July 8, 2014

Boogie Oogie Icky

Welcome to another edition of Royals Record Club! It's been too long since we last explored my music collection and its many weird Royals-related songs. Last season we covered some fairly well-known (at least among Royals fans or fans of novelty records) tracks: CW McCall's "Pine Tar Wars" and Terry Cashman's KC version of "Talkin' Baseball."  But it's time to get a little more obscure. It's time to get a little weird. It's time to get a little disco.


The year was 1979. Willie Stargell, Kent Tekulve, and the Pittsburgh Pirates were tearing shit up, winning their fifth World Series accompanied by their theme song "We are Family" by Sister Sledge. Some local Kansas Citians decided to cash in by coming up with their own disco track for their hometown team, and the results were not pretty.

In fact, the 45 I'm going to share today is one of the worst songs in my entire collection. But it's about the Royals, so I do still throw it on the turntable once in a while (usually at the end of a party when I want company to leave). Although I rarely make it through the full three minutes, I will say, as bad as the song is, I'd prefer the Royals play this to "Don't Stop Believin'" any night of the goddamn week.

So what is this song? It's a little one-off disco/lounge sounding piece of shit called "Loyal to the Royals" by a group called The Royal-tees. Who the hell are the Royal-tees? Well, there are about three-hundred t-shirt shops around the country with this name and a couple of small-time local bands with similar names (The Royal Tees and The Royal T's), but there's no information online to be found for the group in question. It's likely this name was slapped on the 45 just because of the Royals song and was never really anything more than a singer and a couple of session musicians, rather than a real band.



However, the names on the 45 provide some clues. The Selltru label is Sellie Truitt, Jr., a former Kansas City Monarchs player and jazz saxophonist. He formed a band in 1939 called The Kings of Rhythm and has played with greats like Charlie Parker, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. From 1947 until 1974 he was a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. Today, he's a 96-year-old Royals fan who still makes baseball-themed music (check out the "Buck O'Neil Dance"), is an advocate for keeping the post office open, and is an avid facebooker



Julie Turner, listed as the writer for the song (and presumably the vocalist), is likely the same Julie Turner that is a jazz singer who often performs with her husband of fifty-one years, drummer Tommy Ruskin. She recently released an album that's available on her website (by that, I mean you have to print off an order form and mail it to her; I guess she's also an advocate for the post office). She does still sing in venues around the Kansas City area, so someone should check her out sometime and ask her if she's really the singer on this record.



Both of these people clearly love Kansas City and its traditions, and "Loyal to the Royals" expresses that sentiment. One of the things that defines me, and I believe defines a lot of people from Kansas City, is loyalty. Why the hell else would we still be Royals fans after the last thirty years?

Still, I can't pretend this is a good song. I really, really, really don't like it. It sounds like disco, lounge music, and a cheerleading chant all rolled into one. It was independently recorded by a retired postal worker in Kansas City in 1979, and it sounds like it. I imagine Sellie and the Royal-tees thought this would become a staple on local radio and at games, but thankfully, good taste prevailed and the track stayed an obscure 45.

Until now.

Without further ado, here is "Loyal to the Royals" by The Royal-Tees. Click on the player below to hear the song in its entirety. Below that, you'll find the lyrics transcribed by me (please appreciate how many times I had to listen to this to get them right).

 

"Loyal to the Royals"

We are loyal
To the fighting Royals
We will be forever true
Cheering for them
Every moment
And loving them
The whole year through

Any town or any city
This will always be
Our team

If they win or lose
Never, never get the blues
Cause we have a great ball team

Loyal
To the fighting Royals
We will always be the same
They will always entertain you
Even if they lose the game
So until that magic moment
When we realize our dreams
Always proudly boast
That the Royals are the most
We love the baseball team

Loyal
To the fighting Royals
(Repeat 5x with weird, breathy emphasis on different words each time)

--------

So there it is, "Loyal to the Royals" by the Royal-tees. I take back what I said about this being better than "Don't Stop Believin'" because I think they're equally terrible.

If you're interested, Sellie Truitt recently released another song on the subject of being loyal to the Royals, and it's actually somehow a million times worse than the Royal-tees song. I doubt it will ever be on record (and I wouldn't buy it if it were), so I'll just share the YouTube video instead.

See if you can make it more than thirty seconds without shutting it off and/or throwing your computer/smartphone/tablet out the window:



Truly upsetting, isn't it?

Go Fighting Royals! We Love The Baseball Team!

3 comments:

  1. Patrick Mann11:14 AM

    I guarantee that this will be on Fescoe's show by weeks-end.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let's hope not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sellie Truitt3:37 AM

    HEY DUDE; My name is Sellie Truitt and I just read your rerport on my compositions. It's great to be in Amertica where you have the ability to express your opinion in writing. I want to correct you on something. Since you have taken it upon yourself to Belittle my compositions this tells me some things about you. I have checked you out and I know quite a bit about you. Now! When the song was wrtitten, Mr. Ewing Kauffman, who as a personal friend of mine, had just just became owner of the Royals. Being a personal friend of mine, We used to Bowl together and I was also his Postman on 40th & Troost. These were lean days for him, getting started in Business, and I used to supply him with Benson Hedges when I delivered the mail to him on 42nd & Troost. MARION LABORATORIES. I was offered the opportunity to invest $100.00 in the Business and become part owner. I bid off the route and he went on to become Invested in the Royals. I composed a song called "LOYAL TO THE ROYALS" and I took it to the stadium to hear. "HERK" ROBINSON talked him out of adopting it as he had a friend along with Radio announcer Mike Murphy, who were pushing another song hoping to be used by the Royals. It was called "KANSAS CITY ROYALS ARE ON THE GO". Mike Murphy put the song on the air in contest and had alerted hundreds of his Friends , apparently, of a Contest between the songs. It was NOT announced. My song, "LOYAL TO THE ROYALS" and the "ROYALS ARE ON THE GO". songs were slipped on the air and a contest announced. It began at 8:00 A.M. and was to last to Noon. By 9:30 A.M. word had gotten out about the contest and calls began pouring in for "LOYAL TO THE ROYALS". and they stopped the contest. For the next three day the station receivedf Hundreds of calls asking why it was NOT announced in advance. The JULIE TURNER/SELLIE TRUITT SONG was far more SUPERIOR. Hit me back and I'll give you some more.

    ReplyDelete

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