Chatanooga Choo Choo by Floyd Cramer

#823: Chatanooga Choo Choo by Floyd Cramer

Peak Month: February 1962
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
CKWX Top of the Hot Prospects ~ January 13, 1962

In 1933 Floyd Cramer was born outside of Shreveport, Louisiana. He grew up in Huttig, Arkansas. At the age of five he taught himself to play piano after his parents bought him the keyboard. Before he started grade school, young Floyd was performing in front of audiences in public. After high school he moved back to Shreveport and got a gig with KWKH radio and the Louisiana Hayride. Country stars like Webb Pierce and Red Sovine would appear on the show. Cramer on piano, and guitar players, Faron Young and Jimmy Day, were a trio that backed up ‘Hayride performers. In the early 50’s Cramer toured with Hank Williams and next with Elvis Presley. Cramer released his first single record in 1953.
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Animal Heart by Glass Tiger

#824: Animal Heart by Glass Tiger

Peak Month: May 1991
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario called Tokyo spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early the following year when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records. The band consisted of Alan Frew on vocals and guitar, Sam Reid on keyboards, Al Connelly on guitar, Wayne Parker on bass and Michael Hanson on drums.

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Brain Washed by David Clayton-Thomas & The Bossmen

#825: Brain Washed by David Clayton-Thomas & The Bossmen

Peak Month: August 1966
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
1 week ~ Wax To Watch on CKLG June 19, 1966

David Henry Thomsett was born in 1941 Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK. His dad, Fred, was a Canadian soldier who served in World War II. His mom, Freda, played piano at a hospital in London to cheer up ill and wounded soldiers. His parents met in London at the hospital where his mom was playing the piano. After the war ended the family moved to Willowdale, Ontario, in suburban Toronto. As a child, Clayton-Thomas writes in his autobiography about his relationship with his father and describes him as “A big rough man, six feet tall, 200 pounds, with a vicious temper hardened by the horrors of war, he was the complete opposite of my gentle grandfather with his funny songs and his puppet shows, and he terrified me. This enraged Fred…. The army had taught Fred that discipline was the answer to everything. He’d toughen the youngster up. And the beatings began.” And so David Henry Thomsett began to run away from home at an early age. At the age of fifteen David left home after his father stormed into the home of a girl he was dating while he was having dinner and his father pulled him out into their front yard and beat David to a pulp. David left home and never returned. He was now a street kid living through a Toronto winter. After a series of arrests for vagrancy and probation violations he was sent to the Guelph Reformatry when he was sixteen.

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Take A Chance With Me by Roxy Music

#826: Take A Chance With Me by Roxy Music

Peak Month: September 1982
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

In 1945, Bryan Ferry was born in Washington, near Durham, England. His dad worked on a farm and took care of pit ponies. After he got his undergraduate degree, he took courses in fine art at Newcastle University in the mid’60’s. While he was studying, he was part of a student band named the City Blues. With his fine arts degree he started to teach pottery at a girl’s school in London. Concurrently, Ferry founded a band called Banshees. After that he formed a band that included Graham Simpson named the Gas Board. In 1968 he took up residence in London. Ferry was fired from his teaching post for hosting sessions with the ceramics students where they listened to records. Ferry moved on and assembled a band with bass player, Graham Simpson, saxophone and oboe player, Andy MacKay, synthesizer player, Brian Eno, guitarist, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson on drums and percussion being the musicians who endured in the midst of a few minor lineup changes in the early years. He called the band Roxy Music.

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Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

#857: Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald:
Peak Month: October 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Ella Fitzgerald first came to national attention with her #1 hit in 1938, “A Tisket, A Tasket.” Before Billboard Magazine began in the 1940’s the song was listed at #1 on the Record Buying Guide and the weekly radio broadcasts of Your Hit Parade, a radio a radio institution on NBC, started in 1935, that billed itself as “an accurate, authentic tabulation of America’s taste in popular music.” She was born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1917. Ella’s mother Temperance “Tempie” Fitzgerald and a second lover, Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, New York, in 1920. Joe dug ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Tempie worked at a laundromat. At age 15 both her mother and Joe died in quick succession, her mom from complications arising from an automobile accident and Joe from a heart attack. In 1934, Ella won a draw to complete in an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Originally planning a dance routine, a troupe that performed ahead of her were so spectacular she spontaneously decided to sing instead. Her performance brought the crowd to its feet and she did an encore.

