Eddie Le Pard and The Leopards

Eddie Le Pard and The Leopard

Eddie Le Pard and The Leopards were among the local bands featured at the Two Red Shoes, Elgin. According to drummer, Jim Skinner [who replaced Sonny Johnston in ’64], there was only a demo made of the Leopards by Albert Bonici [Norco Records]. It will appear here at a later date if found among the Bonici Archives. Also, I am currently gathering personal info about Eddie Le Pard for a future update.
Pictured above: Eddie [in the middle] was born in the late 1940’s and died in Aberdeen, Scotland though grew up in Elgin. Band members [L to R] include Frazer Armstrong on keyboards & amp; harmonies, Alan Rodgers on bass guitar & amp; harmonies, Eddie lead vocals, Chic Ralph on lead guitar, and Sonny Johnston on drums.p>

chic ralph obituary northern-scot, elgin 13 feb 2015

chic ralph obituary
northern-scot, elgin 13 feb 2015

Chic Ralph [Obituary above] was known for his talent playing a steel guitarist with Mosaic [seen below performing at the Two Red Shoes Ballroom] He later recorded with Spey Valley Trio [1975 Grampian Records Ltd, Wick Scotland]. The first was “Whispering Hope” followed by Sing Me Back Home – The group featuring Mike Spence vocals with Frank Coutts [rhythm guitar] , Chick Ralph [steel guitar], Brian Henderson [lead guitar], and John Hunter [drums]

leopard2

leopards5Leopardsleopard chick lululeopards wildcats

 

hollies-lepards

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About

My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. With a fascination for the beat music era that took place throughout the UK, my research investigates the late '50s through early 1970s. Relying on interviews, the Albert Bonici archives, and other resources, I continue to gather materials to tell the story of a special time in music in the mid 20th century. Scottish promoter, Albert Bonici, brought many of the top beat music acts to Scotland which delighted music lovers during the early days of the beat music era. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and remembers the contributions of promoter, Albert Bonici, a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 SCOTBEAT.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference https://scotbeat.wordpress.com when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you. http://en.gravatar.com/scotbeat

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Posted in 1960's pop music
30 comments on “Eddie Le Pard and The Leopards
  1. Diane Cameron says:

    Drummer was not Rob Lawson but Sonny Johnston

    • scotbeat says:

      Thanks Diane… I know little about this group but Albert B. kept this great photo in his file. Do you have any thoughts/recollections about the band? Its too bad there’s not a recording available.

  2. Stephen says:

    No idea who the group is in the last picture but Chic Ralph is definitely not in the photo.

    • #scotbeat says:

      Thanks Stephen! It was suggested that it was Chic but I’ve deleted the last photo since it wasn’t certain who the group members were… If you’ve more info about Chic or other band members of the Leopards, please share as I wasn’t in Scotland at the time. Cheers, David

    • Fraser Armstrong says:

      My name is Fraser Armstrong and I played keyboards with Eddie Le Pard and the Leapards, the Band was formed in 1963 ( cant give accurate dates as my memory not so good now ) Back then the original band lineup was 5 piece!( Re the photo’s with the cat mascot on the drum, left me, Alan, Eddie, Chick, Sonny and the other around the Vox Continental keyboard, see lineup at bottom of photo) —– Eddie Le Pard Vocals/guitar, Alan Rae Rodgers Bass/Vocals, Chick Ralph Lead Guitar, Sonny Johnstone Drums, Myself Keyboards. Spring /summer 1964 Eddie wanted to expand our tours further afield which meant going full time pro. Eddie and Alan were already full time and I packed up my job as well, Chick and Sonny didn’t want to go full time as they had good jobs and commitments so they left summer 64 . We auditioned Jimmy who impressed us right away and engaged him immediately. We decided then to go with a four piece lineup so Eddie would do guitar fill in’s with the vox continental filling in the rest! This is the lineup in front of Elgin Cathedral second half of 1964 that went on the German tour! Left to right Alan Bass/Vocals, Eddie Vocals/Guitar, Me Keyboards, Jimmy Drums. Alans brother Sonny was our road manager at that time but he isn’t in the photo. I have a number of photo’s of the band and exploits around this time and will send copies to David who can decide which to publish when I have time. Cheers Fraser.

    • Fraser Armstrong says:

      Hi Stephen, I worked in the band with Chick through 63/64 and Eddie wanted us to go further afield on tours as myself, Chick, I, and Sonny all had jobs, we were restricted to how far afield we could go. (Alan and Eddie were already full time!) A decision was made that we could only expand our touring distance if we all went full time! Chick and Sonny didn’t want to leave their day jobs so left the band! I decided to give it a go and packed in my job! I had the greatest respect for their decision as the consequences could have been life changing! Both were very good musicians and it was sad to see them go!

  3. FRANK GRAGG says:

    I SAW EDDIE LEPARD AND THE LEPARD IN CELLE GERMANY IN 1964 AT CELLE AIR BASE. I WAS IN THE US AIR FORCE STATION THERE. THE WE’RE GREAT, I HAVE THERE PICTURE IN MY MAN CAVE..

