The Secrets / The Quiet Jungle

Promotional card for the Secrets – click here to see back

Updated March 27, 2008, to include comments by Doug Rankine.

Click here to see promotional sleeve.

The Quiet Jungle, one of the best bands to come out of Toronto in the ’60s. They only had two 45s, “Ship of Dreams” / “Everything”, and “Make Up Your Mind” / “Too Much In Love”.

I couldn’t find out much about them until Ivan Amirault set the record straight:

“Quiet Jungle started life as The Secrets. Same band as ‘Cryin’ Over Her’ fame on ARC Records. First they recorded a novelty pop tune called ‘Clear The Track Here Comes Shack’. A tune about a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player from right here in Sudbury, Ontario! The tune made it to number one on CHUM radio in Toronto for two weeks starting February 28, 1966. It charted for nine weeks.”

The Secrets were Doug Rankine on vocals and guitar, Bob Mark lead guitar, Henry S. on electric piano, Mike Woodruff on bass and Rick Felstead on drums.

“Clear the Track Here Comes Shack” and the flip, “Warming the Bench” are pure novelty songs. Eddie Shack spoke fondly of the song in an interview on www.riredsdvd.com (site now defunct). While successful, it hardly demonstrates the talents of the band.

RPM, May 23, 1966

Much better is their release on Arc Records, “Cryin’ Over Her”, featuring a solid beat, fluid guitar work and good contrast between the taut verse and melodic chorus. Bob Mark wrote “Cryin’ Over Her”, and would go on to write or co-write all four of the Quiet Jungle’s released sides.

In the interim, though, their association with Arc would lead to their recording a whole album of Monkees songs for the label, released anonymously with the title A Little Bit Me, I’m a Believer, She Hangs Out plus 9 other ‘Tail-Hanger’ Favorites. Their version of “Mary Mary” is as good as any track from the Monkees record.

Monkees covers LP cut anonymously by the Secrets
Anyone have a better scan of this cover, or the back?
Licensed Snoopy LP, label credits Quiet Jungle
Anyone have a better scan of this cover, or the back?

There’s also the The Story of Snoopy’s Christmas LP that credits them by name, now changed to Quiet Jungle. The credits for this record list Doug Rankine, Bob Mark and Rick Felstead, as well as Henry Taylor on percussion, while Henry S. and the bassist Mike Woodruff aren’t named.

A Rolling Stones cover lp called Let’s Spend The Night Together was long rumored to be the Quiet Jungle playing anonymously, but Doug Rankine says the band wasn’t involved (see below).

“Ship of Dreams”, their first 45 as Quiet Jungle is a particular kind of 60’s song about bringing the girl who thinks she’s so hip back down to earth. There were more of these type of songs than you’d imagine!

The May, ’67 issue of Canadian Teen magazine gave “Ship of Dreams” the following review: “Good material with some weird sound effects but it lacks the professional touches and sound to make it a hit.” Take this with a grain of salt, the record the reviewer raves about on the same page is by Gordon Lightfoot!

Typically, it’s the b-side where a monster of a track hides, “Everything”, written by Bob Mark and Henry Taylor. The bass lays down the melody, a ferocious fuzz guitar dupes the riff, and the organ plays the changes in perfect textbook garage style. A minute and a half in, they repeat the break with the drums slamming away, the singer reaching his peak, and for a short while it’s as intense as this music gets.

Released in early 1967, “Ship of Dreams” reached as high as #31 in February, charting for five weeks on CHUM. The song was also featured on a compilation of Yorkville singles with a great cover called Yorkville Evolution

Their second 45, “Too Much In Love” / “Make Up Your Mind” is also first-rate work, and again the b-side is tougher. Ivan writes: “The ‘Too Much In Love’ single didn’t chart, and is much harder to find than the ‘Ship Of Dreams’ 45.”

There are possibly more tapes in the vaults at Arc, but who knows when those will come to light.

Compilation LP featuring the Quiet Jungle doing “Ship of Dreams”
Click to see back cover
RPM, June 6, 1966

Vocalist Doug Rankine has been in touch, and kindly gave these detailed answers to my questions:

As the Secrets, we had recorded a couple of singles, “Cryin Over Her” the most notable. While playing at the Toronto Pressmen’s club, Brian MacFarland introduced himself to us and asked if we would record a song he had written for his friend Eddie Shack. At that time, we were under the impression he wanted it just for Shack. We didn’t know it was going to be released as a single and played across the entire country. Once it was released, we thought (or hoped) it would just disappear into the night and nobody would care about it. As fate would have it, it didn’t disappear. For some reason people loved it.

