Lighthouse: where rock meets big band swing. Lighthouse was formed in 1968 in Toronto, Canada by composer Paul Hoffert and drummer Skip Prokop. The Band originally consisted of 13 members including a horn and string section which when melded with the rock sound created something completely new and forged itself as a new genre, swing rock. The original band members included: Skip Prokop - drums and vocals, Paul Hoffert -keyboards and vibe, Ralph Cole - guitar and vocals Grant Fullerton - bass and vocals, Pinky Dauvin - percussion and vocals, Ian Guenther - violin, Don Dinovo - violin and viola, Don Whitton - cello, Leslie Schneider - cello, Freddy Stone - trumpet and flugel, Arnie Chycoski - trumpet and flugel, Howard Shore - alto sax, and Russ Little - trombone.
Their first album, the self-titled album LIGHTHOUSE was released in 1969 by RCA from their Toronto East Sound Studio. This Album was well received by critics but obtained small commercial success. Hits from this record included “Mountain Man” and “Eight Miles High.” Next up came the album SUITE FEELINGS also recorded in 1969 at RCA’s Toronto East Sound Studio. This album featured a cover of the Beatles hit “ A Day In The Life.” The last Album with RCA starred a new lead singer Mike Lipskin, this was a choice by the sound manager for RCA. The Album: PEACING IT ALL TOGETHER was not recorded in Toronto but in RCA’s New York studios.
In the bands next stage of recordings, they switched to the record label GRT and Toronto’s Thunder Sound Studios. Along with this label change came a large change within the band with only five of the original members still remaining, the most notable change was a new lead singer in Bob McBride. Lighthouse went on to create ONE FINE MORNING in 1970 and THOUGHTS OF MOVING ON in 1971. The title track from ONE FINE MORNING was an International and American hit. Other notable songs on this album include “ Hats Off Stranger” and “ Love Of A Woman.” Their Next album THOUGHTS OF MOVING ON with the hits “Take It Slow”, “I Just Want To Be Your Friend”, “Rocking Chair” and “Insane.”
During this period of recording from 1970-1971 with GRT, RCA piggybacked the success of Lighthouse and released a best of album of the first three records recorded with RCA called ONE FINE LIGHT.
Live, the first platinum selling record for a Canadian band ever, this album was recorded live in front of a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall.
After a short hiatus the band came back with the album SUNNY DAYS from GRT. This again obtained the gold standard and was dubbed the summer of ‘72 album. Without McBride their next album came out of New York’s Thunder Sound Studio titled CAN YOU FEEL IT? in 1973. This up beat album included tracks such as “Pretty Lady” and “Set The Stage” , these tracks came with mixed reviews. This album was the first stepping stone to the downturn of Lighthouses popularity. Again back at Thunder Sounds Recording Studios, the band now a fragment of its former self with no lead singer and without many of the cornerstone musicians turned a few tracks on an album before Prokop left and the band fell into disarray. The Album was never completed. GRT fearing the end of Lighthouse released THE BEST OF LIGHTHOUSE to capitalize on the past success of this great band.
Denon records in 1989 bought the rights to the GRT recordings and released Best of LIGHTHOUSE-SUNNY DAYS AGAIN as well as LIGHTHOUSE LIVE REMASTERED.
These albums sparked the interest of the public and with this rebirth of popularity the band went on a reunion tour in 1993. Three years later they put out their final album to date, SONG OF THE AGES. This album did not produce any major hits but was a solid listening album and proved these old guys could still rock.
In total Lighthouse released 13 records. Nine of their albums reached gold and three reached the platinum standard.
Lighthouse - Sunny Days Again-The Best Of (1998 Can Swing Rock)