5 Rising Sons Photo

The 5 Rising Sons

5 Rising Sons Photo Burlington Central H.S. circa 1965
The 5 Rising Sons at Burlington Central H.S. circa 1965

Five Rising Sons Columbia PS Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore

The 5 Rising Sons came from Burlington, Ontario. Members were:

Ron Canning lead guitar
Mike Kotur guitar
Pete Davidson organ and vocals
Dave Best on bass
Robin McMillan on drums.

5 Rising Sons Columbia 45 She Just Likes MeBruce Ley later joined the group on organ and bass.

“Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” is the catchy pop A-side. I like the flip even more, the fine downer ballad “She Just Likes Me” was written by John Sharpe. It’s the ultimate teen complaint – I love her but … she just likes me! This was released in 1966.

They have a second on Columbia (“Land of 1,000 Dances” / “Don’t Look Away”) that I haven’t heard and another as the Willapus Wallapus on Yorkville, the interesting psychedelic pop number “To Jone”.

They played the Toronto Sound Show at Maple Leaf Gardens sponsored by CHUM in ’66 and toured with Terry Black in ’67.

 The 5 Rising Sons at Canada’s largest Ford dealership on Bay Street, 1965
The 5 Rising Sons at Canada’s largest Ford dealership on Bay Street, 1965

5 Rising Sons Photo

Robin McMillan of the Rising Sons
Robin McMillan of the Rising Sons
Drummer Robin McMillan sent photos and wrote to me about the band:

We all went to different schools in Burlington and played the Hamilton and Burlington areas for approx. one year. My dad was the sales manager of Elgin Ford on Bay Street in Toronto and he had a three day extravaganza at the dealership in Toronto for the new Mustang, hot rods, dragsters and lots of other fast cars from Ford. He hired us to play all the music in the afternoons for the Friday, Saturday and special Sunday shows as well and bought a lot of commercial time on CHUM, CFRB and all the major newspapers and included us in all the ads.

 5 Rising Sons at CHUM's Toronto Sound Show, 1966
5 Rising Sons at CHUM’s Toronto Sound Show, 1966
Before you knew it there were over 30,000 people at the shows and of course to see the cars and we didn’t look back. We got bookings from all over.

With all the hype we were invited to make a couple of records which helped up quickly up the ladder from a local Burlington group to huge jobs in Toronto … the Hawks Nest, Club 888 and many others, and one of the thirteen bands CHUM picked to play at Maple Leaf Gardens.

“Annie” was in the top ten in Winnipeg, the Maritimes and CFOX in Montreal as well as CKOC, CKPC and tons more stations in Canada and played although not charted on CHUM.

Bruce joined the group the day after the Toronto Sound Show in Sept 1966. Peter on organ left to go to college in London but still kept in touch with us.

We recorded under the name of Willapuss Wallapuss just for the fun of it. Yorkville’s idea because we were a very young group and they thought it was cute I guess but it got play. “To Jone” written by Bruce Lee, who actually has done quite well writing songs for kids TV shows. Actually her name is Joan but spelled Jone don’t ask me why.

Another 45 by the Five Rising Sons on Amy (“Talk to Me Baby” / “Try to Be a Man”) is a different band, being a Shel Talmy production. The US Columbia 45 of “Candy Man” / “The Devil’s Got My Woman” by the Rising Sons is no relation to this band.

Robin McMillan and Ron Canning of the 5 Rising Sons with Mick Jagger
Robin McMillan and Ron Canning of the 5 Rising Sons with Mick Jagger

Update: Robin McMillan writes in to say that on Friday, August 21, 2015 the 5 Rising Sons will have a reunion for one night only. For more information check out the Facebook page for the group.

Sources: Thank you to Ivan Amirault for the sleeve scan, promo sheet and photos of the band on the van and at the Toronto Sound Show, and also for correcting the mistakes in another source, The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. Special thanks to Robin McMillan for the photos and info about the group, and the Willapus Wallapus 45 scan and transfer.

The 5 Rising Sons at Elgin Ford on Bay Street, 1965
The 5 Rising Sons at Elgin Ford on Bay Street, 1965 in foreground with glasses: Brenda Gordon from Burlington who became the successful singer Brenda Russell

5 Rising Sons article
Part of a 3 page article written in a Canada-wide Ford Magazine
CHUM Toronto Sound Show, Billboard, Octobe 15, 1967
CHUM Toronto Sound Show, Billboard, Octobe 15, 1967
 RPM, June 6, 1966
RPM, June 6, 1966

19 thoughts on “The 5 Rising Sons”

  1. Hi,

    I’m guessing the Rising Sons song Candyman you’re talking about is the folk group featuring Taj Majal and Ry Cooder. They were big in the LA area, but had a problem getting an album out. There is an album of theirs out and it features “Candyman”. btw it’s pretty cool!