    • #scotbeat says:

      Very cool… do you remember any of the tunes they played? I heard that they went to Germany with the Copycats but have no idea of what they did together. Am not sure if there is a recording anywhere but would be good if you’re able to scan and send the photo. cheers, David

  4. Doug McArthur says:

    I was searching for info on and old band mate of mine, Kid (Alan Rogers. We recorded and performed under the name Kid Rogers and the Henchmen. And found your sites article on “Eddie Le Pard and The Leopards” Kid had told me about this band and performing in Germany around the same time as the Beatles. Anyway I can’t thank you enough, for the info on his early music history, as I have experienced the rest of it. Cheers
    Doug McArthur

    • Fraser Armstrong says:

      Hi Doug, I worked with Alan Rae Rodgers in the Eddie Le Pard band and also with a previous band called the Sabres from about 1961 until 1965 when the Leopards split up! I lost contact with him after this period and am interested in his career from this point onwards until his sad and tragic death from an accident with a ladder in the 70’s! I really liked Alan or Rae as he liked to be called, he was one of the quieter types in the band, a person like a priest you could go and confess to! I would be greatfull if you have any information on him from about 1965 until his tragic end in the 70’s! Thank you Fraser Armstrong.

  5. James N Skinner. says:

    I am Jimmy Skinner and was the drummer with EDDIE LEPARD AND THE LEOPARDS when we did a 3 x month tour of what was then WEST GERMANY. We only had 3 x nights off and travelled many miles between each venue . That was in the autumn of 1964. The Copycats and The Jacobeats were there too but only for 1 x month. We played American, NATO and British army bases as well as many night clubs and a few larger gigs . Once we played along with around 8 x other British groups and for a few numbers we All took the stage at the same time jamming together. There was a dance audience of around 4000 , yes 4000 people attending and was FANTASTIC fun. The German audiences were always very appreciative and in our time over there we were made to feel famous. We were asked to return after Xmas for a recording session and more dates but the 3x other guys were engaged to be married and I was outvoted and we didn’t go !!! HUGE mistake !!! Previous comment from Mr. Bragg …. I was the drummer that night at the Celle NATO Base . I appreciate your comment ! Thanks !

    • scotbeat says:

      Hiya Jimmy, great to hear from you! If you wish to comment on any subjects relating to the subject matter, please do. EDDIE LEPARD AND THE LEOPARDS made a lasting impression for a lot of people and am glad that to have the opportunity to learn about a group fondly remembered around Scotland and Germany. All I had were photos in a box to start with but Eddie and the Leopards have been mentioned several time to me [even in the last few days] since beginning my research into the beat era. It would be great if someone came up with a recording.
      Btw, If you’ve any memoriablilia to share you can send it to david.dills@yahoo.com

    • Eric Anderson says:

      Hi Jim,
      Just finished reading your story about playing with the Leopards and thought I would just remind you about your time playing with the Sandstormers. The only contact with any of the group has been recently playing golf with Jim Wills brother Ian who I understand has the chemist shop in Inverurie sadly Jim died some years ago.I have occasionally bumped into Sandy but not for some years.
      Regards
      Eric (Bass player of sorts)

  6. James N Skinner. says:

    Thanks, David, I am very new to this method of communication but my daughter will help me in that department. Meantime I can tell you the only official recording was a demo tape for German impresarios recorded in an empty TWO RED SHOES dancehall in Spring of 1964 by the famous Alex Sutherland . We did a couple of numbers but , for the life of me, I can’t remember which ones. Because there wasn’t enough work to remain fully professional we broke up in 1965 and I reluctantly returned to finish my apprenticeship with British Rail at Inverurie Loco Works and in 1967 I joined the police force locally. Jim.

  7. James N Skinner. says:

    Did not know that Alan Rogers joined the Jacobeats in 1965 after the Leopards disbanded. I wonder what he looked like wearing full Highland dress? I am as proud a Scot as anyone else but I have to tell you that some of the other bands used to poke gentle fun at them because they looked a bit odd while so dressed and playing pop music. I’m sorry, but that is how it was at the time.

    In early ’65, Deirdre Cameron of the Jacobeats became Alan’s girlfriend and sometimes accompanied us in our van on our way to dance dates. We could hardly ever see Deirdre’s face as Alan’s head was always stuck to the front of it. Anyway, who could blame him as she was a very pretty girl !!!

    Jim Skinner (Leopards).

  8. Fred Jefferies says:

    I went to school Eddie Leppard Jim do you remember Flash, and Jeff, from Keith.
    good to hear about the band again .Jeff

  9. Jim Skinner. says:

    Hey, Jeff, of course I remember you ( as Frank Infield once memorably sang). It was your motor bike on one of our promo photos ! The also unforgettable Robert(Flash) Longmore who drove us to our gigs post Germany tour. Hope you also recall Nita Keith and ‘Billie’ Mackenzie from Lochee, Dundee ? Aaaah ! They were good times ! Before I learnt from the marvellous David Dills , that all the others had died , I often imagined that somehow, sometime the band would get together again and recreate that little bit of 60,s atmosphere we once enjoyed,but,alas, never to be !

