DOUG CURRAN

Doug & Colleen Curran 5/24/69

Doug and Colleen Curran at NYC's Plaza Hotel, May 24, 1969

Lettermen member: 1969 — 1970

DOUG CURRAN joined the Lettermen in 1969, taking over temporarily for Jim Pike who was experiencing voice problems. In addition to touring with Tony and Gary, he also recorded three albums with the group: I HAVE DREAMED (May 1969), HURT SO BAD (October 1969) and TRACES / MEMORIES (Jan. 1970). Mr. Curran is probably the most mysterious of all Lettermen alumni, as not many photos have circulated of him and he never appeared on any album cover.


In his own words, here is how Doug got his start singing: "I started singing modern "Four Freshmen" type songs when I was only 15. That's because a guy named Buck Farley (who used to sing with Jim Pike in The Damons) was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease and returned to the DC area to be treated. He came to my LDS ward and started recruiting singers while he was recuperating. I was one of the lucky ones."

"So while everyone was singing Folk music in the late 50's and early 60's, my ear went in the other direction and I began singing Four-part harmonies that never touched each other. Buck and I went out to BYU (Brigham Young University), me a 17 year-old Freshman, and Buck (6 years older) was returning after his cancer went into remission. We sang around campus as The Casuals, and cut a two-song record called "Snowbound" and "Pretty As A Picture". It was released and doing quite well, until we were told that there was already another group by that name and we had to cease and desist. But we loved singing those "Four Freshman" type tunes around the girls' dorms at Midnight until the campus police would run us off. Jim Pike was a fan of them, too. He was getting The Lettermen started in the early sixties and wanted Buck to join. Buck declined and got married instead."

The Casuals 1959

"When I was called to serve in Brazil as a Mormon Missionary, I figured I was leaving all that music and singing friends behind for 2 1/2 years. But while my friends were singing with others, I was called to organize a quartet in Brazil of singing Missionaries. We traveled all over Brazil and Uruguay, were on National Radio and TV, and made many friends for the Church through music and some of the smooth harmonies I had learned with Buck. My group in Brazil was the Mormon Melodaires. We even recorded an album down there before we came home, mostly Pop stuff in Portuguese and Spanish."

"When I returned, the guys were waiting for me and we became The Intervals. We sang around campus once again and now included instruments (as I had learned Guitar in my Brazil quartet). By then, The Lettermen were in full swing. I had met them in New York when they first began, when Buck took our group to see them. With The Intervals, I went to the Orient for 3 months in 1965, singing for U.S. Troops. In 1967 we went to Europe doing the same. This time with Janie Thompson, who had directed Jim Pike, Buck, Bob Engemann and his brother Karl in some BYU talent shows in the fifties. I continued to perform at BYU and was even Male Vocalist of the Year in 1967. I was singing in the Acapella Choir, taking voice lessons and decided to try Opera. I got the leads in two operas: "La Boheme" and "Amahl and the Night Visitors." And while finishing my graduate English courses and teaching Freshman English, I got the big phone call."

"It was Christmas 1968 and Janie called and said that Jim Pike had lost his voice and was looking for a replacement for awhile. I went to see Jim over the Holidays and auditioned. I still had two weeks of English to teach after Christmas. I was told I was one of 200 great voices and they'd let me know. I received several phone calls saying that they kept narrowing it down and I was a finalist. Then it was down to two. Now I was stressed! It was almost harder to be one of two, than one of two hundred. When I went in for the final audition, I was told that the other guy didn't want to leave his wife and that I got the job. I never went back and finished my classes, but started right into rehearsals, recorded "Hurt So Bad" and left for a college tour in the East with Gary and Tony."


Doug & Colleen in 1970

Shortly after the birth of their first child, Doug and Colleen in 1970

Doug met his wife Colleen in April 1969 in Amarillo, Texas. The Lettermen were staying at a Holiday Inn where she was performing. Wooing her with his Brazilian guitar music, the two fell in love and were married six weeks later in NYC where The Lettermen performed at the Plaza. During this time, Jim still did TV appearances but Doug overdubbed the voice from backstage. Jim Pike returned to the group in mid 1970. In the Fall of 1970, Doug again got a call to cover for Jim again. He rehearsed for the gig at the Fairmont in San Francisco which would last 3 weeks. Jim ultimately decided to perform, but Tony wanted to be closer to his wife who was about to give birth in Los Angeles. He took the 3 weeks off. So this time Doug sang all of Tony's parts, performing with Gary and Jim.

Since performing with The Lettermen Doug has performed with his wife Colleen, worked writing Radio and TV spots in the DC area for a small production house, wrote and recorded jingles and full PSA songs, doing solos and groups vocals with Colleen and Buck and another BYU friend named Cheryln Olson Hart. He even sold Karaoke machines for awhile. And, oh yes, he and Colleen have raised 8 amazing children: Quinn, Megan, Shane, Erin, Shannon, Caitlin, Sean and Conn. He is currently working as a free-lance writer, trying to publish some book and song ideas, as well as teaching a little English as a Second Language on the side. His wife has excelled in teaching Special Education since 1991. He and Colleen also worked on two projects with Jim Pike and Buck Farley in the mid-eighties with the group Sounds Alumni. The two albums were called SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS and SOUNDS AND BONES.

Thanks to Doug Curran and his family for sharing these photos with us.


Please click picture to enlarge it.

Curran newspaper
1969 Newspaper clipping
after joining The Lettermen
Doug & Colleen 1972
Doug & Colleen 1972
A Promo photo for
the singing duo
The Curran family 2000
Doug & Colleen's Family 2000
The Happy Couple
The Happy Couple:
Doug & Colleen in 2002
Doug & Colleen 1970
Doug, Gary & Jim
Singing the National Anthem
for the San Francisco 49ers
August 1970
Sounds Alumni album
Sounds Alumni
The Sounds Of Christmas
1985
Sounds Alumni album
Sounds Alumni
Sounds And Bones
1988
Doug's Daughter  and Grandson
Doug's Daughter, Caiti,
with Grandson, Gavin
Aug. 9, 2003
Curran Family 2006
2006
(Back L to R) Caitlin, Shane, Sean, Quinn, Conn, Shannon
(Front L-R) Megan, Doug, Colleen, Erin
Curran Family 2009
2009 Curran Family
July 2009
Doug & Colleen's 40th Anniversary Celebration
1986-2013
Compare 1986-2013
The Curran Family
Great photo!
More soon
More coming soon!