The Laurie Bower Collection

Heavenly Harmony: The Story Of The Laurie Bower Singers

Built around the choral arranging and trombone mastery of Laurie Bower, the Laurie Bower Singers were one of the CBC's most in demand vocal groups of the 1960's to 1980's (alongside Ben McPeek, Johnny Burt, and a number of others).

Laurie Bower (Lawrence Wayne Bower) was born near Kirkland Lake on August 31st 1933, to parents George and Rose Bower. He spent his youth in a musical household, nursing a deep love for pop and big band sounds. In grade school, he developed a love for choral singing and would join the school choir. This formed the basis of his musical journey.

As the years wore on, in his teens he began playing the trombone. He began studying composition, and music theory in high school. He earned his bachelor's degree of music at U of T in 1957; after studying choral technique, music theory/composition and the trombone with Harry Stevenson of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Upon graduation, Laurie found no shortage of groups to join. He played in the dance bands of Benny Louis, Ozzie Williams and Mart Kenney before joining the Five Playboys. The Five Playboys had a regular gig on CBC-TV's "The Jack Kane Show."

After a few months with the Jack Kane gig Laurie grew restless. He'd soon after go solo as a trombonist, singer and choral arranger, and became a sought-after session man in Toronto studios.

His most notable role thus far was conducting the Young Canada Singers, a group of 10-year-old children, in the English version of Bobby Gimby’s Centennial-year anthem, Ca-na-da. This, plus his success as an in-demand session player and arranger, emboldened him to again strike out on his own, and start a group of his own. In 1967, The Laurie Bower Singers were born!

The original vocal quintet consisted of: Kathy Collier, Laurie Bower, Patty Van Evera, Tommy Ambrose, and Vern Kennedy. In time, they were succeeded by Cal Dodd, Bill Misener, Colina Phillips, Judy Tate and Stephanie Taylor.

The Laurie Bower Singers became known for their silky smooth harmonies and sugary sweet interpretations of some of the most popular songs of the day; covering everyone from Neil Diamond, to Michael Jackson, to even Supertramp, as the years went on.

The group got their musical start on the "CBC Song Market" compilations from 1967 and 1968. The songs they recorded are fantastic examples of what was to come on their debut album in 1969. Throughout 1967 and 1968 they'd sing on dozens of commercials and radio jingles, as well as albums by some of Toronto's contemporary Jazz and Country artists (Ben McPeek, Eugene Amaro, Mary Lou Collins, The Mutual Understanding, Guido Basso, The Billy Van Singers, and a few others). They'd also appear on TV multiple times throughout the late 60's; on shows such as "In Person, Barris & Company, and Mallets & Company."

Their debut album in 1969 contained a number of fantastic song choices, including Didn't We by Jimmy Webb and Early Morning Rain by Gordon Lightfoot; masterfully performed by both the LBS, as well as the orchestras directed by Guido Basso and Moe Koffman. The true M.V.P. on this album and why I think this album really stands out in their catalogue is Rick Wilkins. One of Toronto's greatest arrangers, who had previously worked with the group on The Mutual Understanding albums as well as Guido Basso's Christmas album. Backed by an 18-piece orchestra directed by Guido Basso and Moe Koffman, Rick put together breezy, cascading arrangements, to create a mellow sound comparable to that of the Ray Conniff Singers or the Anita Kerr Singers.

Over the subsequent years the group would gain a following as well as a presence on AM radio of the early-to-mid 1970's. They'd release over a dozen albums by 1981 (mostly for Lyman Potts Canadian Talent Library label) full of fantastic cover versions and very few originals, and recorded hundreds of jingles and commercials for various companies and entities. They were truly one of the top and most in-demand vocal groups in Canada of the day.

Three of the bands final albums received US releases between 1979 and 1981, which surely one would figure would only help bolster their success. Unfortunately it did little to stem the tides of change. Laurie Bower was growing restless and looked to other creative outlets. In 1981, Bower became a founder of the Spitfire Band, serving as its vocal arranger and as one of its trombonists. He also began playing during the early 1980s with big bands or orchestras led by Peter Appleyard, Guido Basso and Jim Galloway, and with Al Lawrie's Jazz Corporation.

The Laurie Bower Singers carried on in a limited capacity throughout the 1980's until their retirement in 1990. The sheer number of jingles they recorder over the their roughly 25 year history is astounding; Cal Dodd was quoted as saying they recorded at least 2 jingles, every day, for 25 years. The group had a knack for covering obscure Canadian compositions. They’ve left behind a vocal legacy that surely will stand uncontested in Canadian music for some time.
WRITTEN & RESEARCHED BY: AARON LUSCH
AARONLUSCH@HOTMAIL.COM

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Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?

