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From the Land of Band Box Records

From Denver’s Band Box to the Big Time!

Van Trevor Publicity Shot

Joel Whitburn’s “Billboard Hot Country Songs” places his date of birth as November 12th, 1940 and his place of birth as Lewiston, Maine.  His Band Box debut was in 1966 with some of his first country recordings.  Prior to that he had been a rocker.  His birth name was Robert Frances Boulanger – a name he frequently used for production and writing credits.  Below is a photo of Van from his Memorial Page photo album – taken in 1953.

Bobby Boulanger would first record on the Swan label as a member of The Saturday Knights.  They would release two singles as a group – Swan 4075 “Ticonderoga” b/w “Tiger Lily” in April or May of 1961.  This release probably was recorded in the same session with The Saturday Knights backing Freddy Cannon on his national hit “Buzz-Buzz Buzz A-Diddle It” (#51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1961).

Their second single was Swan 4081 “Texas Tommy” b/w “Ticonderoga” recorded in September of 1961.  The Swan sides were all composed by Saturday Knight band members with Bob Boulanger contributing to all.  The band is shown below performing at “Twistland” in Connecticut.  The group would release records on multiple labels as the Saturday Knights with Van and then backing him.

His recording output for Band Box Records in Denver included Band Box 367 “Born to be In Love With You” b/w “It’s So Good to Be Loved”, Band Box 371 “Our Side” b/w “When You’ve Lost Your Baby” and Band Box 374 “Fool Called Me” b/w “He’s Losing His Mind”.  He also teamed up with Penny (DeHaven) Starr and Johnny Dollar to release Band Box 373 “Christmas in the Country” b/w “Holiday Driving – Holiday Safety” – which sounds like a public service release.  This makes sense since the Penny Starr releases on Band Box are cataloged in number sequence very close to Van Trevor’s.

Van often worked with country music composer Hank Hunter and was produced on the Band Box session by noted country personality Dick Heard.

His first release “Born to Be in Love With You” would go on to the national Billboard Hot Country Charts in April of 1966 reaching a peak of #22 – with a chart run of 18 weeks, his biggest hit record during his six-year run on the charts.  “Our Side” would also chart nationally for Van and Band Box – coming in at #27 in the late part of 1966 with a 13 week run.

I think he probably had a single recording session with Band Box in the early part of 1966 producing Band Box 367 – and that session probably included both Penny Starr and Johnny Dollar joining in for the Christmas single.

There is a lengthy – in-depth article on his Memorial Site which I was excited about – thinking it would talk about his Band Box recording sessions.  He only talks about his song that he composed with Hank Hunter “Born to Be in Love With You” (Band Box 367) but doesn’t speak at all about the recording session – Band Box  or Denver.  Most likely, as was the case  with other country artists his Band Box sessions were conducted in another town possibly his home state of West Virginia and of course, possibly Nashville.

Van Trevor also released a very hard-to-find Band Box LP “Come On Over to Our Side”.  Note that Penny Starr’s “A Grain of Salt” is included on this LP.

From Band Box it was onto a new label – Date in 1967 and finally Royal American in 1969 up until the end of his hit string in 1971.  At the end of this page is a YouTube video with Van performing “A Fling of the Past” on Vivid Records.  The Post reports that he was backed on this cut by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons!  The record is definitely a play for the Pop market.  The back-up voices don’t sound like the Four Seasons – but they could be in there somewhere.  This release must have been after Band Box and probably before his Date recording sessions.

Van passed away in 2006.

The following note was sent in by Van Trevor’s daughter:  “I enjoyed reading this article as this is my dad. I did not know a lot about his music career due to by the time I was born he had stopped singing. Thank you for sharing his history with the world.” – Monica L. Boulanger-Williams

This comment arrived in December, 2014 from Trevor friend Paul Payton:

“This page is an unexpected treat! Thank you. I hadn’t realized that Van had died so long ago; my condolences. I have associations of him with Connecticut, both as a rocker and a country artist. When Our Side came out, he was kind enough to do a verse of it as a custom jingle for me when I was working on WHIM in Providence RI. He was a really nice guy.

I’m looking for one he did on Canadian American, “The Girl From The Main Street Diner,” which was always a personal favorite. You or one of your readers wouldn’t happen to have an mp3 you could send, would you?!? Google Presence Productions to get an e-mail link if you have it. Thanks!”

This from one time Saturday Knight band member Bob Cosgrove (received January 19th, 2014):

“My name is bob cosgrove. I played drums for bobby. With a group we formed called the Saturday knights. Bob Crewe named our band.  At first we were called the joy riders from new Britain, CT. We recorded for the Swan recording label. I remember Chubby Checker walked into our session. We were recording Ticonderoga. Monica please contact me on facebook Robert Cosgrove Sr.. Or my email bobcos@cox.net thank you cos.b”

The Saturday Knights singles are pictured below.

Van Trevor – on right – March 1964

Trebor Van?

