Kenner, Roy and His Associates
Origin: Toronto, Ontario
Originally called “R.K. And His Associates”, this high-energy R’n’B quintet was formed in Toronto’s east end, in 1964. Featuring lead singer Roy Kenner, guitarist Tom Beavis, organist Henry Babraj, bass player Greg Carducci and drummer Ray Ryclefski, the group played the high school dance and after hours club circuit, around southern Ontario. Booked by the inimitable Ron Scribner, the busy group soon developed a large following and was particularly popular with teenage girls, thanks to Kenner’s good looks, boundless energy and James Brown style stage antics. They routinely packed the Sunday afternoon dances at The Modern Age Lounge, a banquet hall, located at Danforth Avenue and Victoria Park, where they rehearsed on week-nights. It was here, during an all-night recording session in early 1965, that “Without My Sweet Baby” and “Baby You’re What I Need” were recorded by disc-jockey turned record producer Merv Buchanan, aka Tommy Trend. The recording became the first release on the newly-formed Trend Records label. When the group disbanded a few years later, Roy Kenner was recruited by long-time friend Domenic Troiano, to replace George Olliver as lead singer of the hugely popular Toronto band “Mandala”, which was beginning to get attention in the U.S. The duo went on to lead Los Angeles based “Bush” and later, the Cleveland-based “James Gang”.