Proudly Canadian: J.B. and The Playboys

J.B. & the Playboys.jpg

Credit: The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia Jamie Vernon
(notes from Shawn Nagy)

Band Members:
Allan Nichols (vocals)

Bill Hill (lead guitar)

Doug West (drums)
Andy "Yugo" Kaye [aka Andurash Kajachanei] (guitar)

Lou Atkins [aka Louis Yachnin] (bass) 

Pete Carson (bass; replaced Atkins 1966)
J.P. Lauzon (guitar; replaced Kaye 1966)

This Montreal-based act established a firm reputation in the early 1960's in the local club scene playing Beatles cover tunes before The Beatles broke in North America because Nichols' aunt lived in England and sent him all the latest releases.

By 1965 they had been signed to RCA Records and released the song "Don't Ask Me To Be True". A string of successful singles followed on the charts through the spring of 1965 after which the band headed into RCA Studios to record the remaining tracks for their self-titled debut LP which was released in the summer of 1965. During that same summer they starred in the movie US Movies Inc. production of Maxwell Sendel's 'Playgirl Killer'.

With a May 1966 switch in name to The Jaybees (as they were being confused with Gary Lewis And The Playboys) and a move to Toronto, they continued with a string of successful singles including "I'm A Loner" peaking at #25 in August 1966, and "I Think Of Her" which hit #49 later that year. Kaye and Atkins would leave the band following this release and were replaced by Pete Carson and J.P.Lauzon who would immediately appear on their next single for Columbia Records "Who Do You Think You Are". Later that year The Jaybees would appear in a second film called "Waiting For Caroline" starring Alexandra Stewart.

Another brief name change they returned to RCA as Peter And The Pipers with the addition of Tim Forsythe. But they found themselves without a hit in the form of "Rockin' To Mars". By 1968 the music world had changed styles again and the remaining members (Hill, Nicholls and Lauzon) rebuilt itself under the moniker Carnival Connection releasing one unsuccessful single "Poster Man" (only hitting #67 in December 1968).

Nichols moved to New York to work on Broadway ('Hair' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar') before returning to Montreal to join a short-reformation of Mashmakhan. In 1975 he packed up for Hollywood where he had parts in such movies as 'Nashville', 'Buffalo Bill', and 'Slapshot'. He later worked in movie production with Robert Altman and eventually moved into video production including directing Leonard Cohen's "I'm A Hotel" and working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live; Yachnin jumped ship and became a member of Tommy Graham And The Big Town Boys and eventually Lighthouse but left in 1972 to become a drag racing auto mechanic; Kaye joined Freedom North and later The Classics in Toronto in the 1980's; Hill went on to be in Freedom North with Andy Kaye,and Graham County with Don Graham, who he currently produced a solo album for and now owns a recording studio in Montreal; West left music to work in the computer business in Mississauga, Ontario; Lauzon joined the band Life and later, with Forsythe, was in Our Generation before carrying on with a modest solo career; Doug West would play with Ocean and was the drummer on their million selling single "Put Your Hand In The Hand".

Chances J.B. & The Playboys 1966