documenting the optical sounds of '60s pop, Acid Punk & Psychedelia

Knights Of Day – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Tower Records)

“Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” / “Why Do You Treat Me So Bad” (Tower 245) June 1966

Recently I was contacted by Knights Of Day bassist Jim Murphy and he kindly filled me in with accurate information about his largely overlooked mid 60s band.

Three teenagers from Long Beach, California, named Ron Eglit (lead guitar), Barry Greenberg (rhythm guitar) and Chuck Letzelter drums) got together and started practicing their instruments in Ron’s garage. This was early 1965 and they were all pretty much knocked out by the Brit Invasion groups and like many US teens during that period in time decided to form a rock & roll combo to impress the girls.

Soon after, Jim Murphy (bass) and Cal Buser (organ) joined the trio and The Knights Of Day were born. Several months of rehearsals gave them the tightness and tough edge required to stand out from other contenders.

Gigs were easy to come by at High Schools around the Long Beach area, as well as La Mirada and Huntington Park. The band built up a steady and loyal following and this eventually led to bigger gigs in Hollywood such as The Hullabaloo on the Sunset Strip.

It was at one such gig that The Knights Of Day got their big break when they were talent spotted by popular Los Angeles radio personality Casey Kasem. He would become their manager which also led to stints on TV Show ”Shebang” to promote their debut 45 ’Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’. 

This is a solid garage style cover of ’Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ with cool clattering tambourine throughout, chunky bass runs and punk guitar. As with most Tower releases, the music is also very well produced and engineered.

The flip ’Why Do You Treat Me So Bad’ is currently un-compiled. The writer credit is Cal Buser.  This song is pleasant 60s pop with jangle and has or rather would have had a lot of commercial appeal in 1966.

Jim kindly sent me a gig poster and a clipping from a local newspaper, dated May 1966. The article provides much needed information about the Knights Of Day.

I first wrote about The Knights Of Day on 7th May 2007 and my posting received several comments:

Knights of Day were a local Southern California band managed by Casey Kasem, I was a teenage groupie…lol..My girlfriend and I saw them many time and I have the 45 pictured still today, aaaaa youth…Cal Buser was the lead singer and his version of True Loves Ways was killer….Soupy Sales nephew was also in the band if I remember right…long time ago so don’t hold me too it.. anon

Hey, I was just going through some old boxes and found a couple pics of Cal. I was also one of their followers. They were great and I had a mad crush on Cal. My girlfriend was their fan club press. But lost track of everyone. Wish I could hear their record again. Cal taught me to chord the song ”Why Do You Treat Me So Bad” – Wow memories. Does anyone know what happened to them. Or what happened to Patti…

You know my girlfriend was also a fan and there un-official photographer, I will email her she may know what happened to them. I’m sure she still has lots of pics of them. I had a terrible crush on Chuck the drummer….anon

As mentioned, The Knights of Day were a Local So Cal band managed by Casey Kasem. Kasem also hosted a weekly dance at the Hawthorne Teen Center were I saw them perform many times. Their hook was in trading off instruments during their performances. When I was a senior in high school, I hired them to play at a dance at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena. I had also seen them at St. Mary’s in Inglewood. I still have one of their singles. I think it’s a cover of ”Hey Joe”…anon..

Wow!!! This is totally awesome. My dad bought me this record at a flea market in 1972, when I was 3; actually an entire box of promotional – not for sale – DJ Copy – 45s, from the mid 1960s.

This record was one of my favorites all throughout my childhood and teenage years. I memorized all the labels when I was 4, although I couldn’t read yet, but this label you posted is the exact same one I had on my record, too.

Needless to say, some of my records were lost in an accident in 1990. While I was able to obtain the commercially labelled replacement copies for most of them; I’ve been looking for this one for over 20 years, and was starting to fear that I might never hear this song again, ever.

Thank you so very much for posting this recording, you have made my decade, by making it possible for me to hear this song, again.

It sounds like you have taken very good care of your copy. I seriously doubt if this song was ever released, so this record may be worth quite a lot. anon

Good evening. I was so surprised to come across your website – regarding the Knights of Day. Could you please contact me – I would love to get a copy of the recording of Why do you treat me so bad – Cal Buser was my husband, and he passed away December 27, 1982… Suzanne Goetz

I recently came across your knights of Day post and thought I would fill in some areas that were missed on the group and early history. I feel qualified as I was the bassist for the Virtues prior to Jim Murphy. 

My name is Mike Wirthlin and I was the original bass player for the Virtues! The original keyboard player prior to Cal Buser was J.R.Wells. Prior to forming the Virtues Ron, Chuck and myself were in a group together that was formed about 1961 called the Emeralds. 

They broke up as Bob Sheets who had heard us play was forming a group that was going to be called Adrian and the Sunset’s. He had big plans for them and coerced Ron and our sax player Bruce Ridder to be part of this group. That group lasted about a year, cut an album and two singles.

I joined a group called The Fabulous Surf Riders and free lanced with a Poly High School band called Little Willie and Pyramids which had a big hit called ”Penetration” and had a small showing in the Movie Beach Blanket Bingo where they all shaved there heads as a contrast to the Beatles who had just come in to vogue.

I hope this may help update your history on the Knights and fill in some holes that Jim most likely was not familiar with. I am also sending you a picture of the group shortly after Cal joined the band.
Yours in Rock n Roll, Mike Wirthlin

Knights Of Day – “Hey Gyp” / “Distinguished Metal Salesman” (CMC 1,000,000) January 1967

The Knights of Day had another 45 release, this one on CMC. ’Hey Gyp’ was paired with ’Distinguished Metal Salesman’. This record took me several years to track down and it became obvious to me that it’s very obscure.

’Hey Gyp’ is the often covered Donovan tune this time given the Sunset Strip treatment with snarly vocals, pounding bass runs, organ and fuzz action. It’s a really excellent performance that sounds not unlike the more rockin’ Rolling Stones cuts.

The flip ’Distinguished Metal Salesman’ is a group original which has a folk-rock edge with some harmonies.

Lead guitarist Ron Eglit appears to have been the only group member to continue in the music business. He became the bass player in Dick Dale’s group for many years.

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