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Tracks

Artist Track Title
Laurie Bower Singers You're Driving Me Crazy Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Wedding Cake Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Penny Lane Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Sing Me a Rainbow Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Something is Happening Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Feelin' Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Didn't We? Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Don't Go Breaking My Heart Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Here's That Rainy Day Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers The Importance of the Rose Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers I've Found a New Baby Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Early Morning Rain Feelin'
Laurie Bower Singers Rita, Put Your Black Shoes On Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers It Takes Time Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Together Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers I Think It's Gonna Rain on Me Today Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Lay it On Me Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Everybody's Reachin' Out For Someone Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Love and Maple Syrup Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Country Comfort Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Look and See Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Take Me Home Country Roads Take Me Home Country Roads
Laurie Bower Singers Put Your Hand In The Hand Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Pretty Lady Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Up On Cripple Creek Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Sweet Ginger Bread Man Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Silver Bird Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Think Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Mississippi Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers El Condor Pasa Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Thorn In My Shoe Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
Laurie Bower Singers Epilogue Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Hold On to a Little Bit of Love Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Pussywillow Cat-tails Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers The Young New Mexican Pupeteer Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Is Someone Listening? Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers How The Singers Sing Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Morning Has Broken Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Song Sung Blue Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Brand New Key Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Magnificent Sanctuary Band Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Cotton Jenny Morning Has Broken
Laurie Bower Singers Oh My Lady Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Peaceful Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Crooked Mile Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Daniel Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Battle Of New Orleans Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Shadow Song Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Rain Brings People Together Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers You Are What I Am Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Happy Dreamer Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Wish I Was A Plane Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Papa Joe Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Guitar Man Wish I Was A Plane
Laurie Bower Singers Boney Fingers Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Think I'll Write a Song Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers When You Find a Sad Song Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Sunshine On My Shoulders Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Just a Little Song Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Angie Baby Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers I Got a Name Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Circle Round The Sky Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Back Home Again Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Sundown Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Simple Song Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Stop And Smell The Roses Back Home Again
Laurie Bower Singers Glitter Queen Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Do You Know Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers 50 Ways Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Una Paloma Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Rainy Day People Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Woman Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Got A Feelin' Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Come To Mother Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers If You Feel Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers Hey Look Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers The Way I Want Got a Feelin' for Love
Laurie Bower Singers My Life's A Song You
Laurie Bower Singers You Don't Bring Me Flowers You
Laurie Bower Singers You You
Laurie Bower Singers She's Always A Woman You
Laurie Bower Singers You Never Done It Like That You
Laurie Bower Singers You're The One That I Want You
Laurie Bower Singers Just To Be Alone With You You
Laurie Bower Singers You Needed Me You
Laurie Bower Singers Tell No Lies You
Laurie Bower Singers Ready To Take A Chance You
Laurie Bower Singers If You Feel The Way I Do The Rose And The Rain
Laurie Bower Singers Didn't We The Rose And The Rain
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers Honeybee Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers The Ways of a Lonely Man Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers For the Very First Time Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers The City Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers Bridge Over Troubled Waters Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers One Child Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers Here Comes Another Day Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers Remember, Remember Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers God Only Knows Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cowell, Johnny with the Laurie Bower Singers Gentle as a Breeze Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Compilation Indian Summer City Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Fifes and Feathers Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Season of the Yonge Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Woodland City Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Lizzie Simcoe Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation This Train Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Hogtown Hoe-Down Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Teach Me Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Snowmen Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Compilation Episode 7-Oh! Toronto: What Other City Calls its Main Street Yonge?
