The Cavaliers

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

An early version of the Cavaliers circa 1962.  L to R Doug van Riper / Klaas Craats / Ed Sehn / Ole Johnson.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This is the first poster the Cavaliers had printed….circa 1962..done by Val marshal Printing.

Cavaliers
Cavaliers

The Cavaliers  poster circa 1963. The band had recorded some instrumental tapes recorded in the CHAT Radio studios and each night one or two songs would be played on the air by DJ Wayne Craven. L to R   Klaas Craats (guitar) Ole Johnson  bass)  Doug Van Riper (drums) Ed Sehn ( guitar). Those tapes may just turn up on this site in the future.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

The Cavaliers circa 1963   Lto R…Doug Van Riper, Klaas Craats, Ed Sehn, Ole Johnson (kneeling)

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

Another photo of the Cavaliers circa 1963…L to R   Ed Sehn,  Klaas Craats, Ole Johnson, Doug van Riper (drums). By this time Doug had a REAL drum kit!! This is one of a series of photos shot by Howard Hyde Studios.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This is the second version of the Cavaliers circa 1964, now with the sponsorship of Chat TV. This was the “blue” era….the Fender  guitars were stripped down and painted metallic blue, the drums were blue and there were blue suits to match. Ron Mayer joined the band on drums (blue of course!) along with Klaas Craats, Ed Sehn and Ole Johnson. This lineup did a number of TV shows for CHAT and 2 live show audio tapes still exist as well as two pre recorded shows. In addition this band taped a number of songs at the CHAT Radio studios that received airplay on CHAT radio. The Cavaliers played many dates at the Henderson Lake Pavilion in Lethbridge, a great old dance hall, as well as resorts such as Waterton Lakes and Cypress Park, where they were always a popular attraction.  L to R  Ed Sehn (guitar) Ron Mayer (drums) Ole Johnson (bass)  Klaas Craats (guitar). At this time the band was still mainly an instrumental band fashioned after The Ventures, The Shadows and Wes Dakus and the Rebels and below is a recorded sample of the above Cavaliers lineup in 1964.

Las Vegas Scene (Audio)

Below is an interesting letter from a visitor to the site who took the time to pass on this great little story. What are the odds??

“I live in Ottawa and my neighbor, Ed Preston (see Loading Zone ), purchased the  blue Fender strat from the Cavaliers years ago when he was about 15 years old.  Ed is a great guitarist and still plays the blue strat, and the strat sounds great.  Also, the strat has been lovingly cared for all these years. ” Ed Preston writes: ” I believe it was Ed Sehn who sold me the maple fret model. We met in the late afternoon near some Highway 1 landmark in the hat I exchange $150, as I recall, for the guitar……I was so pleased to see the Medicine Hat Cavaliers web site which shows the band and it’s guitars.” Below is the Blue Fender Stratocaster some 50 years later.

Blue Strat
Blue Strat

 

Steve Opitz- The Cavaliers
Steve Opitz- The Cavaliers

Another picture of the CHAT TV Cavaliers 1964 edition. This was a photo taken in the CHAT studio and includes the host of the weekly TV show , Steve Opitz ( now known as Steve Young). Steve went on to be a DJ on pirate radio station Radio Caroline  during the height of the British Invasion ( pop music invasion that is) in England in 1965. (See Steve Opitz(Young) ) , L to R….Ed Sehn (guitar), Ron Mayer (drums), Ole Johnson (bass), Klaas Craats (guitar) and host Steve Opitz. (See Steve Opitz). Below is an audio clip of Steve Opitz (Young) introducing a Cavaliers Chat TV show in 1963. It mentions venues where the band will be performing……priceless advertising.

Audio:  Steve Opitz (Young) Cavaliers introduction on TV:

 

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

Another of the “blue suit and guitars” era picture of the CHAT TV Cavaliers circa 1964-65.  L to R…Ed Sehn, Ron Mayer(drum  s), Ole Johnson (hiking up his britches!),  Klaas Craats.

An audio clip:   The instrumental, Man Of Mystery, which was a big hit for the British group The Shadows…this song was a bit of a challenge to learn as it was quite an intricate arrangement.

Man of Mystery (audio)

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

A shot of the Cavaliers performing at the Henderson Lake Pavilion in Lethbridge in 1964. ( This is what drummer Ron Mayer would look at all night!) This venue was one of the last great dance halls in Alberta  and had played host to the likes of Duke Ellington , Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Paul Revere and the Raiders whose posters lined the walls of the lobby. It was always a thrilling venue to perform in. L to R…Ole Johnson, Ed Sehn, Klaas Craats

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

Another photo of the Cavaliers playing at the Henderson Lake Pavilion in Lethbridge in 1966. L to R….Klaas Craats, Dale Descoteau, who replaced Ron Mayer, on drums, Ed Sehn. The band wore custom made green corduroy suits made by tailor Harry Post, sax player for The Evening Reign.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This is another shot , although very grainy, of the Cavaliers at the Henderson lake Pavilion in Lethbridge in 1966. L to R..Ed Sehn, Dale Descoteau(drums), Drew Shand, Ole Johnson. Notice the high end organ stand.

