#627: Never To Leave by Two Bits

Peak Month: January 1967
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Never To Leave

The Two Bits are rumored to have been the American band The Cascades, who had a big hit in 1963 with “Rhythm of the Rain”. The origins of The Cascades, a smooth pop harmony group, were born in 1960 aboard the U.S.S. Jason AR-8. When the ship wasn’t overseas in Sasebo, Japan, it docked in San Diego. The group initially consisted of singer and lead guitarist Lenny Green, singer and drummer Dave Wilson, bass player Dave Stevens and rhythm guitarist Art Eastlink. On and off ship they were known to other servicemen and local San Diegans’ as The Silver Strands. Fellow friend and serviceman on the U.S.S. Jason, John Gummoe, was a huge fan and started to serve as the group’s manager. Gummoe booked the group for five gigs a week. He also performed duets with Dave Wilson as part of the Silver Strands’ concerts. The group left the U.S. Navy and became billed as The Thundernotes. They released an instrumental surf single in the fall of 1961. “Pay Day” got airplay on the local San Diego radio station KDEO. Lenny Green left the group and John Gummoe officially joined the band as lead vocalist.

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I Am Here by Grapes Of Wrath

#628: I Am Here by Grapes Of Wrath

Peak Month: October 1991
13 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “I Am Here
“I Am Here” lyrics

When they were eight years old Kevin Kane and Chris Hooper met. Four years later they became good friends and formed a band at the age of 13, enlisting Chris’ younger brother Tom to play bass. In the late 70’s they formed a punk band they called Kill Pigs. They eased of the harsh sound and reformed in 1983 as the Grapes Of Wrath. The band’s name came from the iconic 1939 novel by John Steinbeck about the dust bowl and the hopeless circumstances of tenant farmers trying to make a living during the Great Depression. The phrase comes from a line in “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” from 1861, and references several verses from the Book of Revelation 14:18-19 about an angel pressing grapes into the wrath of God. Their debut album, September Bowl Of Green, was released in 1985. Their second album, Treehouse, featured backing vocals by Tom Cochrane, who also produced the 1987 album. In 1989, the band added Vincent Jones to their lineup and released Now And Then. In the fall of 1989, their single, “All The Things I Wasn’t”, made the Top 30 in Vancouver and Hamilton. That fall they toured as the opening act for the Canadian singer, Sarah McLauchlan.

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Lover Of Mine by Alannah Myles

#629: Lover Of Mine by Alannah Myles

Peak Month: April 1990
12 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Lover Of Mine
“Lover Of Mine” lyrics

Alannah Byles was born in Toronto in 1958. She rode horses in the Royal Winter Fair by the age of twelve. At age nine she began to play musical instruments and write songs. She performed some songs at a Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto when she was twelve. Later, in her teens, she formed a band and began to perform in concert by her late teens. At the age of 19, she changed her surname from Byles to Myles. In 1984, she made a guest appearance in the Canadian TV show, “The Kids of Degrassi Street.” Her role was a single mom who wanted to become a singer. In 1989, Alannah Myles released her self-titled debut album with the single, “Black Velvet,” a power ballad that became an international hit. For that performance she would win a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Another single, “Love Is,” was a prior single release in Canada, but was released after “Black Velvet” in America.

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Boy Inside The Man by Tom Cochrane & Red Rider

#630: Boy Inside The Man by Tom Cochrane & Red Rider

Peak Month: August 1986
11 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Boy Inside The Man
“Boy Inside The Man” lyrics

Tom Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in 1953. When he was eleven he got his first guitar. In his late teens and early twenties, he performed in coffee houses across Canada in the early 70’s. His debut album, Hang On To Your Resistance, was released in 1974. Then Tom Cochrane made his way to Los Angeles. In 1975, Cochrane got work composing theme music for the movie My Pleasure Is My Business. This was a film about Xavier Hollander, the call girl and adult film star who authored her own memoir, The Happy Hooker, in 1971. Unable to get subsequent work in Hollywood, Cochrane returned to Canada for drive a taxi and work on a cruise line. At a concert at the El Mocambo for Red Rider in 1978, Tom Cochrane met the band. Soon after Cochrane was invited to join Red Rider.

