Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lighthouse

Song:One Fine Morning
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Lighthouse

One Fine Morning was the biggest hit for Lighthouse in 1971. They were very popular in their native Canada but One Fine Morning was a top 30 hit in the US. Lighthouse was from Toronto. Drummer Skip Prokop was a member of The Paupers. He met pianist Paul Hoffert on a flight from New York to Toronto. They discussed the idea of a rock band with a jazz horn section and a classical string section. This was in 1968 when the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears were emerging and a lot of similar bands would follow. Prokop recruited guitarist Ralph Cole to move from his home in Detroit to Toronto. Prokop had been on shows with Cole when The Paupers played Detroit. The other original members of Lighthouse were Grant Fullerton on bass and lead singer Vic "Pinky" Dauvin. They recruited strings from the Toronto Symphony and local jazz musicians like Freddy Stone on trumpet, Howard Shore on sax and Russ Little on trombone. Duke Ellington introduced them at their first show in Toronto. Stone had played with Ellington. Lighthouse released two albums on RCA and played some high profile gigs. But the albums didn't sell and Lighthouse went through some changes. The biggest change was Bob McBride replaced Pinky Dauvin as lead singer. Lighthouse signed with GRT Records in Canada and Evolution Records in the US. GRT was a subsidiary of GRT audio tape manufacturing but they were only active as a record company in Canada. Evolution was owned by the Longines watch company. One Fine Morning was a huge hit in Canada reaching #2 on the RPM chart. It reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. I think being on the small label in the US hurt Lighthouse and they just weren't able to break through. But they continued to have hits in Canada like Sunny Days. Hoffert left in 1973 when he tired of the road. And they started having problems with McBride. He missed a recording session and Prokop sang lead on Sunny Days. As is known now, McBride had drug problems. Prokop left in 1974. Cole attempted to continue but Lighthouse split up in 1976. They reunited briefly in 1982 and then more permanently on 1989 initially with Prokop, Hoffert, Cole and McBride. But McBride was soon replaced by Dan Clancy due to his drug problems. McBride died in 1998. This comp CD was released in 2010 and Lighthouse still plays occasional gigs. Here's Lighthouse performing One Fine Morning 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Thank-you so much Frank for featuring Lighthouse. I did not know they were from Canada. Another favorite of mine from up north. Sorry they did not have more success here in the USA.