Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Four Preps--26 Miles (Santa Catalina) (1958)

     I guess it was a carry-over from my parents who were a bit older than my peers' (Dad was 43, Mom 39 when I was born), but the music that floated around my house was more the music of the late40's, early/middle 50's than rock and roll. Because of that, I've always have had an affinity for that kind of music as well. One of the song's that has never left my memory was one by the Four Preps.
     Like many groups of that era, they met in High School. Hollywood High School in this case. Bruce Belland, Ed Cobb, Marv Ingram, and Glen Lawson were signed to a record deal in 1956 after a talent scout heard them at a school talent show. They had a minor hit that year with a song called, "Dreamy Eyes" early in 1957, but the rest of that year consisted of them finding the right material as the next six singles stiffed.
     1958 opened strong for them however as "26 Miles" was released and became their biggest hit, reaching #2 on the charts. The song began as lead singer Belland broke his ankle, and while recovering began to fool around a bit with a ukulele. He began playing four chords which eventually became the opening and basis for the song. Bruce and Glen Lawson wrote the lyrics.
     It's follow up, "Big Man" almost did as well that same year, reaching number 3. They continued to chart, although not with the same success up until 1964. The group continues to tour today with Bruce Belland continuing to sing lead and can be found here:

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