Audio Clip:  My Little Red Book. This song was taped using one microphone and was actually used as a prerecorded track on a TV show for CHAT TV. Vocals Ed Sehn, Klaas Craats, Drew Shand …..guitars Klaas Craats and Ed Sehn, organ Drew Shand, bass Ole Johnson, drums Dale Descoteau.

My Little Red Book (audio)

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This is an October 1965 calendar that recorded the booking schedule of the Chat TV Cavaliers. Of mild interest is the rather unusual Monday October 11 Thanksgiving Day booking. In those days entertainment was forbidden on Sunday but you could start at 12:01AM on Monday. This dance would have started at 12:01AM and likely went until about 4:00AM, which was a very common practice on long weekends, especially in the resorts like Waterton Park and Cypress Park. One has to wonder what would make a hundred people want to come out to a dance that started at midnight in a town like Bassano. The band made $51.00 before expenses, which was a decent night’s work!!

 

Ed Sehn
Ed Sehn

Ed Sehn in 1966. ( See Ed Sehn- Roy Vossler- Wally Vossler) After the Cavaliers Ed continued to be very active in the Medicine Hat music scene. While going to school in Edmonton he played with various groups there and , on his return to Medicine Hat he picked up playing again and continues to do so today.

Drew Shand
Drew Shand

Drew Shand as a Cavalier in 1966. Drew joined the band 1n 1965 to add to the traditional 3 guitars lineup because many of the current pop groups had organ players. After moving to Calgary Drew was very active in the music scene and later spent several years on the road with acts like Stratus and Louis Dimas. Klaas and Drew hooked up again in Calgary and went on the road playing with Luis Dimas, a ball of fire South American entertainer.  Drew moved on to Victoria where he continued to play solo piano in places like the Empress Hotel and numerous piano lounges.

Ole Johnson
Ole Johnson

 Dale Descoteau

Ole Johnson in 1966. After leaving Medicine Hat for Calgary he hooked up again with Klaas Craats where they played all the local beer halls like The Westgate, The Highlander and the Airliner  . They played together in a very popular cabaret band, the Klaas Craats Six, then toured together in the show group Stratusfaction. Ole ( now known as Gus Johnson) still plays the occasional gig.

Dale Descoteau
Dale Descoteau

Dale Descoteau took over on drums from Ron Mayer in the Cavaliers in 1965 and played  with them through 1966 after which he went to University and went on to work for the city of Medicine Hat as a career.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

One of the few shots of the Chat TV Cavaliers circa 1966, taken in Studio A of CHAT TV.    L to R….Drew Shand, Klaas Craats, Dale Descoteau, Ed Sehn, Ole Johnson. Don’t know where the guitars just under the chin look came from!! The guitars had all had the original finish stripped off and then painted matching blue….unaltered these guitars would be worth a small fortune today. This line up did a number of TV appearances on CHAT TV and was probably the first group to use pre recorded audio , which was a vast improvement on the old method of playing live through one microphone. The audio tapes for two shows worth of material is still around and  below is an example.Today it is possible to have almost unlimited tracks to record but this session was done on a Grundig 2 track machine using only one microphone. What that means is , if one guitarist is too loud he has to turn down, if the drummer is too loud he has to play quieter or  move further back , if one vocalist is too loud he has to move further from the mic. There is no capability to mix anything down later so the chosen take has to be perfect and may require a great number of takes. Personel on the recording….Guitars and vocals Ed Sehn, Klaas Craats, bass Ole Johnson, organ and vocals Drew Shand, drums Dale Descoteau.

Secret Agent Man (Audio)

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This poster was used by the Cavaliers in 1966 and shows it was now a five piece band with the addition of Drew Shand. The caricatures on the bottom were drawn by the group’s  ex drummer Ron Mayer.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This is a Christmas card that was sent out to clients and friends by the Cavaliers in 1966. It was designed by Medicine Hat News artist Darwin Lee.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

This is  an income  accounting for the Cavaliers in 1963, which indicates that the music industry was certainly a path to great riches. Ha, Ha!! On the other hand, taken in the context of the times, it showed  that 4 young teenagers could make a considerable amount of money doing what they loved to do. Keep in mind that gas cost 30 cents a gallon and you could get a complete meal at the Husky for $1.25. These records were meticulously kept for almost 4 years.

The Cavaliers
The Cavaliers

Some grim reality….these are members of the Cavaliers as they look today. L to R….Ole(Gus) Johnson, Klaas Craats., Ed Sehn and below left  Ron Mayer….below right   Drew Shand

Drew Shand
Drew Shand

 

Ron Mayer
Ron Mayer