Rock Show of The Yeomen

British born Graham Dunnett had already enjoyed moderate success with his band The Starliners, who once shared a six-week bill at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany with The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers, when he moved to Toronto in 1964. With himself on vocals, he formed Dee and The Yeomen with Len Lytwyn on guitars and sax, and Terry Watkinson (previously with Sonny and The Sequins) on organ, then added Bob Smith on guitars. Their sound was a cutting edge hybrid between folk and punk with a little easy listening roots thrown in for good measure – perfect for the coffee houses and ‘feel free’ attitude of the Yorkville circuit. They cut the single “Say Baby” b/w “You Show Know It” on Wolff Records in 1965, followed by “Take The First Train Home” b/w “Why Why Why” on Can-Cut Records, and later re-released on Bell, the same year.

After signing a deal with Reo Records in the spring of ’66, they changed their name to Rock Show of The Yeomen, and with the help of producer Stan Klees, released three singles before the year’s end – “A Love Like Mine” b/w “Begone Begone,” “Baby it’s All Worthwhile” (which cracked the top 20 in Canada) b/w “Broken Hearted Melody,” and “In A Minute or Two” b/w “Afraid of Love.” Reo re-released “Afraid of Love” early in ’67 as the b-side to “Village Girl.” But by the end of the year the band was dropped from the label and they switched to Mainstream Records, who released “We Are The Dream” b/w “The Chains” in 1968.

By this time Watkinson left the group and was replaced by Peter Sterbach. Watkinson would enjoy the greatest success of the Yeomen members when he joined Max Webster in the early 70s, then Wrabit. Still doing predominately the Toronto and Yorkville club scenes with a few trips to the sophisticated atmosphere of Montreal, they changed their name to Dee and The Quotum, and then later simply The Yeomen, but parted ways by the summer of 1969. “Baby It’s All Worthwhile would resurface in ’72 as part of the independent compilation album NIGHTMARES FROM THE UNDERWORLD, VOLUME 1.


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