Ray Brown & the Whispers

Ray Brown & the Whispers were a highly successful Australian rock band from 1964 to 1967. Led by singer Ray Brown, they ranked alongside the Easybeats, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs and Normie Rowe as one of the most popular acts of the period. In 1964, the band played at the Bowl, a Sydney nightclub, doing covers of popular songs such as "Shakin All Over". The group performed regularly in front of thousands of excitable teenagers who danced wildly to the sounds and energy pro-vided by these new pop heroes. It was inevitable that the clean-cut and personable Brown would stand as the equal of Normie and Stevie Wright as a pin-up sensation. Over a frantic period of two years, Brown and the Whispers issued four excellent albums, seven hits singles and eight EPs. Indeed, their remark-able run of four Top 5 hits in a row – including three #1s in "20 Miles", "Pride" and "Fool, Fool, Fool" - in hometown Sydney during 1965 alone proved to be a milestone in local pop music history. Other highlights include the gritty garage rockers "(Ain't It) Strange" and "That's Evil", the moody "Too Late to Come Home" (with the Bee Gees on backing vocals), the chiming "Go to Him", laden with electric 12-sting guitar, and tremen-dous covers of soul staples "In the Midnight Hour" and "Respect". When Brown parted company from the group at the end of 1966, he continued the hit run as a solo artist with covers of the Four Tops' "The Same Old Song" and the Who's mod classic "Ivor the Engine Driver".


Previous lineup of 1964

  • Ray Brown [Vocals]
  • Lawrie Barclay [Rhythm guitar]
  • Bobbie Richardson [Lead guitar]
  • John Manners [Bass]
  • Pat Jeffery [Drums]

Classic lineup of 1965–1966

  • Ray Brown [Vocals]
  • Lawrie Barclay [Rhythm guitar]
  • Al Jackson [Lead guitar]
  • John Manners [Bass]
  • Pat Jeffery [Drums]



  • Ray Brown & the Whispers (self-titled) (1965)
  • Hits & Brass (1965)
  • Heading For The Top (1966)
  • Dance Dance Dance (1966)

Compilation albums

  • Miles of Hits (1988)
  • Ray Brown & the Whispers: The Ultimate Collection (2002)


Year Single Chart Positions
1965 "20 Miles" / "Devoted To You" 11[A]
"Pride" / "Say It Again" 3[A]
"Fool Fool Fool" / "Go To Him" 3
1966 "In The Midnight Hour" / "Now Is The Time" 4
"Tennessee Waltz Song" / "I am What I am" 4[A]
"Ain't It Strange" / "I Can't Get Enough" 38[A]
"Too Late To Come Home" / "Respect" 55[A]
1967 "The Same Old Song"[B] / "New Kind of Love"[B] 12[A]


  • The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop - Ian McFarlane - Allen & Unwin, Sydney - 1999 - ISBN 1-86508-072-1
  • Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock & Pop - Rigby Publishers - 1978 - ISBN 0-7270-1909-0
  • The Who's Who of Australian Rock - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishing - ISBN 0-86788-668-4
  • An Australian Discography 1960-1989 - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishers - 1990 - ISBN 0-7316-8343-9

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