#861: A.P.B. by Toulouse

Peak Month: August 1977
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Heather Gauthier and her sister Mary Lou Gauthier, and Judi Richards were backing vocalists. In the mid-70’s they had been singing backup for various local groups in Montreal in recording studios. However, it wasn’t lucrative enough. In 1975 they decided to become their own performing act. By 1976 their line-up was composed of Heather Gauthier, Judi Richards and Lorri Zimmerman. Their first single on Magique Records, off the Toulouse album, was the French hit “It Always Happens This Way (C’est toujours à recommencer).” It only contained two lines in English but managed to chart outside of Quebec. In April 1977 it reached #39 on RPM Top Singles Chart, #29 in Toronto, #8 in Vancouver and #6 in Ottawa. Toulouse were the first bilingual disco recording act who comfortably sang in English and French. With the cross-over potential of their debut single, Toulouse re-released the album in 1977 with all the vocals re-recorded in English for the American market.

This move proved successful as the act had subsequent hits in the US. Their second album, Export, in 1977 included several tracks that were released as singles. The first was “A.P.B.” It managed to chart in English Canada and spent three weeks at #1 on CHER-AM in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The tune peaked in Vancouver at #9.

A.P.B. by Toulouse

Adam base, one Adam seventeen,
you have a 1097 in progress,
104 East 2nd, see the woman there.

One Adam Seventeen, ten-four, we’re on our way.

Stole my love at the point of a gun,
didn’t put it down, ’til he was gone.
He stole my love at the point of his gun,
ya, stole my love while he hit, hit and run.

Put out an A.P.B., put it out on the man I love,
stole my love at the point of his gun,
stole my love while he hit and run.

Put out an A.P.B., put it out on the man I love,
stole my love at the point of his gun,
stole my love while he hit and run.
A.P.B. on the man I love,
I want his love, I want that man,
it don’t matter what he’s done.
A.P.B. on the man I love,
I need that man back by five
I want that man and I want him alive.

Some are here for a nickel, here for a dime,
’til that morning…he’s still mine,
Some are here for a nickel, others for a dime,
’til that morning…he’s still mine.

All my love at the point of his gun,
finger on the trigger, ’til he was gone.
Made his break and he made his entry,
looking for a love and about to get me.

A.P.B. on the man I love,
I want his love, I want that man,
it don’t matter what he’s done.

A.P.B. on the man I love,
I need that… by five
I want that man and I want him alive.

A.P.B. on the man I love
Calling the police on the man I love
Put out a hit and run.
Put out an A.P.B. on the man I love.

“A.P.B.” reached #8 in Ottawa, #33 in Hamilton and #30 in Schenectady, New York. The song got spun in many discos in the USA. An A.P.B. is an abbreviation for an all-points bulletin. An APB is a broadcast issued from any American or Canadian law enforcement agency to its personnel, or to other law enforcement agencies. It typically contains information about a wanted suspect who is to be arrested or a person of interest, for whom law enforcement officers are to look. They are usually dangerous or missing persons. The term goes back to at least the year 1960. In 1987 an arcade game (coin-operated entertainment machine) came out titled APB: All Points Bulletin. In the arcade game a player assumes the role of “Officer Bob,” a rookie police officer. As Bob, players drive around the city, ticketing motorists for minor infractions and pulling over more serious offenders. Eventually, players must apprehend criminals for which an all points bulletin has been called.

The song “A.P.B.” expresses the heightened need the woman has to get her man back, given that he stole her love. She wants him, needs him and loves him.

Toulouse’s next single, also from the Export album, was “What Would Mama Say” which made the Top 20 in Vancouver and Hamilton in the winter of 1977-78.

Toulouse’s next album, Taxi Pour Une Nuit Blanche, was released in the spring of 1978. The album was in French and did well in Quebec and across the Atlantic Ocean in France. Five French-language singles made their way onto the charts in Quebec and several of these charted in France. A series of mini-tours ensued. When they were over Heather Gauthier left the trio and was  replaced by Liette Lomez.

The fourth album was Dangerous Ladies, which featured more disco tracks. However, by the time the album arrived on the record store shelves the disco craze was mostly over. The tracks from the album, “Je N’ai Jamais Pense” and “Rock My Love,” were released as singles and both were made into extended mixes for discos.

A final fifth album in 1981, titled Trois Dimensions, was a more ambitious effort to span both the disco sound the trio had become identified with and the emerging synthesizer sounds of 80’s pop music. However, the three singles they released were all commercial failures. Toulouse continued to appear in concert on occasion and getting gigs to provide studio backup vocals on other recording artists albums. In 1985 Toulouse made one last appearance for an African relief effort named Foundation Quebec-Afrique. This was Quebec’s own response to news of famine in Africa that was different from the English song “Tears Are Not Enough” by the pop ensemble, Northern Lights. The Quebecois song was titled “Les yeux de la faim” (“Eyes of the famine”).

Toulouse split up in 1985.

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