We were very young and like 100’s of bands playing the local scene at the time, we had our sights set on “Stardom”. Clearly, we needed a way to distance ourselves from a “novelty song” such as Shack. The most logical solution in the eyes of the execs at Yorkville records was to change the name and get a couple of singles into the marketplace under our new name “The Quiet Jungle” as soon as possible. We released our first single “Ship Of Dreams” on the Yorkville label and things seemed to have turned the corner.

Our bookings increased and we were playing right across Canada. Everyone booking us however, wanted the “Secrets” to play “Clear The Track Here Comes Shack” and not the group that just released “Ship Of Dreams”. I was 17 at the time and the money being offered was pretty good, so we decided to take the bookings and pocket the money!

The major influences for the Quiet Jungle were the Rascals, Animals and believe it or not the Mamas & Papas. I want to clarify one point. While we did cover a “Monkees Album” and “Snoopy’s Christmas Album” for Arc Records, we did not cover any songs listed in the “Let’s Spend the Night Together” album. I was only used for the picture of the album cover.

Q. Did the Quiet Jungle have anything to do with the Flower Power album released on Arc by ‘The Okey Pokey Band and Singers’?

No we had nothing to do with the “Flower Power” album. There were a couple of TV shows at that time called After Four and High Time that were on CTV. We were on those shows varily often. There was an album produced at the time called “After Four”. There are some great tracks on that album from the Ugly Duckings, Big Town Boys and Stitch In Tyme to name a few. At the time of the album we recorded a song entitled “Four In the Morning”. Without going into a lot of detail, we recorded it under the name of the Scarlet Ribbon.

There were a few reasons the band broke up. After four years (having the time of my life), I came to the realization that “I personally” was not a good enough singer to hit the big time. While traveling the country, I got to hear bands and singers that were 10 times better than I was and realized that even they would not make it. We were playing the “Red River Exhibition” in Winnipeg one summer when I got to hear a young guy by the name of Burton Cummings sing. As soon as he opened his mouth, I knew I was in the wrong business. There was no mistaking, he had a voice from the Gods and was truly destined for stardom.

Bob Mark and Henry Taylor were the true talent of our band. Both were extremely accomplished, Bob on the creative side (writing original material) and Henry as the musical side (arranging). Both Rick and Mike were very solid on drums and bass but it was Bob and Henry who carried the band.

Mike left the band and we continued for about a year as a four member group. I left after a year. If I remember correctly, Bob, Henry and Rick got a new singer (I’m sorry I forget his name) and added Ron Canning from the Rising Sons and continued to play for another year or so.

Bob retired some years ago and lives somewhere up North. Rick lives in the Durham area. I believe Mike is somewhere in Toronto. Henry is in Toronto and is still active in the music business playing part time with a Doors tribute band.

Thank you to Ivan for the info, scans of promotion material on the Secrets, and most of the mp3s featured here, and special thanks to Doug Rankine for his detailed story about the band. Thanks to David for the tip about the Eddie Shack interview.

If anyone has goods scan or photo of the various LPs mentioned in this article, esp. the Flower Power, CTV After Four or Let’s Spend the Night Together LPs please contact me.

31 thoughts on “The Secrets / The Quiet Jungle”

  1. well, this finally does confirm that the Arc Compilation “let’s spend the night together” does in face
    have the Quiet Jungle ripping through those Stones Tracks. So, does that also mean they are
    doing all the covers on the Album, such as the great Yardbirds version “over under sideways down”????
    peace from London Ontario.

  2. your “too much in love ” sounds almost as scratchy as mine , except mine has a major warp, so it barely plays – watching the arm go around and see it bump up in the air as it rides the warp–looks like a cheap ride at the CNE, and I (think) I saw the Jungle at the cne upstairs in one of the big pavilions ,it was an incredible scene ,in each corner was a stage with bands blasting thru Bogen pa amps and traynor column speakers ! and right in the middle was a separate tent with separate admission to get in , featuring the Mandala . Of course i should have paid the extra buck , but i did not know how great they were until a couple of years later. Oh , and don’t forget all the musical instrument display booths all over the place , I distinctly remember pawing fender tellies and gibson SG s and a Firebird . I can’t remember how I ended up with the Too much in love 45 , but to me it is an amazing piece of 60’s groove, the organ grinding thru a leslie and the harpsichord ! and the Picadilly chord sequence ending –you can see the pidgeons scattering as you strut your pinstripe bellbottoms ..thanks !

