I will indulge the Toronto and Canadian part of our blog with this post. I was a fan of the lead singer but not the group. They had only one international hit, but were extremely successful in their native Toronto and across Canada. Most of their chart successes were in the early seventies before disbanding in 1974.
Their name came straight out of A. A. Milne’s book, Winnie the Pooh. I was always a fan of Larry Evoy, who was the lead singer and writer in this group.
Edward Bear was a Canadian folk-rock group, formed originally in 1966 by Larry Evoy and Craig Hemming. Their band name is derived from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, whose “proper” name is Edward Bear.
They were signed to Capitol Records in 1969 – which was uncharacteristic for the label as they were known to take on artists in the likes of Glen Campbell, Bobby Gentry and Wayne Newton. But the gamble paid off when BEARINGS was released the following spring. Considered by many to be one of Canadian rock’s best ‘first albums’, it was a mix of the blues and modern/pop influences.
The first single, “You Me and Mexico” reached #3 on the Canadian charts and was certified gold.
Their top singles include “You, Me and Mexico”, “Last Song”, and “Close Your Eyes”, all three of which were top five in Canada and charted well in the United States.
The band charted its biggest hit in 1972, when “Last Song” charted No. 1 in Canada and peaked at No. 3 in the United States. By then, the original band had split up. Evoy rebuilt the band twice, but it finally was disbanded in 1974 after a disastrous tour of high school gigs and small club venues.
They won a Juno Award in 1973 in an outstanding group performance category.
Evoy, who embraced scientology in 1973, went on to a semi-successful solo career but is currently retired.
Former member Danny Marks has continued a very successful career as a blues guitar veteran. You can also hear him as a radio host on Toronto’s JazzFM 91,1 Saturday evenings, a great blues music show.
Paul Weldon, a six year veteran of the band, was also a very successful commercial artist. His work designing album art spanned over 30 years and several genres including classic rock, 70s funk, and modern cult-indie rock. Weldon designed a large percentage of the album covers released in Canada between 1971 and 1974. Weldon’s work includes cover art for the 1972 release of Funkadelic’s America Eats Its Young. His cover work for Rush’s 1974 eponymous debut album would lead, thirty years later, to the Rush-influenced NYC indie-rockers The Negatones commissioning Weldon to do the cover art for their 2005 eponymous debut LP, which bears a similarity to the original Rush record. Paul performs with a jazz combo and teaches at Seneca College in Toronto.
Bill Loop, bassist in the early seventies, resides in south-western Ontario and plays locally with various session musicians. He also teaches guitar.