Hello Hello by The Sopwith Camel

#901: Hello Hello by The Sopwith Camel

Peak Month: January 1967
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
“Hello Hello” lyrics

The Sopwith Camel was a psychedelic rock band involved with the San Francisco hippie scene of the late 1960’s. The Sopwith Camel is remembered for being the second San Francisco band to get a recording contract with a national record label. They were the first San Francisco band from the psychedelic rock scene to have a Top 40 hit. In 1965, vocalist and lyricist, twenty-one-year-old Peter Kraemer, had conjured the name The Sopwith Camel for a band he wanted to form. Kraemer’s name was based on The Sopwith Camel, a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company and became one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War.

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Christina by Terry Jacks

#902: Christina by Terry Jacks

Peak Month: November 1975
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Christina
“Christina” lyrics

Terrence Ross Jacks was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1944. March 29, 1944, Winnipeg, Manitoba. During his career as a recording artist he became a household name and recognized as a singer, songwriter, record producer and environmentalist. His family moved to Vancouver in 1961 and he formed a band named The Chessmen along with local guitarist, Guy Sobell. The Chessmen had four singles that made the Top 20 in Vancouver, two which were double-sided hits. These included “Love Didn’t Die,” “The Way You Fell” and “What’s Causing This Sensation,” and Top Ten hits. Jacks met Susan Pesklevits on a local CBC music show called Let’s Go in 1966. In 1968 they become the core of the band, The Poppy Family.

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I'm Tired by Savoy Brown

#903: I’m Tired by Savoy Brown

Peak Month: February 1970
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #74
YouTube.com: “I’m Tired
“I’m Tired” lyrics

Savoy Brown, originally known as the Savoy Brown Blues Band, formed in 1965, in Battersea, South West London. The band was formed by Kim Simmonds who was a multi-instumentalist playing guitar, keyboards, harmonica and offering vocals. Simmonds collaborated with harmonica player John O’Leary to form the band. The pair had struck up a conversation at Transat Imports record shop in Lisle Street, Soho, in 1965. Savoy Brown went though constant lineup changes. This would continue with some periods of stability over the next five decades. Keyboard player Bob Hall joined shortly after the band’s formation to provide some stability, and the band’s debut album, Shake Down, showcased a collection of blues covers. In 1967 they released a single from the album, “Shake Em On Down,” which made the Top 40 in Orlando, Florida.

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Cool Operator by Sandy Nelson

#904: Cool Operator by Sandy Nelson

Peak Month: January 1961
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Cool Operator

Lloyd Sander Nelson was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1938. Jan Berry, Dean Torrence and Phil Spector were among the students in his school who also pursued careers in pop music. Sandy became a proficient drummer and joined his first group, Kip Tyler and the Flips. Another member of the group was future Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston, who played piano. Ki Tyler and the Flips recorded a few songs on local record labels in Los Angeles, introducing Sandy Nelson to the world of studio recording. In 1957, with three friends from high school, Marshall Leib, Sandy Nelson, and Annette Kleinbard, Phil Spector formed a group called the Teddy Bears. Nelson played drums on the Teddy Bears’ chart-topping 1958 hit, “To Know Him, Is To Love Him.” In 1959 Sandy Nelson played drums for Gene Vincent on “Crazy Times” before going solo.

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I Need Somebody Tonight by Fosterchild

#906: I Need Somebody Tonight by Fosterchild

Peak Month: December 1978
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “I Need Somebody Tonight

James Edwin Foster was born in Victoria, Canada, in 1950. His family moved to Edmonton and then Calgary. There he met Vern Willis around 1970 and they played in a few bands and learned the ropes of performing in concert. Willis moved on to New York City while Jim Foster formed a quartet named Fosterchild where they were a regular band at Calgary’s the Scotch and Sirloin. The band went to Edmonton and recorded a demo of a song  Jim Foster wrote called “Let Me Down Easy.” On the strength of that demo the band got a record deal with CBS Records. However, CBS was unimpressed with the other three musicians in Fosterchild and got session musicians to work on the single release. Consequently, Jim Foster had a new record out to the general public but no intact Fosterchild band. It was 1976 and Vern Wills had come back to Calgary since his US visa had expired. Jim Foster recalls, “So I called Vern who was living in Edmonton. He said he’d just heard me on the radio. I said ” You wanna join forces?” and that was it. He’d always been one of my faves. Then we had to find more players and get an album together.”