    Thanks for your company !
    Jim Skinner.

    • scotbeat says:

      I really don’t understand why Eddie decided not to gig with The Leopards after a successful tour in Germany. Those who saw the band live in Scotland, loved the group though they didn’t secure a recording contract. When Mr. Bonici was managing the group, he likely wasn’t pleased about Eddie’s “rock & roll” lifestyle but it shouldn’t have been an issue. Also, Rae’s accidental death was a great loss considering his potential.

  10. Fred Jefferies says:

    Hello Jim
    God you have a good memory,
    Flash is still in Keith I see him every so often
    I am in Aberdeen, But I still fondly remember Eddie and all the rest of the lads.
    Where are you now.
    All the best
    Jeff

  11. Jim Skinner says:

    Hey David ! In the last few days have traced the organist of the LEOPARDS ,Fraser Armstrong whom I believed was for many years deceased ! I have not spoken to him personally yet but his wife ELSA says that he is HALE AND HEARTY and living in Aberdeen ! I am thrilled to have located him and look forward to reminiscing about our shared experiences in the band particularly in West Germany ! Will keep you updated !

  12. scotbeat says:

    Excellent Jim, I hope you’ve a fun reunion with Fraser… lots of good times to recollect and just to see an old mate…

  13. James Skinner says:

    Thanks David , if it hadn’t been for this website of yours and Andrew (Fraser ) my son-in-law’s insistence for me to get online , I would never have discovered Fraser’s whereabouts or even if he was still alive , having been told many years ago by the now deceased Ex Leopard’s lead guitarist, Chick Ralph ,that he and I were the ONLY band members left still kicking ! Cheers !

  14. […] Leopards https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/eddie-le-pard-and-the-leopard/ as a group paid to see The Animals with Eric Burden and Alan Price there [Elgin Town Hall]. It was […]

  15. Fraser Armstrong says:

    Hi folks, yes I am Fraser Armstrong, keyboards player with Eddie Le Pard and The Leapards from way back in the 60’s and I am very much alive and kicking! Just had 2 long and pleasant chats with Jimmy reminising our young and often hilarous times from the past. I didn’t even know this site existed until Jim told me about it! The ironical thing about this is that both me and Jim thought we were the sole survivors from this band! Apparently Jim spoke to Chick Ralph about a decade ago and said he and Jim were the sole survivors! I spoke to a member of a social club in Inverurie about 12-15 yrs ago who knew Lenny, (Jims brother) and his pal said Jim had passed away about 2 years previous, then some time later a ‘ in memory ‘ notice in the local’ newspaper mentioned some body had died and the partner or wife of the ‘late James Skinner of Inverurie’ was mentioned. I was then convinced that Jim had passed away. I am over the moon that Jims persistant search skills has paid off and we are now on contact with each other! Well done Jim! The last time I spoke to Jim must have been in Elgin about 1968-69 when a police car flagged me down ( I thought oh sh*t i’ve been done for speeding) and out pops Jim just to say ‘hello how are you?) He is also the only member of the band who made it on to the TV!,,,,,,,,, Reading the police news on Grampian TV. After almost 50 years I cant wait to meet up with him!!

  16. scotbeat says:

    Fraser, am really glad that you and Jim have reconnected after so many years and that you’re both alive and kickin’! Am glad to share your thoughts and comments via SCOTBEAT.

    Gathering information about the music and happenings in the “beat” era of Scotland can be challenging since so many talented people have passed on or don’t utilise digital communication. Am glad people from around the planet are able to read about an amazing period in 20th century Scotland. Btw, am glad that you and Alyson made it to the Elgin Museum exhibit in 2016.

  17. Fraser Armstrong says:

    Thanks David for the kind comments, if it was not for your site it would have been highly unlikly Jim an I would have ever met up again, well done you! It illustrates the difference that the ‘Grapevine’ and ‘Reality’ can be!1,,,,,,,,,,, Yes Alyson and I did enjoy the visit to the museum exhibit in 2016 and we both found it very interesting. Alyson now lives down in Inverkeithing near the Forth Bridge and she still is involved in music, she sings in various choirs now, choral and theatre in the central belt but she still ,speaks fondly of her young days in Elgin and the Red Shoes etc. I will be down to see her in about a fortnight and I will certainly update her on your site and maybe get her to contact you. When the weather improves I would like to meet up with Jim, maybe in Elgin for a day and reminis/visit some of the old haunts if any are left. Once again many thanks for your help and interesting site!

  18. Fraser Armstrong says:

    P.s. David forgot to say regarding the photograph with Eddie and a friend in South St, in front of an angling shop, his friend (and mine) is of the late Billy Thompson, a young and upcoming drummer/singer at the time. About 20+ years old Billy went to work with a band in France in the 70’s (he phoned me at the time to see if I wanted to come with him, I told him too many commitments at that time). He was tragically killed in a car accident in France and I remember his funeral in New Elgin cemetary, a very sad affair which I never forgot, his grave is near the gate/lodge at the entrance to the old cemetary, there is also a small stone written in French on his grave from his French girlfriend! This event still brings a tear to my eye even today!

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