The band first gained attention in the summer of 1978 when they signed with producer Gary Cape and he signed them to Capricorn Records. The label was producing several of the most popular southern-rock acts of the time including: The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Wet Willie and Elvin Bishop). Over the next few years the Cooper Brothers released two albums produced by Cape under the Capricorn label, the self-titled, The Cooper Brothers and Pitfalls of the Ballroom. Both albums sold well and the singles “The Dream Never Dies”, “Show Some Emotion” and “I’ll Know Her When I See Her”, all charted on The Billboard Hot 100. Among their many critical accolades, the Cooper Brothers were voted Best New Group in 1978, Best MOR Group in 1979 and Best Overall Group in 1980 by Canadian Contemporary Music Programmers. In 1980, “The Dream Never Dies” also earned an A.S.C.A.P Award as one of the most performed songs on U.S radio. The song has subsequently been recorded by several other artists including Bill Anderson and Juice Newton, and was also the title theme for a feature length documentary on Canada’s National Ski team.
At the height of their career the band toured extensively throughout North America, opening for The Doobie Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas, Joe Cocker, Charlie Daniels, Atlanta Rhythm Section, McGuinn, Clark and Hillman and Seals and Crofts. In addition, the band worked with some of the most prolific musicians of the day including Chuck Leavell, who played on the Cooper Brothers’ track “Ridin High”.
Despite their success, the band faced a dramatic transformation in late 1980, when Capricorn Records folded. The band however, would once again go into the studio with Cape producing but now the band was joined by Les Emmerson of Five Man Electrical Band. One more album was produced Learning to Live with It but with little success this time the Cooper Brothers produced one last album – Reach for the Sky. This last album went unreleased and the band members parted ways shortly after in 1983.
In October 2006, the Cooper Brothers reunited to release a CD collection of their most popular tracks entitled: The Best of the Cooper Brothers under the EMI/Pacemaker label and the band performed for the first time on stage in over twenty years. This led to a number of sold-out live dates throughout Southern Ontario including an Ottawa Bluesfest concert with the band opening up for James Taylor in front of a crowd of over 25,000 people.
Original members recording on the first self-titled Album The Cooper Brothers were:
Don Bregg – lead vocals
Richard Cooper – electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Terry King – steel guitar, vocals
Al Serwa – keyboards, vocals
Brian Cooper – bass, vocals
Glen Bell – drums, vocals
Darryl Alguire – percussion, vocals