The Echoes

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The Echoes were an English musical group established in London in early 1960 by singer Chris Wayne for the Conway Twitty, Johnny Preston and Freddy Cannon tour of Great Britain. The Echoes were originally made up from "The Spacemen skiffle group," which were Joe Brown (singer) skiffle group. Joe was a regular on Boy Meets Girls, a television show with Marty Wilde. The Spacemen had no other work while Joe was contracted to do the show, so they were able to do this tour with Chris Wayne as "The Echoes". Original line up was: Chris Wayne (vocals), Tony Oakman (rhythm guitar), George Staff (rhythm guitar), Peter Oakman (bass), Bert Crome (drums). As Joe Brown was usually the lead guitarist, another one had to be found for the tour: Dave Burns (lead guitar).

After the tour, The Echoes disbanded with Tony Oakman, George Staff, Peter Oakman, Bert Crome returning to Joe Brown as his group, The Bruvvers. Later Peter Oakman would go on to play bass for Lonnie Donegan, which he did until Lonnie's death. Chris Wayne continued to work solo; Dave Burns went to work with Wee Willie Harris in Italy.

(1961) Chris Wayne had another tour, this time with Gene Vincent, so he decided to reform The Echoes. Chris had a drummer, Laurie Jay, but needed guitar, piano and bass. The Dynamos agreed to do this tour as The Echoes, as they had recently parted from Sonny Stewart. The Dynamos became The Echoes to accompany Gene Vincent when he visited Britain at the beginning of 1961. The line up of this group was Laurie Jay (drums), Tony Collins (guitar), Les Smith (piano) and Douggie Reece (bass). During this tour Tony Collins had a car accident and was unable to continue. For the remainder of the tour he was replaced by Big Jim Sullivan (originally from Marty Wilde's Wildcats and later Musical Director for Tom Jones) on guitar.

After such a successful tour, it was decided to continue The Echoes, as with their ability to stand alone as a band and to also play for other artists, plenty of work, including touring, was assured. Les Smith (piano) left the group after the tour to continue his career as an architect. His replacement was Ian Hines (piano), brother of Frazer Hines who played Jamie in the Doctor Who television series. Tony Collins (guitar) was unable to continue due to the car accident, so interim guitarists Billy Kuy (ex- Mike Berry & The Outlaws)and Vic Briggs(later with Eric Burdon & The Animals) were used until a permanent guitarist could be found. This was Dave Burns who had just returned from Italy and was also a founder member of the original group. Ian Hines (piano) went to work in Hamburg and was replaced in 1961 by Perry Ford, a very talented musician/singer/songwriter. Perry left in early 1962 to pursue his own career. He would have his own hits a few years later with a group called The Ivy League. Records: "Funny How Love Can Be" and "Tossing and Turning". Ian Hines returned from Hamburg and came back to the group. New Year's Eve 1961 The Echoes accompanied Bert Weedon on the popular television show "Sunday Night at the London Palladium"


(1962) The Echoes had one last show to do on The Jerry Lee Lewis tour at The Tower Ballroom New Brighton playing for Jerry Lee Lewis, when Laurie Jay left the group. A drummer was needed that night, so a local drummer was brought in; this was Ringo Starr who had just returned from Hamburg playing for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. Laurie Jay went into management, later becoming the manager for Billy Ocean and Shirley Bassey. On returning to London, Tommy Frost then became The Echoes' new drummer. After this tour Ian Hines also left for Hamburg again, and was replaced by Ray Murray on keyboards.

(May 1962) The Echoes line up at this time was now: Tommy Frost (drums), Dave Burns (guitar), Ray Murray (keyboards), and Douggie Reece (bass).

(September 1963) After 18 months of heavy work, recording and a summer season (1962) on the Isle of Mann, and another in Jersey (1963), some of the band members decided to pursue their own dreams. Dave Burns went on to form a duo with his wife. Tommy Frost decided to stay in Jersey for a while. Pete Clifford from the Jesters took Dave Burns' place on guitar. Shortly after the group returned to London, Ray Murray left to go back to Scotland.

