1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Four Preps Bruce Belland, lead, (b.1936), Glen Larson, tenor, (b.1937), Ed Cobb, bass, and Marvin Inabnett (later changed to Ingraham), high tenor (for a short time Don Clarke replaced Marvin Inabnett)
Famous POP hit single during the 50s: 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) 1958 The Four Preps also had a hit with Big Man in 1958.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1956 - 1964 Record Label: Capitol
This wholesome, preppy West Coast-based vocal group was formed while the four teenagers, influenced by the Mills Brothers, the Four Aces, and the Four Freshmen, were students at Hollywood High School. Mel Shauer, manager of Les Paul and Mary Ford, was so impressed with their demo tape that he took the group under his wing. Shortly after performing in a Hollywood High School talent show in 1956, they were signed by Capital Records’ A&R executive Nik Venet. The eighteen-year-olds’ biggest hit was 26 Miles (Santa Catalina), which was written by Belland and Larson and reached #2. Those two members of the group also wrote Big Man, with its heavy piano chords and strong harmonies (which reached #3) and the re-written camp song, Down by the Station, another lesser hit for the quartet. The collegiate group with their button-up sweaters, crew cuts, and four-part harmonies, were quintessential fifties. In 1959, the group played themselves in the movie, ‘Gidget.’