You're So Square by Buddy Holly

#710: You’re So Square by Buddy Holly

Peak Month: October 1961
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
CFUN Twin Pick: September 23, 1961
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “You’re So Square
“You’re So Square” lyrics

In 1936, Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas. When he was five years old he won $5 when he entered a local talent show and sang “Down The River of Memories.” He listened to the Grand Ole Opry growing up and after trying to learn the piano settled on taking up the guitar. During his Junior and Senior years in school, Holley entered some talent shows with friends in duos and doing gigs with a band playing a blend of country & western and rhythm & blues. He had a band that performed live on the Lubbock radio station KDAV. After high school graduation Holly focused on making a career as a musician. He heard Elvis Presley in concert in Lubbock in 1955. Shortly after Hollry would appear as the opening act for Presley in concert three times in 1955. Owen Bradley, who would also produce records for Conway Twitty, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline and Gene Vincent, became Holley’s record producer after he signed a record deal with Decca Records in February 1956. After signing the record deal, Buddy Holley dropped the “e” from his surname to become Buddy Holly.
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Something About You by The Four Tops

#711: Something About You by The Four Tops

Peak Month: November 1965
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Wax To Watch ~ November 6, 1965
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #19
YouTube.com: “Something About You
“Something About You” lyrics

The Four Tops were Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton. Stubbs was born in 1936 as Levi Stubbles and was a cousin of Jackie Wilson. The first three were from Pershing High School in Detroit. Payton was from Northern High School. They met at a birthday party in 1953 for a mutual friend and while in high school formed a group called The Four Aims. Their repertoire was jazz and pop standards. To avoid confusion with the pop group, The Ames Brothers, they switched their name to The Four Tops. They signed a record contract with Chess Records in 1956. They left Detroit at that time for the Big Apple. Abdul “Duke” Fakir, recalls they foursome bounced around the nightclub circuit. They group shared a studio apartment. They rotated three daytime suits. It was agreed that whoever had the more important engagement got first pick. However, when they signed later with Motown in 1963 their fortunes changed. Berry Gordy Jr. saw The Four Tops perform “In The Still of The Night” on the Jack Paar Show that year.

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I Have A Boyfriend by The Chiffons

#712: I Have A Boyfriend by The Chiffons

Peak Month: December 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “I Have A Boyfriend
I Have A Boyfriend” lyrics

Formed in 1960, The Chiffons were a girl-group from the Bronx. The group consisted of three classmates from James Monroe High School, Patricia Bennett, Barbara Lee and lead singer, Judy Craig. Songwriter, Ronnie Mack, who wrote the groups first hit, “He’s So Fine,” suggested the group add Sylvia Peterson to make them a quartette in 1962. In March 1963, “He’s So Fine” took the group to #1 for four weeks in  on the Billboard charts and to #1 on the Vancouver pop charts for three weeks. The tune ended up being involved in a plagiarism lawsuit against former Beatle, George Harrison. A record by Harrison, “My Sweet Lord,” was found to be a case of “subconscious plagiarism” by a US judge in 1976 in favor of Bright Tunes Music Corporation that owned the rights to “He’s So Fine.” The ruling involved U.S. Copyright Law where it was found that “substantial similarity” was proved, that a level of similarity between “He’s So Fine” and “My Sweet Lord” existed to a degree necessary to show that copying had occurred.
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Come On Up by The Young Rascals

#713: Come On Up by The Young Rascals

Peak Month: October 1966
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #43
YouTube.com: “Come On Up
“Come On Up” lyrics

In 1942, Felix Cavaliere was born in Pelham, New York, a 15 minute drive north of Times Square in midtown Manhattan. He was trained in classical piano from the age of six. He learned to play keyboards and as a singer, in 1963, was hired to join Joey Dee And The Starliters, of “The Peppermint Twist” fame. Eddie Brigati was born in Garfield, New Jersey, in 1945. He learned to sing and play percussion. In 1963, he became a member of Joey Dee and The Starliters. Brigati co-wrote most of the Young Rascals songs, along with Cavaliere. Guitar player, Gene Cornish, was born in New Jersey and grew up in Ontario and in Rochester, New York. In 1964, he joined Joey Dee And The Starliters. By late 1964, Cavaliere, Brigati and Cornish teamed up with Jersey City native, Dino Danelli, to form the Young Rascals. Danelli was a drummer.  Eddie Brigati’s brother, David, helped with studio recordings and was a reliable backup singer on the records. David Brigati is sometimes referred to as the “Fifth Rascal.” However, it was just the four ~ Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli ~ who performed in live concerts.

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Calling Dr. Casey by John D. Loudermilk

#714: Calling Dr. Casey by John D. Loudermilk

Peak Month: July 1962
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #83
YouTube.com: “Calling Dr. Casey
“Calling Dr. Casey” lyrics

John D. Loudermilk was born in Durham, North Carolina, in 1934. Although he had a middle initial, D, the “D” wasn’t short for any middle name. His father was an illiterate carpenter, John D Loudermilk Sr. John D Jr. When he was seven his dad gave him a ukulele made from a cigar box. Young John D Jr. learned to play guitar in his youth and began to write poems and songs. His poetry was inspired after he began to read the works of Kahlil Gibran. In his late teens, in the early 50’s, John D Jr. wrote a poem titled “A Rose And A Baby Ruth.” It concerned a teenage couple who have a quarrel and the boy gives his girlfriend a rose and a Baby Ruth candy bar to make up. Loudermilk put notes to the poem and played the sung version on a local TV station. This caught the attention of country singer, George Hamilton IV. The song was published in 1956 and became a Top Ten hit on both the Country and Pop charts on Billboard Magazine. The following year, Loudermilk penned “Sittin’ In The Balcony” for Eddie Cochran. Once that became a hit, Loudermilk’s songwriting career was launched. He co-wrote “Waterloo,” a #1 country hit and #4 pop hit in 1959 for country singer, Stonewall Jackson.
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#715: Dr. Kildare by Hank Levine Orchestra