Audition Dusty Springfield:-

The audition to play for Dusty was with Douggie Reece (bass), Micky Garrett (organ), Martin Gibbs (stand-in drummer for Tommy Frost) and Pete Clifford (lead guitar). After the audition, Bob Wackett replaced Tommy Frost on drums.

In 1963 Dusty's first Echoes were:

Douggie Reece (bass), Micky Garrett (keyboards), Bob Wackett(drums), Pete Clifford (guitar). Throughout 1964 many shows were done with Dusty (including the tour of Australia with Gerry Marsden and The Pacemakers, Gene Pitney, Brian Poole and The Tremeloes), as well as a tour of America, this time with The Searchers and Eden Kane. Bob Wackett stayed with The Echoes until just before The South African tour December 1964 with Dusty Springfield. His replacement was Johnny Dryden. Between Oct. 1964 and May 1965, Carlo Little was the band's drummer.

(1965) Both Pete Clifford (guitar), Micky Garrett (keyboards) left to form their own group in early 1965. Clifford subsequently played with The 004, Floribunda Rose and The Bats. Their replacements were Vic Briggs (guitar) and Jimmy O'Brien (keyboards).

Dusty wanted to add a front line and more rhythm section to the group, so the line-up became Ian Harper (Trumpet 1), Derek Andrews (Trumpet 2), Derek Wadsworth (Trombone), Tony Scott (Percussion), Vic Briggs (guitar), Jimmy O'Brien (keyboards), Johnny Dryden (drums), Douggie Reece (bass). All the backing vocals were done by the group at this time. Later Dusty would get a female vocal group for most of the big shows. These singers included Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, Lesley Duncan, Kay Garner, plus many others. In 1965 Peter Wolf replaced Johnny Dryden on drums, and in 1966 Gary Boyle replaced Vic Briggs, who left to join 'The Steam Packet'.

(1966) Gary Boyle (guitar), Jimmy O'Brien (keyboards), Peter Wolf (drums), Douggie Reece (bass). Still retaining the brass section, percussion and vocal group. Jimmy O'Brien (keyboards) was replaced by Mike O'Neil, formerly Nero from the group Nero and the Gladiators. Mike O'Neil only stayed a short time, then Ivan Chandler became the new keyboard player. Gary Boyle left The Echoes and took Vic Briggs' position in The Steam Packet when he joined The Animals. Stuart Taylor became The Echoes' guitarist.

(1967) Stuart Taylor (guitarist), Ivan Chandler (keyboards), Peter Wolf (drums), Douggie Reece (bass). Still with the brass section, percussion and vocal group.

(1968) Ivan Chandler (keyboards) was replaced by Chris Sparrow for a short time, then Chris was replaced by Don Shinn on (keyboards). Ivan Chandler subsequently joined Oedipus Complex and Daddy Longlegs, later becoming a very active music producer in England. Chris Sparrow recorded the lead vocal on "Searching for you Baby" while he was with the band. Stuart Taylor left, and Paul Hodgson joined the band. Paul Hodgson (guitarist), Don Shinn (keyboards), Peter Wolf (drums), Douggie Reece (bass). Brass section, percussion and vocal group.

(1969/70) Peter Wolf (drums) left to play in the band for "Hair". Don Burrell then became the last drummer with the Echoes. Don Shinn (keyboards) left and was replaced by Brian Bennett. Paul Hodgson (guitarist), Brian Bennett (keyboards), Don Burrell (drums), Douggie Reece (bass). Brass section, percussion and vocal group. Paul Hodgson (guitarist) then left to join Peter Wolf in The Hair Band. Brian Bennett (keyboards) became musical director for the "Hair" touring company.

(1970/71) Rod Stone (guitar), Tweed Harris (keyboards) both from an Australian group "The Groove (band)" Don Burrell (drums), Douggie Reece (bass). Later in the year The Echoes disbanded.

