Simon Dupree And The Big Sound

Simon Dupree & The Big Sound who had the hit Kites ....
With Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, Gentle Giant, Gene Pitney, The Walker Brothers and The Moles.
With original photographs and stories.


Band Members :

Simon Dupree and the Big Sound

Derek Shulman

Ray Shulman

Tony Ransley

Peter O'Flaherty

Eric Hine

Phil Shulman

Elton John with
Simon Dupree
Jimi Hendrix and
Simon Dupree
The Beach Boys
1967 UK tour
Gene Pitney 1968 UK tour
Simon Dupree with the
Walker Brothers
Band members
Simon Dupree and
The Ravers
Trivia about the band
Gentle Giant UK
progressive rock band
The Classics from Gosport


Simon Dupree and The Big Sound


The band was formed in early 1966 from the remnants of two bands, "The Road Runners"
from Portsmouth and "The Classics" from Gosport.

We also recorded as the "The Moles" with the record "We Are The Moles".
Follow the links above to find out more about the band who had the psychedelic hit "Kites"
and was the precursor of "Gentle Giant".
After "The Beatles" and "The Moody Blues" we were one of the first bands to use the
Mellotron for recording at Abbey Road and on stage.
Band members in the picture above from left to right -
Phil Shulman, Eric Hine, Derek Shulman, Tony Ransley, Ray Shulman
and lower center Peter O'Flaherty.

We favoured Rock and Roll and Motown numbers, which was bit a ironic as our one and only
major UK hit was "Kites", a ballad which also acquired the label psychedelic.
"Kites" is thought by some people to be the only thing that we did, but we recorded around fifty tracks.
Sixteen of these were to be on our second LP which was never released in the
sixties because of our failure to get another hit after "Kites".
Because of the new craze for retro music these sixteen tracks are on a new double
CD released by EMI in March 2004 called,
"Part Of My Past - The Simon Dupree and The Big Sound Anthology".

After rehearsing for a few weeks in early 1966 we started doing gigs in Portsmouth and
around the South Coast of England.
We had very little gear and a dodgy Bedford van for transport.
We soon gained a good following and had queues of people waiting to get into such places
as the Indigo Vat and Birdcage in Portsmouth.

The Shulmans brother-in-law John King, who was a television producer for BBC Bristol
came to see us one evening and agreed to be our manager.
John didn't know too much about the pop music scene, but he did have some good
contacts and knew some of the right people.
John took a demo disk that we'd made of "I See The Light" ( a Five Americans cover )
to EMI, who gave us an audition.

This resulted in a five year recording contract, which was pretty amazing at the time.
In October 1966 we went to studio two at Abbey Road and re-recorded "I See The Light".

Things were getting a bit hectic having a day job. On many occasions I was
dropped off at my place of work after playing a gig, having had no sleep.
So shortly after signing with EMI the band turned professional.
We agreed to take a livable weekly wage out of our earnings with the rest invested
and shared when the band eventually folded. I was going to be rich one day !!
Well maybe not .........
Next we acquired a couple of roadies and the mandatory Ford Transit van for transport.

On the strength of our record contract we signed with the "The Arthur Howes Agency".
One of the first gigs we did for Arthur Howes was with "The Walker Brothers" tour at the
ABC Theatre - Blackpool. This was new territory for us.
We were used to playing in clubs, not in front of two thousand seated people.
Next came "The Beach Boys" and "Gene Pitney" tours of the UK.
"Simon Dupree" toured Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland and the UK.
We played over 300 gigs a year traveling thousands of miles.

Early on we purchased a Mellotron, which was used on stage and for recording.
The Mellotron was never going to be a mass market instrument, but they were
important instrument for some bands throughout the sixties and seventies,
Today they are very collectable, that's if one can be found !

Many days were spent recording for EMI, mainly at Abbey Road.
It was our fourth record "Kites" that gave the band a top ten hit.
"Kites" was a psychedelic ballad, with Mellotron, xylophone, gong and wind machine.
The actress Jacqui Chan, ( not Jackie Chan ) speaks the erotic spoken words on "Kites".
( Jacqui Chan appeared in Krakatoa, East of Java, Cleopatra, The World of Suzie Wong etc. )
Jacqui Chan couldn't speak Chinese as she was born and raised in Trinidad.
A local Restaurateur was quickly brought in to to write a few lines that Jacqui Chan then
recited phonetically, it was all a bit of a farce really.
They sound erotic words, but nobody seems to know what they mean !
Please don't email me to ask what Jacqui is saying because I don't know.
Jacqui didn't know what she was saying either.

