Four Preps News Flash from Bruce Belland!
“Island of Romance” 65th Anniversary Celebration

To All My Newsletter Friends,

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying the last few fading days of Summer and looking forward to Fall.

I realize a great many of you live elsewhere but here in Southern California, so please let me apologize to you for this intrusion inviting those of you who might be able to attend, to a very special local event here on September 8th.

On that date the Catalina Island Museum will celebrate its 65th birthday with a whiz bang fund raiser in its magnificent new facilities.

Details are below and I’d dearly love to see any of you who might enjoy what promises to be a very special evening for a very worthy cause.

I’ll get back to all of you soon with a new and, hopefully, highly entertaining newsletter.

In the meantime, I hope to see some of you local folks September 8th on the “Island of Romance.”


Over the years the island has been the inspiration for dozens of songs. One of the most popular is “26 Miles (Across the Sea)” by The Four Preps. Written in 1957 by Belland and high school pal Glen Larson, “26 Miles” was their first true hit and before long it took the country by storm. Dick Clark called it “the first surfer hit.” The group was featured in LIFE Magazine and frequently appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand.
After 15 very successful years together, the days of button-up sweaters, crew cuts and four-part vocal harmonies were waning. The Four Preps disbanded in 1969.
However, Belland went on to a very successful career in the entertainment industry writing songs for stars like Sammy Davis, Jr., Willy Nelson, Lena Horne, Donny Osmond, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Mathis and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He contributed to the score of numerous films including: “Terms of Endearment,” “Gidget,” National Lampoon’s Vacation” and the Disney classic “Jungle Book.” He received three Emmy nominations for his work on such shows as: “Name That Tune,” “The Mickey Mouse Club,” “To Catch a Thief,” “Knight Rider” and “Happy Days.” He has even done comedy writing for some of the greats: George Burns, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart and Chevy Chase.
The Los Angeles Times once summed up his career this way: “Anyone who’s ever sung along with the radio, watched television, attended a concert or enjoyed a movie has, at some time, been touched by his talent.”
The Four Preps recording of “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” has sold over 10 million copies and a few years ago the Broadcasting Industry honored Belland with a certificate saluting the one millionth broadcast performance of the song.
Meet and mingle with lifelong Catalina Island ambassador, Bruce Belland of The Four Preps during our 65th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, September 8th.
Surrounded by stunning views of Avalon, guests of our 65th Anniversary Celebration will enjoy a hosted cocktail hour, magic by legend Pop Haydn, delectable appetizers by Zest, wine by Rusack Vineyards, a cocktail created by Maggie's Blue Rose especially for this celebration, cool jazz by Pop Nouveau, plus a silent and live auction filled with creatively curated items and experiences. Celebrity auctioneer Matt Rogers promises it will be something the island has never seen!
It won't be a party without you!
Questions? Please contact Stephen Weber, Development Coordinator
Catalina Island Museum | 310-510-2414 |
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