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Who is the real Peter Doyle?



img_1106A new N&R FL series. Did you know there was another one of you? Oh yes, there invariably is.

Is Peter Doyle, more famously known in London Market circles as Ginger Rabbit, the tall chinless ginger who has just walked into a cream job at Marsh or is he an Australian pop singer who had success with a number of Top 40 hits in Australia in the 1960’s, then success internationally as a member of the New Seekers in the 70’s?

I mean there is a close likeness.

Peter Doyle was born is Melbourne, Australia in 1949 and from the age of 9 was appearing on TV talent shows. From 1965 to 1967, Doyley had 7 Top 40 hits. He was backed by Melbourne band The Phantoms on all these recordings. He then recorded two singles with the band Grandmas Tonic as lead vocalist. Great name for a band that.

May 1968 saw him join the vocal trio The Virgil Brothers, Australia’s answer to The Walker Brothers but it was was with The New Seekers that he found real fame. They had a string of international hits, such as What Have They Done to My Song Ma, Never Ending Song of Love and I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.
In 1972, The New Seekers came second representing the UK, in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Beg, Steal or Borrow on which the Ginger Rabbit duetted with his then girlfriend Lyn Paul. As well as sharing vocals in The New Seekers he was a talented songwriter and contributed many songs to their albums.
He quit The New Seekers, apparently disillusioned with lack of monetary rewards (nothing has changed) and resumed his solo career, as a singer-songwriter. He continued working in the UK until 1981, during which period he produced five solo singles and got into advertising jingles. Ribena and Sugar Puffs were his favourites and he provided the vocal for a children’s single, Jungle Ted and the Laceybuttonpoppers. I remember it well.

Returning to Australia in 1987, Doyley regularly performed on the club singer circuit but sadly died in 2001 after a long period of ill health.


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