Another One Rides The Bus by Weird Al Yankovic

#794: Another One Rides The Bus by Weird Al Yankovic

Peak Month: June 1981
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG’s chart
Peak Position: #9
1 Play List
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #104
YouTube.com link: “Another One Rides The Bus
“Another One Rides The Bus” lyrics

Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born in 1959 in suburban Los Angeles. His paternal grandparents were Yugoslavian. At the age of five, a door-to-door salesman came to the Yankovic home and offered to teach either guitar or accordion lessons to young Alfred. His parents chose the accordion. Growing up, Alfred was influenced by comedians Stan Freberg, Allan Sherman, Shel Silverstein and Frank Zappa. He was also a fan of Monty Python, Mad magazine and the Dr. Dimento radio show. During high school Al was a part-time accordion teacher. In 1975, he graduated at the age of 16 and gave the class valedictorian.

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The Happy Song by Otis Redding

#784: The Happy Song by Otis Redding

Peak Month: June 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position: #5
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube.com link: “The Happy Song
“The Happy Song (Dum Dum)” lyrics

Otis Ray Redding Jr. was born in Dawson, Georgia, in 1941. At the age of two he moved to Macon, Georgia. His dad was a sharecropper and subsequently worked at the Air Force base at Macon. In his childhood he sang at a local African-American church choir and learned to play the guitar and piano. While he was a teenager, Otis performed gospel songs on Sundays on a local radio station, WIBB, earning $6 for each appearance. When his father got tuberculosis in 1956, Otis quit school to earn extra cash for his family. He worked as a well digger and a gas station hop. In 1958 he won a $5 prize at a teenage talent contest fifteen weeks in a row. In 1958 he joined Pat T. Cake and the Mighty Panthers and toured the chitlin circuit in the Deep South. Soon afterward, he joined the Upsetters to replace Little Richard who had given up rock ‘n roll for religion.

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Music Man by 54-40

#740: Music Man by 54-40

Peak Month: November 1992
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Music Man
“Music Man” lyrics

54-40 is a band from Tsawwassen, British Columbia. Bass player Brad Merritt teamed up with guitarist and vocalist Neil Osbourne had met at South Delta High School in Tsawwassen in 1978. In 1981 they decided to form a band and asked drummer, Ian Franey, to join them. Neil Osbourne’s father had a position with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Consequently, the family moved as Osbourne’s dad got new postings variously from Regina, rural Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Edmonton and finally Tsawwassen. Ian Franey’s father was the director of the Vancouver International Film Festival.
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Look What You've Done by The Pozo Seco Singers

#770: Look What You’ve Done by The Pozo Seco Singers

Peak Month:  January 1967
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #6
1 Week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube.com:”Look What You’ve Done
“Look What You’ve Done” lyrics

In 1964, baritone singer Don Williams and tenor Lofton Kline were a Corpus Christi singing duo that went by the name of The Strangers Two. They heard 17-year-old Ray High School student, Susan Taylor, performing solo at the Del Mar Hootenannies. Lofton recalls, “Don was married and had a little one to support, and was working at Pittsburgh Plate Glass.  I was going to Del Mar College in Corpus.  The college had a hootenanny scheduled and Don and I were asked to entertain.” After they met Susan Taylor, as Lofton tells it, ““We asked her to come over and practice with us the following week.  She did…and the rest is ‘history.’” Susan’s alto voice blended perfectly with Don’s baritone and Lofton’s tenor.
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Kiss Him Goodbye by The Nylons

#778: Kiss Him Goodbye by The Nylons

Peak Month:  July 1987
10 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Kiss Him Goodbye
“Kiss Him Goodbye” lyrics

The Nylons are an a cappella group that formed in 1978, based in Toronto. The original members were all gay men: Dennis Simpson, Paul Cooper, Claude Morrison and Marc Connors. They released their self-titled album in 1982. There were some lineup changes after 1979 when Dennis Simpson left. By the time the Nylons released their first album, Arnold Robinson was the newcomer joining the other original group members. In 1986, the group appeared on the Canadian children’s TV show Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show. The show was hosted by a trio of the entertainers and singers known as Sharon, Lois & Bram. The Nylons appeared in an episode of the TV show, Treasure Island, and sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. The next year they released their fourth album, Happy Together.

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Bitter Green by Gordon Lightfoot

#701: Bitter Green by Gordon Lightfoot

Peak Month: December 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Bitter Green
“Bitter Green” 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.