Mutual Understanding Always True to You, Darling, In My Fashion In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Wonderland In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Look Around In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Everybody Loves My Baby In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding I'm Old Fashioned In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Little Girl Blue In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding San Jose In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Pretty People In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding You Fascinate Me In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Rain Rain Go Away In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding When The World Was Young In Wonderland
Mutual Understanding Out of This World In Wonderland
Amaro, Eugene Laura Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Niños Del Sol Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Georgia Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Jade Eyes Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Body And Soul Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Lucia Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Boss-Ann-A Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene The Shadow Of Your Smile Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Everything Happens To Me Eugene Amaro
Amaro, Eugene Grace-Ful Eugene Amaro
Spitfire Band Medley: Winter Wonderland - Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! - Home for the Holidays Home for the Holidays
Spitfire Band Medley: Here Comes Santa Claus - Sleigh Ride Home for the Holidays
Spitfire Band Parade of the Wooden Soldiers Home for the Holidays
Spitfire Band Santa Claus is Coming to Town Home for the Holidays
Spitfire Band Caravan ST
Spitfire Band Make Believe Ballroom Time ST
Spitfire Band Chattanooga Choo-Choo ST
Spitfire Band Song of India ST
Spitfire Band Elmer's Tune ST
Spitfire Band Tuxedo Junction ST
Spitfire Band Sing, Sing, Sing ST
Spitfire Band Near You ST
Spitfire Band Marie ST
Spitfire Band Frenesi ST
Spitfire Band Serenade In Blue Big Time
Spitfire Band What Kind Of Fool Am I Big Time
Spitfire Band Hey There Big Time
Spitfire Band Witchcraft Big Time
Spitfire Band As Time Goes By Big Time
Spitfire Band The More I See You Big Time
Spitfire Band Baubles, Bangles & Beads Big Time
Spitfire Band It's Been A Long, Ling Time Big Time
Spitfire Band New York, New York Big Time
Spitfire Band I've Heard That Song Before Big Time
Spitfire Band Time After Time Big Time
Spitfire Band Just In Time Big Time
Spitfire Band By Myself Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Chattanooga Choo Choo Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Something's Gotta Give Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band One Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Brazil Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Marie Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band If I Were A Bell Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Caravan Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Days of Wine and Roses Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Thou Swell Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band It Happened in Monterey Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Skyliner Big Band Swing Things
Spitfire Band Reprise Radio And Fan Salute 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band Don't Be That Way 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band There I've Said It Again 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band The Tender Trap 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band 'S Wonderful 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band But Not For Me 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band Laura 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band Mrs. Robinson 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band They Can't Take That Away From Me 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band Put On A Happy Face 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band At Last 'S Wonderful
Spitfire Band Strike Up The Band 'S Wonderful
Compilation Laurie Bower Singers - Love Is Gone 1968 CBC Song Market featuring Colors of the Rainbow
Compilation Laurie Bower Singers - Wish It So 1968 CBC Song Market featuring Colors of the Rainbow
Compilation Laurie Bower Singers - Surrounded By The Night 1968 CBC Song Market featuring Colors of the Rainbow
Compilation Laurie Bower Singers - Sometime Girl 1967 CBC Song Market featuring Kiss The Wind
Van, Billy Singers Tammy's Gone ST
Van, Billy Singers Where Were You ST
Van, Billy Singers There Must be a Reason ST
Van, Billy Singers You Don't Really Know ST
Van, Billy Singers I'm Laughin ST
Van, Billy Singers Why Oh Why ST
Van, Billy Singers You've Got the World by the Tail ST
Van, Billy Singers You're Wrong ST
Van, Billy Singers You're Hanging Me Up ST
Van, Billy Singers How Can Anyone ST
Van, Billy Singers Four Seasons ST
Van, Billy Singers Am I a Fool ST
McPeek, Ben Everything's Alright Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Never My Love Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Superstar Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Admiral Halsey Peace Train
McPeek, Ben He's So Fine Peace Train
McPeek, Ben One Less Bell To Answer Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Talk It Over In The Morning Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Imagine Peace Train
McPeek, Ben Peace Train Peace Train
Laurie Bower Singers Kiss Me in the Rain It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Don't Cry Out Loud It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Out Here On My Own It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Nine to Five It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Fool That I Am It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers It Goes Like It Goes It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers I Go To Rio It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Don't Ask Me Why It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Could I Have This Dance It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers Rhumba Girl It Goes Like It Goes
Laurie Bower Singers One More Love Story When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers Minute To Minute When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers Why Is Forever Taking So Long When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers Do You Think I'd Call It Love When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers September Morn When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers When You Say Goodbye When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers Lotta Love When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers You Decorated My Life When You Say Goodbye
Laurie Bower Singers Theme From Ice Castles - Through The Eyes Of Love Laurie Bower
Laurie Bower Singers A Love Song Laurie Bower
Laurie Bower Singers I Wish That I Was Making Love (To You Tonight) Laurie Bower
Laurie Bower Singers Key Largo Laurie Bower
Laurie Bower Singers The Rose Laurie Bower
Laurie Bower Singers Don't Blame Me Laurie Bower
Laurie Bower Singers Don't Give Up On Us Baby Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Everything Old is New Again Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Daybreak Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Sir Duke Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Looks Like We Made It Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Evergreen Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Love to the People Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Southern Nights Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers Country Fair Looks Like We Made It
Laurie Bower Singers When I Need You Looks Like We Made It

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