Black Day In July by Gordon Lightfoot

#698: Black Day In July by Gordon Lightfoot

Peak Month: May 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
1 week Hit Bound
YouTube.com: “Black Day In July
“Black Day In July” lyrics

Gordon Meridith Lightfoot Jr. was born in Orillia, Ontario, on November 17, 1938. His parents, Jessica and Gordon Lightfoot Sr., ran a dry cleaning business. His mother noticed young Gordon had some musical talent and the boy soprano first performed in grade four at his elementary school. He sang the Irish lullaby “Too Ra Loo Rah Loo Rah” at a parents’ day. As a member of the St. Paul’s United Church choir in Orillia, Lightfoot gained skill and needed confidence in his vocal abilities under the choir director, Ray Williams. Lightfoot went on to perform at Toronto’s Massey Hall at the age of twelve when he won a competition for boys who were still boy sopranos. During his teen years Gordon Lightfoot learned to play piano, drums and guitar.

Continue reading →

Thorn In My Side by The Eurythmics

#699: Thorn In My Side by The Eurythmics

Peak Month: December 1986
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #68
YouTube.com: “Thorn In My Side
“Thorn In My Side” lyrics

The Eurythmics were the duo of Annie Lennox and David Stewart. They were part of the New Wave music with a heavy reliance on a synth-pop sound. They were especially successful in the UK with hits that included “Love is a Stranger,” “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This,” “Who’s That Girl?” and “Here Comes the Rain Again. ” They had a successful duet with Aretha Franklin in 1985 titled “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.”
Continue reading →

Can't You Hear The Song by Wayne Newton

#700: Can’t You Hear The Song by Wayne Newton

Peak Month: December 1972
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #48
YouTube.com: “Can’t You Hear The Song
“Can’t You Hear The Song” lyrics

Carson Wayne Newton was born in 1942 in Norfolk, Virginia. When he was four years old his parents took him to see the Grand Ole Opry. He began to learn guitar, steel guitar and piano from the age of six. At the age of six he was featured on a local radio show each morning on his way to elementary school. At the age of six, young Wayne also performed in front of the USO and for President Harry Truman. With his brother, Jerry, they performed at country fairs and clubs as the Rascals in Rhythm. They had several guest spots with the Grand Ole Opry roadshows and on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee. They also gave a performance for President Eisenhower. From 1958 to 1962 the brothers performed six days a week on the Lew King Rangers Show. Further success awaited them with their first of twelve guest appearances on The Jackie Gleason Show on September 29, 1962.

Continue reading →

I've Been Lonely Too Long by The Young Rascals

#701: I’ve Been Lonely Too Long by The Young Rascals

Peak Month: February 1967
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #16
YouTube.com: “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long
“I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” lyrics

In 1942, Felix Cavaliere was born in Pelham, New York, a 15 minute drive north of Times Square in midtown Manhattan. He was trained in classical piano from the age of six. He learned to play keyboards and as a singer, in 1963, was hired to join Joey Dee And The Starliters, of “The Peppermint Twist” fame. Eddie Brigati was born in Garfield, New Jersey, in 1945. He learned to sing and play percussion. In 1963, he became a member of Joey Dee and The Starliters. Brigati co-wrote most of the Young Rascals songs, along with Cavaliere. Guitar player, Gene Cornish, was born in New Jersey and grew up in Ontario and in Rochester, New York. In 1964, he joined Joey Dee And The Starliters. By late 1964, Cavaliere, Brigati and Cornish teamed up with Jersey City native, Dino Danelli, to form the Young Rascals. Danelli was a drummer.  Eddie Brigati’s brother, David, helped with studio recordings and was a reliable backup singer on the records. David Brigati is sometimes referred to as the “Fifth Rascal.” However, it was just the four ~ Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli ~ who performed in live concerts.

Continue reading →

The Love Parade by The Dream Academy

#702: The Love Parade by The Dream Academy

Peak Month: June 1986
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “The Love Parade
“The Love Parade” lyrics

The Dream Academy were a folk rock and new wave group from London, England. They formed in 1983 with their membership consisting of Nick Laird-Clowes on vocals and guitar, Kate St. John on oboe, accordion, saxophone, piano and cor anglais (English horn) and Gilbert Gabriel on piano and clarinet. David Gilmour, a member of Pink Floyd, produced the Dream Academy’s first two albums. They had a Top Ten hit in 1985 called “Life in a Northern Town.” It was an ethereal tune with images of Salvation Army Band’s children drinking lemonade, mornings lasting all day, of rain and going to a railway station. There are references as well to the winter of 1963, John F. Kennedy and The Beatles.

