The group in 1957
|Past members||Gene Puerling|
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.
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. Early on they even entered the contests of the newly formed Barbershop Harmony Society, finishing in the top ten in 1949, but soon switched their style to become a close-harmony vocal group.
Individual group members
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, The King's Singers, The Manhattan Transfer, Chanticleer, The Free Design, Herbie Hancock, and Brian Wilson.
- 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)
- 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.
- West, Michael J. "Herbie Hancock Remembers Clare Fischer". Jazz Times, 04-05-2013. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Dellar, Fred. "Review: The Hi-Los - Nice Work If You Can Get It...". Q. EMAP Metro Ltd (Q118, July 1996): 138–139.
- "Music as Written: Trend Signs Hi-Lo Combo". Billboard. January 30, 1954.
- "Hi-Lo's Exit Trend, Following Others". Billboard. December 4, 1954.
- "The Hi-Lo's Shout Their Thanks". Billboard. December 3, 1955.
- "Avakian to Cut Hi-Lo's on 1st Col. Album". Billboard. December 29, 1956.
- Grevatt, Ben. "The Hi-Lo's: Birdland, New York". Billboard. June 10, 1957.
- Grevatt, Ben. "Hi-Lo's Win Birdland With Oldies". Billboard. June 16, 1958.
- Grevatt, Ben. "Night Club Reviews: Basin Street East Line-Up Solid". Billboard. July 27, 1959.
- Rolontz, Bob. "MJQ Fine But Hi-Lo's Steal Show". Billboard. February 15, 1960.
- Hopkins, Mark W. "Precise Harmony Makes Hi-Lo's a Welcome Treat". The Milwaukee Journal. July 2, 1960.
- Lewis, Don "Easy Listening: A Hi-Lo's High". The Milwaukee Journal. July 19, 1981.
- Sowa, Tom. "The Hi-Lo's Then and Now". The Spokane Spokesman-Review. November 20, 1981.
- Gold, Don. "'The Best Vocal Group Ever'". The Chicago Tribune. December 22, 2002.