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Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger

#827: Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger

Peak Month: June 1986
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
1 week Hitbound on CKLG

Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario, Glass Tiger was initially called Tokyo. As Tokyo, they spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early into 1985 when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records. The band consisted of Alan Frew on vocals and guitar, Sam Reid on keyboards, Al Connelly on guitar, Wayne Parker on bass and Michael Hanson on drums.

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Jennifer Juniper by Donovan

#828: Jennifer Juniper by Donovan

Peak Month: April 1968
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
1 week Hitbound on CKLG

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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Only Sixteen by Terry Black

#829: Only Sixteen by Terry Black

Peak Month: September 1965
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Terrance Black was born in Vancouver in 1949. Local DJ, Red Robinson, has said about Terry Black: “Back in the British Invasion days, a young Vancouver singer took the city by storm. He was discovered by Buddy Clyde on Dance Party, a teen show on CHAN TV (now Global). Buddy was able to get the attention of the owner of Dunhill records, the same label that the Mamas and Papas recorded for as well as P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and others of the day.” Terry Black’s first single, “Sinner Man,” was a minor hit in Canada in 1964. His vocal style mimicked the sound of many male vocalists who were part of the British Invasion. While he was fifteen years old, Black had a #2 hit in Vancouver with “Unless You Care.” His single was kept out of the #1 spot in September ’64 by Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.” “Unless You Care” was written and produced by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Two of the studio musicians on the single were Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, who both went on to have recording careers. The song was a major hit in Canada and also cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at #99. In Canada, Black was awarded the Male Vocalist of the Year award at the Maple Music Awards in 1964.

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(Don't Wanna) Live For A Living by Chilliwack

#830: (Don’t Wanna) Live For A Living by Chilliwack

Peak Month: July 1982
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Bill Henderson was born in Vancouver in 1944. He learned guitar and became the guitarist for the Panarama Trio that performed at the Panarama Roof dance club on the 15th Floor of the Hotel Vancouver. He formed the psychedelic pop-rock Vancouver band, The Collectors, in 1966. The band had a string of local hits, including “Fisherwoman” and “Lydia Purple,” with Howie Vickers as lead vocalist. After Vickers left the band in 1969, Bill Henderson was featured on one of the Collectors last hits, “I Must Have Been Blind,” in 1970. Henderson (vocals, guitar), Claire Lawrence (saxophone, keyboards), Ross Turney (drums) and Glenn Miller (bass) were all Collectors remaining bandmates. They soon changed their name to Chilliwack. The name was a Salish First Nations name that means “going back up” and is the name of a city in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

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Kathaleen by Sonny James

#831: Kathaleen by Sonny James

Peak Month: March 1958
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

James Hugh Loden was born on a farm outside of Hackleburg, Alabama, in 1928. Sonny remembers from the age of three how people would gather in each others’ homes to play music amid the bronze glow of Aladdin and coal-oil lamps. He recalls “That’s when Pop decided, ‘Well, I’ll give him something that he can at least play around on.’ That’s when he cut the molasses bucket in half and used the bottom of it and put a neck on it and then reversed it. It became the top of a little banjo, but it was tuned like a mandolin- So then I graduated to a mandolin and long about that time -I must have been about three or something – I began singing.” Now that he could play the mandolin and sing James was given the nickname “Sonny boy.” In 1933, with his parents and a sister, Sonny began to appear regularly on Saturday nights on a WMSD radio in Muscle Shoals in northwestern Alabama. Soon the family was billed as Sonny Loden and the Southerners. An adopted daughter also joined the family to make them a singing group of five. In 1946 the family moved to anchor a program with radio station WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina. James, now 18, roomed with two musicians who were in a band called Johnny and Jack’s Tennessee Mountain Boys, Chet Atkins and fiddler Paul Warren. “We’d just pick up a storm” James recalled.

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