The Four Preps

The Four Preps


West Hollywood, California, United States



Years active



Capitol Records

Current Members

Bruce Belland
Bob Duncan
Michael Redman
Jim Armstrong

Past members

Ed Cobb
Marv Ingram
Glen Larson
Don Clarke
David Somerville

The Four Preps are a male American Pop vocal group.

Since their inception in the mid 50’s, the group has amassed eight gold singles and three gold albums. It’s million-selling signature tunes include "26 Miles (Santa Catalina)," "Big Man," "Lazy Summer Night," "Down by the Station", “Dreamy Eyes”, “Calcutta”, “Letter to the Beatles”, “Cinderella”, “Got a Girl” and “Gidget”.

The Four Preps' television and motion picture appearances include four years on Ozzie and Harriet backing heartthrob Ricky Nelson, an Award- winning CBS Special with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney and Louie”Satchmo” Armstrong and Co-starring in the original “Gidget” movie with Sandra Dee, James Darren and Academy Award winner, Cliff Robertson.

Their most recent television appearance was in the popular PBS special, Magic Moments: The Best of 50s Pop” with fellow hit makers Pat Boone, Debby Reynolds, The MaGuire Sisters, The Crew Cuts, The Four Aces, The Chordettes and The Four Lads.

The current incarnation of The Four Preps features Co-founder and Original Lead Singer, Bruce Belland, Bob Duncan (formerly with the Diamonds and The Crew Cuts), Michael Redman (of The Crew Cuts), and Jim Armstrong. Their shows are currently an amalgamation of everything from Doo-Wop to standards from the American Songbook and satirical comedy.


Original members:

· BRUCE BELLAND: Co-Founder and Lead Singer, (born October 22, 1936, Chicago, Illinois)

· ED COBB: Bass (born Edward C. Cobb, February 28, 1938, Little Rock, AK.; Died September 19, 1999, Honolulu, HI.)

· MARV INGRAM: High Tenor (born Marvin Inabnett, July 29, 1938; Shreveport, LA.

Died March 7, 1999, Los Angeles, CA.)

· GLEN LARSON: Co-Founder & Baritone (born Glen Albert Larson, January 3, 1937 Long Beach, CA. Died November 14, 2014 Woodland Hills, CA.)


The four original members were students at Hollywood High School and debuted in a 1954 Student Talent show. They were signed to a recording contract by Capitol Records producer Voyle Gilmore after seeing them perform at a UCLA sorority in1956.

At the time they were the youngest group ever to sign with a major record label.

Later that year, while they were still in their teens, their first release "Dreamy Eyes" charted and between 1956 and 1964 the Four Preps reached the Billboard pop charts with 13 songs. In 1957 they appeared with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney and Louie “Satchmo” Armstrong in the historic television special The Edsel Show.

Their biggest hit was "26 MILES (Santa Catalina)" which was written by Belland and Larson in 1957 and reached the top of the charts early the following year. That recording has sold over 9 million copies, earning the Preps their first gold record. Around this time, Ricky Nelson appeared with them at a Hamilton High School assembly in Los Angeles which led to their first record-breaking national tour together.

Belland and Larson then wrote their second million seller " “(I Was a) BIG MAN (yesterday)” and then composed new lyrics for the English folk song "Down by the Station", which also went gold.

That was followed by their “On Campus” series of three consecutive LIVE concert albums which produced 2 hit singles, “More Money for You and Me” and “The Big Draft”, featuring their vocal impressions of top recording stars of the day.

The Four Preps records were arranged by “the fifth Prep”, their high school classmate and piano accompanist Lincoln Mayorga.

“26 MILES” has been cited by Brian Wilson and Jimmy Buffet as a major influence on their teenage musical aspirations.

In 1959, the group appeared as themselves in the first surfer film Gidget performing their next hit “CINDERELLA”.

For a short period in 1958, Don Clarke substituted for Ingram while the latter finished college at UCLA, and then rejoined the group in 1960.

In 1961 they recorded a satirical single, "More Money for You and Me," which included parody verses of popular songs by The Fleetwoods, The Hollywood Argyles, The Platters, The Four Freshmen, The Kingston Trio and Dion and the Belmonts. The title of the song, sung to the tune of "Tom Dooley," went like this:

Hang down the Kingston Trio,

Hang 'em from a tall oak tree;

Eliminate the Kingston Trio;

More money for you and me.

The group last appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1964, when another Belland-Larson parody "A Letter to The Beatles", which poked fun at Beatlemania charted for a total of three weeks beginning March 21. It reached #85 with a bullet before being pulled from record stores by Capitol after Beatles’ management took exception to its irreverent tongue-in- cheek lyrics.

In 1966, David Somerville, former Lead Singer of The Diamonds, joined the group, replacing Cobb.

They released two records with Somerville including “Love of the Common People” which was their last chart record.

In 1969, the group disbanded to pursue individual careers in the entertainment industry. Belland and Somerville performed as a music/comedy duo opening for such artists as Johnny Mathis, Henry Mancini, Dionne Warwick, Brazil ‘66 and Glen Campbell.

