”Poster Man” / ”Alfred Appleby” (Capitol P 2244) Aug 1968
Carnival Connection from Montreal, Canada released this delightful pop psych 45 in the Summer of 1968. It didn’t make any great waves and barely dented the charts. Indeed the band remain largely unknown outside of their Canadian base.
The band started life in the Merseybeat era of ’64 plying their trade as J.B and the Playboys but decided to change their name sometime in 1966 to The Jaybees. This was because people were confusing them for hit band Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
They then changed their name for a third time to Peter and the Pipers before settling for Carnival Connection in mid ’67. The dictionary defines the word ‘carnival’ as a traveling enterprise offering amusements, an organised program of entertainment or exhibition. The describes this group perfectly, and that’s why they took the name.
Lead singer Al Nicholls and lead guitarist, Bill Hill planned the group, wrote songs, and found the kind of musicians they were looking for.
In a short time, they became one of Montreal’s most popular groups. In July 1967 they made their first visit to New York, re-styled the act, and then made the change of name to The Carnival Connection.
They did a gig at The Rolling Stone discotheque and were a smash. They have appeared on most Canadian TV shows and wrote and performed the music for a CBC-TV Festival special.
Bill and Al also wrote three songs which they do in a Canadian flick, “Waiting For Caroline” and it will be released nationally very soon.
The Carnival Connection is a fun-filled musical variety show . . . a surprise package with a jack-in-the-box for lead singer, a straight man on lead guitar and harmony, a Cheshire Cat on rhythm guitar and harmony, a bundle of French energy on drums, and a romantic troubadour on bass.
Except for the drummer, they all sing, and change moods by switching lead singers. Besides Al Nicholls and Bill Hill, there are Peter Carson, bass, Jean-Pierre Lauzon, rhythm guitar, and Gaetan Danis on drums.
’Poster Man’ is classic paisley pop and was written and produced by ex Changin’ Times member Artie Kornfield at Capitol’s New York City studios.
The flip ’Alfred Appleby’ is an English styled pop psych ditty and is not as immediate as ’Poster Man’ and is very much of the time.
Some of the members became the group The Freedom North.