A number of our readers likely won't remember just how big a group Trooper was in its day, but the Vancouver group helmed by guitarist Ra(mon) McGuire and guitarist Brian "Smitty" Smith has been raising hell now for more than four decades.
The duo released a few recordings early on under the name Applejack, then signed as Trooper with Randy Bachman's short lived Legend imprint and released an eponymously titled debut album that included the hits "Baby Woncha Please Come Home" and "General Hand Grenade."
After moving from Legend to MCA Records, Trooper added Sam Feldman as their manager, and brought in Frank Ludwig on keyboards. Their 1975 debut album was followed by Two for the Show in 1976, which was certified Gold in Canada. The album contained the hits "Two for the Show", and "Santa Maria".
Trooper's third studio album. Knock 'Em Dead Kid, was released in 1977 and became the group's first Canadian Platinum record. This album contained the hits "We're Here For A Good Time (Not A Long Time)", and "Oh, Pretty Lady".
In 1978 Thick As Thieves went double-platinum and featured the group's only successful US single, "Raise A Little Hell". This album also contained the hits "Round, Round We Go" and "The Moment That It Takes", both of which were sung by keyboardist Frank Ludwig.
Trooper's fifth studio album, Flying Colors, was released in 1979, and contained the hits "Three Dressed Up as a Nine", and the band's highest-charting single to date, "Janine", which pushed the album to attain Double-Platinum status.
The band's 1979 album, Hot Shots, broke all records for Canadian sales of a Canadian album, reaching Quadruple-Platinum status. Hot Shots was a greatest hits album containing remixes of all of the most popular songs from Trooper's first five studio albums. "The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car" (originally released on Two for the Show in 1976), became a hit single upon the release of Hot Shots.
Since then the band has continued to write, record and tour extensively during the summer months. In 2012, McGuire and Smith were presented with the SOCAN National Achievement Award, which is presented to members who have had outstanding success, predominantly in the Canadian music industry, over the span of their career. They also received three SOCAN Classic Awards for "Raise A Little Hell", "General Hand Grenade", and "Janine."
It's been one heck of a journey for the lads who raised more than a little hell and continue to raise the banner at festivals decades later. It's also noteworthy that the friendship between Sam Feldman, Ra and Smitty has remained, even as business partners after all these years.
Sam, of course, has gone on to build a dynasty with S.L. Feldman & Associates, a partnership with fellow Vancouverite Bruce Allen. Today, Sam oversees his agency and management business and with Steve Macklam personally manages a small stable of acts including James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Ry Cooder, and newcomer Jordan Smith--the recent winner of NBC's The Voice.