Meet The Monarchs



David Owen
David is the newest Monarch joining the group in 2009. Besides playing keyboards and trombone, he is one of the featured vocalists adding high harmonies or taking the stage front and center for a solo. His “rock ‘n’ roll” career began early with a band called Rasberry Cream that included the Monarchs’ current drummer, Jeff McAllister.  Dave also played with The Leaves, Inc., Shag, the Wulfe Bros. (for a year) and finally The Fanatics for more than 30 years. David has performed with Bo Diddley, Three Dog Night, and Peter Noone. His musical influences come from all types of music including Rock, R&B, and Southern Gospel.



Paul Turner
Paul joined The Monarchs in 2008 and plays lead guitar and is a vocalists. He also plays drums, piano, bass, banjo, hand percussion and ukulele. Paul grew up in Sacramento, CA and has played regionally with the band Woodwork. He was with the traveling show group Free Fare in the late '70s. Paul has opened for Brewer and Shipley, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Les Paul, Survivor, Pat Travers and The Sons of Champlin.

Paul joined Selah, one of the first Christian rock bands, opening for Petra, and toured across the region. In 1992 Paul played guitar and drums for major Christian artist Ray Boltz on his Season’s Change tour. That same year Paul founded Heads Up Resource Alliance, now Encourage Music, to help others with their musical interests. Paul’s latest CD entitled “Love Outside the Lines” is available at Ear X tacy and Christian book stores and coffee shops around Louisville, as well as through www.encouragemusic.com. Using his own original material, Paul brings a virtual who’s who of Kentuckiana’s Christian and gospel music together, involving over 50 singers and musicians on this substantial project. Recently Turner has found a new musical niche writing and producing songs and jingles for various organizations.



Jeff Mc Allister
Jeff joined The Monarchs in 2006 on drums. Jeff began his drumming career in 1966 playing teen clubs in Tokyo, Japan when his Dad was stationed there in the Air Force. He is a retired road musician and has toured the world with Lonnie Mack, Duke Robillard, Hank Williams,Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Jeff has played on numerous albums, including a Grammy nominated album, " Found True Love" with John Hammond. He has drummed in many musicals including six productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has recorded for " Dateline With Stone Phillips", " NFL On CBS" and has played on enough junkfood commercials to give even healthy people chestpain. Jeff is endorsed by DW Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Drumsticks. He is enjoying his current gig as the only non-singing Monarch...


Greg Middleton
Greg joined The Monarchs in 2001 on keyboards and vocals, although some say the date was in January of 1967 when he was born.  Early music lessons led Greg down the path of being a classically trained organist.  Playing classical songs on the organ did not lead to a lot of popularity until the 7th grade when Greg performed as the accompanist on the pipe organ at St Martin of Tours Church for his school choir from St Martha.  The bus ride home as the only boy with 30 7th and 8th grade girls prove to be motivation to continue performing.  Two months later Greg was playing piano and singing Billy Joel covers for school events and with garage bands.  In 1987 Greg began playing regionally with No Excuse and was selected as a member of the Phoenix Hill All-Star Band.  He has performed as a back up musician with Gene Hughes (The Casinos), Pat Upton (Spiral Staircase), Al Wilson, and Ray Peterson.  Greg is the son of The Monarchs sax player Leon Middleton.



Craig Zirnheld
Craig joined The Monarchs in 1998 as a vocalist and front man.  He was “bitten” by the performance bug at a tender age when he landed the lead part of Santa Claus in a first grade production.  The applause earned during the convincing performance was all it took to persuade the young thespian that the stage is where he belonged.

Junior high and high school brought chorus, a cappella ensembles and stage plays. A couple of trips to Europe and a stint in local summer stock led to auditions and working as a singer, actor, dancer at what is now Paramount’s King Dominion in Richmond, Virginia.  Returning back to Louisville in 1980 began singing with Louisville's own The Mystics from 1982 through 1996.



Leon Middleton
Leon is the business manager and sax player for The Monarchs.  Leon begin performing with The Monarchs in 1962 and has appeared with The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, The Righteous Bros. and many more. With The Monarchs, he has performed with the Louisville Orchestra and for President George W. Bush. 

His professional musical career began with playing clarinet at the VFW on Longfield Ave. in a band he started,The Squires.  They played on Sunday afternoons and would pass the hat.  He purchased an alto sax and at age 15 filled in with various bar bands around the Louisville area where he honed his rock ‘n’ roll skills.  He moved on to play with Jimmy Orten and the Emeralds and The Aztecs in 1961.

As a studio musician, Leon developed a talent for record production.  As President of SaxKing Records, he has produced projects for rock, blues, jazz and Christian acts.  In 2008 he released a CD “Leon Middleton — Solo” that contains many of his favorite instrumentals.  He also produced the CD “The Monarchs Appearing Here Tonight” and co-wrote one of the cuts. 

Louis "Dusty" Miller
Dusty is one of the co-founders of The Monarchs. He started out playing rhythm guitar with the group and in 1962 he swiched to bass guitar.

The History

'The Monarchs: The Great American Rock 'n' Roll Dream'

By Billy Reed
Butler Books
128 pp. plus bonus DVD
$34.95

 

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