Trouble by Elvis Presley

#901: Trouble by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: September 1958
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Trouble
“Trouble” lyrics

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was stillborn. When he was eleven years old his parents bought him a guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store. As a result Elvis grew up as an only child. He and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. The young Presley graduated from high school in 1953. That year he stopped by the Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, including “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” song #1065 on this Countdown. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career recording “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at Sun Records in Memphis.

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Apple Green by June Valli

#902: Apple Green by June Valli

Peak Month: May 1960
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #29 “Apple Green
“Apple Green” lyrics

In 1928 June Foglia was born in the Bronx, New York. Both her parents spoke Italian. Her dad, from Naples, Italy, worked as a plasterer during the day and was a part-time street singer. He taught her to sing and they listened to opera together all the time. June could hit double high Cs and go way down below an F and still be clear. She worked as a bookkeeper after her high school graduation. June was very shy and “discovered” quite by accident. In late 1950, June’s mother couldn’t attend a friend’s wedding, so June went to represent the family. The big Italian wedding was held on the second floor of a rented hall on Fordham Road, just off Arthur Avenue. After the ceremony, someone invited June up to the microphone. Although she was terrified, never having sung in public before, June managed to get through a couple choruses of the one song she knew well enough, “Stormy Weather.” Well, that “Stormy Weather” brought a lightning strike. Sid Gilbert, uncle of comedian Abe Burrows, was at the same wedding and was so impressed with June’s singing he arranged an audition for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts T.V. show where she won. She subsequently appeared on Perry Como’s and Ed Sullivan’s TV shows.

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Greatest Moments In A Girls Life by The Tokens

#903: Greatest Moments In A Girls Life by The Tokens

Peak Month: August 1966
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Greatest Moments In A Girls Life
“Greatest Moments In A Girls Life” lyrics

In 1955 a doo-wop group called The Linc-Tones formed in Brooklyn, New York. Neil Sedaka was a founding member of the group but left in 1957. They renamed themselves in 1957 as The Tokens. That year they appeared on TV for the first time on The Ted Steele Dance Time. In 1959 the Tokens recorded “Picture In My Wallet” under the name of Darrell & The Oxfords, which became a Top Ten hit in San Bernardino. The Tokens are known best for their number one 1961 hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The song was originally a Zulu folk song called “M’bube” and Anglicized to “Wimoweh.” The Tokens consisted of Jay Siegel, Hank Medress and brothers Mitch and Phil Margo. True rock pioneers, they were among the first to successfully use the falsetto lead voice, a sound that influenced groups such as the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys. The group had their first Top 20 hit in the USA billed as The Tokens with “Tonight I Fell In Love,” in 1961. The song peaked at #27 in Vancouver.

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Look Who's Blue by Don Gibson

#904: Look Who’s Blue by Don Gibson

Peak Month: November 1958
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #58 “Look Who’s Blue
“Look Who’s Blue” lyrics

In 1928 Donald Eugene Gibson was born in Shelby, North Carolina. His family was poor and he stopped attending school in grade two to help out his sharecropping parents. He developed an interest in music at an early age and was inspired by recording artists like Tennessee Ernie Ford. Don Gibson began performing at local clubs before he was 18. In his late teens he held down a number of jobs including a as soda jerk, baby diaper deliveryman and dishwasher. A friend came home from Paris, France, after World War II with records by the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. This enhanced Gibson who began to experiment with different styles by his mid-teens. In 1946, he became a regular with the Tennessee Barn Dance in Knoxville, but things weren’t what Gibson expected. The fans wanted old-time country, not Gibson’s brand of crooning. He hung on to the radio job but struggled on $30 a week earned playing beer joints.

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Carolina Caroline by Jonathan Edwards

#905: Carolina Caroline by Jonathan Edwards

Peak Month: June 1977
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Carolina Caroline
“Carolina Caroline” lyrics

In 1946 Jonathan Edwards was born in Aitkin, Minnesota. He was adopted when he was nine months old and was an only child. His adoptive father, who worked for the FBI, moved the family to Virginia when Jonathan was six years old. By the time he was eight Jonathan joined a church choir and began play piano by ear. Later, in high school at a military school, he picked up guitar and started songwriting. Edwards recalled later on in an interview, “I started on a $29 guitar and immediately started putting a band together, writing songs and learning all the contemporary folk songs of the time. I just loved it, loved everything about it, loved being in front of people playing music.” His love of music continued when he went to get a degree in Fine Arts at Ohio University, studying art and painting. Edwards was a regular at local clubs, joining in with bands variously playing rock, folk and blues.

