#610: Absolutely Right by Five Man Electrical Band

Peak Month: November 1971
9 weeks on CKVN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
YouTube.com:”Absolutely Right
“Absolutely Right” lyrics

The Five Man Electrical Band was a Canadian mainstream rock band from Ottawa. They had an international hit in 1970 called “Signs.” Their other hits did well in Canada, including “Absolutely Right” and “I’m A Stranger Here.” In 1970 the band released an album called Good-byes and Butterflies. The cover of the album prominently displayed a marijuana plant. The ensuing controversy led to the album being withdrawn and given a different cover with a butterfly composed of neon lights. “Signs” was initially the b-side of “Hello Melinda, Goodbye.” But by accident, the sides were reversed, making “Signs” the A-side, which radio listeners started began calling DJ’s for requests to hear it again.
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Afrikaan Beat by Bert Kaempfert

#611: Afrikaan Beat by Bert Kaempfert

Peak Month: February 1962
8 weeks on CKWX’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #42
YouTube.com:”Afrikaan Beat

In 1923, Berthold Heinrich Kaempfert was born in a village suburb of Hamburg, Germany, called Barmbeck. He learned piano, clarinet, accordion and saxophone during his childhood and youth. He had years of private music lessons at Wilhelm Witt’s private music school in Wilhelmsburg. He later studied at Die Musikschule HAMBURG (Hamburg School of Music). Kaempfert’s career began when his mother used a $285 insurance payment to buy a piano. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, while still 15 years of age, Kaempfert was hired to play with Hans Busch and his Orchestra. He was the youngest member of the band. But once Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Kaempfert, along with all able-bodied young men, were drafted into the German military. Kaempfert became a bandsman in the  German Navy, initially playing on the Island of Salt on the Wadden Sea. In 1945, Kaempfert formed a band comprised of prisoners-of-war in Denmark. After the war ended, Kaempfert moved back to Hamburg. He was employed at the Esplanade Hotel and his performances were broadcast at the nearby British Forces Network. In 1959, Bert Kaempfert produced In 1959 Bert Kaempfert arranged and produced Die Gitarre und das Meer (The guitar and the sea) for Austrian Freddy Quinn. Quinn had recorded a German-language version of Dean Martin’s big hit in 1955, “Memories Are Made of This.” In 1959 Bert Kaempfert arranged and produced Die Gitarre und das Meer was a big seller in Germany in 1959.

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Moon River by Jean Thomas

#612: Moon River by Jean Thomas

Peak Month: May 1962
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Moon River
“Moon River” lyrics

Jean Thomas was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in the early 40’s. She grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Since her parents own a summer business in Nantasket Beach, one of the busiest beaches in the Greater Boston area, she returned with her family to Massachusetts each summer. At Sarasota High School, Jean was part of a singing group called Preacher John and the Five Saints. In the fall of 1959, she attended Florida State University in Tallahassee. In 1961, Jean and her brother Don went to New York City to pursue their dreams. They headed over to Paul Anka’s Spanka Publishing Company. They were promptly and signed to a songwriting contract. Jean Thomas did an audition in the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway.

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#613: Love Didn’t Die by The Chessmen

Peak Month:  January 1966
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Love Didn’t Die

In 1959 Guy Sobell became a member of a Vancouver band called The Ken Clark Trio. They drew inspiration from The Shadows, The Beatles and Sweden’s instrumental group the Spotnicks. For the first few years the trio subsisted by playing at frat parties at the University of British Columbia. In 1962 Sobell decided to form a new band. Among the musicians responding to an ad was Terry Jacks, who was 17 years old and studying architecture and a member of a band called The Sand Dwellers. Jacks band had released a single called “Build Your Castle Higher.” Written along with bandmade John Crowe, it was Jacks’ first recording. It was covered by Jerry Cole and His Spacemen as a track on their debut album, Outer Limits. The track was retitled “Midnight Surfer” and Jerry Cole went on to be part of Phil Spector’s group of now legendary session musicians called the Wrecking Crew who played on over 40 #1 hits in the USA. Prior to His Spacemen band, Jerry Cole was a member of the instrumental group The Champs who had a #1 hit in 1958 called “Tequila.” I don’t know if The Sand Dwellers got any royalties from Jerry Cole and His Spacemen.

