Pop Archives

Ol’ 55 - Looking For An Echo (1976)

(Richard Reicheg)
Australia Australia
#21 Sydney #6 Melbourne #10 Brisbane #4 Adelaide #3 Perth

Goodtime Sydney rock’n’roll revival band, formed as Fanis in 1972, but made over from 1975 as Ol’ 55 under their new manager, music journalist Glenn A. Baker, with Peter Bryan as the new front man.

Apart from Bryan – known forever after as Frankie J. Holden – Ol’ 55 also featured guitarist Rockpile Jones, and saxman Wilbur Wilde.

Looking For An Echo was also on Ol’ 55’s debut album, the best-selling Take It Greasy.

The stage name of Frankie J. Holden (Peter Bryan) is a reference to a famous Aussie car of the 50s, the FJ Holden. The name Ol’ 55 came from a Tom Waits song (on Closing Time, 1973), also recorded by The Eagles (On The Border, 1974) and others.

Ol’ 55 charted several times in the late 70s with a mixture of remakes and band originals. Wilbur Wilde and Frankie J. Holden became fixtures on the Australian entertainment scene as actors and TV personalities.

Reference: Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop.
Further reading: 1. Wikipedia Ol’ 55 article. 2. Interview with Glenn A. Baker, ABC-TV, 2006. 3. Frankie J Holden page at Bandshop.com.au.

Suggestion and initial research from Terry Stacey.
Thanks to Glenn Maddock for clarification.

Kenny Vance - Looking For An Echo (1975)

(Richard Reicheg)
Original version

Single on Atlantic by former member of Jay & The Americans, a long-standing singer, songwriter, producer and mentor for emerging talent. Also on the album Vance 32 (1975).

Looking For An Echo was released again by Kenny Vance on a Warner Bros single, 1977, and by his 90s doowop revival band Kenny Vance & The Planotones (see below).

Looking For An Echo composer Richard Reicheg co-wrote (with Richard Baskin) For The Sake Of The Children, sung by Henry Gibson in the 1975 film Nashville. Reicheg also has a filmography as an actor covering several decades.

Further reading: William Ruhlmann's biography of Kenny Vance at All Music Guide; interview with Kenny Vance at ClassicBands.com.

The Persuasions - Looking For An Echo (1977)

(Richard Reicheg)
Later version

On 1977 Elektra album Chirpin' by a cappella group formed in Brooklyn in the early 60s and surviving through to the 2000s with some personnel changes over the years.

Kenny Vance & The Planotones - Looking For An Echo (1996)

(Richard Reicheg)
Later version

On the album Looking For An Echo.

Kenny Vance and The Planotones were a doowop revival group formed in 1992 by Kenny Vance, formerly of 60s hit group Jay & The Americans. Another well-known Planotone was Gary Bonner, who wrote Happy Together (1967) and other Turtles songs with Alan Gordon, but all the Planotones were seasoned musicians.

Earlier, Kenny Vance had created and led a fictional band called The Planotones for the 1978 Alan Freed biopic American Hot Wax (Kenny Vance played Professor La Plano).

The 2000 film Looking For An Echo featured a soundtrack by Kenny Vance & The Planotones.

Reference: William Ruhlmann's biography of Kenny Vance at All Music Guide. Discography at Planotones.com.