 45 672, and the second Bristols single has 673 on one side and 674 on the other. The Chain Reaction single has 682 in the code.

Bristols Audio Dynamics 45 I Need Only You

The Nite Riders

The Nite Riders
The Nite Riders were one of many very young bands of the ’60s who cut great records. “She’s Mine” opens with Chuck Franczak’s solid drum beat. Dave Daniel’s guitar has a fine natural distortion on the low notes and good reverb on the higher strings, which he makes use of for some fast runs and licks between chorus and verse.

“Tornado” shows this band had a handle on the tough instrumental style of a few years earlier, like “Shifting Gears” by fellow Worcester group Beep Beep and the Roadrunners. Through some error the label credits this song simply to “Dave”, probably for his lead playing, though the bass runs and drums are excellent here too.

David Daniels wrote to me about the group and included all the photos and clippings seen here:

Dave Daniels – guitar & vocals
Bob Dube – rhythm guitar
Bernie Thebado – rhythm guitar on the 45
Dean Johnson – rhythm guitar
Bill [surname ?] – bass
Tony Agby (Tony Agbay?) – drums until late ’66
Charles “Chucky” Franczak – drums

I started the Nite Riders when I was going to school at Chandler Jr. High, Worcester, Massachusetts. We were “The Nite Riders” (not “Night Riders”).

My dad played guitar and he showed me the basic chords. My family has always been around music, my sister “Snooky” (she worked at WORC late 50’s) was in charge most times of making contact and setting up gigs for the stars in and around Worcester. She became real good friends with Bobby Darin, he had been to the house many times. My mom would be making dinners for who ever was in town. So I grew up knowing a lot of famous folks.

The very first Nite Rider gig was a bar on Main St., Worcester, called the New Yorker. We made a $10 bill each and free cokes and chips. My dad who drove for the band in the beginning also got free drinks and $25 go figure. We found out real soon after the first set that this was a gay bar – remember we were 13 to 15 years old, we said “a what bar?”

We met Beep Beep and the Roadrunners when we had Tony Agby as drummer. He showed up with the “Roadrunners” (they were older than us) and boy we thought they were so cool with their full length double breasted dark blue “P” coats. They came to volunteer their time and help us learn how to improve our sound, and WOW! they were already professionals. Tony’s dad was our first manager.

After that is seemed we were always playing the same gigs together, I really had a great time back then. We were all age range 13 to 15 and the Road Runners were our idols. It was so cool that they had two drummers. We played most every place they played, Tony Agbie (spelling?) was our drummer and his dad Tony Sr was manager for the Road Runners.

The band really kicked off after winning a battle of the bands contest sponsored by WORC radio station and winning a chance to record a single, “She’s Mine” / “Tornado”. WORC paid for the session. It was recorded at Hill’s Sound Studio on Chandler St. in Worcester. Hill’s Studio was an old house made into a recording studio, they mostly recorded gospel groups. “Tornado” came about from a combination of the Ventures, Buck Owens, Chuck Barry, and maybe a little bit of “Shifting Gears” from the Beeps, but I think mostly from Danny & the Juniors, good friends of my sister Snooky especially Frankie.

Bernie [Thibodeau?] never played anywhere with us, he really wasn’t a guitar player. I showed him the chords so he could be on the record. You will also see “Hassett” as one of the writers (not). They were my friends and wanted to be involved with band, so I put there names on the record.

We got lots of airplay and loads of offers to play even in New Hampshire. “She’s Mine was #11 on the WORC request charts, July 1, 1967 (I think we had help). We sold our first 500 copies pretty quick mostly at Woolworths and another record store on Pleasant St. in Worcester. We also sold them at the concerts. We ordered another 500 on our dime this time but sales slowed down and we had like maybe 300 left but don’t know what ever happened to them.

The Nite Riders – three notches above Beep Beep & the Road Runners’ second single
WORC, August 25, 1967

The Nite Riders had two drummers Tony Agby and then 13 year old Chuckie Franczack, but Tony’s dad still stayed on as our manager.

Later on after the record in ’67 the drummer’s Mom bought a 1959 black hearse and 1960 black limo. Chuck’s mom would drive us to concerts and other gigs in a full chauffeur outfit and we all had black pants with white shirts and gold vests boy we thought we had made the big time.

Chuckie died at age 18 … drugs, he was a great drummer. Dean died in a motor cycle crash I heard. I would love to know if any folks from Worcester have any pictures or stories of The Nite Riders.

Nite Riders with Davey Daniels, November 9, 1967
Lucia’s Restaurant’s Peacock Lounge

Beep Beep & the Road Runners with the Night-Riders (sic),
November 25, 1966, Millbury Town Hall

Nite Riders at the Firefighter Dance, Nov. 25, 1966
from left: Dave Daniels, Chucky Franczak and Bob Dube
“Our bass player didn’t show up that night” – Bob Dube

Beep Beep & the Road Runners with the Night Riders (sic),
December 10, 1966, Webster Memorial Auditorium

Beep Beep & the Road Runners with the Nightriders (sic),
St. Bernard’s Parish Hall

at St. Peter’s with WAAB DJ Steve Kane

At Elm Park, clockwise from bottom left: David, Bill, Dean and Chucky

Charles W. Franczak, 14-year old drummer …

The band broke up 1968 and I started a country-rock band “Dave Daniels and US.” When I was 19 years old, the band was playing a bar called Longo’s lounge and there was a big write up about me. Well some goodie goodie complained about an under age kid playing in a bar. I’d been playing bars since I was 13, even the police knew it, but always looked the other way. Well they couldn’t look away this time and I was banned from playing in bars.We fought it and even the Mayor was on my side. There was a town hall meeting and a council chamber meeting and up to 600 people showed up on my behalf. I won and there was an age ruling change for musicians as long as they did not drink and were accompanied by an adult. Until then many groups with minors could not work certain gigs. There was an article with the Cowsills and their trouble with playing certain clubs and in it they mention my case in the article paving the way for other young musicians.