In addition to Terry Jacks, there was bass player Bill Lockie and Erik Kalaidzis who was the bands singer. Kalaidzis played chess with Guy Sobell and so they were inspired to call their band The Chessmen. By the time Kenny Moore became the bands’ drummer, Kalaidzis had left the band and Terry Jacks became the lead vocalist. To begin with the band played at UBC fraternity houses for $40 a night. They played coffee houses in greater Vancouver and in 1964 released a double-sided instrumental 45 called “Meadowlands” b/w “Mustang.

From there the Chessmen toured British Columbia playing at roller skating rinks, sock hops and school dances. Meanwhile, Terry Jacks wrote “The Way You Fell.” At a Brenda Lee show at The Cave in Vancouver, Terry Jacks got acquainted Brenda and her manager, Dub Allbritten. Soon after Dub expressed an interest in being the manager of The Chessmen. They agreed, and Allbritten got them a record contract with Mercury Records in the USA. On September 24 and 25, 1965, The Chessmen played two shows at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) along with The Castaways, Charlie Rich and The Beach Boys. The Castaways were from Minneapolis, Minnesota, had a song called “Liar Liar” that peaked that October at #4 in Vancouver and #12 in the USA. The Beach Boys were fresh off their August Top 3 hit, “California Girls.” It was the fourth single to reach the Top Ten in Vancouver. “Do You Wanna Dance” peaked at #11, while “Help Me Rhonda” peaked at #2, “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Warmth of the Sun” each peaked at #6.

On November 5, 1965, The Chessmen were the opening act for Buddy Knox. Then on November 28th, The Chessmen opened a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with Roy Orbison as the headliner. The Chessmen’s concert appearances ended the year as openers for Gary Lewis and the Playboys on December 29, of “This Diamond Ring” fame. The concert seemed to help the headliners as their hit, “She’s Just My Style,” spent the first two weeks on January 1966 at #2 on both CFUN and CKLG’s weekly record surveys. The Chessmen travelled to Nashville and cut several more singles. The first of these was “Love Didn’t Die.”

Love Didn't Die by The Chessmen

“Love Didn’t Die” is a song about a couple who are not in synch with each other. One person’s love is fading for the other. While their partner still has a flame that hasn’t died. Now that the relationship is over, the guy still has to try hard not to love his ex-girlfriend. His thoughts remain focused on her.

In his article, “The Only Relationships We Obsess Over Are The Unfinished Ones,” Dan Scott writes, “there is always that one relationship you can’t shake and is almost impossible to take anything away from: The relationship that went “unfinished.” In The Chessmen’s song, “Love Didn’t Die,” the guy was the only one whose heart hadn’t changed. But for his girlfriend the magic of the relationship had died. When a relationship ends, and it is not on your terms, you can end up ruminating about why.  One of the reasons people ruminate about a break-up is they don’t have any closure. Being uncertain why a relationship ended has be perplexing. You may worry it will happen again and you’ll be blindsided. Scotti writes, “You’re curious how the person you thought you knew could do what he or she did — you have questions.”

Scotti also suggests “Another reason you might be caught up in the past, with respect to a relationship that didn’t end properly, is you’re still harboring hope for the future. Regardless of the circumstances that ultimately ended your relationship, it’s important to come to terms with the fact that it is, in fact, ended. Period.” Other reasons for holding on include the feelings you still have for your ex. It is not uncommon to have some feelings of fondness for someone you were in a relationship with. But tending those feelings will only keep you from moving on and noticing who or what is newly in front of you. For the guy in “Love Didn’t Die,” the hard fact is that her love did die. Period. While it may take time to stop playing with different scenarios and bargaining with your new life circumstance, it is also time to accept what has occurred.

