Bruce Cameron

2017 - Spirit Award

Bruce Cameron's roots in music run deep.  Both of his grandmothers were professional performers in Chicago. He began taking piano lessons in 3rd grade learning to read music but his true gift was to play by ear. His freshman year at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines found him in choir as a second tenor. Shortly after, in the fall of 1965, he and his choir classmates decided to form a band called the Echos V, made up of Bruce, Rick Breuss, Tony Valdez and the Chase brothers; Gary and Rick. They had the thrill of recording 2 songs in Chicago at Universal Studios in their senior year.

Later, while at Drake University in Des Moines, the band added a horn section.  Again they found themselves at a recording studio. This time in Omaha, Nebraska at Sound Recorders Studio, which became a studio used by Mannheim Steamroller. There they recorded 4 original songs written by Bruce, Tony and Gary. They went on the road for about 9 months, traveling in a custom built motor home, and played clubs in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and New York.  In December of 1973 Bruce "retired" from the band, which at that time was known as "Children".  He continued to play weddings with Manual Valdez's band.

In 1987 he set about the task of putting his original band, The Echos V, back together. They played for Dowling's 20th class reunion in 1989. Other gigs followed including The KIOA Good Guy Reunion at the Val Air, and at Adventureland. The Echos V were back!

The band was inducted into the Iowa Rock & Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in 1998. They returned the next year as Pete Clint's back up band. Since that time they have played with, or opened for, Johnny Rivers, The Buckinghams, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Chrystal Gayle, Pat Upton of the Spiral Staircase, and the Lovin' Spoonful.

Now Bruce is wanting to give back to a vocation that has brought him so much joy and helped pay for his college education. He is now serving as a volunteer Regional Consultant for The Iowa Rock & Roll Music Association (IRRMA). He enjoys being an active supporter of young musicians. He would encourage others to become a member of IRRMA, donate their time and talents, and pass it on to the next generation. IRRMA is a wonderful organization that enables young musicians, and live music, to flourish in Iowa.

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