Classic Rock Wiki

The Routers were an American instrumental group in the early 1960s.



  • 1 Career
  • 2 Members
  • 3 Discography
  • 4 References


Formed in 1962 by Michael Z. Gordon,[1][2] the Routers'[3] recordings sometimes used session musicians in addition to the actual group with the exception of Gordon who also formed another successful group, the Marketts.[4] Gordon composed another award-winning composition, "Out Of Limits"[5] with the Marketts. Gordon played on almost all of the Routers and Marketts sessions.[citation needed] The original line-up of the group was Al Kait, lead guitar; Lynn Frasier, tenor saxophone; Michael Zane Gordon, rhythm guitar, vocals; Scott Walker (then recording as Scott Engel), bass guitar; Randy Viers, drums.[6]

The Routers first release in September 1962 was the guitar-driven instrumental "Let's Go (Pony)",[3] which reached #19 on the Billboard chart. Its infectious “clap clap clap-clap-clap clap-clap-clap-clap Let's Go!" chant became a favorite of cheerleaders and crowds worldwide. Although the songwriting credits are given to local singer Lanny Duncan and his brother Robert Duncan, Lanny Duncan had previously recorded the original demo of the song in 1961 as a member of the Starlighters, featuring Tony Valentino on guitar and Jody Rich on bass. The demo was recorded in Glendale with engineer Eddie Brackett.[7][8] Valentino and Rich would go on to form The Standells in 1962.

The Routers'[3] recording was instigated by record producer Joe Saraceno and his co-producer record producer and composer Michael Z. Gordon,[9] who went on to compose "Apologize" by Ed Ames.[10] Like manypop instrumentals recorded in Los Angeles, California, at this time, such as those by B. Bumble and the Stingers, it involved Gordon (guitar)[citation needed], Plas Johnson (saxophone) and Earl Palmer (drums), probably with Plas’ brother Ray Johnson on bass guitar as well as Tommy Tedesco on guitar.

Later Routers recordings were also written by Gordon,[9] including the songs "A-ooga" and "Big Band". Their recordings continued to be issued up to 1964 but with less commercial success, and involved Gordon (guitar)[citation needed], Leon Russell (piano) and Hal Blaine (drums). The same group also recorded over the same period as the Marketts. Various studio and touring versions of the band also included Gordon, Randy Viers, and Scott Engel (later of the Walker Brothers).


Original line-up
  • Al Kait - lead guitar
  • Lynn Frasier - tenor saxophone
  • Michael Zane Gordon - rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Scott Walker - bass guitar
  • Randy Viers - drums.[6]
Later line-up
  • Michael Zane Gordon - guitar[citation needed]
  • Leon Russell - piano
  • Hal Blaine - drums


Studio albums
  • Let's Go! With The Routers (Warner Bros. Records, 1963)
  • The Routers Play 1963's Great Instrumental Hits (Warner Bros. Records, 1963)
  • The Routers Play The Chuck Berry Song Book (Warner Bros. Records, 1965)
  • Superbird (Mercury, 1973)
  • "Let's Go (Pony)" b/w "Mashy" (1962)
  • "Make It Snappy" b/w "Half Time" (1963)
  • "Sting Ray" b/w "Snap Happy" (1963)
  • "Crack Up" b/w "Let's Dance" (1964)
  • "Stamp And Shake" b/w "Ah-Ya" (1964)