Meridian, Mississippi band
Rick's Continentals Band had its' reunion in Meridian, MS., the weekend of April 28 - 29th 2012.
The website link below has been updated with video from the 60s and our '60s recording
made at RAP Records studio in Meridian of "Wipeout".
The Continentals were formed by Stan Suire of New Orleans, Louisiana after he and his family relocated to Meridian, Mississippi while he was still in his late teens. The band started out performing at school dances, regional talent shows, teen events and other local venues. They rapidly developed a local following of teenaged fans which expanded to include adults as time passed. They won several talent shows and eventually acquired full time manager, promoter and producer, Richard “Rip” Coard to help the band achieve new heights. Rick Spence, a talented singer from New York joined the group in 1965. Spence, who had previously performed with The Kingsmen (which later became The Lovin’ Spoonful), brought strong vocal talent to the group and was able to sing in a wide variety of music styles from the old standards of the era including blues, soul and of course Rock & Roll. The band soon changed their name to Rick’s Continentals.
You Can Live It Up”
became a nationwide hit and was played on radio stations throughout the
United States gaining considerable popularity on the east coast. “You Can Live It Up” peaked at No. 67 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart and remained on the Hot 100 Chart for 7 weeks.
Showing off their legs
Regionally, “You Can Live It Up” reached No. 1 on Top 40 Tunedex surveys (the most requested songs) and remained in the Top 40 for weeks. Under the management of Richard “Rip” Coard, the group became popular performing concerts, radio and television broadcasts throughout Mississippi and other southern states. They were the featured entertainment for the Junior Miss America Pagent in 1967. Two of the bands singles, “I Don't Know” and “Who Are My Friends” featured Paul Davis on keyboards which was one of his earliest recordings. Paul Davis would release his first two singles on the same Recording Artists Productions (RAP) record label only weeks later. The singles were, “It's Over My Head” and “I Gotta Find A Way”. Davis had his first American Top 10 single with the slow ballad "I Go Crazy," which peaked at #7 in 1978. "I Go Crazy" spent 40 weeks on Billboards Hot 100, which at the time set the single-song record for most consecutive weeks on the chart in the rock era.George Soule was instrumental in Rick's Continentals record productions and also played the drums on one of the bands singles. In 1967, Richard “Rip” Coard announced in a press release that he was in contract negotiations with Capitol Records for the acquisition of Rick's Continentals single, “You Can Live it Up” and there was promise that the group might land a contract with this Music giant. Unfortunately, the contract with Capitol Records never materialized. The group went on to produce several promotional recordings for marketing and distribution and during the hieght of the bands popularity, traveled extensively and performed throughout the southern states at college concerts and toured with popular recording artists of the day. They performed an unscheduled, spontaneous beach concert in Orange Beach-Gulf Shores, Alabama using acoustic guitars to a standing room only crowd and appeared at countless autograph parties where the artists signed copies of their records and performed live for their fans.
The Band Members
Rick Spence/Daryll Ross
Bob Minnis/Stan Suire
George Soule/Ray Vaughn
These songs were originally recorded by Rick’s Continentals in Meridian, Mississippi at Recording Artists Productions studios owned by Robert Reetz. They are embedded here for the enjoyment of everyone who desires to listen. All four recordings have been digitized and professionally remastered. Who Are My Friends and I Don’t Know have been remastered from the original studio masters which were recently discovered and graciously donated by Sandy Reetz, wife of studio owner Robert (Bob) Reetz. However, You Can Live It Up and Cold Lonely Winter were remastered from 40+ year old vinyl 45s. Expect the audio quality to reflect the source.
Check out these links for Rick's Continentals"
(Info and pics courtesy of Ray Vaughn)