In 1971 Douggie Reece married Wendy Cook from the Australian top female vocal group Marcie and The Cookies. They went to live in Melbourne Australia and Douggie went on to become a prolific music producer and arranger and has for many years played in The Burlington Lodge Group.

During the period 1959 to 1971, The Echoes toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, playing for various artists and doing the backing on many recordings as well. From 1962 to 1968, The Echoes recorded seven singles in their own right. Some of the artists with whom The Echoes played were: Bobby Allen, The Allisons, The Bachelors, Madeline Bell, Peppi Borza, Tommy Bruce, Freddy Cannon, The Caravelles, The Chantelles, Michael Cox, Rolly Daniels, Kiki Dee, Terry Dean, Vince Eager, Dick Emery, The Four Seasons, Johnny Gentle, Julie Grant, Rolf Harris, Frankie Howard, Eden Kane, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lulu, Susan Maughan, The Monkees, Matt Monro, The Mudlarks, Des O'Connor, Roy Orbison, Paper Dolls, Gene Pitney, Duffy Power, Johnny Preston, Mike Preston, Joan Regan, Danny Rivers, John Rowles, Paul and Barry Ryan, Terry Scott, Screaming Lord Sutch, Helen Shapiro, Dee Dee Sharp, Anne Shelton, Dusty Springfield, Cat Stevens, Vince Taylor, Norma Tanega, Conway Twitty, Ricky Valance, Bobby Vee, Gene Vincent, Bert Weedon, David Whitfield and Mark Wynter.

The Echoes performed on the same bill as virtually every major act in Great Britain in this era.

Discography[edit]

1962.

Cloak & Dagger/Sounds Like Winter. --- Fontana 267254 TF.

1963.

The Happy Whistler/Sticks & Stones. --- Fontana TF 392.

Marchin' Thru/The Jog. --- Fontana TF 415.

1964.

My Little Girl/More. --- Fontana TF 439

Don't you Believe Them/Over You. --- Philips BF

1966.

Got to Run/Thanks a lot. --- Philips BF 1480

1967.

Stick to me Like Glue. (Not Released)

1968.

Searching for you Baby/Listen to me Baby --- Philips BF 1683

Other Artists:

Bert Weedon

1961

China Doll/Red Guitar --- H.M.V. Pop 946.

1962

Bobby Allen

Your Cheating Heart/I'll Forget About You. --- Fontana 267252 TF

1963

Bert Weedon

Night Cry/Charlie Boy --- H.M.V. Pop 1141

Bobby Allen

Here Comes the Bride/Nothing's Impossible --- Fontana TF 401

Wendy Walker

Window Shopping/ There Ain't a Boy in the World. --- Decca F-11573

Boys will be Boys/ Casanova ---Decca F-11671

The Triffids

Lookin' Around/ She's no Longer your Girl --- Columbia DB 7084

Frazer Hines

Wallaby Sue --- Planet MPA 555

Dusty Springfield

1964

Can I Get a Witness --- Philips BF 12564

1965

Middle of Nowhere --- Philips BF 1418

L.P. Ev'rything's Coming up Dusty --- Philips SRBL 102

Won't Be Long

La Bamba

If It Don't work Out

I Can't Hear you no more

Packin' Up

1966

Little By Little --- Philips BF 1466

Every Ounce of Strength --- Philips BF 1482

Go Ahead On --- Philips BF 1510

1967

Take me for a Little While --- Philips SBL 7737

Other Tracks:

Needle in a Haystack --- (Something Special CD)

Heartbeat --- (Pearls & Rarities CD)

Other tracks recorded for radio and television have been released on other CD's.

References[edit]

  • "Dusty" by Lucy O'Brien pub: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. 1989
  • "Dancing with Demons" by Penny Valentine & Vicki Wickham pub: Hodder & Stoughton 2000 –
  • "The Complete Dusty Springfield" by Paul Howes pub: Reynolds & Hearn 2001
  • "50 Years of British Pop" The 20th Century in Pictures pub: Press Association/ Ammonite Press

External links[edit]

Record Mirror, 9 April 1966