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Masquerade by Edward Bear

#906: Masquerade by Edward Bear

Peak Month: July 1972
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Masquerade
“Masquerade” 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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A-Rab by The Titans

#907: A-Rab by The Titans

Peak Month: February 1962
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “A-Rab

The Titans were a group from McCleary, Washington, who played rock ‘n roll from 1959 to 1964. Their members included vocalists Willie Washington and Sandy Faye, saxophonist Walt Ratenbury, guitarist Gary Buchanan, pianist Rudy Volkman, Walt Newman and Nick Burris both on bass and Jim Wroughton on drums. On a YouTube post is found this comment: “McCleary, Washington, a small town west of Olympia would produce the very popular Titans. In early 1962, their fantastic instrumental, “A-Rab” would go top ten in Vancouver, BC. I do remember airplay in Seattle, but it didn’t receive the support that it deserved. My older brother saw them one time and he raved about them. They were never able to break into the Seattle dance circuit, so were mostly unheard north of Tacoma.” The Titans gave concerts in places like the Civic Auditorium in Chehalis (WA) and the Red Carpet in Tacoma. The band was inter-racial, with Willie Washington being a featured lead vocalist. From 1960 to 1961, Nick Burris had been part of a band called The Wander’ers, based in Hoquiam, Washington.

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Livin' High by Vince Everett

#908: Livin’ High by Vince Everett

Peak Month: October 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Livin’ High”

Of all the Elvis Presley soundalikes, two stand head and shoulders above the rest: Ral Donner and Vince Everett. Ral Donner, with songs like “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until You Lose It,” often sounded like a tamed down Elvis after Presley finished his service in the U.S. Army. In contrast, Vince Everett contained the dynamic, raucous energy on Elvis’ earlier recordings. Vince Everett was the name of the character Elvis Presley played in the 1957 movie, Jailhouse Rock. In that movie Elvis’ Vince Everett is sent to jail for manslaughter. Vince Everett has a cellmate, Hunk Houghton, who was a country and western singer. In Jailhouse Rock, Vince Everett forms a bond with his cellmate. After serving his sentence he and Hunk Houghton are part of the same band and find fortune and fame.

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My Wheels Won't Turn by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

#909: My Wheels Won’t Turn by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Peak Month: May 1977
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “My Wheels Won’t Turn
“My Wheels Won’t Turn” lyrics

Randolph Charles Bachman was born in 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When he was just three years old he entered the King of the Saddle singing contest on CKY radio, Manitoba’s first radio station that began in 1923. Bachman won the contest. When he turned five years he began to study the violin through the Royal Toronto Conservatory. Though he couldn’t read music, he was able to play anything once he heard it. He dropped out of high school and subsequently a business administration program in college. He co-founded a Winnipeg band called The Silvertones with Chad Allan in 1960. In 1962 the band became Chad Allan and the Expressions, and was renamed The Guess Who? in 1965 with their first big hit, “Shakin’ All Over.” The Guess Who dropped the question mark in their title a few years later.

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Indian Giver by Annette with the Up Beats

#910: Indian Giver by Annette with the Up Beats

Peak Month: May 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Music Vendor ~ #107 “Indian Giver
“Indian Giver” lyrics

Annette Joanne Funicello was born in Utica, New York in 1942. In 1955 she began her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve when Walt Disney discovered her performing as the Swan Queen in a dance recital of Swan Lake at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank, California. She became one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As a teenager, she became a pop singer and shortly after an actress in a series of films popularizing the successful Beach Party genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s. On July 17, 1955 Annette Funicello made her television debut during the live broadcast of Disneyland’s opening day ceremonies. She participated in a song and dance routine promoting the upcoming debut of Walt Disney’s new television show, The Mickey Mouse Club. Following the shows premier on Monday, October 3, 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club became an immediate hit. Its army of small, amateur mouse-eared stars took America by storm. It wasn’t long before the young audience of boys and girls developed a particular interest in a little dark haired girl named Annette. Just as she had appealed to Walt Disney himself, when he discovered her at a dance recital, Annette emerged as a favorite among many children across the USA, launching her into television stardom. As a result she appeared on numerous magazine covers and a variety of Disney branded merchandise.

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