Green Green The Four Preps
The Four Preps are an American popular music male quartet. In the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, the group amassed eight gold singles as well as three gold albums. Its million-selling signature tunes consisted of “26 Miles (Santa Catalina),“ “Big Man,“ “Lazy Summer Night,“ and also “Down by the Station“.
The Four Preps
Los Angeles, California, USA
The Four Preps‘ various TV and film appearances consisted of four years backing teen heartthrob Ricky Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as well as appearing with Sandra Dee in the film Gidget.Their most recent TV appearance was with the award-winning 2004 PBS special, Magic Moments: The Best of 50s Pop.
The current version of the Four Preps includes co-founder and also original lead singer Bruce Belland, Bob Duncan (formerly with the Diamonds and the Crew Cuts), Michael Redman (of the Crew Cuts), as well as Jim Armstrong. Their shows are currently a combinations of singing every little thing from doo-wop to Tin Pan Alley standards and also comedy.
Bruce Belland, lead vocals (birthed October 22, 1936, Chicago, Illinois).
Ed Cobb, bass (birthed February 28, 1938; death September 19, 1999).
Marv Ingram, high tenor (birthed Marvin Inabnett July 29, 1938; death March 7, 1999).
Glen A. Larson, baritone (birthed January 3, 1937 Los Angeles, California;death November 14, 2014).
The four original members were students at Hollywood High School and were signed to a recording contract by Capitol Records, after one of Capitol‘s executives saw them at a talent show at that school in 1956. They had a minor chart hit that year with“Dreamy Eyes“ as well as between 1956 and also 1964 reached the Billboard pop charts with 13 different songs. In 1957 they appeared with Lindsay Crosby, that was Bing Crosby‘s son, in the TV special The Edsel Show.
Their biggest hit was “26 Miles (Santa Catalina),“ which was written by Belland and also Larson in 1957 and reached number 2 very early the following year. The record sold over one million copies, earning a gold disc. Around this time, Ricky Nelson appeared with them at a Hamilton High School lunch hour assembly singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky“.
Belland as well as Larson also wrote “Big Man“, which reached number 3 in 1958, and also composed new lyrics for the older tune “Down by the Station“, which peaked at number 13 in 1960. Cobb wrote ahandful of songs for the group, though none of their chart hits; Cobb later ended up being a noted writer and/or producer of hit material for various other artists, especially The Standells‘ “Dirty Water“, Brenda Holloway‘s “Every Little Bit Hurts“ and Gloria Jones‘ “Tainted Love,“ later recorded by Soft Cell. Many Four Preps records were arranged by their high school friend as well as piano accompanist Lincoln Mayorga.
In 1959, the group appeared as themselves in the film Gidget. For a brief period, Don Clarke replaced Ingram while the latter finished college at UCLA, however he rejoined the group in 1960.
In 1960 they also recorded a parody single, “More Money for You and Me,“ that included single parody verses of several popular songs by The Fleetwoods, The Hollywood Argyles, The Platters, The Four Freshmen, The Kingston Trio and also Dion and the Belmonts. The title parody, sung to the tune of “Tom Dooley,“ went like this:.
Hang down the Kingston Trio,.
Hang ’em from a tall oak tree;.
Eliminate the Kingston Trio;.
More money for you and me.
In 1962 they released one more novelty record “The Big Draft“ where they “Suggest“ a couple of American groups to go drafting themselves by parodying their songs. The song consisted of songs from The Platters‘s “I‘ll Never Smile Again“, The Four Aces‘s “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing“, The Marcels‘s “Heartache“, The Highwaymen‘s “Michael“, Dion Dimucci‘s “Runaround Sue“.
The group last appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1964, when “A Letter to The Beatles“ charted for a total amount of three weeks starting March 21, peaking at number 85 prior to being pulled from sale. Like many other individual revival groups, the arrival of The Beatles, in addition to the rest of the British Invasion, coincided with the decline of the Four Preps. In 1966, David Somerville, formerly of The Diamonds, joined the group, replacing Ingram. In 1969, the group disbanded, as their kind of music had become less popular. Belland and Somerville sometimes performed as a duo after the breakup.
Belland continued writing songs for other singers, along with writing TV show scripts, ultimately ending up being a network executive. Belland was a producer on numerous game shows in the 1970s for Ralph Edwards Productions. Cobb became a record producer as well as sound engineer. He composed and also produced the top-twenty hit, “Dirty Water“ for The Standells in 1966 with Cobb; “Every Little Bit Hurts” for Brenda Holloway; “Tainted Love“ for Gloria Jones, which came to be a worldwide hit for Soft Cell in 1982. Somerville went into TV acting and providing voice-overs. Larson became a TV producer/writer/director, creating Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider as well as variety TV series; he and also Somerville would reunite to work together on the song “Unknown Stuntman,“ the theme song to another one of Larson‘s TV series, The Fall Guy. Ingram became a commodities broker. Clarke ended up being a music teacher at Glendora High School. Don Clarke was a music director at Mark Keppel High School, Alhambra, California, from 1965 to 1967.
In the 1980s, Belland, Cobb, Somerville, and Jim Pike (formerly of the Lettermen) ultimately formed a new “Four Preps“ group as well as went on to perform. Jim Yester, formerly of The Association, replaced Pike in 1993, and also the group became the “New Four Preps“.
In 1999 Cobb died of leukemia in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Ingram died of a heart attack.
Yester, Belland as well as Somerville then recorded and also toured for a short time as “Triple Gold— The Three Tenors of Pop“ and afterwards moved on to pursue individual opportunities. In 2004 PBS asked Bruce to put together a one shot version of the Four Preps for “Magic Moments“,a PBS Special saluting the hit makers of the 50‘s. Bruce, Glen Larson, Jim Yester as well as David Somerville performed on that particular show as The Four Preps and also the program has actually turned into one of Public television‘s biggest fund raisers. Somerville died on July 14, 2015.
Belland‘s daughters, Tracey Bryn Belland and Melissa Brooke Belland, followed in their father‘s footsteps as singers, forming a group named Voice of the Beehive.