Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie

#543: Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie

Peak Month: January 1981
7 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #101
YouTube.com: “Ashes To Ashes
“Ashes To Ashes” lyrics

David Robert Jones was born in 1947 in Brixton, a suburb in the southern part of London, UK. From an early age he demonstrated talent as a singer and especially through dance and movement. When he was nine years old his father brought home some 45’s by Elvis Presley, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Fats Domino and others. When David Jones heard Little Richard sing “Tutti Frutti” he later said in an interview that he “heard God.” Growing up, David learned to play the recorder, ukulele, piano and baritone saxophone. In 1962, at the age of 15 he formed a band named the Konrads. In 1964 he formed a band named David Jones and the King Bees. They appeared on the variety show Ready Steady Go! to sing their debut single, “Liza Jane”. Jones briefly moved on to join the Mannish Boys before being the front man for Davy Jones and The Lower Third. They released a single in 1965 titled “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving”. Due to the growing popularity of another English recording artist named Davy Jones (who went on to become lead singer for The Monkees), David Robert Jones decided to change his professional name to David Bowie. He chose his surname after a 19th Century American pioneer named James Bowie who invented the Bowie knife.

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The Joker Went Wild by Brian Hyland

#544: The Joker Went Wild by Brian Hyland

Peak Month: August 1966
8 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #20
YouTube.com: “The Joker Went Wild
“The Joker Went Wild” lyrics

Brian Hyland was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. In his childhood Hyland learned to play the guitar and the clarinet. In 1958, while he was still 14 years-old, he formed a group named the Delfis. Though they tried to get a record contract they were never signed. In 1959 Brian Hyland got a record deal with Kapp and released “Rosemary”. The single had limited success, though it spent six weeks on the pop chart in Vancouver reaching #14 in May 1960. Hyland released his next single at the age of sixteen. His debut release became a #1 hit in 1960 titled “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”. “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” had backing vocals by Peggy Powers who did a duet with Andy Williams in 1957 titled “I Like Your Kind Of Love”. And Trudy Packer provided the the spoken lyrics (i.e. “two, three, four, tell the people what she wore.”)

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(He's A) Big Man by Kathy Kirby

#545: (He’s A) Big Man by Kathy Kirby

Peak Month: February 1963
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “(He’s A) Big Man
“(He’s A) Big Man” lyrics

Kathleen O’Rourke was born in suburban London, UK, in 1938. She was raised by her single mom after her father left the family when she was very young. Her singing talent became apparent early on and she took singing lessons with a view to becoming an opera star. She was discovered by British bandleader Bert Ambrose in 1954 when she was still 16. He was one of the highest-paid musicians in Britain. He performed every Saturday night on BBC radio, recorded countless singles, and was renowned for having an unerring ear for a hit. Bert Ambrose made Kathy Kirby a featured singer in his band from 1956 to 1959. Ambrose went on to become her manager and her lover until his death in 1971 at the age of 74. Because of her looks Kathy Kirby was referred to as the ‘British Monroe.’
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Lovin' You Ain't Easy by Pagliaro

#546: Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy by Pagliaro

Peak Month: December 1971
11 weeks on CKVN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy
Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy” lyrics

Montreal’s Michel Pagliaro was born in 1948. He picked up guitar when he was eleven years old. At the age of 15 he was in a band les Stringmen. They morphed into les Bluebirds and finally les Merseys. Pagliaro got a break at the age of 18 when he was asked to join the Quebec band les Chanceliers. He was lead vocalist for the group which had a succession of singles and a self-titled album in the mid-60s. Their catalogue included “La generation d’aujourd’hui” (Today’s Generation), “Toi jeune fille”, a French version of “White Christmas”, and “Le p’tit popy” (The Little Poppy). In 1968, at the age of twenty, Pagliaro released some singles as a solo artist. His “Comme d’habitude” became a #1 hit in Quebec. Some of the lyrics in French “Tu the deshabillera come d’habitude” meant in English “you’ll take your clothes off as usual.” Nonetheless, the tune was adapted by Canadian pop singer Paul Anka and became the classic “My Way” popularized by Frank Sinatra.  It was followed with another number one hit for Pagliaro in French Canada in 1968 called “Avec la Tete, Avec la Coeur”.