In Canada, “Life In A Northern Town” climbed to #1 in Regina, #2 in Ottawa, #3 in Medicine Hat, #4 in Hamilton and Saskatoon, and #7 in Toronto. In the USA “Life In A Northern Town” did especially well in Cleveland and Louisville (#2), Minneapolis/St. Paul (#3), Boston and New Haven, CT, (#4) and #5 in Milwaukee. The success of “Life In A Northern Town” got the Dream Academy appearances on American Bandstand, The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. However, they didn’t tour until 1991 and then the band split up.

Their debut album, Dream Academy, produced by David Gilmour, prompted the release of four singles. The first was “Life In  A Northern Town.” “The Love Parade” was the final single from this album.

The Love Parade by The Dream Academy

The song concerned couples married for a long time that are lonely when they are together. Other verses paint a picture of a man who sees a woman.. “And when it’s done you put your world back on/’Cause she’s otherwise engaged, married to someone…” In the song guys fall for sweet talk and a “pocket full of kisses.” The song peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. The best chart run in the USA was in Buffalo at #5. Otherwise, the single failed to crack to Top 30 in most radio markets. However, north of the USA-Canada border, “The Love Parade” climbed to #7 in Vancouver.

“The Love Parade” is only for “matinees.” The song takes a skeptical view of the couples on parade on the sidewalks of town. Scratch the surface and you find deception and affairs. In a 2016 article in Cosmopolitan Magazine, “7 Signs You’re In A Lonely Relationship,” seven culprits are identified as the most likely reasons why two people in a couple are lonely together. Written from a female perspective they are identified as follows:
1. Your Partner Has Trouble Being Affectionate With You.
2. Your Feel Like Your Partner Judges You.
3. You Can’t Connect Because One Or Both Of You Are Overworked And Overwhelmed.
4. Your Partner Shuts Down During Arguments.
5. Your Partner Has Stopped Talking To You
6. You Aren’t Being Your True Self With Him.
7. You’re Protecting Yourself From The Hurt Of A Previous Relationship.

In each case, there are ways to potentially turn things around. The starting point is always having a conversation. With the list as presented, the trick would be to find a way to have a conversation that doesn’t result in an argument. Establishing ground rules for healthy communication might include the need to seek couple counseling or take some course for couples to expand your skill set while have conversations.

While “The Love Parade” was in the Top Ten in Vancouver, a film was released directed by John Hughes titled Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. One of the scenes in the film find Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), his buddy Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) at a museum in Chicago. During the art scene while the trio take in the exhibit, an instrumental version of “Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want,” by the Dream Academy is background music. A ballade by the Dream Academy, “The Edge Of Forever,” also was featured in the film. The soundtrack to the 1986 film was only made available for the first time through La-La Land Records in 2016. A second album, Remembrance Days, offered up a single titled “Indian Summer.” That song made the Top 20 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in December 1987. A third album, A Different Kind of Weather, was released in 1990, but failed to catch on commercially.

There were tensions in the trio, roles they had fallen into, which Nick Laird-Clowes says weren’t healthy for their capacity to collaborate. After the trio split up in 1991 Laird-Clowes wrote lyrics for two tracks, “Poles Apart” and “Take it Back,” on The Division Bell, a multi-million selling album by Pink Floyd in 1994. Over the years he has worked with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and Marc Bolan of T. Rex. Kate St. John performed with Van Morrision for many years and has also been a musical director for Marianne Faithfull. On her webpage she writes, “In January 2017, I arranged 9 songs for Laura Marling and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for the opening night of Celtic Connections in Glasgow.” Gilbert Gabriel has focused on producing music for film and TV in England and Poland. He has lectured on film and soundtrack at a number of English universities. In 2014, he launched the release of a Dream Academy compilation album, The Morning Lasted All Day, and tour.

July 13, 2018
Ray McGinnis

References:
Will Harris, Interview: Nick Laird-Clowes of The Dream Academy, Rhino, July 7, 2015
7 Signs You’re In a Lonely Relationship, Cosmopolitan, New York, September 29, 2016
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Limited Edition Soundtrack, La-La Land Records, Los Angeles, CA, 2016
Kate St. John bio, Kate St. John.co.uk
Gilbert Gabriel bio, Gilbert Gabriel Music.com

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

My Back Pages by The Byrds

#703: My Back Pages by The Byrds

Peak Month: April 1967
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
1 week Hitbound: March 18, 1967
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #30
YouTube.com: “My Back Pages
“My Back Pages” lyrics