  2. Your right…the Rising Sons pictured above were from Canada with 45’s of Land of a Thousand Dances, Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore as well as She Just Likes Me..We changed our name later to the 5 Rising Sons because the Sons from L.A. were on the Carson show and we had to change…thanks Robin McMillan (drummer)

  3. I would love to use the songs ‘Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’ and ‘Land Of 1000 Dances’ for my podcast show. Does anyone have mp3’s of these songs?


  4. Ceck out the Rising Sons on GEMM and you are confronted by at least 5 different ones.
    The AMY group are represented by 2 singles.
    Other Rising Sons are from Japan,Canada and I seem to think the U K.
    The group which included Taj Mahal,Ry Cooder and Jesse Lee Kincaid cut just one single at the time and were later known as Taj Mahal.Not until recently did their aborted album appear under the name of the Rising Sons
    The real Rising Sons seem to have disappeared

  5. The single of You’re my girl/Try to be a man was issued here on the Stateside label with the Shel Talmy and Amy label credits.Talmy was an American who came to the UK to produce records for the Kinks and the Who but obviously must have done things in his own country.
    The Rising Sons I doubt were British-the song You’me my girl was covered in the 80s by Randy & the Rainbows and was a Goffin’King one.
    The other Rising Sons also made a Goffin King song-Take a giant step-later covered by the Monkees.
    If they’d been a U K group they would at least have some sort of profile but have probably never even been mentioned.And virtually everybody in a 60s group has now not only Internet presence but has been reissued on CD.The Rising Sons have never been resissued anywhere
    They certainly weren’t the Ivy League who had a high profile in the States and who were basically session singers with a very similar falsetto led sound.Their single of Funny how love can be-issued I think on Cameo Parkway-was deliberately made to sound American a la the Tokens/4 Seasons/Beach Boys.
    The only British group Goffin King wrote for just once was Hermans Hermits even though some “experts” say they wrote for the Animals the original of DON’T BRING ME DOWN came to them via a publishers demo and the song was made first in the States by a girlgroup called the Obsession

  6. The 45s on Amy and Stateside are most likely The Ivy League in disguise (as evidenced by the Perry Ford writing credit for “Try To Be A Man”). Stateside was a UK label that released several Shel Talmy 45s in 1965, all by British groups.

  7. I had a copy of “Try to be a Man” / “Talk to me Baby” and I can still hear those songs in my head. I thought both tunes were great examples of English Invasion pop. I think the 45 was on Amy Records. Great stuff.

  8. Hey guys…..I just about fell over that you included “She just likes me”…John Sharpe was our road guy and he was a terrific friend…He passed away a few years ago but we’re fortunate that the whole band is still alive and well…How about inserting “Annie” on here…it got quite a bit of play on CHUM, CFOX, CKOC and pretty much all over the place…We went to Winnipeg and Halifax and all around Ontario because it was getting great play and lots of excitment at the Toronto Sound Show sponsored by CHUM…thanks Robin

  9. Good point, the group I e mailed in about was indeed a British group. Not the same group in this site. And the person who said the British Rising Sons sounded like the Ivy League also has a good point. The sound was so similar they might very well have been the same group under another name.

  10. i remember the 5 rising sons very well. lived in burlington from 57 to 67 and as a teenager we used to watch these guys wherever they played. i think at least one of them, mike kotur, went to nelson high school. maybe more of the guys, not sure. pretty cool to read a post from the drummer robin mcmillan. great to hear the members are alive and well. jim, kitchener.

  11. took me from the 60s to find this song…never knew what group sang it..even asked the people at CHUM radio…..then found it while surfing youtube……yipee…loved the song the words the bounce,,,,,,,,awww the memories……WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE…IT CAN DISAPPEAR LIKE WAVES ON THE SAND…..the 60s…if you remember them, you werent in them…[quote from Bird on the Wire, movie….thx boys!

  12. Last night at the Moonshine Café in Oakville we got to see 3 of the 5 original members play (Ron, Dave and Robin) they were fabulous. It had been 50 years since their hit. They were playing for Dave’s brother’s birthday.

    1. Hey I gotta tell you that Dave, Ron and myself Robin with hopefully another couple of guys from the Sons will be playing on Friday August 21, 2015 at the Black Swan in Burlington maybe with a few more bands of the 60’s…it’s all in the planning stage now…will keep you up to date…Robin

  13. Robin, I don’t know if you remember me. I was good friends with Pete and I hung around with you, Dave and of course Pete when your band was just starting out. I would love to see all of you this August.

    1. Hi there, I remember your name but I would like to meet you again bring your camera and I hope you can make it …it will be fantastic…Robin

  14. Robin, I’m so disappointed! The tickets to the Black Swan are all sold out for August 21st. I would love to come and see you, Pete and Dave. Are you going to do another show since that one sold out in no time?

    1. The tickets sold out in just a few days, but keep your fingers crossed cause we have been asked to play a second night on the 22nd by popular demand which makes me extremely happy so keep on watching for the ticket sales..more information will be available at http://www.the5risingsons.com Robin

  15. Yeah! I got tickets for my sister, brother-in-law and myself. All of us went to Burlington Central High School. Looking forward to seeing you, Pete and Dave on Aug. 22.

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