The Cavaliers Pharaoh 45 Sea Weed

Thee Kavaliers

Thee Kavaliers Photo

The Cavaliers Pharaoh 45 PrideThee Kavaliers had four singles on the Pharaoh label, the most releases of any artist on that label.

Their first was under the plainer moniker The Cavaliers and features a good garage vocal composed by Billy Rowe backed with the surf instrumental “Sea Weed”, composed by Frank Barrera. My copy has an inscription by Billy Rowe on the A-side that unfortunately got smeared to near-illegibility before I came to own it.

The Cavaliers Pharaoh 45 Sea Weed

I’m not sure who played what instrument or exactly who was in the band. Billy Rowe must have been in the group, at least early on, and Javier Rios became their leader and wrote or co-wrote most of their original songs on their records as Thee Kavaliers. A clipping (see below) includes Mike Dunn, Gary Vandiver, Jeanne Hatfield, Richard Mancilla and an unidentified person as the Cavaliers. Frank Barrera’s name isn’t included but shows up on at least two of their songs as composer. The photo at top shows six members, and doesn’t include Jeanne Hatfield.

I don’t think Thee Kavaliers backed Jeanne Hatfield on her single on Pharaoh, which features a keyboard prominently.

In any case, they were a strong group with a wide repertoire. “Congregation for Anti-Flirts, Inc” is considered their best work, but all of it is strong. “Symbols of Sin” is a take on “Land of 1,000 Dances” but really gets moving once the guitar break starts.

Pharaoh 137 – The Cavaliers – “Pride” (Billy Rowe) / “Sea Weed” (Frank Barrera) (Oct. ’65)
Pharaoh 146 – Thee Kavaliers – “That Hurts” / “Symbols of Sin” (both by Javier Rios, July ’66)
Pharaoh 150 – Thee Kavaliers – “The Last Four Words” / “Ballad Of Thee Kavaliers” (Sept. ’66)
Pharaoh 154 – Thee Kavaliers – “Congregation for Anti-Flirts, Inc” / “Back to You” (Jan. ’67)

Their entire output of eight songs, along with songs by other bands from Pharaoh, can be found on the Cicadelic CD Congregation for Anti-Flirts: The McAllen, Texas Teen Scene 1965-67.

Thee Kavaliers Pharaoh 45 Symbols of SinThee Kavaliers Pharaoh 45 Congregation for Anti-Flirts, Inc.

David Lott of the Souls sent in the clipping below, featuring the Souls with the Marauders and the Cavaliers:

Three legendary Texas bands! The United Fund benefit dance in McAllen, 1965
Top row – The Cavaliers, l-r: Mike Dunn, Gary Vandiver, Javier Rios, Jeanne Hatfield, [unidentified], Richard Mancilla
Middle row – l-r: The Marauders, with Mitch Watkins on lead guitar at left, Phil Veale, Eric Mancilla, Jimmy Parker, Lloyd Allen.
Bottom row – The Souls, l-r: Murray Schlesinger, Jerry Ebensberger, David Smith, David Lott and Allen Kirsh.

Kavaliers and Jeannie Hatfield at the Carousel Friday, September 9, 1966
Kavaliers and Jeannie Hatfield at the Carousel Friday, September 9, 1966
Thee Kavaliers and Rebels, at Granny's Go Go
Good Deeds and Invaders on Friday, Sept. 16; The Kavaliers and the Rebels on Saturday Sept. 17, 1966 at Granny’s Go Go

5 thoughts on “Thee Kavaliers”

  1. The number of records that a group recorded on Pharaoh only means that the group had money to pay for the studio time and the pressing. I don’t know of any group where the label paid for everything. The Playboys might be an exception but Jimmy Nichols was a business man first. One of your blanks will be “Turn Your Light On Me” by Arturo & Pat and the Stowaways. I played drums on that record, financed by Arturo’s father. I was also a member of Number 8 Productions, that produced POE’s album.

  2. The unidentified person in the photo was Kelly Ramirez, our keyboard player, he passed away earlier this Summer.
    Hi, I’m Javier Rios, of The Kavaliers.
    While most of your information is correct, your thought is not. The Kavaliers were actually the poorest of the lot when it came to comparing us financially with The Headstones, The Playboys and or The Invaders. Jimmy Nichols was a businessman thus, a good investor.

    1. Hi. Jimmy Nichols was James Nicholls my half brother. We had the same dad. We discovered that he was our long lost brother only 10 months after he died. I would love any old newspaper clippings or old photos of him. Thank you.
      Jean Nicholls Van
      marsthedog [at]

    2. I was just about to post about the unidentified member being, Kelly. Then I saw your post about Jimmy Nichols investing in The Kavaliers. I’m confused because we were in business with Jimmy, in Number 8 Productions, producing the “Up Through The Spiral” album by POE and while he may have granted credit for studio time and pressing…I’m almost positive he never invested any of his money in a person or group. He didn’t have to, we were all anxious to have our music on vinyl.

  3. Javier Rios – Band Member, Bietnam Vet, Father, Grandfather, Tio

    Past Away today – June 16th, 2018. He will be missed.

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