Say You Love Me by Shirley Eikhard

#1181: Say You Love Me by Shirley Eikhard

Peak Month: July 1976
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Say You Love Me
“Say You Love Me” lyrics

Shirley Rose Eikhard was born in Sackville, New Brunswick, in November 1955. In 1969, at the age of 13 she won an audition for the Mariposa Folk Festival’s New Songwriters Workshop on Centre Island in Toronto. At the age of 15 she wrote “It Takes Time”, which became a Top Ten hit for Anne Murray in Canada in 1971. In 1973, and again in 1974, she won the Juno Award for Best Country Female Artist. She won BMI songwriting awards for “It Takes Time” in 1971, for “Something In Your Face” in 1972, and “Right On Believing” in 1973. The latter was a single release only. “Something In Your Face” and “It Takes Time” were both from Eikhard’s debut self-titled album.

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One Night With You by Gino Vanelli

#1229: One Night With You by Gino Vanelli

Peak Month: March 1978
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #18
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “One Night With You
“One Night With You” lyrics

Gino Vannelli was born in Montreal in 1952. During his childhood he was exposed to jazz music and cabaret. His father was a cabaret singer and his mother had a good ear for music. Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Ed Thigpen were among the drummers that inspired young Gino. At the age of eleven, Gino was one of a group of elementary school-age drummers trying to audition for a Montreal band named The Cobras. He arrived home from school later than usual to announce he had been picked to be the new drummer for the band after impressing them with his rendition of “Wipeout”. In 1964, five years prior to the Jackson 5’s debut hit “I Want You Back” on Motown, Gino Vanelli happened to join a band in Montreal called the Jacksonville Five. And that Montreal band happened to tailor itself to Motown-sound-alike tunes when The Supremes, The Miracles, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and Mary Wells were all topping the charts. By 1966, Gino Vanelli became the lead singer of the Jacksonville Five when he replaced the current lead singer who couldn’t hit the high notes on Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual”.  He was fourteen.

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Midnite Blues by Charlie Rich

#1234: Midnite Blues by Charlie Rich

Peak Month: May 1962
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Midnite Blues
“Midnite Blues” lyrics

Charles Allan Rich was born in 1932 in eastern Arkansas, in the village of Colt (population 267 in 1930, and 378 in 2017). His father was a hard-drinking sharecropper and his mother was a Bible-thumper. From the third grade he studied piano. As he grew into his youth, Charles became an athlete and played football. He was also raised on gospel, country, jazz and blues, and learned to play the saxophone. After graduating from high school he began to study music in college. During the Korean War he was drafted into the United States Air Force and posted in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma Rich joined a group called the Velvetones who played jazz and R&B. Alan Cackett writes that Charlie Rich’s group played in “hard-nosed joints.” Cackett explains, “A hard-nosed joint is one in which the musicians perform behind poultry wire for their safety.”

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The Wonder Of You by Ray Peterson

#1208: The Wonder Of You by Ray Peterson

Peak Month: April 1964
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #70
YouTube.com: “The Wonder Of You
“The Wonder Of You” lyrics

Ray T. Peterson was born in Denton, Texas, in 1939. He became an athlete in high school. But he contracted polio at the age of fifteen. He had thought singing was for sissies, but with polio he focused on his vocal gift. He took singing lessons and developed a four-octave range. Ray Peterson was told he would never walk again. And then his doctors told him he could only walk with crutches. Peterson persevered and performed at singing contests in San Antonio. He won some contests and was flown out to Los Angeles to appear with Bob Hope in a telethon for polio victims. By 1957 he moved to Los Angeles and got a contract with RCA Victor that fall.

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A Million Teardrops by Conway Twitty

#1209: A Million Teardrops by Conway Twitty

Peak Month: July 1961
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “A Million Teardrops
“A Million Teardrops” lyrics

Conway Twitty was an American Country and Western singer with three crossover pop hits on the US charts and five crossover hits on the pop charts in Vancouver. He went on to chart 58 songs in the Canadian Country charts between 1968 and 1990 (61 songs on US Country & Western charts). Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, in 1957 he decided his real name didn’t have the right stuff for the music business and becoming a star. He looked on a map and finding Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas, he put the two towns names together and became Conway Twitty. From his initial #1 hit in 1958, “It’s Only Make Believe”, 25 year old Conway Twitty became known for his blend of country, rockabilly and rock n’ roll.

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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

#1270: 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

#1267: 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

#1166: 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

#1165: 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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