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Cosner, Rick (23rd March 1949-20th August 2022)

He was a drummer born Eric James Cosner in Canton Ohio who grew up in Crystal River, Florida.

In 1967 he went to Ocala, Florida where he worked at WWKE radio in various positions where he made it to Program Manager and was called Rick E. Roberts or Rick James when he was on air.  He remained with the station until 1980 and during this time there he used to introduce music and artists to Central Florida such as Neil Diamond’s hit song “Sweet Caroline”, the singer Roger Whittaker and the group KC & The Sunshine Band.

He played with the band Crossfire, was a drummer for the Sugar Bear Band for 30 years and became an alternate drummer for the reunited Royal Guardsmen .

With fellow Guardsman Pat Waddell he had a band around the same time as the first incarnation of The Royal Guardsmen , between 1966 and 1969, called The People’s Will, based in Ocala, Florida.  Influenced by The Beatles , Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Eric Burdon & The Animals, The People’s Will was a cover band which on a typical night performed “House of the Rising Sun”, “I Saw Her Standing There”, and “Proud Mary”.  Dressed to the nines in Nehru jackets, they were a hit on the Florida college circuit.  Although they never broke out like their contemporaries, The Royal Guardsmen , Cosner and Waddell got a chance to join that band around 2005 for a reunion tour.

He co-founded the company Marion Music with fellow musician Skip Wincek, which sold, installed and gave technical support for sound systems.

He unexpectedly passed away at Ocala Regional Hospital in August 2022 when he was 73 years old.

Here are the Royal Guardsmen performing live in 2010…