It's been a year since Lighthouse leader and drummer Skip Prokop passed away, and hopefully in that time a little more appreciation has come his way. Prokop was a seminal figure in the Canadian rock scene of the '60's, with his Toronto band The Paupers the kings of the Yorkville scene. When that band hit a string of bad breaks in the U.S, he got drafted into Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield's Super Session live band, worked with Janis Joplin, and then Mama Cass. It was during Cass's Vegas show, back by a full orchestra and horn section, that Prokop conceived of the idea of a huge group, featuring a rock section of four, a horn section and a string quartet, 12 players plus a singer. He high-tailed back to Toronto and put together Lighthouse, famously debuting at the Rock Pile club with an introduction by Duke Ellington.
At first, the band leaned jazz, and built a strong reputation on the U.S. festival circuit. With the Lighthouse Live hit album, they became the first Canadians to be awarded a platinum album in the States. Then they started getting radio hits, along with other big-sounding groups such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears. We all know the big ones, One Fine Morning and the ever-popular Sunny Days, sure to be heard the first nice day in the summer on nearly every radio station.