While “Love Didn’t Die” climbed to #6 on CFUN in Vancouver, the single didn’t chart elsewhere in Canada or the USA.

Their next single, “What’s Causing This Sensation,” also charted well in Vancouver. But in July 1966, the band dissolved. After the band split, Terry Jacks was asked in a 1966 Chatelaine Magazine interview if success had changed The Chessmen in any way. Jacks replied, “No, we all still eat raw eggs for breakfast!”

Terry Jacks went on to form The Poppy Family with Susan Jacks, his new wife who he met at a taping of Let’s Go. The Poppy Family had numbers of hit records in Vancouver and internationally, as well as solo releases by Susan Jacks and Terry Jacks. The latter’s biggest hit was “Seasons In The Sun” in 1974. He would go on to produce records for other recording artists including Nana Mouskouri, Valdy, George Jones and Buddy Knox. Jacks remarried and moved to Haida Gwai on the northwestern coast of British Columbia. He has worked on a number of environmental films over the years. In 2016 he suffered two strokes.

Guy Sobell went on to be a producer and married recording artist Denice McCann. He also produced, arranged and played guitar on an album titled Snakebite by Canadian recording artist, Mya, in 1975.

Canadian Bands.com comments that in 2009 Regenerator Records released a best of collection of The Chessmen.

December 10, 2018
Ray McGinnis

Chris Bishop, The Chessmen, Garage Hangover.com, December 1, 2009
The Chessmen, Canadian Bands.com
The Spotnicks, “Orange Blossom Special,” 1962
Jerry Cole and His Spacemen, “Midnight Surfer,” 1963
Guy Sobell credits, Discogs.com
John Mackie, The Many Seasons of B.C. Singer Terry Jacks, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, B.C., April 1, 2016.
Terry Jacks bio, Canadian Bands.com.
Terry Jacks bio, The Canadian Encyclopedia.ca.
Edwardson, Ryan. Canuck Rock: A History of Canadian Popular Music. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, 2009.
Dan Scotti, “The Only Relationships We Obsess Over Are The Unfinished Ones,” Elite Daily.com, June 16, 2015.

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

My Home Town by Seeds Of Time

#614: My Home Town by Seeds Of Time

Peak Month:  October 1970
7 weeks on CKVN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #5
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com:”My Home Town

The Seeds of Time were a garage rock band formed in 1965 in Vancouver by a number of high school buddies. Co-founder, Gary Wanstall, was nicknamed “Rock.” At the time Norton Motorcyles made a motorcycle model named the Rocket. The newly formed band agreed that extending his nickname from Rock to Rocket, and adding Norton as the surname had a good ring to it. Norton played drums while Frank Brnjak and Bob Kripps played guitar, there was John Hall on organ and Steve Walley on bass. It was Bob Kripps who suggested the band’s name, after several underwhelming ideas had been run up the flagpole. Kripps had been reading a science fiction book by John Wyndham called the Seeds of Time. He proposed the book title be the name of the band and everyone agreed. The band got financing help from the very entrepreneurial Steve Grossman. Grossman was a DJ on CKLG and began his stint on the station under the moniker of Stevie Wonder in the fall of 1966 while he was still in Grade 12 at Kitsilano High School. Those 45 RPM singles and albums were recorded between 1969 and 1971, with Grossman’s help.

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Spanish Eyes by Al Martino

#637: Spanish Eyes by Al Martino

Peak Month: January 1966
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #15
YouTube.com:”Spanish Eyes
“Spanish Eyes” lyrics

