|Genres||Rock, soft rock|
|Labels||ABC Records, Epic Records|
Wha-Koo were a Los Angeles, California-based soft rock ensemble formed in 1977 under the leadership of singer, song writer and guitarist Danny Douma. Douma assembled an entourage of veteran musicians that included David Palmer, who had sung lead vocals on two tracks of Steely Dan's debut album Can't Buy a Thrill, Nick Van Maarth, from Buddy Holly's backup band, The Crickets, Don Francisco, formerly of Crowfoot and Atlee and British blues man Andy Silvester, formerly of Savoy Brown. L.A.-based session musician Reinie Press, bass player on many of Neil Diamond's most successful recordings, contributed bass and saxophone on two tracks on the band's 1977 debut album, The Big Wha-Koo for ABC Records.
Peter Freiberger replaced Andy Silverster on bass for the band's 1978 album, Berkshire. Produced by Grammy Award winner Ken Caillat, it proved to be the band's most successful release. Berkshire featured "You're Such a Fabulous Dancer", composed by Douma. Although a top ten hit in some international markets, it did little[clarification needed] in the American music charts.
In 1978, Douma left Wha-Koo to pursue a solo career. He released a solo album, Night Eyes, on Warner Bros. Records. The album featured many of the members of Wha-Koo as well as guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Garth Hudson from The Band and several members of Fleetwood Mac. Douma toured with Fleetwood Mac as a supporting act for the remainder of 1979  and then left the music industry soon after. Chuck Cochran replaced Danny Douma on vocals and lead guitar and was with Wha-Koo at two notable appearances in 1978. On August 26, they played before an estimated crowd of 110,000 music fans at the Canada Jam festival near Toronto, Ontario and on October 29, the band performed with Thin Lizzy on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia before an estimated crowd of 100,000.
Cochran left the band after the tour to work with Robb Royer of Bread, Mike Finnigan Crosby, Stills and Nash and others. Around that time, Wha-Koo released their third album, Fragile Line, on Epic Records. Although no longer with the band, Cochran's lead guitar, background vocals and songs are featured on the album. By then the band was led by David Palmer and featured new members Ron Fransen, David Woodford and Eric Gotthelf. More rock-oriented, this release enjoyed some critical success but it did not enjoy commercial success and the group disbanded soon after.
In the early 1980s, Douma founded "The Writers Store" a resource center and retail outlet for writers and filmmakers. In 2002 he founded a second company, "Innoventive Software", publishers of film production and storyboard software. Danny Douma died on June 1, 2010, from cancer in Florence, Oregon.
Palmer contributed the song "Silhouette" to the film Teen Wolf and the song "She's My Baby" to the film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He also contributed songs to the TV series, The Heights and he went on to record with Laura Branigan and Jamie Walters amongst others. Today he's a fine art and portrait photographer in the Los Angeles area.
Andy Silvester, who departed after Wha-Koo's first album, became a member of the Honeydrippers (featuring Robert Plant) and was a founding member of the acoustic British rhythm and blues revival group, The Big Town Playboys. He has also played with The Mike Sanchez band.
Eddie Tuduri suffered a serious spinal cord injury in a body surfing accident in 1997. He founded "The Rhythmic Arts Project" (TRAP) later that year as an educational program for children and adults with developmental and intellectual differences. http://www.traponline.org
Claude Pepper, alias Jack Mack, formed the Los Angeles-based rhythm and soul band Jack Mack and the HeartAttack in 1980 and played with the band until 1987. He died at his home in Sacramento in February 2003.
Chuck Cochran later worked as a singer and guitarist with Jim Messina, Tim Weisberg, Norman Gimbel, Fred Karlin, Mike Finnigan, Robb Royer, Larry Knechtel, Kim Carnes and David Lasley. He also wrote songs for Laura Branigan, Captain & Tennille and others.
|1977||The Big Wha-Koo||ABC Records||AB 971|
|1978||Berkshire||ABC Records||ABCL 5283|
|1979||Fragile Line||Epic Records||EPC 83875|
|1977||Whisky Voices||The Big Wha-Koo|
|1977||Save Your Tears||The Big Wha-Koo|
|1978||You're Such A Fabulous Dancer||Berkshire|