#1193: Train by Shooter

Peak Month: September 1975
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Train

In 1971 a 50s cover band based in Toronto was formed named the Greaseball Boogie Band. Eat your heart out American Graffiti. The band released an album in 1973 of covers of early rock era classics. It included “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley, “High-School Confidential” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Slipin’ And A-Slidin’” by Little Richard, “Rockin’ Pnneumonia” by Huey “Piano” Smith, “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino, “Searchin’” by the Coasters, “Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett, “Sea Cruise” by Frankie Ford, and others. The band members included bass guitar player Gene Trach, vocalist Duncan White, keyboard player Ray Harrison, drummer Tommy “Short Ass” Frew, saxophonist Wayne “Pig Boy” Mills, and John “Animal” Bride.

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You're My One And Only Love by Ricky Nelson

#472: You’re My One And Only Love by Ricky Nelson

Peak Month: August 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #16
YouTube.com: “You’re My One And Only Love
“You’re My One And Only Love” lyrics

In 1940 Eric Hilliard Nelson was born. On February 20, 1949, while still eight years old, he took the stage name of Ricky Nelson when appearing on the radio program, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. A child actor, Ricky was also a musician and singer-songwriter. who starred alongside his family in the long-running television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66), as well as co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in the western Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard singles charts between 1957 and 1973.

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But It's Alright by J.J. Jackson

#473: But It’s Alright by J.J. Jackson

Peak Month: December 1966
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22
YouTube.com: “But It’s Alright
“But It’s Alright” lyrics

In 1941, Jerome Louis Jackson was born in the Bronx, New York. In 1957 he had his first song recorded by Billy Williams called “The Lord Will Understand (And Say Well Done)” as one of three tracks on an Extended Play supporting Williams hit single “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter“. Jackson wrote songs recorded by the Flamingos, the Shangri-las  – the B-side to “Remember (Walking In The Sand)”, Barbara Lewis and Eddie Floyd.  In 1966, Jackson wrote a hit single in the UK for the British group in the Pretty Things called “Come See Me“.

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Good Timin' by The Beach Boys

#474: Good Timin’ by The Beach Boys

Peak Month: July 1979
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #40
YouTube.com: “Good Timin’
“Good Timin'” lyrics

Brian Wilson was born in Inglewood, California, in 1942. In biographer Peter Ames Carlin’s book, Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, he relates that when Brian Wilson first heard George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” it had a huge emotional impact on him. As a youngster, Wilson learned to play a toy accordion and sang in children’s choirs. In his teens he started a group with his cousin, Mike Love and his brother, Carl. His named the group Carl and the Passions in order to convince his brother to join. They had a performance at Hawthorne High School, where they attended. Among the people in the audience was Al Jardine, another classmate. Jardine was so impressed with the performance that he let the group know. Jardine would later be enlisted, along with Dennis Wilson to form the Pendletones in 1961. The first song Brian Wilson wrote would become “Surfer Girl.” A demo of the tune was made in February 1962 and would go on to be a Top Ten hit when it was released a year later in 1963. However, their first recording was a doo-wop-surf tune called “Surfin’” in October 1961. It was released in November ’61 on the Candix Enterprises Inc. label. The surprise for the group was that the record label had changed the group’s name from the Pendletones to the Beach Boys. Consequently, as each time the record was played by a DJ in America, radio listeners were being introduced to the Beach Boys. The name Pendletones was now history.

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Brontosaurus Stomp by Piltdown Men

#1177: Brontosaurus Stomp by Piltdown Men

Peak Month: October 1960
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #75
YouTube.com link: “Brontosaurus Stomp

Ed Cobb of the Four Preps co-founded the Piltdown Men with Lincoln Mayorga, who was an arranger with the Four Preps. Mayorga played on piano, Tommy Tedesco on six-string bass guitar, Bob Bain on guitar, Scott Gordon on saxophone, Alan Brenmanen on drums, and several other session musicians. Edward “Ed” Cobb was born in 1938. In the Fall of 1954 Hollywood High School held an audition for their annual talent show. Thirty-five girls auditioned, but no boys. The next day the school bulletin pleaded for “any guys out there who can do anything.” Four boys in the school choir formed a quartet overnight and stepped into the crinoline void as The Four Preps. They included bass singer Ed Cobb. The Four Preps won the talent show hands down, after singing covers of songs by The Crew Cuts and The Four Lads. Signed with Capitol Records in 1956, the Four Preps connected with the record buying public in 1958 with two Top Ten hits: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” and “Big Man”.

