Skip Prokop

Ronald Harry "Skip" Prokop (December 13, 1943[1] – August 30, 2017) was a Canadian drummer, guitarist and keyboardist.[2] He was also a band leader, was a founding member of the Canadian rock music groups the Paupers[3] and Lighthouse.

Skip Prokop
Birth nameRonald Harry Prokop
Born(1943-12-13)13 December 1943
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Died30 August 2017(2017-08-30) (aged 73)
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
GenresRock, jazz fusion, smooth jazz
Occupation(s)Drummer, bandleader
InstrumentsDrums, percussion, guitar, piano
Associated actsThe Paupers, Lighthouse, Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper

Early lifeEdit

Prokop was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He attended G.L. Armstrong elementary and Hill Park secondary schools. He was active in the Navy League and Sea Cadets, and at age 17 performed in a drum corps which won the Canadian National Individual Drumming Competition.[2][4]

CareerEdit

Prokop moved to Toronto and organized a band, the Paupers, who began playing in Yorkville coffee houses, and later performed in New York and at the U.S. Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.[4] The Paupers were managed by Albert Grossman. He introduced Prokop to Al Kooper. Grossman asked him to leave The Paupers to play drums with Kooper and Mike Bloomfield for a follow-up recording to Super Session. The result was The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, a live late-1960s blues-rock album.

Prokop played on a number of sessions, including one with Janis Joplin at RKO Studios following her parting with Big Brother & The Holding Company. This came about because Grossman had asked him to put a new band together for Joplin.[5] He also did sessions with Carlos Santana and Peter, Paul & Mary and other musical artists.[2]

In 1969, Prokop co-founded the rock group Lighthouse with Paul Hoffert.[2] The band played its first Toronto concert in May that year. The group was active until 1975; they performed internationally and won several Juno Awards.[4]

He wrote the song "I'd Be So Happy", which was recorded by Three Dog Night in 1974, featured on their studio album Hard Labor, and included on their greatest hits compilation, Joy to the World: Their Greatest Hits later that year.

Lighthouse held a reunion concert at Ontario Place in Toronto in 1982.[4]

In the mid 1980s Prokop worked for Roland Canada (Musical Instruments), in Mississauga, Ontario, as a product specialist. He participated in several promotional tours with his own Skip Prokop Band while presenting products made by Roland.

Prokop also drummed in a London, Ontario rock/funk/Christian band called Mercy Train, and worked on smooth jazz album with IAM Studios in Brantford, Ontario, released in 2012 titled The Smooth Side Of Skip Prokop.

During the years in which Lighthouse was inactive, Prokop turned towards radio for his career. He was host of CFNY-FM's Rock and a Hard Place program in the Toronto broadcast market. In the early 2000s, he worked for Astral Media radio stations CJBX/CIQM/CJBK in advertising sales.[6] As of 2010, he lived in Aylmer, Ontario.

He died on August 30, 2017 at age 73.[7][8][9]

AlbumsEdit

Year Album Album details Peak chart positions
CAN
[10]
1977 All Growed Up
2005 in the center of...
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Race Records
2012 Smoothside
  • Released: June 29, 2012
  • Label: IAM Music
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

SinglesEdit

Year Name Peak chart positions Album
CAN
1977 "Sunny New Orleans"    [A] All Growed Up
1978 "Gotta Hear You Say It Too" Promo only Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
Notes[11]
  1. ^ Although "Sunny New Orleans" failed to chart, the song received considerable airplay in Canada.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Paupers - Garage Hangover". Garagehangover.com. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Skip Prokop, Co-Founder of Canadian Jazz-Rock Group Lighthouse, Dies at 73". Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Nick Warburton. "The Paupers". Classic Rock Page. Archived from the original on 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2005-12-30.
  4. ^ a b c d "Skip Prokop: Hamilton-born Lighthouse drummer dies at 73". The Hamilton Spectator, Aug 31, 2017 by Graham Rockingham
  5. ^ "Sunny Days Again: An Interview With Skip Prokop of Lighthouse". Gonzoonline.ca. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
  6. ^ "Personalities: Skip Prokop". Spiritofradio.ca. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  7. ^ Legendary Canadian musician “Skip” Prokop dies Durham Radio News, August 30, 2017
  8. ^ "Skip Prokop: Lighthouse Loses Driving Force". Themusicexpress.ca. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Skip Prokop, Lighthouse co-founder and drummer, dead at 74". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Search: RPM". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Fabulous Flip Sides In Memoriam – Lighthouse’s Skip Prokop". Goldmine Magazine, Warren Kurtz, September 3, 2017

External linksEdit