Norman, Don & the Other Four
Origin: Ottawa, Ontario
Don Norman was quite a figure on the Ottawa rock 'n roll teen scene. He began performing in 1961 with his first band called the Continentals. In 1962 he moved on the the Jades. In 1963 he joined the Esquires but was subsequently kicked out. Gary Comeau joined the Strangers in 1960, but by late '62 he was in the Esquires. His stint in Don Norman And The Other Four was very short, and he left the band after recording the "Bounce" and joined the Townsmen. Both Don and Gary knew each other from being in the Esquires. When they left, they joined Brian Dewherst on drums, Bill Hellman on Bass, John Mathews on sax, and Ron Greene on organ (a long time pal of Don Norman's). Gary played lead guitar and sang, Don Norman was the lead vocalist. The band became known as Don Norman And The Other Four.
John Pozer, head honcho of the future Sir John A record label, became the band's manager. The group became popular playing cover versions of hits of the day, but Don was also a gifted song writer. Pozer had faith in him, which let the band to renting a bus and heading for Toronto to cut their first 45 at the Hallmark Studios which was the home studio for RCA Victor in Canada. The band cut a cover of the Olympic's "The Bounce" backed with a peppy original called "All My Life". The single was released, but the record label didn't do all that much to push the group. The single didn't go too far. But RCA Victor saw the rising popularity of French rock 'n roll bands on the Quebecoise market. So they had the band cut translated versions of both songs for their subsiderary label Solfege. Their poor ability at French didn't help Don Norman And The Other Four any, and the band was dropped from the label. Pozer felt that the band had never been properly represented, and began the Sir John A label to re-release "The Bounce" which quickly rose on the Ottawa charts!
Members of the band really knew what was cool on the music scene, and began doing cover versions of "Talk, Talk", "Dirty Water", and "Little Red Book".
Don Norman even tried to sound like Sean Bonniwell when he cut "Low Man!
1967 was a fateful year for Don Norman And The Other Four. John Pozer left Ottawa for Toronto where he worked with a bigger agency. The band line-up by this time had changed to Skip Layton on drums, Don Norman on bass, John Winskell on lead guitar, Rick Paradis took over on lead vocals and Ron was still on the organ. The change in vocalists meant the band went in a more bubble-gum direction, which didn't please Don Norman much. The band released two more singles, including a re-issue of "Low Man" before calling it quits.