Peak Month: June 1962
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

There was a British-born jazz and dance band leader named Henry Levine who was born in 1906. He moved to America when he was small and became a naturalized American citizen. But Hank Levine, who released the instrumental single, “Dr. Kildare,” in 1962, was a completely different person. (For excellent background about British-born Henry Levine, see Nick Dellow’s article under the Reference section at the bottom of this post). Hank Levine was born in the USA. He graduated at Peabody High School in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1944. He went on to study at Carnegie Mellon University, also in Pittsburg, where he graduated in 1952. Hank Levine and His Orchestra made instrumental versions of pop tunes from the late 1950’s into the 1970’s. According to information at Discogs.com, these included “Tequila,” “Walk Right In,” “Michelle,” “Downtown,” “Georgy Girl,” “California Dreamin,’” and “Groovin’,” “Since I Fell For You,” “Elusive Butterfly” and “59th Street Bridge Song.” He was also an arranger, composer and conductor for over four decades.

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It Happened Today by The Skyliners

#716: It Happened Today by The Skyliners

Peak Month: November 1959
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #59
YouTube.com link: “It Happened Today
“It Happened Today” lyrics 

Jimmy Beaumont was the lead singer for The Skyliners, a doo-wop group comprised of four males and one female from the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The group formed in 1956 as The Crescents. The other members of the group were soprano Janet Vogel, tenor Wally Lester, bass singer Jackie Taylor and baritone Joe Verscharen. By the fall of 1958 The Crescents changed their name to The Skyliners. The group had a #3 hit on the R&B charts in early 1959 called “Since I Don’t Have You.” They made a demo of the song in 1958 which was rejected by 13 record labels until they got a contract with Calico record label, a subsidiary of Laurie Records in New York City. Calico Records made a new recording of the song. Marc Myers, writing for Jazz Wax, writes, “A string arrangement was written and 18 musicians were contracted for the date in New York in early December. Toward the end of the recording, Vogel unleashed a series of “you-ooo” soprano notes behind lead singer Jimmy Beaumont that sounded like a soaring falsetto. Then she crushed the ending with a vocal line that went up, came down slightly and then shot way up to end the song. They were electrifying notes that capped a perfect recording.” “Since I Don’t Have You” appeared on the Pittsburg pop charts in January, 1959, on January 10 on KQV 1410 AM. It jumped from #26 to #3 the next week and spent two weeks at #1 and spent eight weeks in the Top Ten in Pittsburg. The song also went to #1 in New York City.

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Marcheta by Karl Denver

#717: Marcheta by Karl Denver

Peak Month: October 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link” “Marcheta
“Marcheta” lyrics

Angus Murdo McKenzie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in December 1931. He quit school at the age of fourteen. Soon he got work as a deckhand with the Scandinavian Mercantile Marine at the close of World War II. Next he went into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and fought in the Korean War where he was wounded. Then he returned to the sea. In his 1999 obituary in The Independent, it is written, “He was such a tough, hard-living character that the Rhodesians gave him the nickname “Boaty Maseteno,” meaning “brother of Satan.” In 1953, Denver arrived in a port in America. He impressed people with his guitar playing, falsetto and yodeling abilities. He made friends with Faron Young and Lefty Frizzell. In 1956, going by the name, Karl Denver, he became the first British act to perform on the Grand Ole Opry. He would later tell the British press, “I had a son called Karl who was killed and I thought I would keep his name. For a time I lived in Fort Collins in Colorado and I thought Denver was a good place, so I became Karl Denver.”
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Teacher Teacher by Rockpile

#718: Teacher Teacher by Rockpile

Peak Month: February 1981
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #51
YouTube.com “Teacher Teacher
“Teacher Teacher” lyrics

Dave Edmunds was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1944. At the age of twelve, he heard a 45 RPM recording of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” From that moment Dave Edmunds began to play the guitar, learning songs by Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, Duane Eddy and others inspired the youngster. He formed a few bands in the late 50s and early 60s that gave him experience playing before audiences. One of the bandmates from his teen years was a drummer named Tommy Riley. By 1968, they formed a trio with John Williams named Love Sculpture. The trio had a #5 hit in the UK titled the “Sabre Dance.” This was a cover of Aram Khachaturian’s 1942 ballet Gayane. It was popularized in 1948 by Woody Herman who had a #3 hit in America. In 1970, Edmunds released a solo recording of the 1955 R&B classic, “I Hear You Knocking,” by Smiley Lewis. In the winter of 1970-71, the song climbed to #1 in the UK, #4 in the USA and #2 in Vancouver.
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Tube Snake Boogie by ZZ Top

#719: Tube Snake Boogie by ZZ Top

Peak Month: October 1981
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #104
YouTube.com link: “Tube Snake Boogie
“Tube Snake Boogie” lyrics

ZZ Top was formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has had three members since it began. Guitar player, Billy Gibbons, is the lead vocalist for the trio. Dusty Hill also shared lead vocals and plays bass guitar. The bands’ drummer is Frank Beard. Gibbons and Hill wear beards, however Frank Beard is clean-shaven. The band has sold over 25 million records of their blues-rock infused recordings. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. They credit the rock group Cream as one of their major influences. Among their early singles was “La Grange,” in 1973. This was a song about a brothel actually called the Chicken Shack on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas, from 1905 to 1973. The Chicken Shack was the basis for a play called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas that debuted on Broadway in 1978. The song peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, but did not chart in Vancouver.

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