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The Regents


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The original Regents of Tacoma are often heralded as the best 60’s band in the Puget Sound area of Washington that never cut a record. A later version of the band did secure a recording contract with Etiquette Records of Tacoma, WA, and recorded a few songs for them before they finally broke up in early 1967. The original members of the Regents were Dave Roland (drums), Rich Liebe (lead guitar), Billy McPherson (sax and other wind instruments), Sam Carlson (bass), and Richard Rossiter (rhythm guitar and coronet). The band formed in the Spring of 1963, with the last of the original members joining in the Autumn of 1963. Starting out primarily as an instrumental band with a few vocals sung by Dave, the band soon developed into a fine vocal group.

The musical influence on this band was varied. As with almost all Northwest bands of the era, The Wailers had a tremendous influence on the Regents. Much of their early material was taken from the Wailers and later from the many NW rock, R&B and jazz greats of the era that included Howard Roberts, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Barney Kessel, The Jazz Crusaders, Cannonball Aderly, Richard Berry, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and of course bands from the British Invasion.

Regents at the Red Carpet in 1964 - Image courtesy of Walt Rattenbury
The Regents started out in the same Tacoma-Lakewood, Washington music circuit as their friends in another local band, The Sonics, playing at Saint Mary’s Parish, private parties, schools, and from time to time, renting a hall and putting on their own dances.


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