Billy Van Singers + Laurie Bower Singers = Spiderman Theme

If you caught episode 167 of my podcast, you heard Retrontario talking about the Laurie Bower Singers. We played "Season of the Yonge" by the Laurie Bower Singers, a song about our very own Yonge Street.

"Season of the Yonge" is so obscure, I couldn't find it on YouTube, but here's the MP3 if you've never heard it before.

Today, I received this tweet from Laurie Bower's daughter.

My mind was blown. The Spider-Man theme song from the 60s we all know and love featured members of the Billy Van Singers and Laurie Bower Singers groups. Billy Van of The Hilarious House of Frightenstein had a vocal group? Was there anything he couldn't do?

So next time you hear this theme song, know its Toronto connection.

Bonus fun fact: Laurie Bower provided background vocals for a song Jays fans still know and love.


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Retrontario

Truly amazing discovery! Also worth noting - a one time member of the Laurie Bower singers was none other than Tommy Ambrose, who in addition to crooning many amazing songs/jingles also created the definitive Toronto lullabye in "People City", the old Citytv sign-off theme song.

May 15, 2016 @ 11:07 AM

Brandon

Great fact! It's funny, when I listened to that podcast episode and heard "Season of the Yonge", my immediate association was that kind of groovy, swingin' 60s thing "like the old Spiderman theme". Turns out the commonalities are more than in just the style!

Found a nice article from January 2016 in The Toronto Star about Canadian content in TV themes:

Kid Show Songs That Are Music To Our Ears


It mentions another connection - that the two vocalists of the "Today's Special" theme, Stephanie Taylor and Bill Misener, were original members of The Laurie Bowers singers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyUeNf8qXOM

May 15, 2016 @ 4:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Brandon

That January 2016 Star article was written by Retrontario.

May 15, 2016 @ 4:29 PM

Brandon

@Toronto Mike

Oops, he's so ingrained to me as Retrontario I didn't immediately make the alter ego byline name connection. ;)

I was searching to try to find an old vinyl pressing of that song on eBay or another secondary seller. Couldn't locate, but did find this remix: :)

https://soundcloud.com/dj-angus-james/t-dot-season-of-the-yonge-edit

May 15, 2016 @ 5:05 PM

Brandon

Found someone's Youtube upload of the entire album it was from. As you guys discussed on the podcast, very trippy and of its time. A fun listen in a kitschy sort of way. Plus some great images of the vinyl release. Also ran across a PDF of a 1998 music journal article outlining Toronto-based songs - still going through this one.

May 15, 2016 @ 7:55 PM

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