Royal Lights Singers

Austin, Texas

Records with Sonobeat in 1971
One commercial 45 RPM release on Sonobeat Records (1971)
One custom 45 RPM release on Sonobeat Records (1971)
Listen! to more below
Sonobeat's only gospel releases, a pair of stereo 45 RPM singles by Austin's Royal Lights Singers (1971)

It's a hot Central Texas summer day – June 25, 1971. Sonobeat Records co-founder and producer Bill Josey Sr. is in session with gospel group the Royal Lights Singers (also sometimes credited as the Royal Light Singers, with no "s" at the end of "Light") at Sonobeat's then-new studios in the KVET Building at 705 North Lamar in Austin. The sessions result in two singles, Will You Be Ready backed with My Rock, that Sonobeat commercially releases as stereo 45 RPM single G-s119, and Creation backed with I Know My Jesus Is Watching, scheduled as Sonobeat release G-s120 but that, for reasons undocumented in the Sonobeat archives, appears never to be commercially released and instead may be a custom pressing for The Royal Lights Singers' direct distribution. In fact, there is no vinyl copy of Creation in the Sonobeat archives, lending credence to our belief that the single is never commercially released by Sonobeat itself.

Although James Polk and the Brothers' 1969 Sonobeat single, Stick-To-It-Ive-Ness, has a gospel groove, The Royal Lights Singers is the only true gospel artist Sonobeat ever records, adding another distinctive musical genre to the label's eclectic output.

The Royal Lights Singers performs at the inaugural 1972 Kerrville Folk Festival, held annually in Kerrville, Texas, about 105 miles west of Austin. The unit goes on to record a single on its own Royal label, I Was There When the Spirit Came backed with Come Out in the Wilderness, but there's no indication in the Sonobeat archives that these tracks are recorded at the Sonobeat studios. An earlier single released in the late '50s or early '60s on New York's Derby Records label, I, John, Saw the Holy Number backed with Lord Will Provide, is credited to the Royal Light Singers. The group, now known as the Sensational Royal Lights and still based in Austin, in 2016 is in its 68th year of performing traditional gospel songs throughout Texas.

Unfortunately, there's nothing more about The Royal Lights Singers in the Sonobeat archives.

Royal Lights Singers personnel

Don Ray Earthman: drums, vocals
Willie C. Franklin, Jr.: guitars, vocals
Other members unidentified

Sonobeat stereo 45 RPM release G-s119 (1971)

"A" side: Will You Be Ready (Willie C. Franklin, Jr.) • 3:13
"B" side: My Rock (Public Domain) • 2:21

July 1971* • G-s119
Produced and engineered by Bill Josey Sr.
Generic sleeve
Recorded at Sonobeat Studios, 705 North Lamar, Austin, Texas, on June 25, 1971
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Scully 280 half-inch 4-track tape deck, Stemco half-inch 4-track tape deck, Ampex AG350 and 354 tape decks, custom 16-channel 4-bus mixing console, custom steel plate stereo reverb, Scotch 202 tape stock
Vinyl collector information for G-s119

Unknown number of copies pressed
Lacquers mastered and vinyl copies pressed by Sidney J. Wakefield & Company, Phoenix, Arizona
Generic sleeve
Label blanks printed by Powell Offset Services, Austin, Texas
In the dead wax:
   Will You Be Ready: BW, G-S119, 3:13, Wakefield tulip logo 15921
   My Rock: BW, G-S199, 2:21, Wakefield tulip logo 15921
   "BW" is believed to be the initials of the mastering engineer at Sidney J. Wakefield & Company
What's that flower-shape in the dead wax? It's the Sidney J. Wakefield logo, stamped into the lacquer masters next to the matrix number.

Sonobeat stereo 45 RPM release G-s120 (1971)

"A" side: Creation • 2:08
"B" side: I Know My Jesus Is Watching • 2:32

July 1971* • G-s120
Produced and engineered by Bill Josey Sr.
Generic sleeve
Recorded at Sonobeat Studios, 705 North Lamar, Austin, Texas, on June 25, 1971
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Scully 280 half-inch 4-track tape deck, Stemco half-inch 4-track tape deck, Ampex AG350 and 354 tape decks, custom 16-channel 4-bus mixing console, custom steel plate stereo reverb, Scotch 202 tape stock

Unreleased Sonobeat recordings

There are no unreleased songs by the Royal Lights Singers in the Sonobeat archives

Listen!
Previous Artist  Next Artist
Sonobeat producer Bill Josey Sr. keeps a protection dub of the Royal Lights Singers gospel single, but the original master tape hasn't been found in the Sonobeat archives
Evidence of the existence of the second Royal Lights Singers Sonobeat single, although the Sonobeat archives contain no copy of the vinyl single itself