At 73, last year, he retired from music because of health reasons and left Lighthouse in 2014.
Prokop was a major part of Lighthouse which was known as the world’s first 13-piece rock orchestra. He formed the band in Toronto with keyboardist Paul Hoffert in 1968.
In 1971 alone Lighthouse had three Top 40 hits, “Take It Slow (Out In The Country),” “Hats Off (To The Stranger)” and “One Fine Morning.” The latter two reaching the Top 10 in Canada. In 1972 “Sunny Days” reached #4 on the charts and “Pretty Lady” hit #9 the following year. Prokop wrote or co-wrote most of their big hits.
They won Juno Awards for Best Canadian Group of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1974. They disbanded in the mid-seventies and reformed in the early 90’s.
The band turned down a chance to play Woodstock but a year later they were voted top perfomers, along with Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight music festival.
Prokop was born and raised in Hamilton Ontario. He was a drummer from way back winning The Canadian National Individual Drumming Competition at 17.
He told the IFPress last year his favorite moment was, “Probably Carnegie Hall . . . The place wasn’t full and we were playing this really beautiful song that had only orchestral sounds and the people started to boo and throw things . . . But then after we’d released the hits Hats Off To The Stranger and One Fine Morning (1971) and went back to Carnegie Hall, it was a totally different audience. It was sold out. They were fans and they paid a lot for their tickets. When we played 1849, they were . . . giving us a standing ovation . . . It gave me chills up and down my spine. I turned to Paul (co-founder Paul Hoffert) ‘We’ve made it buddy.’
Lighthouse lost their other lead singer Bob McBride in 1998. – by John Beaudin
John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
Check out more on http://rockhistorybook.com
More on John Beaudin http://www.johnbeaudin.com