Around 1963 a folk trio that named itself the Jet Set, consisted of Roger McGuinn on vocals and lead guitar, Gene Clark on vocals tambour and rhythm guitar and David Crosby on vocals and rhythm guitar. In 1964 the trio released a single that was a commercial failure and credited to The Beefeaters. They added bass (and mandolin) player Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke and became The Byrds. They offered up a fusion of folk-rock and became an instant hit with two #1 hits in Vancouver and the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965: “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The former was written by Bob Dylan and the latter by Pete Seeger. A single between their #1 hits was another Dylan tune titled “All I Really Want To Do.” The Byrds were perennial favorites in Vancouver who consistently had better chart runs in Vancouver than back in their home country of America. Aside from their two #1 hits, they failed to chart other songs into the Billboard Hot 100. But in Vancouver they charted ten songs into the Top Ten.

Continue reading →

God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

#732: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

Peak Month: September 1966
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #39
YouTube.com: “God Only Knows
“God Only Knows” lyrics

Brian Wilson was born in Inglewood, California, in 1942. In biographer Peter Ames Carlin’s book, Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson Brian Wilson relates how hearing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue had a huge emotional impact on him. As a youngster, Wilson learned to play a toy accordion and sang in children’s choirs. In his teens he started a group with his cousin, Mike Love and his brother, Carl. His named the group Carl and the Passions in order to convince his brother to join. They had a performance at Hawthorne High School, where they attended. Among the people in the audience was Al Jardine, another classmate. Jardine was so impressed with the performance that he let the group know. Jardine would later be enlisted, along with Dennis Wilson to form the Pendletones in 1961. The first song Brian Wilson wrote would become “Super Girl.” A demo of the tune was made in February 1962 and would go on to be a Top Ten hit when it was released a year later in 1963. However, their first recording was a doo-wop-surf tune called “Surfin’” in October 1961. It was released in November ’61 on the Candix Enterprises Inc. label. The surprise for the group was that the record label had changed the group’s name from the Pendletones to the Beach Boys. Consequently, as each time the record was played by a DJ in America, radio listeners were being introduced to the Beach Boys. The name Pendletones was now history.

Continue reading →

Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

#739: Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: May 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Twin Pick Hit of the Week: April 6, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Summer Holiday
“Summer Holiday” lyrics

Cliff Richard was born Harry Roger Webb on October 14, 1940, in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1940 Lucknow was part of the British Raj, as India was not yet an independent country. Webb’s father worked on as a catering manager for the Indian Railways. His mother raised Harry and his three sisters. In 1948, when India had become independent, the Webb family took a boat to Essex, England, and began a new chapter. At the age of 16 Harry Webb was given a guitar by his father. Harry then formed a vocal group called the Quintones. Webb was interested in skiffle music, a type of jug band music, popularized by “The King of Skiffle,” Scottish singer Lonnie Donegan who had an international hit in 1955 called “Rock Island Line.”
Continue reading →

Queen Of The Angels by Deane Hawley

#704: Queen Of The Angels by Deane Hawley

Peak Month: July 1962
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #9
CFUN Twin Pick May 26, 1962
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Queen Of The Angels

William Deane Hawley was born in Staten Island, New York, on December 18, 1937. He moved to California at the age of three. He attended USC and got a Masters in Human Behavior while also recording pop singles and appearing on several TV music shows. He recorded his first song in 1958, credited to Deane Hawley and The Crystals on the Valor label. He worked with a number of songwriters including Dorsey Burnette (“Bossman”) and Sharon Sheeley (“Don’t Dress the World in Black”) and Ben Wiseman and Fred Wise (“Pocket Full of Rainbows”).

Continue reading →

You, Me And Mexico by Edward Bear

#705: You, Me And Mexico by Edward Bear

Peak Month: April 1970
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
1 week Hitbound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #68
YouTube.com link: “You, Me And Mexico
“You, Me And Mexico” lyrics

In the mid-60’s Larry Evoy and Paul Weldon were jamming in basements and experimenting with blues rock tunes. In 1966 bass player Craig Hemmings and drummer Dave Brown formed a band with Evoy and Weldon. They got guitarist Danny Marks to join them after he answered an ad. (Marks left the band in 1970 and was replaced by Roger Ellis). After a year they settled on the name The Edward Bear Revue. They got the name from A.A. Milne’s children’s book, Winnie The Pooh, whose central character has the proper name of Edward Bear. In time the band shortened their name to Edward Bear. The band originally was a blues and rock band and opened in 1968 for a Toronto concert with Led Zeppelin as the headliner.
Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter