He's An Indian Cowboy In The Rodeo by Buffy Sainte-Marie

#1276: He’s An Indian Cowboy In The Rodeo by Buffy Sainte-Marie

Peak Month: August 1972
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #14
Preview August 7/72
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #98
YouTube.com: “He’s An Indian Cowboy In The Rodeo
“He’s An Indian Cowboy In The Rodeo” lyrics

In 1942 Beverly Sainte-Marie was born on the Piapot Cree Reserve in southwestern Saskatchewan. From her early childhood she was called Buffy. As a child she was orphaned. Her aunt and uncle in Maine of Mi’kmaq First Nation descent then adopted her. Growing up in Maine, Buffy taught herself how to play piano and guitar. After high school took Fine Arts courses at the University of Massachussetts in Amherst to study in the Fine Arts fields, continuing to write music in her spare time. She graduated in the Top Ten in her class but chose to devote her life to music. She began to appear at coffee houses in the folk music circuit in New England, barely making ends meet.

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Ballad Of The One Eyed Jacks by Johnny Burnette

#1267: Ballad Of The One Eyed Jacks by Johnny Burnette

Peak Month: May 1961
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Ballad Of The One Eyed Jacks

John Joseph “Johnny” Burnette was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1934. When he was four his dad bought him a Gene Autry guitar, along with one for his older brother, Dorsey. During his teens, Johnny was a member of the school baseball and football teams. Along with his older brother, Dorsey, Johnny began appearing on Memphis radio stations and playing gigs for beer money, kicks and girls. Johnny Burnette was only 17. From 1948 to 1954, the Burnette brothers lived in a housing project in the Lauderdale Courts area of Memphis. This was the same housing project where Elvis Presley and his parents lived. After leaving high school, Johnny Burnette tried to become a professional boxer, However, after one fight with a sixty-dollar purse and a broken nose, Johnny Burnette traded in his boxing gloves to work on the barges up and down the Mississippi River.  In 1953, an amateur boxer named Paul Burlison, returned from the U.S. Army to Memphis. Dorsey had met Paul Burlison when he was boxing in the late ’40’s. Dorsey, Johnny and Paul formed a trio named the Rhythm Rangers. They later renamed themselves the Rock and toll Trio. They first performed “Rockabilly Boogie” in 1953. The songs’  title was made up from the name of cousin a of the Burnette brothers named Rocky, together with the name Billy. From that songs first performance the term rockabilly was coined. Johnny Burnette is singing the lead on this with Dorsey Burnette on guitar.

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Pick Me Up On Your Way Down by Pat Zill

#1264: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down by Pat Zill

Peak Month: June 1961
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #91
YouTube.com: “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
“Pick Me Up On Your Way Down” lyrics

Patrick Michael Hill Sr. was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1925. In his childhood Patrick sang on a children’s radio-show broadcast in Youngstown. In his youth he trained to become a professional boxer. When America joined the Allies after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Pat Zill joined the United States Marines. While he was a Marine he was part of the Marines Boxing Team. Honorably discharged in 1944, Zill joined the Knights of Columbus Golden Gloves tour. Though he fought several boxing matches as a professional in Youngstown, his father talked him into leaving the profession. Next he opened a nightspot called The Boathouse in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, called Whitehall. At The Boathouse Pat Zill tended bar and word-of-mouth spread. It drew a country music promoter named Pat Nelson to The Boathouse to hear “the singing bartender.”
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Muskrat by the Everly Brothers

#1164: Muskrat by the Everly Brothers

Peak Month: October 1961
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #82
YouTube.com: “Muskrat
“Muskrat” lyrics

Isaac Donald “Don” Everly was born in 1937 and Phillip Jason “Phil” Everly was born in 1939. Don was born in Muhlenberg County in Kentucky, and Phil was born in Chicago. Their dad, Ike, had been a coal miner who decided to pursue music as a guitar player. From the mid-40s Ike and his wife, Margaret, sang as a duo in Shanendoah, Iowa. Later they included their sons “Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil,” on local radio stations KMA and KFNF. In time they were billed as The Everly Family. In 1953, the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Family friend and musician Chet Atkins got a record deal for the Everly Brothers with RCA Victor in 1956. However, their first single release was a commercial failure and they were dropped from the label. Next, Atkins got them connected with Archie Bleyer, and the boys were signed to Cadence Records. In 1957, their first single on the label, “Bye Bye Love“, became a million-seller and launched their career.

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You Don't Know by Jim Byrnes

#1163: You Don’t Know by Jim Byrnes

Peak Month: September 1981
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “You Don’t Know
“You Don’t Know” lyrics

James Thomas Kevin Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1948. He lived in the north side of the city where one of the neighbourhood bars featured Ike and Tina Turner as the house band. Byrnes recalls when he was a teenager going to music clubs, he and his buddy were often the only white people in the place. “We never had any problems. We were too naïve, and had too much respect for the music and culture – they knew it, they could tell.” From the age of thirteen Jim Byrnes taught himself to play blues guitar. In 1964 he got a taste of a professional life as a musician when he was paid to perform. In the rich blues scene in St. Louis, Byrnes was able to appear onstage with John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal and Muddy Waters and others. In 1964 he also appeared in stage productions with a St. Louis repertory company.

