Drummer Skip Prokop had been in The Paupers. He formed Lighthouse, Canada's finest band, in the late sixties. At times, Lighthouse numbered as many as thirteen musicians, featuring strings, brass and a serious rhythm section, with a sadly underrated guitarist in Ralph Cole. Prokop also collaborated with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield in Super Session, which didn't do his reputation as a great drummer any harm. He released a very hard-to-find solo album, called " All growed up " in 1977. Lighthouse split in the mid seventies, having recorded nine albums. They reformed in the mid nineties and recorded an album called "Song of the Ages" in 1996. Visit their website.

Lighthouse - Insane, taken off "Thoughts of Moving on", in 1972, the fifth album from one of Canada's best bands. Lighthouse were essentially a brass rock orchestra, complete with strings, brass and a mean rhythm section, fronted by a dynamic singer in Bob McBride.( This one used to sing in clubs and pubs, not blow them up! A parody - not to be taken seriously! ). At times they numbered as many as thirteen or fourteen musicians on stage, and, if their "Live in Carnegie Hall" album is anything to go by, they were absolutely awesome! They were formed in Toronto in the late sixties by drummer/vocalist Skip Prokop, who'd been in The Paupers, and who'd also featured with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield on the Super Session album. He assembled a powerful ensemble of classically trained musicians and musicians involved in Broadway musicals and movie scores, as well as being involved with the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ).Their first self-titled album hit the streets in 1969, and it featured their version of The Byrds' classic " Eight Miles High", which became a minor hit for them. Like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Lighthouse's line-up tended to change every now and then ( the aforementioned Bruce Cassidy was also a member at one stage! ), but the band retained it's core members of Prokop, guitarist Ralph Cole, keyboard player Paul Hoffert ( you may spot his name nowadays in the music credits in a number of major movies ), and violinist Don Dinovo. They became extremely popular, playing at the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals and the Atlantic City Pop Festival. Their " One fine Morning" album, released in 1971, was one of their finest recordings, although subsequent releases were equally as good, with their songwriting and music ability getting better with each subsequent album. Lighthouse's many strengths were their tightness, their vocal harmonies and the obvious rapport they had with their appreciative audiences wherever they performed. In 1973, the band "scaled down" to a nine piece unit, with Prokop, Cole and Dinovo the only remaining original members. Their final album, 1974's " Good Day", saw Prokop join Cole on guitar, leaving drumming duties to Billy King. The band split in 1976, Prokop having left in 1974. They re-united in 1982 for a series of concerts in Toronto, but didn't record any new material. Bob McBride, Don Dinovo, sax player Keith Jollimore and trumpet player Freddy Stone have all since passed away. If it wasn't for the marvel of the Internet, we here in South Africa would never have known that Lighthouse reformed ( Prokop, Cole, Hoffert and original trombone player Russ Little ) a number of years ago and released a new album called "Song of the Ages". Let's hope they're back for a good few more years!

Lighthouse - One Fine Morning, the title track of their 4th album, released in 1971.By popular demand, Lighthouse are the subject of this week's Dino Quiz (number 173), and two Lighthouse CD's, "The Best of" and "Live" are the prizes, one each to two different winners. We won't go into this stunning band's history again, as they've been featured many times on The Dinosaur Days and are well documented elsewhere in these pages, but we will tell you that Lighthouse, formed bye x-Paupers drummer Skip Prokop in the late sixties, were a Canadian brass rock orchestra whose members could number as many as thirteen musicians, featuring strings, brass and a seriously good rhythm section, with guitarist Ralph Cole and keyboard Paul Hoffert, together with Prokop, the most constant members. They split in the mid seventies, but have reformed on one or two occasions, the latest being in the late nineties. A new studio album, "Song of the Ages", came out a few years ago, and features Cole, Hoffert and Prokop, as well as trombonist Russ Little, who appeared on Lighthouse's first three albums back in the late sixties/early seventies. The other members of Lighthouse are vocalist Dan Clancey, sax players Simon Wallis and Steve Kennedy, trumpet player Rick Waychesco, keyboard player Don Paulton and bassist Doug Moore. 
Question: What country are Lighthouse from? 
Answer: Canada.

