J.B. and the Playboys

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1964-66)

- Bill Hill -- lead guitar

- Andy Kaye (aka Andurash Kajachanei) -- rhythm guitar

- Allan Nicholls -- 

- Doug West -- drums, percussion

- Louis Yachnin (aka Lou Atkins) -- bass 


  line up 1 (1966-67)

NEW - Pete Carson -- bass (replaced Louis Yachnin) 

- Bill Hill -- lead guitar

NEW - J.P. Lauzon -- guitar (replaced Andy Kaye) -  rhythm guitar

- Allan Nicholls -- 

- Doug West -- drums, percussion





- Carnival Connection (Bill Hill, Allan Nicholls and J.P. Lauzon)

- Freedom North (Bill Hill and Andy Kaye)

- Tommy Graham And The Big Town Boys (Louis Yachnin)

- The Jaybees

- Life (J.P. Lauzon)

- Lighthouse (Louis Yachnin)

- Mashmakhan (Allan Nicholls)

- Ocean (Doug West)

- Our Generation (J.P. Lauzon)

- Peter and the Pipers






Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  J.B. and the Playboys

Company: RCA Victor/Canada International

Catalog: PC-1086

Year: 1966

Country/State: Montreal, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: mono pressing; Canadian pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5091

Price: $100.00


Formed in 1964, Montreal's J.B. and the Playboys started out working dances and the local club circuit as a covers band.  Featuring a line-up consisting of 

lead guitarist Bill Hill, rhythm guitarist Andy Kaye, singer Allan Nicholls, drummer Doug West, and bassist Louis Yachnin they were one of the first area bands to include Beatles tunes in their reportoire, which helped them quickly generate a local following.  The resulting publicity lead to a contract with the small DJ Enterprises label and the release of their debut 45:


- 1964's 'Cheryl' b/w 'All My Loving' (DJ Enterprises catalog number DJ-1002)


While the single did little commercially it attracted the attention of the RCA Victor affiliated Canadian International label which promptly signed the group to a contract.  Over the next year the band released a string of four singles that did well on the local charts:


- 1965's 'Chances' b/w 'Tears of Woe' (RCA Victor catalog number 57-3342)

- 1965's 'One Love, Your Love' b/w 'I'm Not Satisfied' (RCA Victor catalog number 57-3344)

- 1965's 'My Delight' b/w Don't Ask Me To Be True' (RCA Victor catalog number 57-3345)



- 1965's 'Love Happiness and Sweet You' b/w 'Summer Love' (RCA Victor catalog number 57-3355)


In late 1965 RCA Victor finally got around to approving an album.  Released early the next year the cleverly titled "J.B. and the Playboys" served to compile most of the earlier singles with some new studio material. Produced by Roy Smith, the album showcased a largely original set of songs (mostly penned by Kaye and Nicholls).  While most of the material sported a distinctive Merseybeat sound, to my ears their sound was closer to second tier bands like The Dave Clark Five and Herman's Hermits than the Fab Four.  That said, while this may not have been the year's most original release the performances were surprisingly good and I'd rate material like ''Then and There, 'Treat Me Specially' and 'My Delight' higher than much of what those previously mentioned UK competitors were churning out.  While all four of the earlier singles were commercial and quite enjoyable (the fuzz guitar propelled 'One Love, Your Love' were probably the best of the bunch), the rocking 'Sticks and Stones' and their cover of Rufus Thomas' 'Walking the Dog' stood out as the best of the new material.  A pleasant surprise and well worth picking up if you can find it at a reasonable price ... hint, hint ...


"J.B. and the Playboys" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Then and There   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls)- 2:25

2.) One Love, Your Love   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls) - 2:37

3.) Treat Me Specially   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls) - 2:23

4.) Don't Ask Me To Be True   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls) - 2:38

5.) Sticks and Stones   (T Turner) - 1:45

6.) I'm the Lonely One   (Mills)  - 2:12


(side 2)
1.) Walking the Dog   (Rufus Thomas) - 2:56

2.) Love, Happiness and Sweet You   (Bill Hill - Allan Nicholls) - 2:35

3.) I'm Not Satisfied   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls) - 1:41

4.) True Love Will Come To You   (Chester Welch) - 2:50

5.) My Delight   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls) - 2:05

6.) Chances   (Andy Kaye - Allan Nicholls) - 2:47


Along with a performance in  the Maxwell Sendel's film "Playgirl Killer" (they sang 'Leave My Woman Alone' while Neil Sedaka had a supporting role in this weird early psych-killer effort), the group release one more non-LP 45 ('My Love' b/w 'Poor Anne' (RCA Victor catalog number 3376), before dropping the 'J.B. and the Playboy' name plate in favor of The Jaybees (they apparently got frustrated with constantly being confused with Gary Lewis and the Playboys).  The Jaybees survived for about a year, releasing a string of four singles. That was followed by a one-shot 1967 single billed to Peter and the Pipers ('Rockin' To Mars' b/w 'Girl On the Hit Parade' (RCA Victor catalog number 57-3430)). An appearance in 1969's instantly forgotten Ron Kelly directed drama "Waiting For Caroline" and they called it quits.  


Hill, Nicholls and Lauzon continued their collaboration as Carnival Connection.  Nicholls also enjoyed a brief stint with a late-inning lineup of Mashmakhan, before getting into acting and then video production work.  Yachnin's subsequent career includes stints with Tommy Graham And The Big Town Boys and Lighthouse.  Hill and Kaye also played in the band Freedom North (good LP).  Lauzon did stints with Life and Our Generation.  West was a member of Ocean who enjoyed a big hit with the nausiating 'Put Your Hand In the Hand'.


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