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by Brenda L. Madden
Brenda L. MaddenOutlaws and Country Music have gone hand in hand for quite some time, but exactly where did it all begin? While most remember the big outlaw surge in the mid-70s by Waylon and Willie, The Country Cavaleers were years ahead. The long-haired anti-drug duo, James Marvell and Buddy Good, donned cowboy hats and shocked the country music community with their traditional country sound.

Founding member, James Marvell’s musical career spans the genres of pop, country and gospel. His first taste of success came with his garage band, The Skopes in 1965. That teenage band also included, Buddy Good, the other founding member of The Country Cavaleers. With the assistance of manager/producer, John Centinaro, The Skopes released their first single, “She’s Got Bad Breath” on USA Records, but just as the song was catching on, it was banned by Scope for trademark infringement. That brush with success and a thirst for more, led

James and Buddy to begin recording with the band Mercy. "Love Can Make You Happy" was a million-seller and Mercy found themselves ranking in Billboard’s Top 10 alongside the legends - The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra.

Despite their success in the pop market, James began missing his early country music roots. At the age of 12, he learned to play guitar, eventually meeting Bobby Bare’s Uncle Johnny, who taught James about country music. However, during his formative teenage years, the pull to rock ‘n roll was too much and it led him down that musical path first, but his desire to play and sing country music returned as it did for his singing partner, Buddy Good.

So the two musicians headed to Nashville
, where they secured a recording deal with MGM Records and a booking agreement with Buddy Lee Attractions. However, when they got to Nashville, they didn’t conform to the conservative country music image of the time…they kept their long hair and modern outfits…added in cowboy hats and a traditional country music sound. With that contemporary look and traditional musical style – they met resistance from within the industry, but garnered the respect of fellow artists. As Grand Ole Opry Member, Jean Shepard stated, “In 1970, James & Buddy (The Country Cavaleers) had a style of music and appearance unlike anything at that time and in my opinion they were the first country music outlaws.”

James continued his musical journey with solo recordings in the 80s and in the 90s found success in the Christian Country market with appearances on gospel networks CTN, TCT and TBN. Over the years, he also developed his talent as a jewelry designer selling his creations to legends such as Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Bill Monroe and Willie Nelson.

Despite a musical career full of ups and downs and twists and turns, James Marvell has no regrets. His song, “Urban Cowboys, Outlaws & Cavaleers,” released through Colt Records in Nashville is a respectful tribute to Waylon, Willie and that great era in Country Music. It is being aired on The Texas Music Radio Show TXMRS.COM, The GhostRider C&W Country Music Show in the UK and showing up on many playlists and charts like IndieWorld Country and reporting stations. Marvell has interviews scheduled with Radio Host Jerry Mac of the CMP Network and Gerald Gaule of the powerful 102.5 Outlaw Country FM in Camas, Washington. In 1971 CMA stated in an article that The Country Cavaleers "...had scored a 'First' in the world of Country Music."

James Marvell, who feels this is one of the better articles written on
The Country Cavaleers can be found at:

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