Rock N' Roll Duty by Kim Mitchell

#968: Rock N’ Roll Duty by Kim Mitchell

Peak Month: August 1989
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Rock N” Roll Duty
“Rock N’ Roll Duty” lyrics

Joseph Kim Mitchell was born in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1952. In his teen years Mitchell learned to play guitar. When he was 14 he joined a band called Grass Company. After high school, by 1970 he was playing in a number of bands in Sarnia. He was in a band called Zooom for a few years. Then in 1973 he formed the Max Webster, a progressive rock and heavy metal band. Max Webster released six studio albums. Though it didn’t get a following in the USA, by the early 1980s the band had Top 20 hits in Hamilton, Toronto, Regina, Victoria, Quebec City, and Top 30 hits in Ottawa and Halifax. Kim Mitchell toured with Max Webster until it dissolved in 1982. Kim Mitchell tested a new sound in the club circuit in southwestern Ontario and formed the Kim Mitchell band.

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What Happened To Janie by Johnny Crawford

#969: What Happened To Janie by Johnny Crawford

Peak Month: August 1963
8 weeks on the C-FUN-TASTIC FIFTY
Peak Position: #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “What Happened To Janie

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. Crawford was asked in 1982 about how he got picked for the show. He recalled, “I went on the audition and I did a tapdance routine with my brother, and we also did a fencing routine. Then they asked if we had anything else we could do. My grandmother told me to tell them that I imitated ’50s singer Johnny Ray. I stepped forward and did my imitation of him singing “Cry” and that was what got me into the Mouseketeers.” 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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Courage by The Tragically Hip

#902: Courage by The Tragically Hip

Peak Month: May 1993
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Courage
“Courage” lyrics

In the early 1980’s bass player Gord Sinclair and guitar player Rob Baker were students at Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute in Kingston, Ontario. They had performed at the collegiate’s Variety Show in a band they called The Rodents. In 1984 Baker and Sinclair were in their early twenties. The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario when the duo added drummer Johnny Fay and lead singer Gordon Downie. Their name came from a skit in the movie Elephant Parts, directed by former Monkee’s guitarist Michael Nesmith. The Tragically Hip added Paul Langois, a guitar player, to their line-up in 1986. When they performed at the Horeshoe Tavern in Toronto in the mid-80’s, they were sign to a recording contract with MCA after the company president, Bruce Dickinson, saw the band at the tavern. A self-titled EP (Extended Play) was released in 1987 with a couple of singles that got some airplay. The group was launched.

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Suspicion by Elvis Presley

#905: Suspicion by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: July 1962
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #103
YouTube.com: “Suspicion
“Suspicion” 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 #1097 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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Nobody by Doucette

#918: Nobody by Doucette

Peak Month: September 1979
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #18
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Nobody
“Nobody” lyrics

In 1952 Jerry Doucette was born in Montreal into a musical family. At the age of four his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario. At the age of six got his first guitar. When he was eight he began to take guitar lessons. When he was eleven he joined a band called the Reefers. When he turned 16 he moved to Toronto and was a member of a number of bands including Brutus. He moved to Vancouver in 1972 and  played with the Alexis Radlin Band. Soon after he joined the Seeds of Time who were searching for a guitarist. In 1974 they changed their name to the Rocket Norton Band. Doucette remained with this band until he decided to go solo in 1977, after Mushroom Records expressed support for such a move.

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Song Instead Of A Kiss by Alannah Myles

#945: Song Instead Of A Kiss by Alannah Myles

Peak Month: November 1992
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Song Instead Of A Kiss
“Song Instead Of A Kiss” lyrics

Alannah Byles was born in Toronto in 1958. She rode horses in the Royal Winter Fair by the age of twelve. At age nine she began to play musical instruments and write songs. She performed some songs at a Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto when she was twelve. Later, in her teens, she formed a band and began to perform in concert by her late teens. At the age of 19, she changed her surname from Byles to Myles. In 1984, she made a guest appearance in the Canadian TV show, The Kids of Degrassi Street. Her role was a single mom who wanted to become a singer. In 1989, Alannah Myles released her self-titled debut album with the single, “Black Velvet”, a power ballad that became an international hit. For that performance she would win a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Another single, “Love Is”, was a prior single release in Canada, but was released after “Black Velvet” in America.

