History Part 1
Ken was managing and playing drums in a fairly successful university group known as The Talismen Beat Unit. When Ken departed from Glasgow University, he took time off playing to establish his "day job" as a film cameraman/sound recordist in a small Glasgow film and recording company.
Brothers, Ian and Eric McCredie, had been playing together in and around Glasgow since the early sixties in a band called The Dominos.
It was at this time that Ian and Eric approached Ken to join their outfit. He was not really interested in the music business any longer and declined their offer.
A year or so later, Ken received a phone call from Ian to see if he would change his mind about performing and join a small group, to be called The Electrons, playing interval breaks in one of Glasgow's best known dance halls; The Dennistoun Palais.
Missing his time behind a drum kit, Ken agreed and the three formed a musical relationship which, together with a petite, vivacious blonde (left) from a small mining village in Lanarkshire, was to artistically ravish the International Music Business in the years to come.
Together they performed as Jan Douglas and the Douglas Boys and fulfilled a summer season in a seaside show featuring such Scottish stalwarts as the classic comedian, Chic Murray and the darling of the Scottish blue rinse brigade, Sidney Devine (see left).
Sally entered the fray in 1967 as a temporary replacement lead singer when Karen took time off due to illness. Sally was due to leave for a life in America after 3 months but she changed her mind when the boys asked her to join Part Three.
Part Four was now formed and this time everyone sang. The seeds of a successful vocal group were sown and soon they were in demand all over the central belt of Scotland.
By this time, the successful 4 were spotted by an astute management organisation who suggested that they become a specialty band and dress up in latin gear to complement the half dozen or so latin pop songs they included in their popular repertoire. Los Caracas was born and the next stage in the group's career began.
For the next three years the band travelled the length and breadth of the UK appearing in night clubs and restaurants and finally won a spot on a very popular national TV talent show known as Opportunity Knocks.
It was obvious that the band could no longer continue to perform part time since they were now very much in demand the length and breadth of the UK (click on the audio link for a 1968 cinema "ad" soundtrack).
After turning down offers of work from London Agents they decided to hook up with two croupiers from South America, who were working in a Glasgow Casino. (Sounds like good judgment!).
Before embarking on what was planned to be a trip to Argentina, they took an engagement on a cruise ship to the Caribbean, backing Kathie Kay, a well known British Big Band singer and wife of the man who was their friend and much-loved UK impresario, Archie McCulloch.
They were also given their own spot in the cabaret which was to be a precursor to their future act, but the name had to change. It was not considered appropriate to migrate to South America with a Latin American name. Ken came up with the idea of the name Middle of the Road and all four agreed to adopt the new image, still keeping the Latin content of their set but putting more of an accent on middle-of-the-road pop.