The Palace Guard didn't make much of a splash anywhere but Southern California. The band didn't chart nationally, but one of its songs, the folk-rock "Falling Sugar," was well-received regionally. The group debuted on Orange Empire Records, a Los Angeles-based label, with the single "All Night Long." Later, Verve Records picked up distribution rights to "Falling Sugar." The band moved over to Cameo/Parkway Records in 1966 and put out "Greed" and "Saturday's Child."
The Palace Guard consisted of John Beaudoin and his brothers, Dave Beaudoin and Don Beaudoin, and bassist Rick Moser, lead guitarist Chuck McLung, vocalist Mike Conley, and drummer Emitt Rhodes. For a short time just after the band's formation, Don Grady, aka Don Agrati, was also a member. Grady, who would later go on to fame as Robbie Douglas on television's My Three Sons, contributed vocals and played keyboards and drums. He soon became part of a band known as Yellow Balloon. Despite his brief involvement, the band originally was called Don Grady & the Palace Guard.
At one point, the band was named the Emeralds. Members dressed like Buckingham Palace's guards, complete with large furry headgear and military-like uniforms. Their music blended folk-rock songs with a sound derived from the British Invasion. They also covered Beatles tunes, including "It's Only Love." Rhodes, too, contributed some original songs. The Palace Guard found work and a certain level of local fame by performing at Hullabaloo as the Los Angeles night spot's resident band. ~ Linda Seida