• The Eschelons (Grand Rapids, Michian)

    Personnel :

    Ron Beatty (Lead)

    Vic Hill (Vocals)

    Jack Hazewinkel (Bass)

    Jim VanPutten (Sax/Vocals)

    Al Bishoff (Sax)

    Dick Beatty (Drums)

    Discography :

    1961 - This Broken Heart / Lonely Christmas (Set-Co)
    1962 - My Lonely Senior Year / Lonely Footsteps (Set-Co 109)
    1962 - Tears Of Love / Angel In My Heart (Set-Co 110)

    Biography :

    In 1957 two brothers, Dick and Ron, decided to join the fun. Starting with one old guitar, a bass drum the size of those used by marching bands and a snare drum, they practiced while searching for others that were interested in making music. The band settled with six-members who are considered the original Eschelons and were featured on the band's first record. They are: Vic Hill, Jack Hazewinkel, Jim VanPutten, Al Bishoff, Dick Beatty, and Ron Beatty.

    (l. to r.) Jack Hazewinkel, Vic Hill, Dick Beatty, Jim VanPutten, Marty Chirgwin. and Ron Beatty.

    In 1961, The Eschelons cut their first 45. Both sides of the single, "This Broken Heart" b/w "Lonely Christmas" were composed by Ron Beatty. They were recorded at Ted Mader's studio in Downtown Grand Rapids, one of several recording studios in town. Dick and Ron's stepfather came through for them by financing the 45 which was released on the SET-CO label, an acronym for his business, the Stalter Edge Tool Company. The single was pressed at the American Record Pressing Company in Owosso, Michigan.


    "This Broken Heart" reached # 16 on WGRD's Fabulous "50" chart in January of 1962, shortly before the band underwent a major lineup change compliments of their biggest Grand Rapids rivals, the Kingtones.  Gil King from the Kingtones  joined up with the Eschelons adding keyboards to the band and when Vic Hill decided to leave the band , The Eschelons added two girls, Cheri Woudstra and Sue Greiner.

    (l. to r.) Ron Beatty, Jack Hazewinkel, Dick Beatty, Jim VanPutten, Al Bischoff, Gil King, Cheri Woudstra & Sue Greiner.

    Gil King assumed both roles on the second single by the Eschelons. "Lonely Footsteps" and "My Lonely Senior Year" were recorded in 1962 . The second 45 was once again released on the SET-CO label. Ron Beatty was listed as the vocalist on both of the songs that were written and produced by Gil King. "Lonely Footsteps" was the local hit, reaching # 12 on WGRD's Fabulous "50" chart on May 12th.

    (l. to r.) J. Hazewinkel, A. Bischoff, G. King, R. Beatty, C. Woudstra, J. VanPutten & Sue Greiner.

    Cheri Woudstra left the Eschelons in June of 1962.  The band's final single was recorded in Gil King's home studio. "Angel In My Heart" was written by Ron Beatty and "Tears Of Love" by King. The 45 was again released on the SET-CO label with both sides listed as being produced and directed by Gil King. "Angel In My Heart" reached # 41 on WGRD's Classic "50" chart in the late fall of 1962, but the original members of the Eschelons had already begin to splinter due to high school graduation, marriage, and other factors.

    Songs :

    Lonely Footsteps                 My Lonely Senior Year                 Lonely Christmas

    Angel In My Heart                         Tears Of Love                    This Broken Heart


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