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Grade 9 by Barenaked Ladies

#951: Grade 9 by Barenaked Ladies

Peak Month: November 1992
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Grade 9
“Grade 9” lyrics

Lloyd Edward Elwyn “Ed” Robertson was born in Scarborough, Ontario, in 1970. He began to play guitar when he was in grade five. Steven Jay Page was also born in Scarborough in 1970. He took piano lessons for ten years and was a member of the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir. Page and Robertson crossed paths in elementary school. But they didn’t become friends until 1988 when they found themselves co-counsellors at a summer Scarborough Schools Music Camp. Later that year there was a charity and Robertson asked Page to join him in a performance. The duo named themselves the Barenaked Ladies.

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High by The Cure

#988: High by The Cure

Peak Month: June 1992
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #42
YouTube.com: “High
“High” lyrics

Robert James Smith was born in Blackpool, UK, in 1959. At the age of eleven he began to play guitar and made music his primary focus. Over time he learned to play rhythm guitar, six-string bass and keyboards. Michael Stephen Dempsey born in 1958 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. His family moved to Surrey, UK, in 1961. From 1970 to 1972 he went to Notre Dame Middle School with Robert Smith, Marc Ceccagno (lead guitar) and Lol Tolhurst. In 1972 the four performed as a band they named The Obelisk. Dempsey, a bass player, was a founding member of Malice in 1976 and remained with the band as it morphed into The Cure, leaving in 1979. Laurence Andrew “Lol” Tolhurst was born in 1959 in Surrey, UK. He met Robert Smith at St. Francis Primary School. He co-founded Malice with Robert Smith and was continuously with The Cure from 1976 to 1989 Tolhurst played drums and keyboards. Paul “Porl” Stephen Thompson was born in Surrey, UK, in 1957. He learned to play the six-string bass, lead guitar, keyboards and saxophone. He was also an original member of the band from 1976-1978. He left The Cure to go to art school, but rejoined them from 1983 to 1994.

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Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop

#901: Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop

Peak Month: March 1987
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Real Wild Child
“Real Wild Child” lyrics

James Newell Osterberg, Jr. was born in 1947 in Muskegon, Michigan. His family lived in a trailer park in Ypsilanti, 18 miles west of Detroit. During high school he played the drum in numerous high school bands. One of the bands he played for from Ann Arbor, Michigan, were called the Iguanas. Young James Newell Osterberg Jr. derived his stage name from the Iguanas and became Iggy Pop. He moved to Chicago and was influenced by the Los Angeles based Doors, the Tacoma, Washington, based Sonics and the Lincoln Park, Michigan, based MC5. As he shaped his sound he formed The Psychedelic Stooges. Looking back on his formative years, Iggy Pop remarked in an interview with David Fricke of Rolling Stone Magazine in 2007, “Once I hit junior high in Ann Arbor, I began going to school with the son of the president of Ford Motor Company, with kids of wealth and distinction. But I had a wealth that beat them all. I had the tremendous investment my parents made in me. I got a lot of care. They helped me explore anything I was interested in. This culminated in their evacuation from the master bedroom in the trailer, because that was the only room big enough for my drum kit. They gave me their bedroom.”

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Pay You Back With Interest by The Hollies

#903: Pay You Back With Interest by The Hollies

Peak Month: June 1967
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
#1 Hitbound on CKLG ~ May 20, 1967
YouTube.com: “Pay You Back With Interest
“Pay You Back With Interest” lyrics

The Hollies are an English rock group formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in the early 1960’s. Known for their distinctive vocal harmony style, they became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and early 1970s. They enjoyed considerable popularity in many countries, although they did not achieve major US chart success until 1966. Nash left the group in 1968, and then formed Crosby, Stills and Nash. The Hollies had 30 charting singles on the UK Singles Chart, and 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their hits included “Bus Stop”, “I Can’t Let Go”, “On A Carousel”, “Stop, Stop, Stop” and “Carrie Anne” in the mid-60s.
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