Soul Agents

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Soul Agents  —  Ray Ballantyne (Keyboards), Trevor Wright (Bass Guitar), Larry McKay (Lead Guitar), "Super" Cyril Edwards (Vocals), Cash Kazmierczak (Drums)
Original bass player Don Clarkson was replaced by Trevor Wright (who was then replaced, albeit temporarily by Wayne Martin).  Original Lead Guitarist Mike Lewis was replaced by Larry McKay, and Chris Whitehead came in on drums with Cash moving to percussion and more vocal focus just before he left.

Soul Agents from the recollections of Ray Ballantyne (with additional details from Mike Lewis)  —  
"I played keyboards in Soul Agents from when the group formed toward the end of 1973 until late 1975.  The band was formed by booking agent, Bindy Gerrard, to take over the residency at the Carlton Hotel.  The Carlton had built a big barn of a bar and attempts at having high profile touring bands had not been successful.  Mike Lewis passed the name "Soul Agents" over to Bindy (Mike borrowed the name from a band he knew of in his old home town of Southampton, UK - they had Rod Stewart as their singer for a while) and Bindy ran with it.  —  there were adds in the newspapers before the band had even been formed!


  At the time I had been playing in a trio with Cash, and our bass player, Bryan Bruce, was leaving to go overseas.  When Cash was invited to join the new band he suggested I come too.  We met in Mike Lewis's Holden Sound factory for 2 nights of rehearsals then started a dream gig, Wednesday to Saturday 7:00pm till 10:00pm.  The Commonwealth Games in January 1974 were the making of the combination of the band and the venue.  The original line-up was Don Clarkson, who left not long after the band formed and was replaced by Trevor Wright.  I think one of the strengths was that, while having a stable gig, the band went through a lineup change about every six months.  It meant that the band kept developing and evolving.  Mike Lewis left to concentrate on the Holden Sound business and was replaced by Larry MacKay who had left Beam in Auckland to return to Christchurch.  Trevor Wright left and was replaced for a short while by Wayne Martin.  Trevor returned on Wayne's departure.  Chris Whitehead, also of Beam, returned to Christchurch and joined.  For a couple of weeks The Soul Agents was a six piece with Chris on drums and Cash Kazmierczak playing percussion and taking more of a vocalist's role, but Cash left shortly therafter.  At that stage (1975) the line-up looked like the one shown second above, and it remained quite stable doing some TV work and taking over the residency at Mojos 11:00pm till late Thursday - Saturday as well as the Carlton residency.


There were quite a few others who filled in for short periods when one of the regular members was unavailable.  Each year Soul Agents spent the New Year period as the band at the Waimate Christmas Carnival.  I left the band late in 1975 to concentrate on finishing a university degree.  For the next 2 years I gigged in a duo with Bryan Bruce.  I then left Christchurch and haven't really played much since.  Sadly Cash Kazmierczak passed away a few years back (in 1996)."


Larry McKay, Super Cyril, Trevor Wright, Cash Kazmierczak
and Ray Ballantyne (bottom)

Ray Ballantyne,
Larry McKay, Trevor Wright,
Super Cyril,
Cash Kazmierczak

Trevor Wright, Larry McKay, Super Cyril, Ray Ballantyne and Cash Kazmierczak


Ray Ballantyne, Trevor Wright, Chris Whitehead, Super Cyril and Larry McKay

A Radio Avon Gig in Ashburton

Chris Whitehead, Ray Ballantyne, Super Cyril, Trevor Wright and Larry McKay



Larry McKay, Rob Semke, Denis Shrimpton, Super Cyril and Chris Whitehead

"Super" Cyril Edwards

Rob Semke, Denis Shrimpton, Super Cyril, Chris Whitehead and Larry McKay



Cash Kazmierczak

Chris Whitehead

Denis Shrimpton

Larry McKay

Trevor Wright

Ray Ballantyne

Rob Semke


Soul Agents  —  (Original Line-up circa 1973) Cyril Edwards (Vocals), Mike Lewis (Lead Guitar), Don Clarkson (Bass Guitar), Cash Kazmierczak (Drums), Ray Ballantyne (Keyboards)
Soul Agents (Last line-up circa 1975)  —  Super Cyril Edwards (Vocals), Larry McKay (Lead Guitar), Trevor Wright (Bass Guitar), Chris Whitehead (Drums), Ray Ballantyne (Keyboards)