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#1182: Spanish Twist by The Roller Coasters

Peak Month: April 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #82
YouTube.com: “Spanish Twist

On May 1, 1961, Billboard magazine reported that the Holiday Inn motel chain had begun a record label in Memphis, Tennessee, called Holiday Inn Records. The head of the Holiday Inn label was Wayne Foster. It was reported the record company “would sell entirely through distributors, who would most likely receive tie-in advertising from the motel chain, which uses 50 radio stations and numerous consumer magazines nationwide for its own promotion.” Billboard added that Holiday Inn records debut single release was “Rimshot Pt. 1” by the Roller Coasters. The single was released on April 1, 1961. Foster told Billboard that “Rimshot Pt. 1” already had “sales figures totaling 6,000 for an eight-day period in the Memphis and New Orleans area.” It was reported the instrumental was receiving airplay as well in Atlanta. It was anticipated that the Memphis-area Roller Coasters would be made use of in the Holiday Inns “promotion work for the motel chain.” “Rimshot Pt. 1” climbed to #10 in Memphis and #13 in Shreveport, LA.

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One Potato - Two Potato - Three Potato - Four by The Dovells

#1159: One Potato – Two Potato – Three Potato – Four by The Dovells

Peak Month: April 1964
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN’s chart
Peak Position #16
Twin Pick Hit March 21/64
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “One Potato – Two Potato – Three Potato – Four

Len Borisoff was born in Philadelphia in 1942. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1957, he formed the Brooktones. In the spring of 1958 they had a regional hit in Buffalo and Rochester (NY) titled “Cute And Collegiate”. The doo-wop group changed their name to the Dovells in December 1960. Len Borisoff was a tenor and the lead singer of the group. The other singers were Mike Freda (second tenor), Jim Mealey (bass), Jerry Gross (tenor and sometimes lead vocalist), Arnie Silver (baritone) and Mark Stevens (part-time tenor). They got a record contract with Parkway Records in 1960.  In the fall of 1961 The Dovells debut single, “Bristol Stomp”, stayed climbed to #4 where it remained at its peak for three weeks on the Vancouver pop charts over a 12-week chart run. The single peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1962 the group (pictured above) was back on the Top 40 in Vancouver with two minor dance tunes, “Hully Gully Baby” and “The Jitterbug”. They also had a Top 40 hit in the USA titled “(Do The New) Continental”. Jim Mealey left the group for personal reasons during 1962.

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I'm A Dreamer, Aren't We All by Marcy Jo

#1162: I’m A Dreamer, Aren’t We All by Marcy Jo

Peak Month: September 1962
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
“I’m A Dreamer, Aren’t We All” lyrics

In 1944, Marcy Rae Sockel was born in Pittsburgh. She grew up in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In her teens, each Saturday, for four consecutive years she took transit to the city center. At the Carlton House Hotel she’d take singing lessons from songwriter and co-owner of Robbee Records, Lennie Martin. The year before Martin had produced the Top 30 hit “Pennies From Heaven” by The Skyliners. When she turned seventeen, Marcy Joe wrote a song about her boyfriend Howard. She called it “Ronnie”. Martin was impressed with the song and quickly composed an arrangement for the tune. He produced a recording session of “Ronnie” at Pittsburgh’s United Recording Service studio and got local Robbee Record artists Lugee & the Lions to sing back up. Lugee & the Lions were comprised of Lou “Lugee” Sacco (later known as Lou Christie), Amy Sacco (Lou’s older sister), Kay Chick and Bill Fabec. In March 1961 the song was released.

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No Good To Cry by The Wildweeds

#1156: No Good To Cry by The Wildweeds

Peak Month: June 1967
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #13
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #88
YouTube.com: “No Good To Cry
“No Good To Cry” lyrics

Alan Gordon Anderson was born in 1947. In his teens he learned to play guitar. By 1966 he formed a band in the Hartford (CT) area called The Weeds. Anderson was the frontman. He was joined by drummer Andy Lepak, keyboard player Ray Zeiner, bass player Bob Dudek and Martin “Skip” Yakaitis on percussion. Andy Lepak’s dad, Alex Lepak Sr., became the band’s manager. Lepak Sr. was a musician and music teacher in his own right. The band changed their name to the Wildweeds and got a record deal with Cadet after recording some songs at Syncron Sound Studios.

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Cholley-Oop by Hong Kong White Sox

#1171: Cholley-Oop by Hong Kong White Sox

Peak Month: August 1960
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Cholley-Oop

Gary Sanford Paxton was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1939. He was born to an unwed mother, adopted at age three and raised by impoverished rural farmers. When he was twelve his family moved to Arizona and Paxton formed his first band at the age of 14. Meanwhile, Clyde Battin was born in Ohio in 1934 and by the age of 17 began to play the bass guitar. In 1956 Gary S. Paxton’s musical career began when he collaborated with Clyde “Skip” Battin and formed the Pledges. In 1958 they recorded “Why Not Confess”/“Johnny Risk” for Arizona-based Rev Records, crediting the song to Gary and Clyde. In 1959 they renamed themselves Skip & Flip. In the spring of the year, while Paxton was still 19-years-old they recorded “It Was I” at a recording studio in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1959. The song peaked at #11 in the USA and #9 in Vancouver. They went on tour with Alan “Moondog” Freed. Skip & Flip followed up with a cover of the Marvin & Johnny ballad “Cherry Pie” in 1960. Their cover climbed to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 in Vancouver.

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