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Dear Ivan by Jimmy Dean

#907: Dear Ivan by Jimmy Dean

Peak Month: December 1961
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #24
Hot Prospects ~ CKWX ~ December 16, 1961
YouTube.com: “Dear Ivan
“Dear Ivan” lyrics

In 1928 Jimmy Ray Dean was born in Plainview, Texas. His mother taught him to play piano. He dropped out of high school to work to help his mother. Next he joined the U.S. Air Force. He later and a professional entertainer around the time Dean married his first wife Mary Sue (Sue) in 1950. He had his first Top Ten hit on the Billboard Country charts in 1952 called “Bumming Around.” In 1954, Jimmy Dean became the host of radio program Town and Country Time on WARL in Washington D.C. Dean and his Texas Wildcats grew in popularity across the Mid-Atlantic region. Among the singers who got their start on the show were Patsy Cline, Roy Clark and Billy Grammar. He gained more fame with several more radio shows in Maryland and Virgina. In 1958-59  he was host of the Jimmy Dean Show on CBS. That show included a debut of a young puppeteer named Jim Henson who later created the Muppets.

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Running Back To Saskatoon by The Guess Who

#908: Running Back To Saskatoon by The Guess Who

Peak Month: November 1972
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #96
YouTube.com: “Running Back To Saskatoon
“Running Back To Saskatoon” lyrics

The Winnipeg band, The Guess Who?, had morphed from it’s earlier line-up as Chad Allen & The Expressions. They had a hit in Canada in 1965 called “Shakin’ All Over,” a cover version of the original by the UK’s Johnny Kidd And The Pirates in 1960. The Guess Who tried to tour in the UK themselves in 1967 to support their single, “His Girl.” However, they didn’t have the proper documentation to perform, and “His Girl” only ended up spending one week on the British singles charts.

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November Snow by Rejoice

#909: November Snow by Rejoice

Peak Month: April 1969
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #126
YouTube.com: “November Snow

Rejoice was a band made up of guitarist Tom Brown, bass player Nancy Brown, pianist Dick Conte and drummer Michael Patrick Moore. They were from Marin County, north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Browns’ were a husband and wife duo and their harmonies bear strong echoes of the coffee house folk circuit blended with the gentle, hazily psychedelic Bay Area sounds of the day. Rejoice was signed by Jay Lasker, then president of the Dunhill label. Rejoice originally went into the studio with Terry Melcher as producer in April 1968. Melcher was the only son of singer Doris Day and he had previously produced the Byrds albums Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn, Turn Turn. Melcher also had produced all the albums for Paul Revere & The Raiders from 1965 to 1968, including their string of hit singles from “Just Like Me” to “I Had A Dream.” Melcher had also been the producer of the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Rejoice were very excited to have Terry Melcher in place as their producer.

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Hotel Indiscreet by Sagittarius

#910: Hotel Indiscreet by Sagittarius

Peak Month: October 1967
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #70
YouTube.com: “Hotel Indiscreet
“Hotel Indiscreet” lyrics

Gary Usher was born in Massachusetts in 1938 and grew up in the community of Grafton. After graduating from high school in 1957, Usher headed to California and was a musician in a few local rock ‘n roll bands. As it happened, Gary Usher’s uncle was a neighbor of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys over in Hawthorne, a suburb of Los Angeles. Usher and Wilson ended up co-writing a number of songs for The Beach Boys including “409” and “In My Room.” The latter was a Top 30 hit in America in December 1963. Gary Usher also produced records in the mid-60’s for The Byrds, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Hondells and others. After considerable success as a producer, he eventually became a staff producer for Columbia Records. It was at this position that, during 1967, he produced Chad & Jeremy. They had played him several songs, which he felt lacked any commercial potential.

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Little Egypt by The Coasters

#911: Little Egypt by The Coasters

Peak Month: May 1961
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #23
YouTube.com: “Little Egypt
“Little Egypt” lyrics

The Coasters are rhythm and blues group that had six Top Ten hits on the Billboard pop charts in the late 1950’s. Their most memorable songs were written by the songwriting and producing team of Leiber and Stoller. The Coasters formed in October 1955 from an earlier Los Angeles based R&B group named The Robins. They were the third “bird” group in the R&B scene, along with The Ravens and The Orioles. The Robins had a #9 R&B hit in 1954 called “Riot in Cell Block No. 9.” Then in 1955, they had an even bigger regional hit in California called “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” The song, written by Leiber and Stoller, was inspired by a real cafe, a beanery called “Smokey Joe’s” which was right next to an oil well at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega. The record became popular enough that Atlantic Records offered The Robins an independent contract to produce the group for the Atlantic label. Only two of The Robins, Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn, were willing to make the move to Atlantic and become part of what was renamed The Coasters. The original Coasters’ members were Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Bobby Nunn, Leon Hughes, and guitarist Adolph Jacobs.

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