Jasper Cini was born in 1927 in Philadelphia. His first name was an Anglicization of his father’s name, Gasparino. His parents were immigrants from Abruzzo, Italy. His family were bricklayers. He worked in his father’s construction business. When he was still in his teens he joined the United States Navy. But during World War II he got a shrapnel injury and was sent back home. Next, he was inspired by his boyhood friend, Alfredo Cocozza, and hoped to pursue a singing career. Alfredo Cocozza later changed his name to Mario Lanza. At night, Jasper Cini sang in local Philly bars and clubs. Mario Lanza convinced Jasper Cini to change his name to Al Martino. Al moved to New York City in 1948 and became roommates with Eddie Fischer and Guy Mitchell, fellow crooners also hoping for a big break. Martino got noticed and was invited to appear on the Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scout Show in 1952. He won the context singing a #1 hit from 1951 by Perry Como titled “If (They Made Me A King).” In 1952 Al Martino had a breakthrough #1 hit in America, Canada and Britain with “Here In My Heart.”
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I Must Have Been Blind by The Collectors

#615: I Must Have Been Blind by The Collectors

Peak Month:  March 1970
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #4
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “I Must Have Been Blind

The Vancouver rock band The Collectors, was formerly named The Classics who were a Vancouver group led by Howie Vickers in the mid-60s. The Classics were part of the regular line-up on Let’s Go, a show on CBC TV. Though the Classics released several singles the group needed room to grow and reformed as The Collectors. They would become one of the most innovative of Vancouver’s recording acts through the rest 60s. In the spring of 1967, Vickers was asked to put together a house band at the Torch Cabaret in Vancouver. Along with Claire Lawrence on horns, they recruited guitarist Terry Frewer, drummer Ross Turney and Brian Newcombe on bass. Within a couple of months, fellow Classics member Glenn Miller replaced Newcombe on bass and Bill Henderson, a student at UBC, replaced Frewer on guitars. With Vickers now handling vocals, their sound changed from doing covers of R&B tunes to psychedelic rock. This led them to gigs along the Canadian and US west coast. Their strongest fan base in America was in California. There audiences welcomed their complex arrangements mixed with harmonies and extended solos and musical ad-libs.

The band headed to Los Angeles to make some recordings with Barry De Vorzon at Valiant Records. Music critic, Richard Skelly (Richmond Review, Radio West.ca, RPM Magazine), reveals that the “band didn’t have an actual name when they demoed a few songs for New Syndrome, a production firm owned by singer Tom Northcott and entrepreneur Jack Herschorn. An American ex-pat, Herschorn pitched the demo tape to assorted Los Angeles labels. Valiant bit…and brought the band down for some initial sessions. At the time, the boys were honing their style by playing behind amateur strippers at the Torch Cabaret. … patrons simply called them “The Torch Band.” After recording “Looking At A Baby,” Valiant (probably De Vorzon himself) gave them two options for a name: The Connection or The Collectors. Not so coincidentally, Valiant’s other up-and-coming band was called The Association.” Howie Vickers recalls “We couldn’t agree ‘collectively’ on a name…They were about to press the record and (so) The Collectors it was.” Out of the recording sessions with Valiant Records, The Collectors had two singles that made the Top 40 in Vancouver in 1967. The first released early in the year was Looking at a Baby,” followed in August ’67 by “Fisherwoman.”

In 1968 The Collectors had another Top Ten hit in Vancouver with “Lydia Purple.” Several more hits followed at the end of the decade including “Early Morning” in 1969, and “I Must Have Been Blind” in 1970.

I Must Have Been Blind by The Collectors

“I Must Have Been Blind” is a song about a guy who gets his education in a three room school. He moves to the city without reflecting on what county living offers him. Once he gets to the city he discovers faceless people who are all caught up in a rat race where the odds are stacked against them. He goes back to the country to find his three room school. But, he discovers it’s been demolished. He finds that life has become twisted and longs for peace of mind. Finally, he finds a three-room school elsewhere with children to attend and he gets letters from a friend who observes going to the city was a bad choice. Now that the  narrator of the song returns to the country, he has a place and life is good.

“I Must Have Been Blind” was one of a number of songs on the radio in the late 60’s and early 70’s that viewed urban life with alarm and idealized living in the country. Joni Mitchell sang about a “Big Yellow Taxi.” Vancouver’s Spring told about “A Country Boy Named Willie” who had no need for the city. The Kinks sang about poverty in “Dead End Street” and Lighthouse advised “Take It Slow (Out In The Country).”