Dave Daniels and US stayed together till 1971. We were to play Le Club International in Fort Lauderdale Florida, and while on the road some how the three cars got separated and the organ player and me wound up in Jacksonville where my car broke down. The organ player Rich went back to Worcester and I stayed and worked with a country band in Jacksonville.

One night some musicians came in and asked if I wanted to go on the road with a well known country singer Claude King (“Wolverton Mountain”) so I moved to Shreveport La. in 1973 and have been here since. We were called the Nashville Knights and then changed to “The Cotton Dan Band”. Our latest CD Claude King Live! can be found almost anywhere on the net.

The best thing I did (not the biggest) was my parents always wished I would be famous enough to play The Wheeling Jamboree WWVA, Wheeling West Virginia. Mom and Dad used to listen to that show every Sat. night and when I was a kid I told them I would be on that show one day. Claude King made it happen. He booked it February 1983 and it was recorded live. On the second half, not recorded but aired, he had me do two songs on his time and dedicated that section of the show to my parents in Worcester MA. Claude King is the best!

Tell Ronnie and the guys of the Beep’s David remembers them and hopes they are all well!

David Daniels

for larger image

Beep Beep and the Road Runners

Beep Beep and the Road Runners Vincent 45 True Love KnowsBeep Beep and the Road Runners formed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1962 when the members were only adolescents 10 to 12 years old. Originally they were a quartet: Tom Falconer on bass and vocals, Ron Manley lead guitarist, Louie Dansereau played rhythm guitar and Donny Ouellette drums and vocals.

Don Ouellette lived across Grand Street from Tommy Falconer, and Don’s friend since childhood, Ronnie Manley suggested to Tommy that they start a band. Ronnie knew Louis Dansereau, and the band started practicing in Tom’s living room until they refurbished a room in the basement.

They added their manager’s son Jay Bonen as a second drummer. I asked Don Ouellette if they worked well together musically and Don said no, it was more of a gimmick, which was also what Tom Falconer said in an interview with Fuzbrains magazine. More importantly, the band also added a lead vocalist, Tim Ralston who would be crucial to the sound of their first 45.

Beep Beep and the Road Runners Vincent 45 Shifting GearsAs for the ‘Beep Beep’ in their band name, Tom said that it did not refer to any particular member – “There was never a Beep Beep”. Don Ouellette says he was ‘Beep Beep’ but the band kept that secret from the public for a long time.

Early on the band covered surf and r&b instrumentals by the Ventures and Duane Eddy, then added Beatles songs to their repertoire, often playing Friday evenings at St. Peters (Worcester Central). The band backed Gene Pitney twice and competed with local acts the Joneses, the New Breed, the Nite Riders and the Personals at clubs like the Comic Strip, the Speed Club (Speedway Club?) on Mill St., the Red Pony Lounge on Franklin, the Peacock Club in Auburn, and Tatassitt Beach on Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury.

Their first 45 in May 1966 for Vincent Records had an original instrumental by Ron Manley on the A-side: the Link Wray-like Shifting Gears”. On the flip was Tom and Ron’s original song “True Love Knows”. It was an instant garage classic with Tim Ralston’s vocals sounding desperate and at times incoherent, while his cries of ‘true love knows’ on the chorus are echoed by another band member. I hear some evidence of the band’s two drummers in the intro to “True Love Knows”, where the tom rolls sound distinct from the beat kept by the bass drum, hi-hat and snare. I’d like to know details on how the song was recorded. George Gell informs me that it was cut at Al Soyka’s studio in Somers, Connecticut, home of the Glo label (New Fugitives – “That’s Queer”/”She’s My Baby”).

“True Love Knows” was a hit locally, staying at #1 spot on the charts of WORC, 1310 AM. The band’s manager Ray Bonen knew WORC station owner Bob Beyer well. In return for airplay the band appeared at many WORC events, including an opening of a Bradlees store in White City.

Tim Ralston soon left the group: he was older than the rest of the band and became undependable about showing up at their gigs. Jay Bonen also left the band after the first record due supposedly to fainting spells during live shows and from friction caused by Don’s increasing success as lead vocalist.

By late 1966 or early ’67 they added an organ player, Wayne Anderson Warren Anderson, who can be heard on their second 45 from August ’67, the cool “Don’t Run”, an original by Manley and Anderson. To me the song really takes off as the guitarist kicks in with his distortion pedal for the solo. The flip is a bizarre version of “Watermelon Man” that strips out the light touch of the original and turns it into an r&b burner. Don Ouellette sang lead on both sides of this 45. Audio Dynamics 45s were recorded at an old theater in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Don remembers adding his vocals to the instrumental tracks.

A third 45, “Do You Remember the Way We Started” was recorded but not released. The band added horns and became the Lundon Fog with Barry Wilson on vocals then broke up in 1973.

Ron Manley and Don Ouellette continued playing, first in Easy Street with Elaine Christie and then in Breez’n. Tim Ralston died in the late 70’s.

If anyone has photos of the group, please get in touch with me at

Thanks to George and Mop Top Mike for their comments to my original post, which I’ve incorporated into this revised text. Very special thanks to LB Worm for helping me locate the 1983 interview that the Rev. Joe Longone and Brian Goslow did with Tom Falconer in the first issue of Worcester fanzine Fuzbrains, a major source for this article. Lastly, thank you to Don Ouellette for taking the time to speak to me and correct some errors in the article.