1961 The Four Preps – More Money For You And Me
Four students at Hollywood High School began singing together in the mid-fifties. A Capitol Records executive heard them sing in a talent show and the company signed the group to a recording contract in 1956. Bruce Belland sang lead vocals and the other members of the group were Ed Cobb, Marv Ingram, and Glen A. Larson.
The group’s first single, a doo-wop song called Dreamy Eyes, reached #56 on the Hot 100 in early 1957.
Later that year, the Four Preps began sometimes appearing with Ricky Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
Bruce and Glen began writing the group’s material, and in 1958 the group had two million-selling singles with 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) and Big Man. From that point onward, the group focused on folk music and concentrated on live performances.
A live album in 1961, The Four Preps On Campus, contained a song that parodied songs by several currently popular vocal groups pasted together with lyrics from Bruce and Glen. During the concert when they recorded this More Money For You And Me, the group made a dedication to the newly elected president, John F. Kennedy.
The single stalled at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1961, possibly held back by the length of the record: most AM radio stations were not looking to play records that ran almost five minutes long!
Like many acts from the late fifties and early sixtes, the group fell on hard times when the British Invasion arrived. The Four Preps reached the Hot 100 one last time in 1964 with a humorous novelty record, A Letter To The Beatles. While the group wrote most of the song themselves, they included a mock version of part of I Want To Hold Your Hand. Duchess Music held the publishing rights to that Beatles’ record and was not interested in a parody song showing up on the radio. The single only reached #85 on the Hot 100 before they forced Capitol Records to cancel the 45. That was an unfortunate decision; it’s a very funny song that you’ve probably never heard.
The group continued releasing singles through 1966 when David Somerville replaced Ed. One more single followed in 1967 and the group finally disbanded in 1969.
Jim Pike from the Lettermen joined with Bruce, Ed, and Marv to reform the Four Preps in 1980. Jim Yester of the Association replaced Jim in 1993 and the group became The New Four Preps.
Bruce wrote songs for other groups and still leads a Four Preps group that performs on the oldies circuit.
Ed wrote and produced Dirty Water by the Standells in 1966 and produced and/or engineered records for a large number of popular acts: he earned 32 gold and platinum records.
Glen became one of the most prolific television writer/director/producers. He began his writing career by writing episodes of The Fugitive in 1966 and eventually wrote episodes of over forty different shows.
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