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Fred Mack
and His Echo Valley Rangers
Born:  July 19, 1924
Died:  December 11, 2009
WEOK Poughkeepsie, NY
WGL Fort Wayne, IN
WKIP Poughkeepsie, NY

Fred Mack (Mekeel) and his group, the Echo Valley Rangers were entertaining folks in the Eastern part of the state of New York in 1957. The band made many personal appearances in the area and was one of the recurring featured acts on the "Cimmaron Dude Ranch" show that was held in Peekskill, New York.

Fred organized the group in 1949 when he was discharged from the U. S. Army after World War II.

Fred Mack's Echo Valley Rangers

One of the early band members, Minard Coons, tells us some of his memories. The original group members were Fred Mack, Hank Peters, Buddy Krom and Smokey Fisher. Minard notes he recalled only two changes in the group before he joined. One was a fellow by the name of Jimmy Dean, but that was not the same Jimmy Dean that went on to television, smoked sausage and to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The other addition Minard recalls was a "super singer" by the name of Sundown Ed LaFumee, who joined the group. In 1954. Minard, then 17, left the group for about a year. He returned and stayed with the group until the end in 1972.

Fred Mack's Echo Valley Rangers

Minard recalls the Echo Valley Rangers appeared on Rosalie Allen's radio program out of New York. They also had their own radio program over WEOK and WKIP, both in Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1950s and 1960s.

Minard tells us he recalled they did do one 45rpm recording - "Moonshine In The North Carolina Hills" b/w "Echo Valley Yodel". A 1954 article mentions that the group had several songs to their credit (but did not state they 'recorded' the tunes) such as "Texarkana Waltz", "Memories of the Past", "This Lonely Heart of Mine", and "Too Many Kisses".

Timeline & Trivia Notes

Group Members over the years:
  • Fred Mack, fiddler, leader
  • Minard Coons, rhythm guitar
  • Peter Curry, accordion
  • Sundown Ed LaFumee, vocals, guitar
  • Buddy Krom, Spanish guitar and bass
  • Hank Peters, lead electric guitar
  • Smokey Fisher, square dance caller, steel guitar
  • Jimmy Dean

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Minard Coons, one of the members of the Echo Valley Rangers, for providing us with the pictures and his recollections.
  • Country Song Roundup; No. 6; June 1950; American Folk Publications; Derby, CT
  • Cowboy Songs; No. 36; August 1954; American Folk Publications; Derby, CT
  • Country Song Roundup; No. 48; February 1957; American Folk Publications; Derby, CT

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