Freddie Keil and the Kavaliers Profile

Grant Gillanders
11 May 2013

Samoan-born Freddie Keil had been a long time member of cousin Herma’s Keil Isles group. Just after the Keil Isles changed labels from Zodiac to Viking Records in 1960, a feud between Herma and Freddie saw Freddie leave and start his own new group.

Zodiac Records owner Eldred Stebbing was disappointed to have lost the popular Keil Isles and always held Freddie’s powerful vocal style and showmanship in high regard. He signed Freddie and his as-yet unformed new band, sight (and sound) unseen.

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Freddie Keil
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Freddie Keil and the Kavaliers: Dave Paul, Ian Saxon (guesting), Freddie Keil, Billy Belton, Vic Williams, Brian Smith, Jimmy Murphy and David Smith
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Swing Awhile With Freddy Keil And The Kavaliers - a classic shot of Freddie and his band taken at Potter's Park in Auckland's Balmoral. This album, issued by Zodiac in 1963, collected many of their earlier singles but misspelled Freddie's name on the front sleeve.
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An early lineup
Photo credit: Simon Grigg Collection
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Part of the Freddie Keil and The Kavaliers line-up: David Paul, Jimmy Murphy, Brian Smith, Helga Keil, Bill Belton, and David Smith
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A later line-up of Freddie Keil and The Kavaliers: L to R: Vic Williams, Dave Paul, Freddie Keil, Billy Belton, Jimmy Murphy. Front: Dave Smith, Brian (Tuffy) Smith
Photo credit: Phil Warren Collection
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Members:

Freddie Keil - vocals

Jimmy Murphy - lead guitar

Billy Peters - lead guitar

Billy Belton - rhythm guitar

Brian (Tuffy) - bass

Dave Paul - saxophone

Dave Smith - piano

Vic Williams - drums

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Labels:

Zodiac


RCA


Armar

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Trivia:

Jimmy Murphy ended up in the USA where he works as a musician and producer and is the father of Grammy nominee, country singer Jamie O’Neill.

Vic Williams went on to become a wine expert via a stint with 70s band Salty Dogg.