The Hi-Lo's

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The Hi-Lo's
The Hi-Los 1957.jpg
The group in 1957
Background information
Years active1953-present
Past membersGene Puerling
Bob Strasen
Bob Morse
Clark Burroughs
Don Shelton

The Hi-Lo's were a vocal quartet formed in 1953, who achieved their greatest fame in the late 1950s and 1960s. The group's name is a reference to their extreme vocal and physical ranges (Bob Strasen and Bob Morse were tall, Gene Puerling and Clark Burroughs were short).


The group consisted of Gene Puerling (bass-baritone or 4th voice, arranger, leader, and occasional soloist), Bob Strasen (baritone or 3rd voice), Bob Morse (baritone or 2nd voice and frequent soloist) and Clark Burroughs (tenor or 1st voice/lead). In 1959, Bob Strasen left the group after he began losing his voice to unknown causes. After Strasen's departure, Bob Morse switched to the Baritone or 3rd part, and tenor Don Shelton sang the 2nd part.

They were occasionally supported by Frank Sinatra. Clare Fischer was their pianist for years and occasionally wrote arrangements for the group.

The Hi-Lo's recorded the theme song to the 1956 television series Noah's Ark. They were also featured on the soundtrack of the motion picture Everything's Ducky (1961), contributing three songs: "Everything's Ducky," "Moonlight Music" and "The Scuttlebutt Walk." They also made numerous appearances on television and had many live performances. The first group that had the Hi-Lo's name was a Barbershop quartet out of Wisconsin. None of those original members were in Gene Puerling's group which started some years later. Barbershop Harmony Society,[1].

Individual group members[edit]

Puerling and Shelton, together with Bonnie Herman and Len Dressler, later formed another vocal group, The Singers Unlimited. This group gave a wide range for Puerling's arrangements, for the four singers multi-tracked as many as 16 voices. For that reason The Singers Unlimited were exclusively a recording group.

Bob Strasen died February 28, 1994, and Bob Morse on April 27, 2001. Afterward, Puerling, Shelton and Burroughs still appeared very occasionally as the Hi-Lo's in and around Southern California. Shelton is an accomplished reed player and has played in Clare Fischer's bands. Clark Burroughs is semi-retired and can sometimes be heard on film soundtracks.

On March 25, 2008, Gene Puerling died just shy of his 79th birthday.


The Hi-Lo's and especially their innovative use of vocal harmony, were an influence on the groups and musicians Take 6,[2] The King's Singers, The Manhattan Transfer, Chanticleer, The Free Design, Herbie Hancock,[3] and Brian Wilson.[4]


They recorded for Starlite Records, Columbia Records and Reprise Records.


  • Listen!... to the Hi-Lo's (1954)
  • The Hi-Lo's, I Presume (1955)
  • Under Glass (1955)
  • On Hand (1956) (Starlite Records)
  • Noah's Ark television series theme song (1956–1957)
  • Now Hear This (1957)
  • Ring Around Rosie (1957) with Rosemary Clooney
  • Suddenly It's the Hi-Lo's (1957)
  • The Hi-Lo's and the Jerry Fielding Orchestra (1957)
  • Love Nest (1958)
  • Reflection in Rhythm with the Hi-Lo's (1958)
  • Featuring the Hi-Lo's (1958)
  • The Hi-Lo's and All That Jazz (1958)
  • All Over the Place (1960)
  • Broadway Playbill (1960)
  • Die 4 Hi-Lo's (1960)
  • Dansez Avec (1961)
  • This Time It's Love (1962)
  • The Hi-Lo's Happen to Bossa Nova (1963)
  • The Hi-Lo's Happen to Folk Songs (1963)
  • Attention! (1968)
  • But Beautiful (1970)
  • More Than You Know (1970)
  • Back Again (1979)
  • Now (1980)
  • Harmony In Jazz (1980)
  • The Hi-Lo's Collection (1982)
  • Cherries and Other Delights (1994)
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It... (1996)
  • Clap Yo' Hands (1999)
  • Suddenly It's the Hi-Lo's / Harmony in Jazz (1999)
  • Under Glass / I Presume (1999)
  • Now Hear This / Broadway Playbill (2000)
  • Love Nest / All Over the Place (2001)
  • Happen to Bossa Nova / Happen to Folk Songs (2002)
  • Ring Around Rosie: Hi-Lo's with Rosemary Clooney (2005 CD reissue)
  • A Musical Thrill (2006)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Feather, Leonard. "The Miracle Mix of Take 6 : Vocal group rates a 10 on the success scale". The Los Angeles Times. January 29, 1989. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  3. ^ West, Michael J. "Herbie Hancock Remembers Clare Fischer". Jazz Times, 04-05-2013. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  4. ^ Dellar, Fred. "Review: The Hi-Los - Nice Work If You Can Get It...". Q. EMAP Metro Ltd (Q118, July 1996): 138–139.

Further reading[edit]



Warner, Jay. "The 1950s". American Singing Groups: From 1940 to Today. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corporation. 2006. p. 224. ISBN 0-634-09978-7

External links[edit]