My Back Pages by The Byrds

#701: 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.

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God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

#730: 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.

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Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

#737: 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.”
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Queen Of The Angels by Deane Hawley

#702: 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”).

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You, Me And Mexico by Edward Bear

#703: 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.
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Mama by B.J. Thomas

#704: Mama by B.J. Thomas

Peak Month: June 1966
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4 CFUN
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22
YouTube.com link: “Mama
“Mama” lyrics

Billy Joe Thomas was born in Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1942. His family eventually moved to Houston, Texas. When he was in his teens playing baseball, Billy Joe Thomas took the name of BJ. This was because there were too many boys on the baseball team with the name of Billy Joe. During his teens he sang in a church choir. In 1958, BJ Thomas heard “To Be Loved” by Jackie Wilson. He credits the song as being a catalyst for his love of singing. In the late 50’s, in grade eleven, his Junior year, BJ Thomas became lead singer for a local band named The Triumphs. He got to know Roy Head and the Traits. The Traits and The Triumphs participated in several Battle of the Bands events in the early 60’s. In 1966, BJ Thomas got a record contract with Scepter Records. He released an album, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. The title track, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” climbed into the Top Ten in the USA and #3 in Vancouver.
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Theme For A Dream by Cliff Richard

#705: Theme For A Dream by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: April 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6 CFUN
Peak Position #4 CKWX (only charted for 6 weeks)
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Theme For A Dream
“Theme For A Dream” 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.”

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Private Symphony by Maestro Fresh Wes

#706: Private Symphony by Maestro Fresh Wes

Peak Month: October 1990
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Private Symphony
“Private Symphony” lyrics

Maestro Fresh Wes is a Canadian rap artists who had a hit in 1989 called “Let Your Backbone Slide.” It was the first single from his debut album, Symphony in Effect. His second single was “Drop the Needle.” Another tracks from this album was “Private Symphony,” produced by Maximum 60. The album peaked at #4 on the Canadian RPM Albums Chart. Symphony in Effect won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 1991. “Private Symphony” was a local hit on the Vancouver pop charts peaking at #9. It did not chart on the Canadian RPM singles chart. A remixed version of the song was also a track on his second album, The Black Tie Affair, was released in 1991.

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Classmate by The Beau-Marks

#707: Classmate by The Beau-Marks

Peak Month: July 1961
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Classmate
“Classmate” lyrics

Originally named the Del Tones when they formed in Montreal in 1958, the groups’ first single, called “Moonlight Party,” climbed to #1 in Montreal in May 1959. However, there were other bands with the same name. The Deltones had a single on Vee-Jay Records that was a minor hit in Chicago. That group had a minor hit in Philadelphia on another label in 1960 called “Strollin’ the Blues.” There was also a band from Australia called the Delltones. To avoid confusion, the Del Tones from Montreal changed their name to the Beau-Marks in 1959 in response to a political controversy. Their new name was a pun on the Bomarc, the worlds first supersonic long-range, anti-aircraft missile, developed by Boeing. The development of the Bomarc missile was accompanied by problems with its propulsion system. In 1958 the Conservative Government, led by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was faced with two strategies for Canadian air defense. One was to produce the Avro Arrow, a very fast missile at a cost of over 12 Million per aircraft. It was created by the Canadian company, Avro Canada. The other option was to purchase Bomarc missles made by Boeing in Seattle, Washington, for 2 Million. The later missiles would be tipped with nuclear warheads. However, the Conservatives opted eventually not to have nuclear tipped missiles in Canada. With the cancellation of the Avro Arrow, the company lost over 14,000 jobs.
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You're So Square by Buddy Holly

#708: You’re So Square by Buddy Holly

Peak Month: October 1961
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
CFUN Twin Pick: September 23, 1961
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “You’re So Square
“You’re So Square” lyrics

In 1936, Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas. When he was five years old he won $5 when he entered a local talent show and sang “Down The River of Memories.” He listened to the Grand Ole Opry growing up and after trying to learn the piano settled on taking up the guitar. During his Junior and Senior years in school, Holley entered some talent shows with friends in duos and doing gigs with a band playing a blend of country & western and rhythm & blues. He had a band that performed live on the Lubbock radio station KDAV. After high school graduation Holly focused on making a career as a musician. He heard Elvis Presley in concert in Lubbock in 1955. Shortly after Hollry would appear as the opening act for Presley in concert three times in 1955. Owen Bradley, who would also produce records for Conway Twitty, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline and Gene Vincent, became Holley’s record producer after he signed a record deal with Decca Records in February 1956. After signing the record deal, Buddy Holley dropped the “e” from his surname to become Buddy Holly.
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