1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Down by the Station recorded by the Four Preps Written by Bruce Belland and Glen Larson Introduced December 28, 1959, on Capitol records #4312
The clean-cut, milk-fed-looking Four Preps had huge hits with 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) and Big Man, but in spite of their collegiate appearance and four-part vocal harmonies, one of their consummate recordings, Down by the Station, never made it into the top-ten. The recording, written by two members of the group, grabs with a unique guitar and bass sound at the start and expresses a young guy’s carefree, ‘clever-fella’ attitude as he juggles his third girlfriend but she gets the last word telling him that if he wasn’t true to his other two girlfriends he won’t be true to her. On a more distinctive note, Down by the Station is undoubtedly the only 50s pop song to include the words ‘malt-shop’ and ‘puffer-bellies’ in the same song. This vocal group was formed while Bruce Belland, Glen Larson, Ed Cobb and Marvin Ingraham were students at Hollywood High School. Dave Somerville replaced Glen Larson as lead vocalist. Perhaps the Four Preps’ biggest influence can be heard via their impact on Brian Wilson, whose harmony-driven production for the Beach Boys was a direct antecedent of the Four Preps’ sound.
Quintessential Fifties lyric:
"I said I’m through with one and two I love you number three …You weren’t true to one and two, you won’t be true to me"