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The Hi-Lo's


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The Hi-Lo’s were a successful a cappella quartet formed in 1953. They named themselves the “Hi-Lo’s” to emphasize their collective vocal range.

The group consisted of:
Gene Puerling, bass-baritone, arranger and leader
Bob Strasen, baritone
Bob Morse, baritone and occasional soloist
Clark Burroughs, tenor

The Hi-Lo’s tower among the most innovative and influential close harmony quartets of the postwar era, expanding the parameters of traditional pop via sophisticated, jazz-inspired arrangements that profoundly shaped the rock & roll generation who followed in the group’s wake. So named for their expansive vocal range, the Hi-Lo’s formed in Hollywood in early 1953 — bass baritone Gene Puerling and baritone Bob Strasen first teamed in the Milwaukee-based Four Shades, while baritone Bob Morse and tenor Clark Burroughs previously collaborated as members of the Encores, a short-lived ensemble led by session vocal legend Randy Van Horne. After bandleader (and future film composing icon) Jerry Fielding recommended the Hi-Lo’s to the fledgling L.A. label Trend, the group cut its debut EP in April 1953, scoring a minor local hit with “Georgia.” “Love Me or Leave Me,” recorded in support of singer Herb Jeffries, soon followed on Olympic.

While Burroughs’ astounding lead vocals enabled Puerling the flexibility to create daring, stunningly complex arrangements some distance removed from the current chart fare, Trend resisted the Hi-Lo’s more radical impulses, and in mid-1954 the quartet exited the label in frustration.


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