Later careers:

Belland continued writing songs for Sammy Davis, Willie Nelson, Roy Clark, Kathy Young, Donny Osmond and Della Reese, The Mickey Mouse Club (Emmy Nomination) and Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as numerous television and film screenplays and theatrical productions

At one point he became a Senior NBC programming executive,

and produced over 1,000 hours of television entertainment including “Name That Tune” and “Truth or Consequences”.

Cobb became a record producer, and sound engineer, working with Pink Floyd, Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac as well as a champion horse breeder, pilot and songwriter. He composed and produced the top-twenty hit, "Dirty Water" for The Standells in 1966; "Every Little Bit Hurts" for Brenda Holloway; "Tainted Love" for Gloria Jones, which became a worldwide hit for Soft Cell in 1982.

Somerville went into television acting and commercial voice-overs then toured as “Diamond Dave Somerville” till shortly before his death.

Larson became a television producer, creating Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider. He and Somerville would reunite to collaborate on the song "Unknown Stuntman," the theme song to another one of Larson's TV series, The Fall Guy. Ingram became a commodities broker engaged in International Commerce. Clarke became a music teacher at Glendora High School and was a music director at Mark Keppel High School, Alhambra, California, from 1965 to 1967.

Lincoln Mayorga lives in upstate New York and is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist and lecturer.

In the late 1980s, Belland, Cobb, Somerville, and Jim Pike (formerly of the Lettermen) formed an “All Star” version of the Four Preps and went on to perform at top venues around the world.

Jim Yester, formerly of The Association, replaced Pike in 1993, and the group became the "New Four Preps" until 1999 when

Cobb died of leukemia in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Ingram suffered a fatal heart attack in Los Angeles.\

Larson died in Woodland Hills, CA. in 2014.

Yester, Belland, and Somerville continued performing as a trio, using their last names, doing songs that were associated with the Four Preps, the Diamonds, and the Association. Somerville died on July 14, 2015. Belland is the sole surviving original member.

Bruce Belland's daughters, Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke, followed in their father's footsteps as singers, forming the U.K. Pop group “Voice of the Beehive”.

Singles Discography:


Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated

Chart positions







"Dreamy Eyes"
b/w "Fools Will Be Fools"


The Four Preps


"Moonstruck In Madrid"
b/w "I Cried A Million Tears"

"Falling Star"
b/w "Where Wuz You" (Non-album track)

"Promise Me Baby"
b/w "Again 'N' Again 'N' Again"

"Band Of Angels"
b/w "How About That" (from The Four Preps)

Non-album track


"26 Miles (Santa Catalina)"
b/w "It's You"



The Four Preps

"Big Man"
b/w "Stop Baby" (Non-album track)




Down By The Station
(Later retitled Early In The Morning)

"Lazy Summer Night"
b/w "Summertime Lies"


b/w "Gidget" (Non-album track)



"She Was Five and He Was Ten"
b/w "The Riddle Of Love" (Non-album track)

"Big Surprise"
b/w "Try My Arms" (Non-album track)


"I Ain't Never"
b/w "Memories, Memories"


"Down By The Station"
b/w "Listen Honey (I'll Be Home)"



"Got A Girl"
b/w "(Wait Till You) Hear It From Me" (Non-album track)



The Four Preps On Campus

"Sentimental Kid"
b/w "Madelina"

Non-album tracks

b/w "The Sand and The Sea" (from Dancing and Dreaming)

"I've A'ready Started In"
b/w "Balboa"


b/w "Gone Are The Days"


"Dream Boy, Dream"
b/w "Grounded"

"More Money For You and Me" (medley)
b/w "Swing Down Chariot"




The Four Preps On Campus

"Once Around The Block"
b/w "The Seine"

Non-album tracks


"The Big Draft" (medley)
b/w "Suzy Cocroach"



Campus Encore

"Good Night Sweetheart"
b/w "Alice"

Non-album tracks


b/w "Hi Ho Anybody Home"


"Oh Where, Oh Where"
b/w "Demons and Witches" (Non-album track)

Songs For A Campus Party

"I'm Falling In Love With A Girl (I Shouldn't Fall In Love With)"
b/w "The Greatest Surfer Couple"

Non-album tracks


"A Letter to the Beatles"
b/w "College Cannonball" (from Campus Confidential)


"I've Known You All My Life"
b/w "What Kind Of Bird Is That"

"The Girl Without A Top"
b/w "Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right"

"My Love, My Love"
b/w "How To Succeed In Love"


"I'll Set My Love To Music"
b/w "Everlasting"

"I'll Never Be The Same"
b/w "Our First American Dance"


"Something To Remember You By"
b/w "Annie In Her Granny"

"Let's Call It A Day Girl"
b/w "The Girl In The Shade Of A Striped Umbrella"


"Love Of The Common People"
b/w "What I Don't Know Can't Hurt Me"

"Draftdoger Rag"
b/w "Hitchhiker"


1. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 91. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.

2. Ricky Nelson interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)

3. Lincoln Mayorga at Black Cat Rockabilly. Accessed January 26, 2010.

4. Accessed March 25, 2012.

5. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 258. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.

6. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 513. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.


External Links:

· Official website

· Biography on The Iceberg site

· Beatles novelties Accessed January 7, 2009

· Another biography

· Printable Biography of the New Four Preps (pdf format)


  1. American pop music groups