Lighthouse - 8 Miles High, from "Live", in 1972, their 6th album. Recorded at New York's famous Carnegie Hall in front of a very appreciative audience. We've actually featured this very track, one of the best covers of the famous Byrds number, a while back, so you can refer back to the original write-up on this album if you'd like to know more about it. Due to public demand....well, you know the story - we don't need any prompting to play a Lighthouse track on The Dinosaur Days, that's for sure! If you have the CD version of the album as well as the original vinyl pressing of this stunning double live album, you'll note that the CD version of 8 Miles High is a few minutes longer than the vinyl version. This was probably due to time constraints. The bottom line is, if you want to hear this track in all it's full length glory, buy this album! It's just one of many reasons why you'll grow to really like this band, if you don't already.

Lighthouse - One fine Morning, the title track of their 4th album, released in 1971. It's really great to hear that so many people enjoy the music of this legendary Canadian brass rock outfit, who are serious regulars on the Dinosaur Days and have been for years. We've had numerous requests to feature the band's music during the past few weeks, many of them for this track which was one of their best known (dare we say it was even a hit for them?), even though we featured it on August 6th, 2000. We don't need an excuse or m otivation to play Lighthouse on the show - we could quite easily play their music every month, if you like! You can check out our write-up on this track by going back to the week of the 6th August 2000. 

(If you have more info on this band, please e-mail us)

Biography by John Bush
Drummer Skip Prokop formed Lighthouse in 1968 and began adding members soon after: guitarist Ralph Cole (whom Prokop had played with in the Paupers), Grant Fullerton, Pinky Dauvin, saxophonist Howard Shore, cellist Dick Armin, violinist Don DiNovo, keyboard player Paul Hoffert, saxophonist Keith Jollimore, vocalist Bob McBride, trumpeter Peter Pantaluk, trombonist Larry Smith and bassist Louis Yackniw. The band released two singles on RCA in 1970 and played at the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals and the Isle of Wight Festival, though they had turned down Woodstock. In late 1970, GRT released Lighthouse's debut album, Peacing It All Together. 1971 brought One Fine Morning and Thoughts of Movin' On, and in 1972, the band released Lighthouse Live! and Sunny Days. The band lost members, beginning in 1973 when Paul Hoffert left, followed by Bob McBride and Skip Prokop in 1974; the group eventually disbanded in 1976. Lighthouse had released Can You Feel It (1973) and Good Day (1974), and in 1975, The Best of Lighthouse appeared. Original members re-formed for live shows in 1982 and 1993, and another greatest hits album, The Best of Lighthouse — Sunny Days Again, was issued in 1989. Postcards from Heaven followed in 1998. Both Bob McBride and Skip Prokop have had somewhat successful solo careers. Sadly, Bob McBride lost his battle with substance abuse February 20, 1998. He was 51. 


Dick Armin
Ralph Cole
Pinky Dauvin
Don Dinovo
Grant Fullerton
Paul Hoffert
Keith Jollimore
Pete Pantaluk
Skip Prokop
Howard Shore
Louis Yacknin
Bob McBride
Larry Smith

Blood, Sweat & Tears

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.


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Lighthouse - 1969 - Lighthouse - 4/5

Lighthouse - 1970 - Peacing It All Together - 3.5/5

Lighthouse - 1970 - Suite Feeling - 3.5/5

Lighthouse - 1971 - One Fine Morning - 4/5

Lighthouse - 1972 - Lighthouse Live - 3.5/5

Lighthouse - 1972 - Sunny Days - 3/5

Lighthouse - 1974 - Can You Feel It - 3/5

Lighthouse - 1974 - Good Day - 2.5/5



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