"Simon Dupree and The Big Sound" also recorded one record under the pseudonym
"The Moles", called "We Are The Moles", Part 1 and Part 2.
A publicity rumour was circulated to the Music Papers and Disc Jockeys it was recorded
by "The Beatles", so for a short time it was known as a record by "The Beatles" in disguise.
The record was doing well untill it was discovered it was recorded by
"Simon Dupree" not "The Beatles". So some interest was lost in the record.
Another of our publicity stunts that didn't work ...!!
However today the record is popular with collectors of Pyschedelia.

We recording our first album "Without Reservations" at the Abbey Road studios the same time
as "The Beatles" were recording there "Sgt. Peppers" album.
They used studio two through the night, we used the same studio during the day.
Immediately after "The Beatles" had vacated studio two the atmosphere was really pleasant.
We could float around the studio without the use of our legs.
The doorman would complain to us that they were going to get busted, and he would loose his job.
The poor guy was immediately given the name jobs-worth.

We only knew "The Beatles" well enough to say something like, "How yer doing" or "Good morning".
Sometimes our paths would cross in the studio or in the studio's small canteen.
They seemed a good humoured bunch of guys who treated Abbey Road as their second home.

"The Beatles" never had their equipment taken out of studio two, it was packed away neatly into
the corner of the studio by their roadies.
What was the point of our roadies unloading gear, when perfectly good equipment was
in the same studio ?
So apart from their guitars, we used "The Beatles" equipment.

Our biggest problem was remembering how it had been packed and repacking it
correctly at the end of the day.
With apologies to Paul, Ringo ... etc... eerrrr ... the cheque's in the post .....
During this time we discovered the magic Mellotron that "The Beatles" had been
using on "Sgt. Peppers".
This was pulled out, experimented with, and used on a few of our tracks.
We acquired a Mellotron of our own shortly after this.
I think we were the second or third band to use one on stage, after "The Moody Blues".

"Simon Dupree and The Big Sound" appeared frequently on British and German
television, and were also a favourite of the BBC's for live radio shows.
The band eventually broke up in late 1969.

In 1970 Derek, Ray and Phil Shulman together with Kerry Minnear, Gary Green
and Martin Smith formed the UK music band "Gentle Giant".
( They don't approve of Labels like "Progressive Rock" )

If I've broken any copyright please let me know.
If we can't come to some arrangement I will remove the offending
item immediately.

Best Viewed at 1024 x 768.

Acknowledgments : - EMI Records Ltd | See For Miles Records Ltd |
Fab208 Magazine | Jackie Magazine | New Musical Express | Record Mirror |
The News | Disk & Music Echo | BBC | The Beano | Beat Cub - Germany |
Jim McAlwane | Joachim Wunschick | Tim Bale | Grant Gillanders | Nick Brand |
Ueli Frey | Steven Becker ............

© P. O'Flaherty 2003.

Robolinks :-
Pet Portraits | Pyschedelia | Derekhanraywithphil .......

Released March 2004.
"Simon Dupree Anthology" new double CD
"Part Of My Past"

Simon Dupree - Anthology CD - 2004

Part Of My Past


New CD Part Of My Past.
55 Tracks, the 16 tracks below have
never been released before : -

Castle In The Sky
Stained Glass Window
I'm Going Home
Laughing Boy From Nowhere
What In The World
Light On Dark Water
Stained Glass Window
Please Come Back
Can't You See
Rain - You - Now
What Cha Gonna Do
Don't Make It So Hard
Something In The Way She Moves

Simon Dupree LP - 1967
Simon Dupree CD - 1993
Simon Dupree CD - 1997
Simon Dupree - Kites
Reservations LP - - - - - - - - - Kites CD.
Compilation CD - - - - - - - - - Kites 45.

~ Some Favourite Links ~

Portraits of Adorable Pets ::: Pet Portraits.

NZ Arts and Crafts :::: Art By The Sea.....
Link to my favourites sites page

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Peter O'Flaherty Phil Shulman Eric Hine Simon Dupree Tony Ransley Ray Shulman