Portsmouth Music Scene


The Portsmouth Music Scene
Simon Dupree and the Big Sound


The Shulman Family

Simon Dupree and the Big Sound

The Shulmans were three brothers, Derek Shulman, born 1947 (vocals), Phil Shulman, born 1937 (vocals, saxophone, trumpet), and Ray Shulman, born 1949 (guitar, violin, trumpet, vocals).
Making up the rest of the group were Peter O'Flaherty (bass guitar) (born 8.5.1944, in Gosport, Hampshire), Eric Hine (keyboards) (born Eric Raymond Lewis Hines, 4.9.1944, in Portsmouth, Hampshire), and Tony Ransley (drums) (born Anthony John Ransley, 17.5.1944, in Portsmouth, Hampshire).
They started as The Howling Wolves, and then became The Road Runners, playing R&B around the Portsmouth area.
Their father Jock Shulman played trumpet in the Benny Freedman Band at the Savoy Ballroom.

Three posters of Road Runners gigs

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Simon Dupree and the Big Sound

A British pop band formed by three brothers, Derek Shulman, born 1947 (vocals), Phil Shulman, born 1937 (vocals, saxophone, trumpet), and Ray Shulman, born 1949 (guitar, violin, trumpet, vocals).

They started as The Howling Wolves, and then became The Road Runners, playing R&B around the Portsmouth area, home of the Shulman brothers.  Making up the rest of the group were Peter O'Flaherty (bass guitar) (born 8.5.1944, in Gosport, Hampshire), Eric Hine (keyboards) (born Eric Raymond Lewis Hines, 4.9.1944, in Portsmouth, Hampshire), and Tony Ransley (drums) (born Anthony John Ransley, 17.5.1944, in Portsmouth, Hampshire).  Those early group names aside, their repertory was focused a lot more on the songs of Wilson Pickett, Don Covay, and Otis Redding, than on the Howlin' Wolf or Bo Diddley.  'Simon Dupree and the Big Sound' came about in the course of their search for a flashy name.

The group were signed to EMI's Parlophone label, under producer Dave Paramor.  Their first few singles, notably "I See The Light" (1966), failed to chart, then in October 1967, the group's management and their record label decided to try moving Simon Dupree and the Big Sound in the direction of psychedelia.

They only broke through at the end of 1967 with the psychedelic "Kites", a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart. Regarding themselves as blue-eyed soul brothers, they hated it as it was so unrepresentative of their usual style.[1] The follow-up, "For Whom The Bell Tolls", was only a minor hit, and a subsequent single "Broken Hearted Pirates", featuring an uncredited Dudley Moore on piano, made no headway at all.[citation needed]


A then unknown keyboard player by the name of Reginald Dwight was hired to fill in for an ill Eric Hine and he joined them on a 1967 tour in Scotland. They were asked to allow him to stay on, and he was almost recruited as a permanent member. They politely rejected the chance to record any of his compositions (although they did ultimately record "I'm Going Home" as the B-side of their final (contractually obligated) single,) and laughed when he told them he was adopting the stage name of Elton John.  On 5 April 1968, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound appeared alongside Amen Corner, Gene Pitney, Don Partridge and Status Quo at The Odeon Theatre, Lewisham, London, on the first night as part of a twice nightly UK tour.

The group released one studio album; Without Reservation, on Parlophone Records (1967), and a compilation Amen (1980). A more recent set, Part Of My Past (2004), includes all their singles, album tracks and previously unreleased material prepared for their second album, release of which was cancelled at the time.

Late 1968, they released a single We Are The Moles (part 1)/(part 2) under the moniker The Moles. Released on the Parlophone label, the single did not give any hint towards the identity of the artists, claiming that both songs were written, performed and produced by The Moles. Rumours began to spread that it was an obscure output by The Beatles, who also were under contract at Parlophone, with Ringo Starr on lead vocals. When interest began to rise concerning the release, Syd Barrett stated that Simon Dupree & The Big Sound were the faces behind The Moles. Confronted with this, the band admitted.

Frustrated as being seen as one-hit wonders being pushed by their record label as a pop group rather than the soul band they had always intended to be, they disbanded in 1969 and the Shulman brothers went on to form the successful progressive rock group Gentle Giant.

Agent John Bedford says that it was he who came up with the name for them.

Derek Shulman, born 1947 (vocals), Phil Shulman, born 1937 (vocals, saxophone, trumpet), and Ray Shulman, born 1949 (guitar, violin, trumpet, vocals).



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A Geoff Roberts pic of the lads settling an argument

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Simon Dupree & the BS

Simon Dupree and the Big Sound later became Gentle Giant.

SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND known BBC Radio and Television Performances

18 March 1967 10.00 SATURDAY CLUB ZOOT MONEY'S BIG ROLL BAND ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK THE MINDBENDERS JEFF BECK SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND BARBARA RUSKIN THE JOHNNY ARTHEY BAND Introduced by BRIAN MATTHEW Light Programme

13 April 1967 13.00 POP NORTH with BERNARD HERRMANN AND the N.D.O. JOHNNY DE LITTLE THE MAL CRAIG THREE THE TRAD LADS VAL FRANCIS This week's guests CAT STEVENS_ SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Introduced by RAY MOORE Light Programme

24 April 1967 13.00 MONDAY, MONDAY! The Best in Pop from THE RAY MCVAY SOUND PATSY JONES , JOE FAGAN plus this week's guests LULU SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND PETER JAY AND THE JAYWALKERS THE TRUTH Introduced by DAVE CASB Produced by Keith Bateson The Ray McVay Band is appearing at the Hammersmith Palais. London Light Programme

20 May 1967 10.00 SATURDAY CLUB DAVE DEE , Dozy, BEAKY, MICK AND TICH CLIFF BENNETT AND THE REBEL ROUSERS SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND ACKER BILK AND HIS PARAMOUNT JAZZ BAND BARBARA RUSKIN RONNIE JONES THE JOHNNY WATSON CONCEPT Introduced by BRIAN MATTHEW Produced by Jimmy GRANT and BILL BEBB BBC One London

26 May 1967 13.00 THE JOE LOSS SHOW featuring THE JOE LOSS ORCHESTRA with singing stars Boss MCMANUS , LARRY GRETTON ANDEE SILVER This week's special guests SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Introduced by TONY HALL Produced by Bill Bebb Joe Loss and his Orchestra are at the Lyceum Ballroom. London On 1500 m. only BBC One London

4 November 1967 23.10 TWICE A FORTNIGHT or Even before Alan Melville starring BILL ODDIE DILYS WATLING JONATHAN LYNN GRAEME GARDEN with Tony Buffery Music by SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND and Dave Lee Directed by TONY PALMER Jonathan Lynn and Dilys Watling are appearing in ' Fiddler on the Roof ' at Her Majesty's Theatre, London Light Programme

29 December 1967 16.55 CRACKERJACK Introduced by LESLIE CROWTHER with Peter Glaze Christine Holmes Jillian Comber Guests, SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Scripts by BOB BLOCK Music by BERT HAYES AND his BAND Designer, Jean Campbell Producer, PETER WHITMORE Leslie Crowther Is appearing in ' Let Sleeping Wives Lie ' at the Garrick Theatre. London: Christine Holmes is in ' Charlie Girl ' at the Adelphi Theatre. London BBC One London

20 January 1968 18.25 DEE TIME The Saturday scene SIMON DEE introduces his guests including Graham Hill Blossom Dearie Long John Baldry Simon Dupree Kenny Damon Juan Junior The Alyn Ainsworth Orchestra BBC One London

29 March 1968 19.30 The Record Star Show featuring: THE AMEN CORNER KENNY BALL'S JAZZMEN DAVE DEE, DOZY BEAKY, MICK, AND TICH THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND THE EASYBEATS CHRIS FARLOWE AND THE THUNDERBIRDS THE FLOWERPOT MEN THE FOUNDATIONS THE MOVE CLIFF RICHARD THE NEW VAUDEVILLE BAND and Disc-Jockeys: Tony Blackburn, Pete Brady, Dave Cash, Simon Dee, Kenny Everett, Alan Freeman, David Jacobs, Don Moss, Pete Murray Produced for The Stars Organisation for Spastics by JOHNNIE STEWART Musical director, NORRIE PARAMOB Organised by DAVID JACOBS BBC One London

29 March 1968 16.55 * WHISTLE STOP Introduced by ROGER WHITTAKER Ready with a whistle and a song with Jack Haig as Mr. Wacky Jacky Comedy and calamity Dilys Watling The miss who's a hit With a song Larry Parker and Theodore Rabbit Up to their usual tricks Guest stars, Simon Dupree AND THE BIG SOUND Music by The BERT HAYES OCTET Script by LARRY PARKER Designer, Peter Julien Produced by PETER WHITMORE Dilys Watling Is in Fiddler on the Roof at Her Majesty's Theatre, London; Bert Haig is at the Butlln's Hotels. Cliftonville BBC Radio 1 England

