1961 The Echoes – Baby Blue
In 1959, a group called the Laurels released a single on the small Spring record label and then signed with ABC-Paramount and released another single. Neither single showed signs of succeeding. The group also cut a demo for Baby Blue, a song written by a Long Island assistant high school principal Sam Guilino and music teacher Val Lagueux. It’s not clear if the members knew the writers or went to the high school they worked at. Their record company did not release any other recordings from the group, and the group disbanded.
Three members of the group, Harry Boyle, Tommy Duffy, and Tom Morrissey, formed a new group, The Echoes, and paid to re-rerecord Baby Blue. The group signed with Seg-Way, another small label, and recorded a new version of Baby Blue that SRG Records reelased. The single got picked up by Seg-Way Records and became a national hit, peaking at #12 on the Hot 100 in 1961. Their next two singles only reached #88 and #112, after which the group signed with Smash Records.
Ersel Hickey was a rockabilly guitarist from New York City who wrote and recorded Bluebirds Over The Mountain in 1958. The single peaked at #75 and turned out to be Ersel’s only charting record. Perhaps hoping that songs with the word “blue” in their title were lucky for them, the Echoes released a doo-wop cover of the song in 1962 that sadly peaked at only #112. The closest anybody got to a successful version of that song came from the Beach Boys, whose single reached #61 in 1968.
The Echoes released three more singles that failed to even reach Bubbling Under the Hot 100, and by 1965 the group fell apart.
Tommy Duffy wandered off and Harry and Tom were joined by Jim Tragas and Ralph De Palma and the group became The Scoundrels. They released three singles in 1966. Bill and Bob Cowsill began work on producing an album with the group in 1967, but it does not appear they ever completed the album.
In 1968, the group signed with Kama Sutra Records. They changed their name yet again, this time to Lt. Garcia’s Magic Music Box. They recorded two albums of bubblegum music under the direction of Kasenetz & Katz. There wasn’t enough magic to sell many records, and the group finally gave up.
Harry found work as a session musician and played guitar on Jim Croce’s 1972 album, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.
Tom went into politics and became the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.
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