The Royal Guardsmen — “Wednesday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 7, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

661) The Royal Guardsmen — “Wednesday”

Such a groovy Wednesday — not! This Byrdsy ’67 A-side and track off The Return of the Red Baron (with the title “Any Wednesday”) about trying to forget an unfaithful girl is no “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron”. The song only reached #98, with bassist Bill Balogh lamenting that it “didn’t do anything . . . . [because n]o one seemed to want to hear The Royal Guardsmen do anything other than Snoopy. The guy who wrote [it] was a staff writer they had writing for us.” (https://www.crazedfanboy.com/spotlight/guardsmen.html). Curse you, Red Baron!

As to the RG, William Ruhlmann writes that:

The Royal Guardsmen from Ocala, FL . . . enjoyed their brief reign of pop fame in 1966-1968 by recording a series of songs taking off from the Peanuts cartoon character Snoopy and his fantasy about aerial dog fighting with German World War I flying ace Baron Von Richthofen. The million-selling “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron” was the first and most successful of these novelty records in the fall of 1966, and its follow-up, “The Return of the Red Baron,” also made the Top 40. “Snoopy’s Christmas” topped the seasonal charts at the end of 1967. After a few non-Snoopy singles were less successful, the Guardsmen released “Snoopy for President” in the summer of 1968, but the fad was over. The group scored a final Top 40 hit with its two-year-old, reissued debut single, “Baby Let’s Wait,” in the winter of 1968-1969. The original group split in 1969 . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-royal-guardsmen-mn0000490805/biography

Classic Bands adds that:

In the mid-to-late ’60s, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was at its peak of popularity. . . . The unexpected focal point of the strip was Charlie Brown’s beagle Snoopy, who evolved into less of a pet than a voice of conscience. One of the recurring themes of the Snoopy strips was his fantasy exploits as a World War I flying ace trying to defeat Baron Von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron. His doghouse doubled as a Sopwith Camel biplane. . . .

By January 1967, [“Snoopy vs. the Red Barron”] had peaked at #2 . . . selling over three million copies worldwide. . . . Trying to be taken more seriously, The Guardsmen issued a series of non-Snoopy singles, all of which flopped. “Airplane Song (My Airplane)” stalled at #46 in the Summer of ’67, followed by “Wednesday”, which only made it to #98 during a one week chart run that September. . . .

http://www.classicbands.com/royalguardsmen.html

Oh, and as organist Billy Taylor recalls, “[w]hen we were kids . . . all you wanted was a hot shower every now and then, a hamburger, and to get laid. That’s all you were thinking about on the bus.” (https://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/music/Royal-Guardsmen-return-Snoopy-in-tow-50-years-after-Florida-s-first-pop-hit_167682029/)

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