It Won't Be Wrong/Set You Free This Time by The Byrds

#1138: It Won’t Be Wrong/Set You Free This Time by The Byrds

Peak Month:  March 1966
7 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #10
CFUN Pick of the Week ~ January 29, 1966

“It Won’t Be Wrong”
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #63 “It Won’t Be Wrong
“It Won’t Be Wrong” lyrics

“Set You Free This Time”
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #79 “Set You Free This Time
“Set You Free This Time” lyrics

Around 1963 a folk trio that named itself the Jet Set, consisted of Roger McGuinn on vocals and lead guitar, Gene Clark on vocals tambour and rhythm guitar and David Crosby on vocals and rhythm guitar. In 1964 the trio released a single that was a commercial failure and credited to The Beefeaters. They added bass (and mandolin) player Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke and became The Byrds. They offered up a fusion of folk-rock and became an instant hit with two #1 hits in Vancouver and the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965: “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn, Turn, Turn”. The former was written by Bob Dylan and the latter by Pete Seeger. A single between their #1 hits was another Dylan tune titled “All I Really Want To Do”. The Byrds were perennial favorites in Vancouver who consistently had better chart runs in Vancouver than back in their home country of America. Aside from their two #1 hits, they failed to chart other songs into the Billboard Hot 100. But in Vancouver they charted ten songs into the Top Ten.
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Runnin' Out Of Fools by Aretha Franklin ~ EXTRA

#1285: Runnin’ Out Of Fools by Aretha Franklin ~ EXTRA

Peak Month: October 1964
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #57”Runnin’ Out Of Fools
“Runnin’ Out Of Fools” lyrics

Aretha Franklin born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942. Her family moved to Detroit when she was four years old. Her father was a Baptist minister and she was raised in the church and sang in the choir. In 1956, at the age of 14, she released an live album of sacred music titled Songs Of Faith. It was recorded at the New Bethel Baptist Church where she worshipped. Sensing a call to share the gift of her voice with a wider audience, Aretha asked for her father’s blessing to go into the field of rhythm and blues and pop music. He told her he would do anything he could to support her, saying he wanted her to sign with a record label that could help her reach a wider audience. Aretha Franklin signed with Columbia Records in 1960. In 1961 she had a minor Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, a remake of the Al Jolson tune from the 1918 Broadway musical, Sinbad, titled “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody”. In 1962, Aretha was dubbed as the Queen of Soul by a Chicago DJ named Pervis Spann on WVON. The nickname stuck even though she was only twenty years old.
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Tall Men by Johnny Cash

#1272: Tall Men by Johnny Cash

Peak Month: November 1961
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart link: “Tall Men
“Tall Men” lyrics

John R. “Johnny” Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, in 1932. At the age of five he started working with his sharecropping parents and siblings in the cotton fields. During his childhood his family home was flooded twice. He began singing and playing guitar by the age of 12. He moved to Detroit in his late teens for work. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Air Force as a Morse Code Intercept Operator for Soviet Army transmissions at a base in Germany from 1950 to 1954. When he was discharged from the military he and his new wife, Liberto, moved to Memphis. Cash worked as an appliance salesman while trying to get a break in the music industry. Cash got to audition with Sun Records in 1954. He had his first charting single on the Billboard Country charts in 1955 titled “Cry! Cry! Cry!” Subsequently single releases, “So Doggone Lonesome” and “I Walk The Line” climbed to #4 and #1 on the Country charts. The latter hit also was his first debut on the Billboard pop charts where it made it to #17 in 1956.
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Night To Remember by Prism

#1223: Night To Remember by Prism

Peak Month: February 1980
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart link: “Night To Remember
“Night To Remember” lyrics

In 1967 a new rock group appeared on the Vancouver scene called the Seeds of Time. They had several local hits including “My Home Town” and “Crying The Blues”. There were a number of lineup changes, but the bands personnel included drummer Rocket Norton, guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, and bassist Al Harlow. These three reunited after the Seeds of Time disbanded in 1974. After a brief stint as an R&B band called Sunshyne, they became Prism under Lindsay Mitchell’s initiative. In the band were new singer Ron Tabak, bassist Tom Lavin, keyboard player John Hall and drummer Rodney Higgs. Higgs was actually a pseudonym for Jim Vallance, the future songwriting partner of Bryan Adams.  The band released a self-titled album in 1977 that included two local singles “Take Me To The Kaptin” and “It’s Over”. Anther single, “Spaceship Superstar”, made the Top Ten in Ottawa, Hamilton and London (ON) in the winter of 1977-78.

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#1216: A Thousand Feet Below by Terry Tyler

Peak Month: November 1961
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart link: “A Thousand Feet Below

Terry Tyler was a rockabilly singer born in Tennessee. He recorded “A Thousand Feet Below” for a small label in Philadelphia named Landa. This was a record company that mostly recorded R&B records. Landa had only one Top 40 hit among the 38 singles they released. Twenty-six of the record label’s releases occurred in 1961-62. The one hit record Landa recorded was “Get Out (And Let Me Cry)” by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1965. “Get Out” peaked at #38 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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Give It To Me by The Troggs

#1198: Give It To Me by The Troggs

Peak Month: March 1967
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Record World ~ #128 “Give It To Me
“Give It To Me” lyrics

The Troggs formed in 1964 and decades later were dubbed by music critics as the “first British punk band.” Never strangers to controversy, many of their records were considered by radio programmers and social conservatives as too suggestive for the masses, and they consequently banned them. The band’s first big hit was “Wild Thing” which is rated by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 500 songs in the rock ‘n roll era. While they racked up their biggest string of Top Ten singles between 1966 and 1968, the band consisted of co-founders Reg Presley and Ronnie Bond, as well as Pete Staples and Chris Britton.

