The Cooper Brothers
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|The Cooper Brothers|
|Origin||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
Capricorn Records (1978-1983)|
Charles Robertson III
The Cooper Brothers are a Canadian southern rock band founded in Ottawa, Ontario, by brothers Brian Cooper and Dick Cooper and their long-time friend Terry King. Starting in 1974, the band released several singles under the production guidance of Les Emmerson (of the Canadian rock group Five Man Electrical Band). The group had some early regional success with the tracks “Finally (With You)” and “Miss Lonelyhearts” under the Polydor label. Though not until they signed with producer Gary Cape did they chart in the U.S. and see real success.
Don Bregg (who sang on all hits of the Cooper Brothers) and Allan Serwa started a group, Sine, also produced by Gary Cape and recorded their first album in 1980 to high acclaim within the industry. Due to the failure of many record companies at the time, the album was never released.
The band first gained attention in the summer of 1978 when they signed with Capricorn Records and producer Gary Cape. The label was producing several of the most popular southern-rock acts of the time including: The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Wet Willie and Elvin Bishop. Over the next few years the Cooper Brothers released two albums, the self-titled, The Cooper Brothers and Pitfalls of the Ballroom. Both albums sold well and the singles “The Dream Never Dies”, “Show Some Emotion” and “I’ll Know Her When I See Her”, all charted on The Billboard Hot 100. In 2006, the band was signed to record label EMI Records.
Among their many critical accolades, the Cooper Brothers were voted Best New Group in 1978, Best MOR Group in 1979 and Best Overall Group in 1980 by Canadian Contemporary Music Programmers. In 1980, “The Dream Never Dies” also earned an A.S.C.A.P Award as one of the most performed songs on U.S radio. The song has subsequently been recorded by several other artists including Bill Anderson and Juice Newton, and was also the title theme for a feature-length documentary on Canada’s National Ski team.
At the height of their career the band toured extensively throughout North America, opening for The Doobie Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas, Joe Cocker, Charlie Daniels, Atlanta Rhythm Section, McGuinn, Clark and Hillman and Seals and Crofts. In addition, the band worked with some of the most prolific musicians of the day including Chuck Leavell, who played on the Cooper Brothers’ track “Ridin High”.
Despite their success, the band faced a dramatic transformation in late 1980, when Capricorn Records folded. The band however, would once again go into the studio with Cape producing but now the band was joined by Les Emmerson of Five Man Electrical Band. One more album was produced, Learning to Live with It, but it had little success. With Les Emmerson now lending his experience and expertise, the Cooper Brothers produced one last album, Reach for the Sky. This last album went unreleased and the band members parted ways shortly after in 1983.
In October 2006, the Cooper Brothers reunited to release a CD collection of their most popular tracks entitled, The Best of the Cooper Brothers under the EMI/Pacemaker label and the band performed for the first time on stage in over twenty years. This led to a number of sold-out live dates throughout Southern Ontario including an Ottawa Bluesfest concert with the band opening up for James Taylor in front of a crowd of over 25,000 people. The experience sparked Richard Cooper's muse again and he began writing songs. Before long the brothers had enough material for a new album and approached respected musician/producer and old friend Colin Linden. "When I heard the songs, I thought they sounded timeless. They were brimming with ideas. They weren't trivial and they were musically and lyrically so well thought out..." said Linden.
In September 2009 with Colin at the helm, the brothers went to Masterlink Studio in Nashville to begin recording with session musicians including Audley Freed (Black Crowes, Jakob Dylan, Dixie Chicks) Dan Dugmore (Linda Rostadt, James Taylor) Kevin McKendree (Brian Seltzer, Lee Roy Parnell) Lynn Williams (John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton) and Steve Mackey (Trisha Yearwood) "Nashville was so much fun," said Richard Cooper after the fall 2009 recording sessions. "Playing alongside musicians of that calibre was inspiring and Colin certainly managed to capture the vision I had for these songs... and then some." After additional recording back in Ottawa and Toronto, the CD was mixed in Los Angeles by John Whynot.
In February 2010, a new Cooper Brothers album, In From the Cold was released, featuring 12 new songs. The album also featured a number of guest artists including Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, plus Delbert McClinton and Chuck Leavell.
In June 2013, the Cooper Brothers released Southbound. The album was recorded at the Tragically Hip's studio in Bath, Ontario and was produced by Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo, Crash Vegas) .
The current live band line-up of Ed Bimm, Rob Holtz, Jeff Rogers, Darwin Demers and John Steel all play and sing on every track. Other session musicians include Gary Craig (Anne Murray/Tom Cochrane/Jann Arden), Peter Fredette (Kim Mitchell), Topher Stott (Jarvis Church/ Jerome Godboo) and guitar whiz Carey Blackwell. The CD featured eleven new Richard Cooper penned tracks including the first single, "Southbound", a tongue-in-cheek look at the band's love/hate relationship with Canadian winters. Other notable songs on the CD are "Love's Been a Stranger", a duet featuring Brian and Juno Award winner, Kellylee Evans as well as "Maybe This is the Night" and "Bridges" - both songs featuring the harmonies that the band is noted for.
The Cooper Brothers are currently working on a new album to be released in late 2015, tentatively titled RADIO SILENCE.
The Cooper Brothers - 1978 - Capricorn Records
All selections written by Richard Cooper. Produced by Gary Cape.
- Side One
- "Rock And Roll Cowboys" - 4:30
- "The Dream Never Dies" - 4:11
- "Melody's In My Mind" - 4:50
- "Old Angel Midnight" - 4:49
- Side Two
- "Life Names The Tune - We Dance" - 6:34
- "Away From You" - 6:27
- "Portrait" - 3:59
- "Crazy Sundays" - 3:57
- The Cooper Brothers
- Don Bregg - lead vocals (1, 2, 6)
- Richard Cooper - electric and acoustic guitars, lead vocals (8)
- Terry King - steel guitar, lead vocals (4), vocal arrangements
- Al Serwa - keyboards, backing vocals
- Brian Cooper - bass, lead vocals (3, 5, 7), vocal arrangements
- Glen Bell - drums, backing vocals, percussion
- Darryl Alguire - percussion, harmony vocals
- Additional Personnel
- Topher Stott - Percussion
- John Saunders - banjo
- Lenny Solomon - fiddle
- Charles Robertson - flute
- Al Briscoe - dobro
- Keith Jollimore - saxophone
- Gloves McGuinty - piano (8)
The Cooper Brothers gallery
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