Suspicion by Elvis Presley

#902: 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

#915: 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

#942: 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

#948: 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

#982: 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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Moon Dawg '65 by The Arrows Featuring Davie Allan

#901: Moon Dawg ’65 by The Arrows Featuring Davie Allan

Peak Month: June 1965
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Moon Dawg

Davie Allan is a guitarist best known for his work on soundtracks to various teen and biker movies in the 1960s. Allan’s backing band is almost always the Arrows (i.e., Davie Allan & the Arrows), although the Arrows have never been a stable lineup. In the late sixties, Davie Allan & The Arrows carved their niche in the musical history books with an array of classic instrumentals and two dozen motion picture soundtracks. The most notable of the movies was Roger Corman’s cult classic The Wild Angels featuring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra. The Arrows also were featured in Devil’s Angels, The Glory Stompers (Dennis Hopper) and Born Losers (the film that introduced the character Billy Jack). Some of the other 60’s “B” films were Riot On Sunset Strip, Thunder Alley, The Angry Breed, Mary Jane, Teenage Rebellion, Hellcats, Mondo Hollywood, The Wild Racers, Wild in The Streets, The Golden Breed, Skaterdater and The Hard Ride. The LA Reader described the bands’ sound as “perhaps the closest thing you’ll ever hear to a combination of Link Wray, Dick Dale and Henry Mancini…”

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Concrete And Clay by Unit Four plus Two/Eddie Rambeau

#903: Concrete And Clay by Unit Four plus Two/Eddie Rambeau

Peak Month: May 1965
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28/#35
YouTube.com: “Concrete And Clay” ~ Unit Four plus Two
YouTube.com: “Concrete And Clay” ~ Eddie Rambeau
“Concrete And Clay” lyrics

The east Hertfordshire, UK, based Unit Four plus Two had originally been formed as a four piece band named Unit Four. It was the brain child of the former lead guitarist of the Hunters, and member of Adam Faith’s Roulettes, Brian Parker. Parker, born in 1940 in Cheshunt, dropped out of the original line up (Parker, Moeller, Meikle, and Moules) because of failing health, but stayed in the background. Unit Four plus Two’s style was closer to folk music than progressive beat music. Still, they got a recording contract with Decca. Their singles were largely ignored and failed commercially in the UK singles chart until Parker co-wrote and produced the song “Concrete and Clay.” Pianist and guitar player, Tommy Moeller, born in Liverpool in 1945, was the other co-writer of the song, and a member of the group. This was a diversion from the folk material the band had been working with. Two of Parker’s former colleagues from the Roulettes (Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit) were drafted in to boost the rhythm section. The resulting record was a #1 hit in the UK which peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Dedicated Follower Of Fashion by The Kinks

#904: Dedicated Follower Of Fashion by The Kinks

Peak Month: August 1966
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
“Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” lyrics

The Kinks were an English rock band formed in 1963 in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies and Pete Quaife. Known as a British Invasion band in North America, the Kinks were one of the most significant and influential bands of the era. The Kinks first came to prominence in 1964 with their third single, “You Really Got Me” written by Ray Davies. It became an international hit peaking at #1 in the UK, #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in Vancouver on CKLG. Extremely influential on the American garage rock scene, You Really Got Me has been described as “a blueprint song in the hard rock and heavy metal arsenal. In 1965 the Kinks toured internationally headlining with other groups including Manfred Mann, The Honeycombs and The Yardbirds.
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What A Surprise by Johnny Maestro

#905: What A Surprise by Johnny Maestro

Peak Month: June 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #33
YouTube.com: “What A Surprise
“What A Surprise” lyrics

John Mastrangelo was born in New York City in 1939. He began his career in 1957 as the original lead singer of the Crests, one of the first interracial groups in the music industry. Initially, The Crests had three African American members (one female), one Puerto Rican, and one Italian American (Johnny Maestro). Patricia Van Dross, older sister to famed R&B singer Luther Vandross, sang with Johnny Maestro while The Crests were signed to the Joyce Record label. Before The Crests signed with Coed Records, Patricia left the group because her mother didn’t want her 15-year old daughter touring with the older guys. After a regional hit with “My Juanita”/”Sweetest One” on the Joyce label, The Crests charted a song titled “Pretty Little Angel” that was a Top 20 hit in Buffalo, New York, in May 1958. Their follow-up hit, called “16 Candles” climbed to #2 in early 1959 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on CKWX in Vancouver.

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Da Da Da by Trio

#906: Da Da Da by Trio

Peak Month: November 1982
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Da Da Da
“Da Da Da” lyrics

Stephan Remmler was born in Witten, Germany, in 1946. Gert Kralle Krawinkel was born in 1947 in Wilhelmshaven. In the late 1960’s the pair were part of a band called Just Us (a.k.a. MacBeats). They played a two-week engagement in the famous Star Club in Hamburg. Just Us split up in 1969 and Remmler and Kralle went separate ways. Kralle formed his own band Cravinkel, which released two albums in the early 70’s. Stephan Remmler recorded two singles under the pseudonym, Rex Carter. In each case they met with commercial failure. During these years Peter Behrens played the drums in a psychedelic rock band  called Silberbart and also released one album in 1971. The three guys knew each other. Behrens was the illegitimate son of an American GI, and was put up for adoption by his biological mother. He was adopted by the Behrens family, where he grew up in northern Germany.

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