From the Van Trevor Facebook photo collection

45 – Band Box 367 – It’s So Good To Be Loved By You b/w Born To Be In Love With You – 1966

Band Box 367 - Trevor, Van - It's Good to Be Loved Band Box 367 - Trevor, Van - Born to Be In Love With You

45 – Band Box 371 – Our Side b/w When You’ve Lost Your Baby – 1966

Band Box 371 - Trevor, Van - Our Side Band Box 371 - Trevor, Van - When You've Lost Your Baby

45 – Band Box 374 – He’s Losing His Mind b/w A Fool Called Me – 1967

Band Box 374 - Trevor, Van - He's Losing His Mind Band Box 374 - Trevor, Van - A Fool Called Me

45 – Band Box 373 – Christmas in The Country b/w Christmas Greetings by Trevor, Starr and Dollar – 1966

BAND BOX 373 (2) BAND BOX 373 (1)

45 – Swan 4075 – “Ticonderoga” b/w “Tiger Lily” – Van as a member of the Saturday Knights – April, 1971

SWAN 4075 A - SATURDAY KNIGHTS SWAN 4075 cA - SATURDAY KNIGHTS

Swan 4081 – “Texas Tommy” b/w “Ticonderoga” – September, 1971

SWAN 4081 - SATURDAY NIGHTS A

45 – Swan 4071 – (Backing Freddy Cannon) – Buzz Buzz A-Diddle It” – April, 1961

SWAN 4071 A - CANNON AND SATURDAY NIGHTS

45 – Nocturne 1030 – Sea Mist b/w Queen of the Nile – (Year Unknown)

NOCTURNE - SATURDAY KNIGHTS A BW SEA MIST B NOCTURNE - SATURDAY KNIGHTS A BW SEA MIST

45 – Atlantic 2175 – Tuesday Girl b/w I Want to Cry – 1963

ATLANTIC 2175 - TREVOR VAN - DJ 1963 BATLANTIC 2175 - TREVOR VAN - DJ 1963 A

Atlantic 2175 - Trevor, Van - Tuesday Girl

45 – Vivid 1084 – A Fling Of The Past b/w C’Mon Now Baby – August, 1963

VIVID 1004 - TREVOR VAN - 1963 A VIVID 1004 - TREVOR VAN - 1963 B

45 – Canadian American 181 – Satisfaction is Guaranteed b/w Louisiana Hot Sauce – November, 1964 (backed by the Saturday Knights out of New Britain, CT)

TREVOR VAN - CANADIAN AMERICAN 181 ATREVOR VAN - CANADIAN AMERICAN 181 B

45 – Corsican 138 – Satisfaction Guaranteed – b/w Louisiana Hot Sauce – 1964 (backed by the Saturday Knights out of New Britain, CN).

CORSICAN 138 - TREVOR VAN - 1964 ACORSICAN 138 - TREVOR VAN - 1964 B

45 – Date 1565 – You’ve Been Good to Me – b/w Sunday Morning – July, 1967

DATE 1565 - TREVOR VAN - 67 PS A DATE 1565 - TREVOR VAN - 67 PS B

DATE 1565 - TREVOR VAN - DJ 67 A DATE 1565 - TREVOR VAN - DJ 67 B

DATE 1565 - TREVOR VAN - 67 A

45 – Date 1594 – Guitar b/w Take Me Along with You – March, 1968

TREVOR VAN - DATE 1594 BTREVOR VAN - DATE 1594 A

45 – Royal American 280 – The Things That Matter b/w Band of Gold – 1968

ROYAL AMERICAN 280 - TREVOR VAN - 1968 A ROYAL AMERICAN 280 - TREVOR VAN - 1968 B

45 – Royal American 289 – Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings b/w Daddy’s Little Man – 1969

ROYAL AMERICAN 289 - TREVOR VAN 1969 A ROYAL AMERICAN 289 - TREVOR VAN 1969 B

45 – Royal American RA 9A – Luziana River b/w Sweet Diana – 1970

ROYAL AMERICAN 9 - TREVOR VAN - 1970 A ROYAL AMERICAN 9 - TREVOR VAN - 1970 B

LP – Band Box 1001 – Come On Over to Our Side – 1966

Band Box LP - Van TrevorTrevor - Band Box LP 1001 - Van Trevor - Come On Over to Our Side F (2)

Trevor - Band Box 1001 SD1 - Trevor, Van - Come On Over to Our Side (1) Trevor - Band Box 1001 SD1 - Trevor, Van - Come On Over to Our Side (2)

Van Trevor Photos

These are all from the Van Trevor Memorial Site.

Van in 1953 – At What Age?

Van in Connecticut’s “Twistland” 1963

Early session – Where was this Studio?

Van Trevor and a Country Star? 1967 – Probably a year after Band Box

Listen to Trevor Van perform on YouTube:

17 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading this article as this is my dad. I did not know a lot about his music career due to by the time I was born he had stopped singing. Thank you for sharing his history with the world.
    Monica L. Boulanger-Williams

    • Monica – Thanks for getting in touch. I always love hearing from a family member from any of the artists who released songs on Band Box. In the beginning of putting this site together I assumed that probably your father along with the late Penny Starr probably recorded at about the same time here in Denver – But I have come to learn that often the owner of Band Box – Vicky Morosan – traveled and made connections with performers in various other states besides Colorado – and traveled into the South where I am assuming she was able to contract sides from your father as well as Penny. Ironically both artists charted nationally early in their careers with Band Box releases on the Country Charts. Your father of course with “Born To Be In Love With You” on Band Box 367 (#22 and on the charts for 18 weeks in 1966) and then with “Our Side” (also 1966 – #27 and on charts for 13 weeks.) Then he moved on to Date Records and finally Royal American. I am guessing that your father knew country singer/writer Johnny Dollar who shared a release with your father on Band Box and also recorded on the Date label for a while.