“I Must Have Been Blind” climbed to #4 in Vancouver, #5 in Victoria, #8 in Calgary and #20 in Toronto. In Edmonton, the year-end Top 100 countdown, the song was listed at #86 on CHED.

After Howie Vickers left the band in 1969 they were in the process of reforming. Before 1970 came to a close they named themselves Chilliwack, a Salish Native Canadian name meaning “valley of many streams.” It is also the name of a city in the Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver.

Richard Skelly  writes, “The Collectors… had spent almost two years recording in California and working the psychedelic circuit up and down the Pacific coast. They did get back to Vancouver, but were stateside weeks or even months at a time. This put strains on marriages and finances. Perhaps it wasn’t that alluring to be offered money-losing tours when fellow Vancouverites, the Poppy Family, (were) selling truckloads of records without (hardly) ever leaving home. In interviews, Bill (Henderson) reflected that, unlike the Collectors, Chilliwack felt it made more sense to succeed first in Canada and then tackle the USA…. (In 1970) the band had to honour commitments to perform concerts at the Osaka World Expo in Japan. As the Collectors, they’d been commissioned to create and record background music for the Canadian Pavilion. For that government-assisted Asian trip, they expanded to a five piece with Rick Kilburn on bass and Robbie King on keyboards.”

Chilliwack had their first Top Ten hit in Vancouver with “Lonesome Mary” in 1971. According to Skelly, Chilliwack’s record company, A&M, “fumbled by wasting “Ridin’” as the flip side to “Lonesome Mary.” An ode to train travel, it had a jangly Byrds meets CS&N vibe. Unfortunately, “Ridin’” was the only obvious followup single. Likely, realizing the mistake, A&M supposedly flew the band down to whip off a pair of straight up rockers: “Hit Him With Another Egg” and “Rock n Roll Music. I never heard the finished but never-released product.” Skelly writes that later re-recorded versions of these songs ended up as tracks on a subsequent album, All Over You, but these were not as good as their first recordings.

Chilliwack released three albums between All Over You, Riding High and Rockerbox between December 1972 and December 1975. Aside from “Crazy Talk,” from the Riding High album, their single releases received minor attention outside of radio markets in BC.

In January 1977 the band recorded their sixth studio album, Dreams, Dreams, Dreams. At the time the band members were all involved with Scientology and there was a dedication to the founder of the Church of Scientology, Ron L. Hubbard, on the back of the album. By 1977 the bands musicians consisted of Henderson, Turney, Miller and Howard Froese on guitar, vocals, solina and piano. The album included several successful single releases in the Canadian market that included “Fly At Night,” “California Girl” and “Baby Blue.” But it was the band’s ninth album release in 1981, Wanna Be A Star, that took them to the pinnacle of their success. The single “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone),” went Top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 nationally in Canada and #1 in Vancouver.

Bill Henderson has continued to perform in concert including concerts featuring the music of The Collectors and Chilliwack. For years Howie Vickers had contracts writing advertising jingles at Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver. Going by his real surname, Vickberg, Howie, served for several terms on the municipal council of the Township Of Langley. Claire Lawrence went on to play with many recording acts including Shari Ulrich, Connie Kaldor, Roy Forbes, Susan Jacks and others. Lawrence produced The Great Canadian Gold Rush show on CBC TV in the 1970’s. He also scored the music for the popular CBC TV show The Beachcombers, between 1986 and 1990. More recently, he produced Jazz Beat on CBC from 2000 to 2006. Glenn Miller died in 2011 of complications related to muscular dystrophy. He had spent several decades in Toronto helping people get off drug addictions.

December 6, 2018
Ray McGinnis

Bill Henderson, The Collectors, Canadian Bands.com.
Chilliwack bio ~ thecanadianencyclopedia.ca.
Bill Henderson biogonegonegone.com.
Claire Lawrence bio, Rate Your Music.com
Tom Harrison, Glenn Miller R.I.P., Vancouver Province, Vancouver, BC, March 10, 2011.
Richard Skelly, email(s) to Ray McGinnis (and thanks to Bill Henderson for clarifying “fiery furnace” begins the last line in the final verse).

