About The Artist
Fred Mack (Mekeel) and his group, the Echo Valley Rangers were entertaining folks in the Eastern part of the state of New York in 1957. The band made many personal appearances in the area and was one of the recurring featured acts on the "Cimmaron Dude Ranch" show that was held in Peekskill, New York.
Fred organized the group in 1949 when he was discharged from the U. S. Army after World War II.
One of the early band members, Minard Coons, tells us some of his memories. The original group members were Fred Mack, Hank Peters, Buddy Krom and Smokey Fisher. Minard notes he recalled only two changes in the group before he joined. One was a fellow by the name of Jimmy Dean, but that was not the same Jimmy Dean that went on to television, smoked sausage and to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The other addition Minard recalls was a "super singer" by the name of Sundown Ed LaFumee, who joined the group. In 1954. Minard, then 17, left the group for about a year. He returned and stayed with the group until the end in 1972.
Minard recalls the Echo Valley Rangers appeared on Rosalie Allen's radio program out of New York. They also had their own radio program over WEOK and WKIP, both in Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1950s and 1960s.
Minard tells us he recalled they did do one 45rpm recording - "Moonshine In The North Carolina Hills" b/w "Echo Valley Yodel". A 1954 article mentions that the group had several songs to their credit (but did not state they 'recorded' the tunes) such as "Texarkana Waltz", "Memories of the Past", "This Lonely Heart of Mine", and "Too Many Kisses".
Timeline & Trivia NotesGroup Members over the years:
Credits & Sources
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