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Daydreams/So Goes The Story by Johnny Crawford

#547: Daydreams/So Goes The Story by Johnny Crawford

Peak Month: July 1961 ~ “Daydreams”
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #70
YouTube.com: “Daydreams
“Daydreams” lyrics

Peak Month: July 1961 ~ “So Goes The Story”
5 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “So Goes The Story

John Ernest Crawford was born in 1946 in Los Angeles. He got into acting as a child star and by the age of  nine was one of the Mouseketeers in the first season caste of the The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. Though he was cut from the show in 1956 after Disney cut the caste from 24 to 12, Crawford continued to get acting roles. Between 1956 and 1958 he appeared in episodes of The Lone Ranger, The Loretta Young Show, Sheriff of Cochise, Wagon Train, Crossroads, Whirlybirds, Mr. Adams and Eve and Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater. The latter featured an episode that became a syndicated TV show called The Rifleman. Johnny Crawford played Mark McCain, son of Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors). In 1959 Crawford was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in The Rifleman. The show ran from 1958 to 1963.
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What Can The Matter Be by the Poppy Family

#548: What Can The Matter Be by the Poppy Family

Peak Month: April 1969
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “What Can The Matter Be
“What Can The Matter Be” 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.”

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Too Much Talk by Paul Revere And The Raiders

#549: Too Much Talk by Paul Revere And The Raiders

Peak Month: April 1968
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #19
YouTube.com: “Too Much Talk
“Too Much Talk” lyrics

A band called The Downbeats formed in Boise, Idaho, in 1958. Paul Revere Dick started the band originally as an instrumental group. They had their first chart single in Vancouver in 1960. It was an instrumental riff on the piano tune, Chopsticks, which they titled “Beatnik Sticks”. They changed their name to Paul Revere And The Raiders in 1960. Between 1960 and 1976 they released 41 singles. They charted five songs into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. These included “Kicks”, and “Hungry” (1966), “Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” (1967) and their cover of Don Fardon’s 1968 single “Indian Reservation,” which peaked at #1 for the band in 1971. They were even more popular in Vancouver where they charted over fifteen songs into the Top Ten on the local charts here on the West Coast.

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Darling Be Home Soon by The Lovin' Spoonful

#550: Darling Be Home Soon by The Lovin’ Spoonful

Peak Month: February 1967
6 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #15
YouTube.com: “Darling Be Home Soon
“Darling Be Home Soon” lyrics

Bass player Steve Boone (born on Long Island) and drummer Joe Butler (born on Long Island in 1941) had been playing in a band called The Kingsmen based on Long Island in the early 1960’s. By 1964 their band (not to be confused with the Kingsmen from Washington State who had a hit with “Louie Louie”) were one of the top rock and roll bands on Long Island. Their live sets included folk songs put to a rock beat, pop standards and some new hits showcasing the British Invasion. Steve’s brother, Skip Boone, and several three other bandmates filled out the group. In 1964, Joe and Skip chose to relocate to Manhattan. They focused on writing original material and blending a rock bass and drums with their jug band sound. Three other bandmates chose not to move, except Steve Boone, who joined Joe and Skip in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the nexus of the folk music scene.

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We've Got A Dream by Ocean

#551: We’ve Got A Dream by Ocean

Peak Month: August 1971
10 weeks on CKVN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #83
YouTube.com: “We’ve Got A Dream

Dave Tamblyn and Greg Brown were high school friends in London, Ontario. Dave played guitar and Greg played keyboards. They played gigs on the weekends with a variety of bands. In time they added singer Janice Morgan and became Leather and Lace. From London, they relocated to Toronto and performed in the hipster scene in trendy Yorkville. They added to their number bass player Jeff Jones and drummer Chuck Slater. In 1970 Yorkville Records was able to get Capitol Records to be the distributor for Ocean. Their debut single, “Put Your Hand In The Hand” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in Vancouver. The song had been recorded as a track by Anne Murray on one of her albums a few years prior. Ocean quickly went from playing gigs at high schools and night clubs in Toronto to doing concerts across North America and Europe, as well as starring on the A list of pop music TV shows.

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I'll Never Fall In Love Again by Tom Jones

#552: I’ll Never Fall In Love Again by Tom Jones

Peak Month: October 1967
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #49
YouTube.com: “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
“I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” lyrics

Thomas John Woodward was born in Wales in 1940. His father was a coal miner. Young Tom began singing at an early age and was in a children’s choir. At age 12 he had tuberculosis. While convalescing he spent more time developing an interest in music and listening to records. In 1963 he was the lead singer for the Welsh band Tommy Scott and the Senators. They had a record made with Tornados producer Joe Meek. In 1964 Jones was heard by a manager in the music industry based in London. Jones was brought to London and renamed Tom Jones. This was a strategy to get his attention after the successful musical Tom Jones won four Academy Awards in 1963, including Best Director and Best Picture.

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