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

Barabajagal by Donovan

#616: Barabajagal by Donovan

Peak Month:  August 1969
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #4
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
“Barabajagal” lyrics

Donovan Phillips Leitch was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1946. As a child he contracted polio and was left with a limp. At the age of 14 he began to play the guitar and when he was 16 years old he set his artistic vision to bring poetry to popular culture. He began busking and learned traditional folk and blues guitar. Music critics began branding him as mimicking Bob Dylan’s folk style. Like Dylan, Donovan wore a leather jacket, the fisherman’s cap, had a harmonica cradle and a song with “Wind” in the title. Dylan wrote “Blowing In The Wind” and Donovan had a hit in 1965 titled “Catch The Wind.”  Donovan was nicknamed by music critics in the UK as the “British Dylan.” In 1965 Bob Dylan flew to London for a concert tour of England in from April 28,  to May 10, 1965. In a 1967 documentary titled Don’t Look Back, by D. A Pennebaker, Donovan appears with Dylan. In a concert performance of “Talkin’ World War Three Blues,” Dylan sings, “I looked in the closet – and there was Donovan.” During the film Dylan and Donovan each play some songs at a hotel party with a concert poster in the background headlined by Donovan, Unit Four Plus 2 and Wayne Fontana and Mindbenders. Dylan patronizes Donovan, while Donovan suggests “I can help you, man.” However, in the by the release of his second studio album, Fairytale, Donovan was forging new musical territory. “Sunny Goodge Street” featured some jazz elements and psychedelia.  And Dylan bid farewell to acoustic guitar and picked up an electric guitar.

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Anna Marie by Susan Jacks

#617: Anna Marie by Susan Jacks

Peak Month:  November 1975
9 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Anna Marie
“Anna Marie” lyrics

Susan Pesklevits was born in 1948 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. When she was seven years old she was a featured singer on a local radio station. At the age of eight her family moved to the Fraser Valley town of Haney, British Columbia. When she was 13 years old she had her own radio show. In a December 1966 issue of the Caribou newspaper, the Quesnel Observer noted that Susan Pesklevits had auditioned for Music Hop in the summer of 1963 when she was only 15 years old. She had her first public performance at the Fall Fair in Haney when she was just 14 years old. It was noted she liked to ride horseback, ride motorcycles and attend the dramatic shows. Asked about what she could tell the folks in Quesnel about trends in Vancouver, Pesklevits had this to report, “the latest things in Vancouver are the hipster mini-skirts, bright colored suit slacks, and the tailored look. The newest sound is the “Acid Sound,” derived from L.S.D…. it is “pshodelic” which means it has a lot of fuzz tones and feed back. As an example, she gave “Frustration” recorded by the Painted Ship” a local band from Vancouver. Pesklevits added that on the West Coast “the latest dance is the Philly Dog. It mainly consists of two rows, one of girls and one of boys. The idea is to take steps, move in unison, while doing jerking motions and using a lot of hand movement.” In the summer of 1966 Pesklevits formed a trio with Tom Northcott and Howie Vickers called The Eternal Triangle who released one single titled “It’s True.” Vickers went on to form The Collectors which later morphed into Chilliwack.

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Like A Cannonball by Van Morrison

#1177: Like A Cannonball by Van Morrison

Peak Month:  April 1972
6 weeks on CKVNs Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #119
YouTube.com: “Like A Cannonball
“Like A Cannonball” lyrics

Sir George Ivan “Van” Morrison, was born in Belfast on August 31, 1945. He is a singer, songwriter and musician. He has received six Grammy Awards, the 1994 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1996 he was given the Order of the British Empire for his service to music enriching the lives of people in the UK (and beyond). Since 1996 his formal title has been Sir “Van” Morrison, OBE. In 2016 he was knighted for his musical achievements and his services to tourism and charitable causes in Northern Ireland.

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