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Poco Loco by Gene & Eunice

#702: Poco Loco by Gene & Eunice

Peak Month: October 1959
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #48
YouTube.com: “Poco Loco
“Poco Loco” lyrics

Eugene Forrest III was born in San Antonio, Texas, in September 1931. Later he took the name Gene Forrest when he began a singing career. In May 1931, Eunice Levy Frost was born in Texarkana, Texas. Before 1954, Eunice heard Ann Walls playing with Ernie Fields’ Orchestra in Phoenix. Eunice reflects, “when I saw her complete control of the band, for a few minutes she was the queen. They had to do everything she said, it seemed good.” Eunice Levy headed to Los Angeles to fulfill her dream. When she got to Los Angeles she met Gene Forrest at a singing contest. She discovered that Gene Forrest was “a struggling young man trying to make it entertainment-wise…and make big money the fastest way he knew.” The pair hit it off and soon became a singing duo and got involved romantically. Gene & Eunice wrote most of their own songs. Their first single, “Ko Ko Mo”, put “The Sweethearts of Rhythm & Blues” on the map. However, Perry Como covered the song and it became a #2 hit for Como and a #6 hit for The Crew Cuts on the hit parade.

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Town Crier by Tommy Roe

#703: Town Crier by Tommy Roe

Peak Month: February 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Town Crier

In Atlanta, Georgia, Thomas David “Tommy” Roe was born in 1942. At the age of 17, while he was still in high school, Roe was part of a trio with Bob West and Mike Clark called The Satins. Roe wrote a song called “Caveman” in 1959, backed with “I Got A Girl”  and the trio was billed as Tommy Roe and The Satins released their first single on Judd Records. When he finished high school Tommy got work a soldering wires at a General Electric plant. In 1960 the single was re-issued on the Trumpet label. This time “I Got A Girl” climbed into the #10 spot on WAKE 1340 AM in Atlanta. The trio released a song in 1960 called “Sheila”, complete with Buddy Holly-esque vocal effects. But it failed to chart. Two years later Roe signed a contract with ABC-Paramount Records. Though he was just twenty years old, Roe found himself on the top of the national charts in America and Australia in October 1962 with a new version of “Sheila”. When “Sheila” became a hit, ABC-Paramount Records asked Tommy Roe to go on tour to promote the hit. Roe was hesitant to leave his steady paycheck at GE until ABC-Paramount changed his mind when they advanced him $5,000.

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Muddy Mississippi by Bobby Goldsboro

#704: Muddy Mississippi by Bobby Goldsboro

Peak Month: September 1969
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #53
YouTube.com: “Muddy Mississippi Line
“Muddy Mississippi Line” lyrics

Bobby Goldsboro was born in Mariana, Florida, in the Florida Panhandle in 1941. Shortly after his birth his family moved 35 miles north to Dothan, Alabama, where he was raised. Goldsboro learned is musical skills as he grew, by the age of twenty-one, Goldsboro became a guitarist for Roy Orbison. From 1962 to 1964 Goldsboro toured with Orbison, including the tour where The Beatles appeared as the opening act on the UK tour with Orbison as headliner. He roomed with Roy Orbison and they became close friends. In 1962, Goldsboro released his first of four singles on Laurie Records. Only one of these, “Molly,” made the Billboard Hot 100, and only marginally. In 1964 Goldsboro had his first of sixteen Top 40 hits in the USA with “See the Funny Little Clown.” Having switched labels, United Artists had sent him three songs to choose from in advance of recording, hopefully, a hit record. But after sitting and listening to the three songs, Bobby thought none of them were hit material. So he sat down in his parents living room and wrote “See The Funny Little Clown.” The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 when Goldsboro was turning 23 years old. but didn’t appear on the CFUN charts in 1964. That year Goldsboro was the opening act on tour with the Rolling Stones. Subsequently, he was the opening act on a tour headlined by the Four Seasons. The following year he was the opening act on tour with The Beach Boys.

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I Can't Explain by The Who

#705: I Can’t Explain by The Who

Peak Month: April 1965
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #93
YouTube.com: “I Can’t Explain
“I Can’t Explain” lyrics

The Who are an English band who emerged in 1964 with singer Roger Daltry, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. The band enjoyed popular singles, such as “I Can See For Miles”, “Pinball Wizard” and  “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. In Vancouver the band had eleven Top Ten hits, while in the UK they charted fourteen singles into the Top Ten, but in America they only charted one single, “I Can See For Miles”, into the Billboard Hot 100. The band were innovators of new genres in rock n’ roll with their rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. The Who early on were known for outlandish antics on stage. At the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone, England, in June, 1964, Peter Townshend destroyed his guitar on stage and smashed it into other instruments. The Who stand alongside The Beatles and The Rollings Stones as among the most influential rock bands from Britain. They had their first Top Ten single in the UK and in Vancouver in 1965 titled “I Can’t Explain”, which peaked at #8 in the UK and #2 in Vancouver.

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