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Monday Morning Choo Choo by The Stampeders

#1196: Monday Morning Choo Choo by The Stampeders

Peak Month: March 1972
7 weeks on CKLG chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Record World ~ #107 “Monday Morning Choo Choo
“Monday Morning Choo Choo” lyrics

The Stampeders are a rock trio from Calgary named after that city’s football team, The Calgary Stampeders. Although, it could be argued that the yearly Calgary Stampede was also an inspiration for their name. During the band’s most successful chart run from 1968 to 1976, it was made up of guitarist Rich Dodson, bass player Ronnie King (born Cornelius Van Sprang) and drummer Kim Berly (born Kim Meyer). All three provided vocals. Originally, the band was a group of five formed in 1964 called The Rebounds. The Rebounds had five members: Rich Dodson, Len Roemer, Brendan Lyttle, Kim Berly, and Race Holiday. They renamed themselves The Stampeders in 1965 and Len Roemer was replaced with Ronnie King and Van Louis, making them a band of six for a few years. But after a temporary move to Toronto in 1966 the band was down to three members, Dodson, King and Berly by 1968. Between 1967 and 1976 The Stampeders charted 15 singles into the Canadian RPM Top 40.

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You Are What I Am by Gordon Lightfoot

#1284: You Are What I Am by Gordon Lightfoot

Peak Month: January 1973
6 weeks on CKLG chart
Peak Position #18
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #102 link: “You Are What I Am

Gordon Lightfoot was born in Orillia, Ontario, on November 17, 1938. His parents, Jessica and Gordon Lightfoot Sr., ran a dry cleaning business. His mother noticed young Gordon had some musical talent and the boy soprano first performed in grade four at his elementary school. He sang the Irish lullaby “Too Ra Loo Rah Loo Rah” at a parents’ day. As a member of the St. Paul’s United Church choir in Orillia, Lightfoot gained skill and needed confidence in his vocal abilities under the choir director, Ray Williams. Lightfoot went on to perform at Toronto’s Massey Hall at the age of twelve when he won a competition for boys who were still boy sopranos. During his teen years Gordon Lightfoot learned to play piano, drums and guitar.

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River Deep-Mountain High by Ike & Tina Turner

#1283: River Deep-Mountain High by Ike & Tina Turner

Peak Month: June 1966
6 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #88 link: “River Deep – Mountain High
“River Deep – Mountain High” lyrics

Izear Luster “Ike” Turner, Jr. was born in Clarkesdale, Mississippi in 1931. He was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer. When he was eight he started learning how to play guitar and piano. In his teens he established an R&B group named the Kings of Rhythm, as cited in John Collis’ book Ike Turner, King of Rhythm. The Kings of Rhythm became his backing band for the rest of his career. In 1951 his first recording was “Rocket 88”. The lead vocals were sung by the Kings of Rhythm’s saxophonist, Jackie Brenston. Ike Turner played piano on the recording. But Phillips Records sold the recording to Chess in Chicago, who released it under the name Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats. Though the record sold over half a million copies, Turner was paid $20. Relocating to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1954, Ike Turner built the Kings of Rhythm into a successful act on the local club circuit. It was in this setting Ike Turner met Anna Mae Bullock, who was working at a club where he performed. He would later go on to rename her as Tina Turner. Together, they formed the Ike & Tina Turner Revue and became a stars in both the soul music and pop charts.

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I Wanna Be A Flintstone by The Screaming Blue Messiahs

#1282: I Wanna Be A Flintstone by The Screaming Blue Messiahs

Peak Month: February 1988
7 weeks on CKLG chart
Peak Position #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart link: “I Wanna Be A Flintstone
“I Wanna Be A Flintstone” lyrics

In 1980 Bill Carter and Chris Thompson were in a London, UK, band called The Small Brothers, with Tony Moon on vocals. They changed their name to the Motor Boys Motor and released a single in the UK called “Drive Friendly.” A line-up change followed with Tony Moon leaving the band and being replaced with Kenny Harris. By 1983 they billed themselves as The Screaming Blue Messiahs. Bill Carter played guitar and was the lead vocalist. Thompson was the backing singer and bass player, while Kenny Harris played drums. The group emerged in the wake of the pub rock and punk scenes that had been very predominant in London’s live music circuit from the late ’70’s into the early ’80’s. Pub rock was deliberately nasty, dirty and post-glam. Dress style of Pub Rockers was based around denim and plaid shirts, tatty jeans and droopy hair. The Screaming Blue Messiahs were a classic power trio. They performed in small venues and recorded three studio albums between 1983 and 1990. They toured extensively throughout Europe, North America and Australia and Asia. They were given stellar reviews by music critics throughout their years on tour and for their recordings. Critics especially liked the Screaming Blue Messiahs  aggressive blend of rhythm and blues, punk and rockabilly. Bill Carter recalled later that the band’s name was arrived at when Ted Caroll, who played with Big Beat, gave the thumbs down to the band’s initial decision to bill themselves as The Blue Messiahs. Caroll felt the name sounded too pub rock.

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