Lansing (aka “The Echoes”)
THE BLUE ECHOES
The Blue Echoes were originally called the Echoes. They were a foursome out of Resurrection High School in Lansing, Michigan. The members were Larry Palmiter, Bob Devetri, Tom Schmitt and Bob Coscarelli. The group started in 1957. I, Roger Benham, took Tom Schmitt’s place when he went into the military.
Bob Coscarelli dropped out in 1958 and a friend of mine from Holt, Bob Richards, took his place. Bob Richards and Bob Coscarelli shifted back and forth in the early days. Because we had so many Bob’s in the group we had trouble identifying each when we talked. Bob Richards middle name was Dean and we started calling him ‘Dino’. From then on his title was ‘Dino’, kind of like ‘Ringo’ who came later. Dino was an awesome drummer. He could play anything and got into a lot of drum duals on the road. He usually won them to. We were playing a lot in the early years. We had engagements almost everyday somewhere. If it wasn’t a record hop, it was a radio interview or a charity function or promotion of some kind. I remember Arc Distribution out of Detroit, our agent, had set up a promotional tour of Detroit. We started out at noon with a luncheon, radio interviews,record hops, and the likes. When we finished up after 1:00 A.M. we had traveled over 300 miles and were still in Detroit.Can you believe that. We did a concert appearance at the Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum with over 10,000 screaming teenagers and a host of stars on the agenda. Bobby Darin, Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Neil Sedaka, Cathy Carr, were just a few on the show. Wow what a show and meeting all of these stars in person. A lifetime of memories and something I will never forget. I remember the group was walking down the street in Detroit sometime after that and some girls were walking down the street also when one of them said, ‘Hey, there’s The Blue Echoes’. That was real cool at the time. Big city, small town group starting to make a name for itself.