the Four / the Sunny Four / Thee Four
The Four were a long standing institution in the Elyria and Lorain Country nightclub circuit. The group was older than the typical teen band and featured a more polished sound. They were the house band at Mothers' in Cleveland in the summer of 1969.
The Four recorded three 45s, the first one on Nashville North, the second on Epic (as the Sunny Four) and the third on Barnaby records (an Epic subsidiary) as Thee Four.
The band' orginal lineup was lead by Herman Cholowneski, who used the stage name Adams, on guitar and vocals, with Bob Carlton (bass), Dane Johnson (organ), and Dick Shupp (from North Ridgeville) on drums. By the time they made the other records, Jeff Dunstan and Tom McGlocklin had replaced Carlton and Shupp.
The first and second 45s were recorded at Cleveland Recording. The first 45 featured a novelty song on the A side with a teen swinger "Good Thing Going" on the flip. The record was supposedly recorded in December 1966 but not released until August of 1967.
For the second 45, based on the popularity of the band, they got a deal with Epic with Carl Maduri doing the production. Like the first 45, the A side is more of a novelty, a bubblegum type song, while the B side is a band original and probably sounded great when played live.
In 1970 the band changed the name to Thee Four and hit the road, playing all over the US. In April 1970, Tom Stovall was the drummer and Jay Thomas was on guitar, bass, and horns, with Adams and Johnson. According to the newspapers, they were in Stevens Point, WI, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Montgomery, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida...By now they were a polished club band, doing top 40 dance music with a lot of comedy bits. They made occasional stops back home to play. Sometime late in 1971 they recorded a 45 for the Columbia record subsidiary Baranby. The two songs were produced by Chuck Glaser, a member of the Glaser Brothers country act, with his brother Jim Glaser writing the A side. The record was cut while the band was touring, and didn't have much success.
The band ended in 1972. Dane Johnson continued to perform as a solo act in many of same clubs in the Cleveland and Elyria areas.
Cy's Been Drinking Cider / Good Thing Going - Nashville North no # (RCA master number 820N-7176/7, Aug 1967
Goodie Good Ice Cream Man / Why Not (Be My Baby) - Epic 10519, Aug 1969
What Is A Woman, What Is A Man / Return To Me - Barnaby 2055, Dec 1971