The Four Preps

When I was young I was a real Rock and Roller, but every now and then I enjoyed the great harmonies of the Doo Wop Groups.  Now, most of those groups where black, but every now and then a group would come along that was just a good vocal harmony group that I enjoyed, not many, but this one I loved:

The Four Preps:

 

The Four Preps

 

4p1

4p2

The Four Preps with Rick Nelson

4p3

April 1958 / Gisele Mackenzie Show /
.
1958 & 1960 / Dick Clark Beechnut show /
.
1977 / Billboard Awards /
.
2009 / Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Centre (the present ensemble) /
and 2012 /
.
.

26 Miles/Capitol 3845/1/20/58/# 2 on Billboard

.

Big Man/Capitol 3960/5/5/58/# 3 on Billboard

.

Down By The Station/Capitol 4312/1/11/60/# 13 on Billboard

.

Got a Girl/Capitol 4362/5/16/60/ # 24 on Billboard

.

Money For You And Me (live)/Capitol 4599/9/11/61/# 17 on Billboard

.

Formed in the early 50s in Hollywood, California, USA, the Four Preps were a vocal group consisting of Bruce Belland, Glen Larson, Marvin Inabnett and Ed Cobb (d. 1999, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA). Recording for Capitol Records, they placed 13 singles in the US charts between 1956 and 1964, two of which made the Top 5 in 1958.

The quartet began singing together during their high-school years, influenced by the Mills Brothers, Four Aces, and Four Freshmen. Impressed by a demo tape the group recorded, Mel Shauer, manager of Les Paul And Mary Ford, took the group under his wing and arranged a recording contract with Capitol. Their first session, in late 1956, yielded ‘Dreamy Eyes’, which was a minor hit, but the follow-up, ‘26 Miles (Santa Catalina)’, written by Belland and Larson years earlier, reached number 2, and their next single, ‘Big Man’, made number 3.


Subsequent singles failed to reach the US Top 10 although the group did achieve a Top 10 album, Four Preps On Campus, in 1961 during the height of the folk music revival in the USA. The group’s final charting single, 1964’s ‘A Letter To The Beatles’, parodied Beatlemania but was allegedly withdrawn from distribution by Capitol upon the request of the Beatles’ management.


The group continued until 1967. Cobb went on to join the group Piltdown Men, and later to produce such records as the Standells’ ‘Dirty Water’; he also wrote ‘Tainted Love’, a hit for Soft Cell in 1982.


In 1988, the Four Preps were back on the road, with two of the original members, Belland and Cobb, being joined by David Somerville, former lead singer of the Diamonds and Jim Pike, founder of the Lettermen.

Formed in the early 50s in Hollywood, California, USA, the Four Preps were a vocal group consisting of Bruce Belland, Glen Larson, Marvin Inabnett and Ed Cobb (d. 1999, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA). Recording for Capitol Records, they placed 13 singles in the US charts between 1956 and 1964, two of which made the Top 5 in 1958. The quartet began singing together during their high-school years, influenced by the Mills Brothers, Four Aces, and Four Freshmen acts. Impressed by a demo tape the group recorded Mel Shauer, manager of Les Paul And Mary Ford, took the group under his wing and arranged a recording contract with Capitol. Their first session, in late 1956, yielded ‘Dreamy Eyes’, which was a minor hit, but the follow-up, ‘26 Miles (Santa Catalina)’, written by Belland and Larson years earlier, reached number 2, and their next single, ‘Big Man’, made number 3.

Subsequent singles failed to reach the US Top 10 although the group did achieve a Top 10 album, Four Preps On Campus, in 1961 during the height of the folk music revival in the USA. The group’s final charting single, 1964’s ‘A Letter To The Beatles’, parodied Beatlemania but was allegedly withdrawn from distribution by Capitol upon the request of the Beatles’ management. The group continued until 1967. Cobb went on to join the group Piltdown Men, and later to produce such records as the Standells’ ‘Dirty Water’; he also wrote ‘Tainted Love’, a hit for Soft Cell in 1982. In 1988, the Four Preps were back on the road, with two of the original members, Belland and Cobb, being joined by David Somerville, former lead singer of the Diamonds and Jim Pike, founder of the Lettermen.

Advertisements

4 responses to “The Four Preps

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s