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If I Was by Midge Ure

#475: If I Was by Midge Ure

Peak Month: March 1986
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “If I Was
“If I Was” lyrics

James Ure was born in the suburbs of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1953. He told the Guardian “I was born in a one-bedroom tenement flat on the outskirts of Glasgow. It was pretty slummy and I was there for the first 10 years of my life. My brother and I slept in the bedroom. There was a cooker in a tiny little hole that connected the sitting room to the bedroom, and the sitting room had a sink in it that we used to bathe in. Opposite the sink was a thing called a cavity bed, which was like a hole in the wall with a mattress for my parents, and there was an outside toilet. I thought it was a fabulous place.”

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Shakin' All Over by The Guess Who?

#476: Shakin’ All Over by The Guess Who?

Peak Month: February 1965
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22
YouTube.com: “Shakin’ All Over
“Shakin’ All Over” lyrics

Randolph Charles Bachman was born in 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When he was just three years old he entered the King of the Saddle singing contest on CKY radio, Manitoba’s first radio station that began in 1923. Bachman won the contest. When he turned five years he began to study the violin through the Royal Toronto Conservatory. Though he couldn’t read music, he was able to play anything once he heard it. He dropped out of high school and subsequently a business administration program in college. He co-founded a Winnipeg band called Al & The Silvertones with Chad Allan in 1960.

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I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) by Donald Fagen

#477: I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) by Donald Fagen

Peak Month: November 1982
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
YouTube.com: “I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)
“I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)” lyrics

Donald Jay Fagen was born into a Jewish household in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1948. The first record he bought was “Reelin’ and Rockin'” by Chuck Berry in 1958. In 1959, when he was eleven years old, a cousin of Donald Fagen suggested he explore jazz music. So he attended the Newport Jazz Festival. Fagen recalled later “I lost interest in rock ‘n’ roll and started developing an anti-social personality.” By 1960, after he’d turned twelve, Fagen began frequenting the Village Vanguard jazz club. He was able to see Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, and Miles Davis. He learned to play the piano, and he played baritone horn in the high school marching band. Fagen also drew inspiration from the Boswell Sisters, Henry Mancini, Ray Charles, Sly and the Family Stone and a variety of Motown recording acts.

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Joanne by Michael Nesmith

#507: Joanne by Michael Nesmith

Peak Month: September 1970
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #21
YouTube.com: “Joanne
“Joanne” lyrics

Robert Michael Nesmith was born in 1942 in Houston, Texas. His mother, Bette invented liquid paper and would later leave the $20 million estate to him. Affectionately nicknamed “Nez,” he learned to play saxophone as a young child and joined the United States Air Force years later. After two years in the Air Force, he left to pursue a career in folk music. In the mid-60s, he left home to move to Los Angeles, with the intent of getting into the movie business. During this time he formed the trio named Mike and John and Bill. They recorded a single in 1965 called “How Can You Kiss Me”, which was a Top 40 hit in San Antonio, Texas, in May of ’65. Later that year Nesmith released a solo disc titled “A Journey With Michael Blessing” that made the Top 50 in a few radio markets in Pennsylvania and Ohio, credited to Michael Blessing. With hopes of getting a job as a songwriter, Mike auditioned for The Monkees in late-1965.
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The Sock by The Valentines

#478: The Sock by The Valentines

Peak Month: December 1960
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “The Sock

The Valentines were a vocal group from Vancouver, British Columbia. The original members of the group were Irene Butler, Joy Findlay and Miki Shannon. The Valentines appeared on a local Vancouver record in 1960 called “The Blamers”. On that single, they provided a backing chorus for Les Vogt. “The Blamers” entered the CFUN Hi-Five Forty chart in Vancouver (BC) on July 9, 1960, and climbed to #1 on August 6th, where it briefly knocked Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now Or Never” out of the number one spot.

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