30 March 1968 10.00 KEITH SKUES Your resident D.J. presents Saturday Club SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND The Peddlers Producer, Bill Bebb BBC Radio 1 England

21 March 1968 13.00 POP NORTH with Bernard Herrmann and the H.D.O. JOHNNY DE LITTLE DAVE BLAKELEY THE MAL CRAIG THREE MIREILLE GRAY and this week's special guests: SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Malcolm Roberts Introduced by Dave Lee Travis BBC Radio 1 England

11 May 1968 22.00 PETE MURRAY meets Pete's People LONG JOHN BALDRY with ERIC WINSTONE AND HIS ORCHESTRA SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND THE SYMBOLS BBC Radio 1 England

23 November 1968 22.00 PETE MURRAY meets Pete's Saturday People Jackie Trent The TONY HATCH ORCHESTRA SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND THE Roy BUDD Trio BBC Radio 1 England

1 March 1969 22.00 PETE MURRAY meets Pete's Saturday People LONG JOHN BALDRY BOB MILLER AND THE MILLERMEN THE MIKE SAMMES SINGERS SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND BBC Radio 1 England

4 April 1969 17.20 THE BASIL BRUSH SHOW Introduced by DEREK FOWLDS with SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Enny Delmot and Anthony Blankenstein Imogen Claire , Lesley Mould Script by GEORGE MARTIN Music by THE BERT HAYES SEXTET Designer. Kathlyn Pearce Producer, JOHNNY DOWNES Anthony Blankenstein. Imogen Claire , and Lesley Mouhl appear by permission of the Administrator, Festival Ballet BBC Radio 1 England

16 April 1969 19.30 THE RECORD STAR SHOW from the Empire Pool, Wembley Wednesday Show Time Excerpts from the year's No. 1 Pop Show in aid of the Stars' Organisation for Spastics which featured: AMEN CORNER, THE CASUALS JOE COCKER AND THE GREASE BAND DAVE DEE. DOZY, BEAKY, MICK, AND TICH SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND THE FLIRTATIONS, THE FOUNDATIONS THE HERD, LEAPY LEE THE MARBLES, HANK B. MARVIN THE PAPER DOLLS. CLIFF RICHARD JOHN ROWLES , BARRY RYAN STATUS QUO GENO WASHINGTON AND THE RAM JAM BAND with disc jockeys: Tony Blackburn , Pete Brady Dave Cash , Simon Dee Alan Freeman , Stuart Henry John Peel , Keith Skues Ed Stewart , David Symonds Musical directors. Jimi HOROWITZ , NORRIE PARAMOR , and JOHNNY PEARSON and the Top of the Pops Orchestra with The Breakaways Produced for the S.O.S. by COLIN CHARMAN Presented for television by Johnnie Stewart Television by arrangement with the Daily Express ' and the Stars' Organisation for Spastics Light Programme

17 May 1969 22.00 PETE MURRAY meets Pete's Saturday People EDMUNDO ROS AND HIS LATIN AMERICAN ORCHESTRA SHEILA SOUTHERN with the DEREK Cox GROUP SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND BBC Radio 1 England

1 September 1969 19.35 KEITH SKUES presents LISA CARROLL and JAMES ROYAL with the Keith Mansfield ORCHESTRA SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND ARRIVAL FAITH, HOPE, 'N' CHARITY BBC One London

27 September 1969 22.00 Pete Murray meets Pete's Saturday People JOHNNY HOWARD AND HIS ORCHESTRA SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND BLOOD, SWEAT. AND TEARS

12 October 1969 20.45 Dave Eastwood with a Sunday night disc bag, ONYX, and the SIMON DUPREE BIG SOUND Produced by ROYSTON HERBERT BBC Radio 1 England

23 November 1969 20.45 Dave Eastwood with discs. ONYX, and SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Produced by ROYSTON HERBERT BBC Radio 1 England

6 December 1969 22.00 Tony Brandon meets the Saturday People SYD DALE AND HIS ORCHESTRA SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND ALEX WELSH AND HIS BAND BBC Radio 1 England

14 December 1969 20.45 Noel Edmonds with RAYMOND FROGGATT SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND and discs BBC Radio 1 England

18 January 1970 20.45 Noel Edmonds with SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND bitter SUITE, and discs Produced by ROGER PUSEY Light Programme

15 February 1970 20.45 Anne Nightingale with ARRIVAL SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Produced by RAY HARVEY BBC Radio 1 England

1 March 1970 20.45 Anne Nightingale with ARRIVAL SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND Produced by RAY HARVEY BBC Radio 1 England

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gentle Giant 2
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Gentle Giant


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