  3. Today, Tues., Febr. 26, 2008, 1050 CHUM played “Clear the Track for Eddie Shack” to commemorate not only the 42nd anniversary of its week at the #1 position on CHUM but, also the 42nd anniversary of the opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway line.

  4. Yeah, “Clear The Track Here Comes Shack” was a huge hit in Toronto, I remember it well. In fact it’s hard to imagine anybody who was in T.O. at that time not remembering it. I’ll bet Glen Gould was even familiar with it. The Shack had quite a season that year and CHUM was THE cool station in those days… I used to listen to an evening show called The Groove Yard.

  5. ok, i came back to check something..and i swear you had posted that The quiet Jungle did indeed play on the “let’s spend the night together” arc LP..you even had Songs posted from the LP..but now they are gone..and the band member says they did not..ok..am i going nuts?? haha.. well, good LP anyways.and great webpage..keep up the amazing work.

  6. wowzers, this was the first 45 i ever had (i stole it from my mom, she had 3 45’s one was the youngbloods, a 5th dimension and EVERYTHING) Thanks, i’d always wondered who was doing the music on that ARC Monkees lp, the “stepping stone” is savage, sounds like the uk band The Flies must’ve heard it..the riff.

  7. A few years ago I discovered a used copy of “The Story of Snoopy’s Christmas” at a garage sale. Always one to enjoy new takes on Christmas classics, I bought it for 25 cents I think. Not expecting much, I took it home and put it on the turntable. Wow!! I was very impressed by the quality of the recording, the arrangements and the great vocals. This record was a keeper! And that fuzz guitar solo in “Christmas-Baby Please Come Home” is killer! I have since been able to find a couple more copies of the record for next to nothing. Now I will have to search out some more music by The Quiet Jungle.

    Cheers,
    Jeff Ferguson
    Mississauga

  8. My brother-in-law is Bob Mark. He told me “The Story of Snoopy’s Christmas” was done just for the money and their name wasn’t supposed to be on it. Just like Clear The Track it wasn’t something they wanted the world to know about.
    There are a few mistakes in the article. The keyboard player was Henry Thaler, not Taylor. I worked with Henry for about 5 years.

    1. Hi Keith

      I am trying to get Bob Mark’s autograph on a Chum Chart. Can you help?

      Richard Mills

      Milton, Ontario

  9. I cam remebmer this group and I had the oppertunity of meeting them in the ^0s at a coffee house in Yorkville. I had a few dances in Brampton and had them play there as I loked there music and the guys themselfs always nice to be around and treaded you as a person. I have the 2 45s of them and play them at times and love both sides of them too. I will always remember them from my past, to bad they did not go farther.

  10. When I think of my childhood Christmases, ‘The Story of Snoopy’s Christmas …’ holds a distinct place. I have no idea how my family, fresh over from Scotland, came to have it in its record collection, but it was as traditional as the tree in our home. Years after it went to my oldest brother and subsequently disappeared without a trace, my parents found a copy in a thrift store. They immediately called to tell me they’d found a copy! (Clearly, even as an adult, I had expressed my displeasure at its disappearance rather clearly.) As I listened to it for the first time in years, I discovered I could still anticipate almost every nuance in the instrumental and vocal arrangements. As goofy as this sounds, I hope these guys have some small sense that their music (including a little Christmas album) was and is loved.

  11. Great to hear stories from Doug. I knew them 66-69 and went to many many shows. I was a very young teenager 13-16 and my mother used to drive me nearly every weekend to see the band. They used to call me Callablaster for some reason and Doug used to imitate Mark Lindsay on stage (I loved Mark Lindsay) so he’d tease me. Often wondered what became of everyone. I married a man who plays the “Jim Morrison” part in the Doors cover band that Henry Taylor plays in. Although we are not married anymore it was awsome to come full circle back to a member of The Quiet Jungle. Doug if you ever read these comments, I’d like to say hi and hope you are well.

  12. Just as a comment on what Doug said in his interview, I want to disagree with his opinion that he didn’t think his vocals were strong enough to make it. All vocalists are different Whitney Houston vs Gwen Seffani for example, one is very strong the other has a style of her own. The Quiet Jungle was a great percentage Doug, his vocals, style, looks and showmanship. As happens with alot of bands once the orginal vocalist is gone so is the band. I saw them with Ron Canning and another singer Donny (can’t remember his last name). Gone were all the things I just mentioned, vocals, style looks and showmanship. Don’t belittle what you did for the band. It was never the same without you. Personally I loved your voice!!

