Saturday, August 23, 2008
Richmonder Nick Colleran founded the seminal frat rock band The Escorts in 1961, while attending Douglas Freeman High School. Through the balance of the 60's The Escorts became one of the the most popular bands in town, releasing five singles and even a full length album, "Bring Down The House", which was recorded live at the Richmond Mosque in 1966. In addition to handling guitar and vocal duties, Nick also produced the band's records and started the T.E.O. (The Escort Organization) label.
After the break up of The Escorts in 1969, Nick continued to engineer, produce and release records. "I Know You" by Wild Sound Unlimited is an interesting example from this period. This infectious blue eyed soul tune fits comfortably enough into the Beach Music category, but to our ears it has a little extra "oomph" that sets it apart from what you would normally associate with the genre. Sure, it has the prerequisite tight horns, the warm vocal harmonies, the bright, catchy melodies (even though the actual lyrics are about a really ugly break up), but the punchy production on this record really brings out the break-neck drumming. The drummer on this track is bonkers!
Mr. Colleran definitely knew his way around a recording studio, but he also had a strong entrepreneurial streak. By 1972 he co-founded Alpha Audio in Richmond, which soon became Virginia's first major state of the art studio, recording everything from commercial jingles (national and regional), to t.v. and movie voice overs, to up and coming local bands, to platinum selling major label acts. But we'll save that story for another day...
Wild Sound Unlimited "I Know You"