      Thanks again!

  2. This page is an unexpected treat! Thank you. I hadn’t realized that Van had died so long ago; my condolences. I have associations of him with Connecticut, both as a rocker and a country artist. When Our Side came out, he was kind enough to do a verse of it as a custom jingle for me when I was working on WHIM in Providence RI. He was a really nice guy.

    I’m looking for one he did on Canadian American, “The Girl From The Main Street Diner,” which was always a personal favorite. You or one of your readers wouldn’t happen to have an mp3 you could send, would you?!? Google Presence Productions to get an e-mail link if you have it. Thanks!

  3. Not sure if was mentioned but I would think that he was born in 1940 as I believe he wrote songs for the Four Seasons in 1963 (“That’s The Only Way” and that would have made him only14?)

  4. 14 seems young, but it’s possible. Tommy Roe was 16 when “Sheila” hit #1, but he had recorded it two years earlier (at 14) on Todd Records. (It’s a right fine track, too – somewhat different than the hit version but definitely with its own charm.)

  5. My name is bob cosgrove. I played dums for bobby. With a group we formed called the Saturday knights. Bob crew named our band, at first we were called the joy riders from new Britain conn. We recorded for the swan recording label. I remember chubby checker walked into our session. We were recording Ticonderoga. Monica please contact me on facwbook Robert cosgrove sr.. Or my email bobcos@cox.net thank you cos.b

    • Thanks Bob – This is great information and I have added the two Swan singles by The Saturday Knights on Van’s page (Swan 4075 and Swan 4081).

  6. Bob, one of my favorite records is by The Saturday Knights: “Sea Mist” on Nocturne. Just gorgeous – it grabbed my ears when I first heard it and it still does. Thank you especially for that one.

    • Paul – have you seen a copy of “Sea Mist” – Would like to get an image of both sides if possible some time – Must be pretty obscure

  7. I have it at home – I special-ordered the record when it was new. I first heard it on tiny WDEE in Hamden, CT, when new – and never again on the air. I’ll be back in a week and can photograph it then. It’s the perfect “last dance at the prom” song. I may also be able to upload it as well.

  8. Craig, please send your e-mail address to paul [at] paulpayton [dot] com. I have a dub of Sea Mist and its flip side, Queen of The Nile, that I can send you. I also have a dub of Girl from The Main Street Diner if you’d like it. I don’t have a label scan of my own at the moment, but there’s one posted here: http://collectorsfrenzy.com/details/220886185915/SATURDAY_KNIGHTS_Queen_of_the_Nile_45_rare_1962_surf_rock_instrumental
    Sea Mist is THE side; they don’t make ’em like this anymore, but it sure is pretty!

  9. PS – Queen of the Nile is scanned here: http://www.popsike.com/EXOTICA-TITTYSHAKER-QUEEN-OF-THE-NILE-THE-SATURDAY-KNIGHTS-listen-hear/170844964488.html Talk about a low-budget label design….!

    Does anyone know if anything else ever was released on Nocturne? I believe songwriter Jimmy Krondes owned all or part of label, possibly in partnership with Karl Hammel, Jr. (“Summer Souvenirs”).

  10. I have seen two different dates of birth for Bob, 1940, and 1949. Based on the picture on this blog in 1953, I would think 1940 is most likely correct. That would make sense as well based on his 1963 successes which would have made him 23 at that time. The picture at Twistland Connecticut in 1963 makes the 1940 birthdate more likely.
    I grew up in New Britain Connecticut and would love to see a post from Monica about any ties she may have to New Britain or from Bob Cosgrove helping to explain the chronology. Bob Boulanger aka Van Trevor has left a terrific music legacy. Fling of the Past is so smooth and as the saying goes, it should have been a big hit.
    wonderful blog
    Fran Cavallo

    • Hello Fran – Thanks for getting in touch – I have forwarded your Post to Monica and perhaps she will respond direct – I last heard from her in 2014 – I agree – Van was very talented and departed far too soon.

  11. Does anyone know if Van Trevor ever wrote poetry? I believe he was once in Omaha Nebraska around 1963 and I took him on a tour of the local radio stations. At that time I was an illustrator and He shared a copy of some of his poems for me to illustrate. I never followed up with him to my regret. If anyone wants them and can give me a valid reason, I still have them, bound in a leather folder.

  12. I have been in touch wit hhis daughter. Monica I suspect she would like that poetry

  13. My Name is Rikk Anderson and I played Drums for Van back in 1967. We were on tour with Johnny Dollar, Penny Starr (deHaven) thr tour was called Country Time Review. Van was always kind to me. And I’ll never forget him. Great memories!

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