  13. I was reminiscencing with a friend of my just this weekend about the Toronto groups we knew way back when. I mentioned the Secrets/Quite Jungle as I was the girlfriend of Rick Felstead, the drummer for a couple of years. Needless to say, I went to alot of their gigs with them. One thing I didn’t see mentioned was a wee gig they had on a local dance TV show called HIGH TIME hosted by Jungle Jay Nelson from Chum. They were very popular in those days and, yes, Clear The Track Here comes Shack, went to number one rather quickly. I think it even surprised them. Thanks for the memories and if Rick wants to say hi, just ask him to drop me a line.

  14. I was googling the band and this article popped up. Obviously, it is an older article, but, I thank you for it anyway. I LOVED the Quiet Jungle. I used to go weekends to the Village and see them perform…downstairs in this small room. you wouldn’t even know it was there if you didn’t know what you were looking for lmao!! My friend and I went to the village a couple of years ago to see if it was still there. The door is, it was locked. And Doug, you are wrong! You did have a great voice. As far as that scrawny singer..Burton Cummings went..I thought he was this arrogant little sh_ _. I have to tell you, we went to Oshawa one time to see you guys…only it turned out to be the Guess Who. I was so pd off! thanks again for the article. It brought back so many wonderful memories!! I’m not surprised Henry is doing the Doors. You guys…meaning YOU Doug..did the Doors perfectly. You should be performing lead in that group.

  15. This is to Shari, I was just wondering when you knew Rick and if we knew eachother. When I knew them Rick’s girlfried was Wendy and I think he married her although I don’t think they stayed married. I used to go see the band every weekend from around 66-69. Shari, I’m not doubting you went out with Rick I am just curious is maybe we know eachother somewhere along the line.

  16. There was a summer in the 60’s that I travelled around with the band to many great Ontario spots (The Kee in Bala) as an unofficial roadie. I’m sure if the band knew or not, but, I was only 15 years old and I think I even drove the van sometimes.

    Just for the fun of it I’ve tried to find some members to say hello and reminise about them days but haven’t found any connection til now.

    If any of the guys read this, HELLO !!

    Bill (short guy with long hair)

  17. Still one of Ontario’s best garage band versions of Light My Fire. About 10 or 15 minutes of shear hippiness.

  18. Hi Keith,

    I just stumbled on this web site and maybe thru you I can contact some of the band.

    I was kind of an un-official roadie for a year or so and would like to say Hi to the guys. I’m not sure if Bob was in the band by then, but, Henry, Rick and Doug were for sure.

    If you still have any contact with them and they still remember me and would like to say hello, please pass on this message.

    Thanks, Bill

  19. I know by your reference to Mark Lindsay that you are who I think you are. I remember the ‘Mark Lindsay” dance you refer to…..
    I had lived back in Toronto for 10 years or so and coincedently was attending show and shines at a bar called California in the same mall we picked you up on the way out of town.

    It’s me….Bill

  20. I agree! There was NOTHING wrong with the vocals. It’s more an issue with the technology
    and studio time, and the fact they were SO bloody young.

    I’m sure they were pushed through the studio fast, unlike someone else like Anne Murray who was coached and pampered and given the choice mics of the ARC studios.

    Even listen to those early Ugly Ducklings tracks. People love that rawness, but the singer did develop a pretty nice vocal sound near the end, but then those tracks never made it on record.

  21. Well hello,

    I never thought that I’d talk to any of that crowd again. Isn’t this internet thing amazing ?
    How are you ? Still in contact with any of the band ?

  22. Doug:

    I just heard a song on the radio which reminded me of the Quiet Jungle. It was back in the 60’s and I was about 15 years old. I went to a dance (I believe it was at a local high school) where I live in Kingston, Ontario with some girlfriends and we were standing in front of the stage, a little back and Doug singled me out and called me up on the stage to dancea little and he asked me my name. I was petrified but it was fun. I enjoyed the music very much. Anyway I think we exchanged telephone numbers or something and that was about it but it is something I have always remembered about being 15.

    Diana in Kingston

  23. I was a groupie for the band “The Secrets” before they became the Quiet Jungle. My best friend was friends with Mike Woodruffe’s girlfriend (Pat Kelly). Henry Thaler’s name was actually Schwartzenthaler. Bob Mark also had a band called the “Bob Mark Five” which I think was before the Secrets but it was so long ago now that I can’t remember. I went to high school with Rick Felstead. These were good times. They had a manager and I can’t remember his name now but they were supposed to play at a High School but he had a car accident and was late getting there with the instruments. Its funny the things you remember. When “Clear the Track was released, we (the groupies) used to take turns calling into Chum to request they play it,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *