Robinson, Peter Doyle, Rob Lovett - September, 1969
original line-up for the Virgil Brothers was to be Rob Lovett,
Malcolm McGee and Mick Hadley but just a few weeks into rehearsal
Mick left, leaving an opening for Peter Doyle to join the group.
along the lines of the Walker Brothers and Righteous Brothers
all three Virgils had already proved themselves on the Australian
Malcolm Mcgee and Rob Lovett had been founder members of the
Wild Cherries and both left in 1966, Malcolm joined Python Lee
Jackson whilst Rob moved on to the Loved Ones co-writing hits
for as well as performing with the group.
group were managed by Lily Brett, their musical director was
David Mackay, whom Peter was to work with again, later as a
New Seeker. Their musical arranger, Johnny Arthey was
also to work on some early recordings for the New Seekers at
a later date.
early in 1968, the Virgil Brothers spent a long time rehearsing
and preparing for the debut with advance publicity provided
by the Australian music paper, Go-Set.
1968 Go-Set reported that the group had spent four
months in preparation, working on their presentation, learning
their musical arrangements and perfecting their stage act.
In an interview Peter, who at the age of 18, was already being
described here as 'Australia's most underrated singer' explained
that although all three group members could play more than one
instrument, they would not be playing their own backing, another
group and orchestra would be providing the music.
Virgil Brothers made their debut on Tuesday 4th June 1968 at
the Menzies Hotel in Melbourne with radio station 3UZ on hand
to tape the show for a later broadcast. The following
Sunday afternoon they appeared at Melbourne's Festival Hall,
as Peter had done as a solo artist on many an occasion.
They starred with Johnny Farnham and also on the bill were the
Mixtures, the Campact, the Rondells and Marcie Jones and the
following week their first single Temptation
'Bout to Get Me, backed with
I See Her Face received rave reviews in
Go-Set from well known figures on Australia's pop scene.
Stan Rofe declared it the best Australian record he had heard
in his 10-year career as a DJ, Johnny Farnham and Johnny Young
both said they had been knocked out the first time they heard
it and Jim Keays of Masters Apprentices said that it was a 'very
courageous attempt at something new, which is successful.
Vocally they are the cream of all Australian talent'.
'Bout to Get me was a huge success and was quickly followed
up by a second single, Here
I Am which was backed by Shake
Me This second single failed to reach the
same heights but Temptation won a major network award
as best record of the year and earned the group a trip to the
UK under the same management as Cliff Richard.
in 1969 the Virgil Brothers boarded the Fairstar, a
ship which had carried many British emigrees to Australia and
delivered much of the cream of the Australian sixties music
scene to the UK. Travelling with the Virgil Brothers that
year were the Groove who had been the 1968 winners of Hoadley's
Battle of the Sounds contest.
in the UK in April 1969, the Virgil Brothers faced a line-up
change as Malcolm McGee decided to leave and a replacement,
Danny Robinson was flown over from Australia. Danny was
also a former member of the Wild Cherries, but he joined the
group after Mal and Rob had left.
group's UK engagements included a weekly spot as guest artists
for the summer run of the Frankie Howerd Show and also
an appearance on Joe Brown's TV show, Set 'Em Up, Joe!
'Bout to Get Me was
re-released but this time the original B side co-written by
Rob was replaced by Look
Away, written by Peter. In the UK as in
Australia the single appeared on the Parlophone label
whilst it came under the Tamla Motown umbrella, released
on the Rare Earth label in the US and Canada.
third and final single was released in the UK in September 1969.
You Walk Away was co-written by Shadows member
Hank Marvin who co-wrote another song to become the title track
of Peter's next solo album, Skin
Deep, in 1976. The B side was Good
time, the Walker Brothers and Righteous Brothers may have been
legends but they were also history, the pop scene had moved
off in another direction and the true talents of the Virgil
Brothers abroad went unnoticed. The group split
and the members went their seperate ways in early 1970.