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Out Of Time by Chris Farlowe

#631: Out Of Time by Chris Farlowe

Peak Month: October 1966
6 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #1
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #122
YouTube.com: “Out Of Time
“Out Of Time” lyrics

Chris Farlowe was born in Islington, in suburban London, in 1940. His birth name was John Henry Deighton. During World War II he learned to join in at family sing-alongs where his mum played piano. In the late ‘50’s Farlowe was part of a skiffle group named the John Henry Skiffle Group. Skiffle was a genre of music that drew on jazz, roots, blues and folk influences. They entered and won a number of local talent contests and played at local venues. He became an amateur boxer and eventually a carpenter while he continued to play in a band he formed called Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds. The name Farlowe was inspired by the American jazz guitarist, Tal Farlow, while Thunderbirds was after the name of a popular American car. The Thunderbirds included Nicky Hopkins, Dave Greenslade, Ricky Chapman, Albert Lee, Pete Solley and Carl Palmer. In 1961, the band recorded a number of demos that were produced by Jimmy Page.

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Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance by Shelley Fabares

#632: Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance by Shelley Fabares

Peak Month: April 1963
8 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #7
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #72
YouTube.com: “Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance
“Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance” lyrics

Michele Anne Marie Fabares was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1944. From the age of three she appeared as a model, including for clothing ads. At 9, she guested on a live TV special with Frank Sinatra, who sang his hit “Young at Heart” to her. She appeared on a TV adaptation of “Our Town” with Sinatra, Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint, and was a regular on “The Mickey Mouse Club.” When she was ten years old, she appeared in an episode of Letter To Loretta (the original name of The Loretta Young Show) in late January, 1954. In grade seven, Shelley Fabares met Annette Funicello, and they became lifelong friends after attending catechism classes. In 1957, Shelley Fabares appeared with Kim Novak and Agnes Moorehead in the movie, Jeanne Eagles. In 1958, she appeared in the film, Marjorie Morningstar, about a young Jewish girl living in New York City, and her attempt to become an artist. That year she also appeared in Summer Love, with Fay Wray and Rod McKuen.

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Call Me Lightning by The Who

#633: Call Me Lightning by The Who

Peak Month: April 1968
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #5
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #40
YouTube.com: “Call Me Lightning
“Call Me Lightning” lyrics

The Who are an English band who emerged in 1964 with singer Roger Daltry, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. The band enjoyed popular singles, such as “I Can See For Miles,” “Pinball Wizard” and  “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” In Vancouver the band had eleven Top Ten hits, while in the UK they charted fourteen singles into the Top Ten, but in America they only charted one single, “I Can See For Miles,” into the Billboard Hot 100. The band were innovators of new genres in rock n’ roll with their rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. The Who early on were known for outlandish antics on stage. At the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone, England, in June, 1964, Peter Townshend destroyed his guitar on stage and smashed it into other instruments. The Who stand alongside The Beatles and The Rollings Stones as among the most influential rock bands from Britain. They had their first Top Ten single in the UK and in Vancouver in 1965 titled “I Can’t Explain,” which peaked at #8 in the UK and #2 in Vancouver.
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Young And Restless by Prism

#634: Young And Restless by Prism

Peak Month: July 1980
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Young And Restless
“Young And Restless” 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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Senses Working Overtime by XTC

#635: Senses Working Overtime by XTC

Peak Month: May 1982
11 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Senses Working Overtime
“Senses Working Overtime” lyrics

In Swindon, UK, Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers invited Andy Partridge to be their guitar player and join Moulding on vocals. It was 1972 and the bands initial name was the Helium Kidz. The UK pop music magazine, New Musical Express, wrote an article about them. Swindon, in Wiltshire, England, was known for several other notable musicians including Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, Gilbert O’Sullivan (“Alone Again Naturally”), late 90s UK pop singles chart topper Billie Piper (“Because We Want To,” “Girlfriend”), and Josh Kumra who provided vocals on the #1 UK single, “Don’t Go” with Wretch 32 in 2011.

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Rain On The Roof by The Lovin' Spoonful

#636: Rain On The Roof by The Lovin’ Spoonful

Peak Month: November 1966
6 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #10
YouTube.com: “Rain On The Roof
“Rain On The Roof” lyrics

Bass player Steve Boone (born on Long Island) and drummer Joe Butler (born on Long Island in 1941) had been playing in a band called The Kingsmen based on Long Island in the early 1960’s. By 1964 their band (not to be confused with the Kingsmen from Washington State who had a hit with “Louie Louie”) were one of the top rock and roll bands on Long Island. Their live sets included folk songs put to a rock beat, pop standards and some new hits showcasing the British Invasion. Steve’s brother, Skip Boone, and several three other bandmates filled out the group. In 1964, Joe and Skip chose to relocate to Manhattan. They focused on writing original material and blending a rock bass and drums with their jug band sound. Three other bandmates chose not to move, except Steve Boone, who joined Joe and Skip in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the nexus of the folk music scene.

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