The Ugly Ducklings were a 5-piece garage rock group based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the mid-sixties. They released six singles in 1966 and 1967 on the Yorktown and Yorkville labels and had one LP release, Somewhere Outside in 1967. In the summer and fall of 1967 the band's fifth single "Gaslight" became a top 40 hit across Canada, peaking at #17 on the RPM Chart, and reaching #1 on CHUM 1050 in Toronto on October 2nd. Their first three 45s also made the local 1050 CHUM AM charts in Toronto.
The group was formed in 1965 with Dave Bingham (lead vocals, harmonica), Glynn Bell (rhythm guitar), Rodger Mayne (lead guitar), John Read (bass), and Robin Boers (drums). In their early beginnings their music was partially influenced by The Who,The Rolling Stones,The Yardbirds and The Kinks, however the band was still able to create a rough individual sound typified by their solid garage-punk original material and raw delivery.
The Ugly Ducklings recordings have since been featured on several sixties garage rock compilation albums, including the Garage Beat 66, Pebbles series and Nuggets series. Perhaps in response to their wider recognition via these compilation albums, the band released an album in 1980 called Off the Wall that included new recordings of 2 of their classic 1960's songs "Nothin'" & "Hey Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut", and 9 new original songs. In 1998 3 CD's of the band's material were released in a 3 month period. The first release "Too Much Too Soon" on Pacemaker was arguably superior to the subsequent Unidisc Releases, being much closer to the sound of the original L.P. release. The Unidisc CDs suffer from doctored sound and overblown echo effects which destroyed the sound of the original mixes, especially on the tracks on "Somewhere Outside". A previously unreleased live version of "I'm a Man" (recorded in the band's spacious rehearsal hall in Scarborough, Ontarioin Nov.1966) was issued by Sundazed Records in 2004. In 2007, YouTube videos of the band, were posted - including a performance sporting a previously unreleased song, "Hangman," from early 1968 and a "live" performance of Nothin' at "Peel Pub" in Toronto in 2000. In 2007 lead singer Dave Bingham made available 5 unreleased albums by the band on Ebay, as well as up-dated versions of "Somewhere Outside", "Off The Wall" and "S.N.A.F.U. All of these releases were dedicated to the memory of Roger Mayne (a most conspicuous progenitor of the Fuzztone Guitar), who passed away in September of 2004.