True Grit by Glen Campbell

#584: True Grit by Glen Campbell

Peak Month: August 1969
6 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #35
YouTube.com: “True Grit
“True Grit” lyrics

Glen Travis Campbell was born in 1936 in the village of Billstown, Arkansas. His dad was a sharecropper. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and at the age of 18 joined his uncle’s band, Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys. Campbell also had guest spots on a local KOB children’s TV show, K Circle B Time. In 1958, Campbell formed the Western Wranglers. In 1960 he moved to LA and joined The Champs of “Tequila” fame. Campbell also became a session musician in a group that would become known as The Wrecking Crew. During this time Glen Campbell played on recordings for Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and others. He recorded his first single in 1961 titled “Turn Around Look At Me.” In the mid-60’s Campbell appeared as a regular on Shindig!and Hollywood Jamboree. He also was a studio musician for The Beach Boys 1966 album, Pet Sounds, and for four months was a member of The Beach Boys and went on tour with them when Brian Wilson was ill. That same year Campbell was part of a backing band for Rick Nelson on a tour of the Far East.

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Bumble Bee by The Searchers

#585: Bumble Bee by The Searchers

Peak Month: April 1965
8 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #21
YouTube.com: “Bumble Bee
“Bumble Bee” lyrics

The Searchers formed in Liverpool in 1959, after a skiffle band by its founders took the name. They were the a backing band for Johnny Sandon, a rockabilly singer who was an early contributor to the Merseybeat. They took their name from the 1956 John Wayne film, The Searchers. (The film starred Wayne cast as Civil War veteran, Ethan Allen, who searches for his abducted niece for five years to discover she has become one of the wives of a Comanche chief, and wishes to remain with her Comanche husband, Scar). The founders of the Searchers were John McNally and Mike Pender. Pender was born in Liverpool in 1941 with the birth name Michael John Prendergast. John McNally was also born in Liverpool that year. It was Western film buff, Pender, who dragged McNally to see The Searchers. Inspired by the film, Pender convinced McNally the film title was a good name for their new skiffle band. Johnny Sandon left The Searchers in 1961 to form the Remo Four. Tony Jackson, from Liverpool (born 1940) became The Searchers lead singer by 1962.

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Three Steps To Heaven by Eddie Cochran

#586: Three Steps To Heaven by Eddie Cochran

Peak Month: June 1960
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Three Steps To Heaven
“Three Steps To Heaven” lyrics

Eddie Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 1938. His family moved to the Los Angeles area in 1951 where Eddie attended Bell Gardens Junior High. While there he became friends with Connie ‘Guybo’ Smith. Smith was already a promising musical talent who played bass, steel guitar and mandolin. Eddie and Connie began to jam together and gave a concert at their junior high school. Connie “Guybo” Smith went on to become Cochran’s bass player and was one of the musicians heard on most records during Eddie’s brief professional career. In 1953, while still in junior high school, Eddie met another musician named Chuck Foreman. The two experimented with Foreman’s two-track tape recorder. The pair made recordings of a number of songs including “Stardust”, “The Poor People Of Paris”, “Hearts of Stone” and the “Cannonball Rag”. Cochran graduated from Bell Gardens Junior High in 1954.

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Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

#1084: Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Peak Month: January 1985
8 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Power Of Love
“Power Of Love” lyrics

William Johnson was born in 1960 in Liverpool, UK. Growing up, his nickname was Billy. In 1965 he wrote his first song on a glockenspiel. At the age of 13 he got the nickname Joyful Johnson and dyed his hair. He attended school with less frequency due to being bullied in response to his androgynous appearance. He was influenced by David Bowie, Marc Bolan, the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol and bought a guitar through the sale of cigarettes. At the age of 14 he took the name Holly Johnson in tribute to the actress Holly Woodlawn, a Puerto Rican transgendered actress and friend of Andy Warhol. In 1976 Holly Johnson became part of the Demi Monde in Liverpool’s hedonistic counter-culture. In 1977, Johnson became part of the punk/new wave band Big In Japan. After that band split in 1979, Johnson continued to pursue a musical career. In 1980 he was invited to join Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

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Sing High - Sing Low by Anne Murray

#587: Sing High – Sing Low by Anne Murray

Peak Month: January 1971
8 weeks on CKVN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #83
YouTube.com: “Sing High – Sing Low
“Sing High – Sing Low” lyrics

In 1945 Morna Anne Murray was born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a coal-mining town. Her father was a doctor and her mother was a registered nurse. Growing up she took piano lessons for six years and began taking vocal lessons at age fifteen in 1960. Anne loved music. It was the age of rock ‘n’ roll, and growing up she sang along with all her favourites – Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin and Connie Francis. However, Anne was also inspired by a wide variety of musical styles, including the classics, country, gospel, folk, and crooners such as Patti Page, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. She loved them all. In 1962 she gave one of her first public performances singing “Ave Maria” at her high school graduation. She went on to be part of the CBC variety show Singalong Jubilee in 1967. A document on display at the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia, dated May 30, 1966, informed her: “Your signature on four copies of this letter will serve to engage your services for the 1966 Singalong Jubilee series. It is understood that you will be required to function either as a singer for a fee of seventy-one dollars and fifty cents ($71.50) per show or as a soloist for a fee of ninety-nine dollars ($99.00).” Her first album, What About Me, was released in 1968. Her signature song, “Snowbird” went to #6 in Vancouver and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It established a following and 76 singles, 32 studio albums and 55 million record sales later, Anne Murray is one of the most awarded and honored recording artists in the Canadian music industry.
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All I Really Want To Do by The Byrds

#588: All I Really Want To Do by The Byrds

Peak Month: August 1965
8 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #40
YouTube.com: “All I Really Want To Do
“All I Really Want To Do” 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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Both Sides Now by The Johnstons

#589: Both Sides Now by The Johnstons

Peak Month: December 1968
8 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Both Sides Now
“Both Sides Now” lyrics

The Johnstons were a close-harmony Irish folk group from the village of Slane in northeastern Ireland. Originally they were a family trio consisting of Adrienne, Lucy and Michael Johnston. Talking to B.P. Fallon in the September 19, 1968 issue of Spotlight brother Michael said, “Adrienne and Lucy started off together as a duo with Aidey on piano.” said Michael. “They did their own versions of current pops like Roses are Red and all the Del Shannon numbers like Searchingand Swiss Maid.” Michael joined a short time later around mid- 1965 playing guitar. Said Michael, “We used to do stuff like If I Had A Hammer and a country and western version of I Hear A Bluebird Sing.”

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I Should Have Known Better by The Beatles

#1100: I Should Have Known Better by The Beatles

Peak Month: September 1964
3 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #53
YouTube.com: “I Should Have Known Better
“I Should Have Known Better” lyrics

Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool in 1942. He attended the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys and met fellow classmates  George Harrison on a school bus. When Paul was 14 his mom died from a blockage in one of her blood vessels. In his early teens McCartney learned to play trumpet, guitar and piano. He was left-handed and restrung the strings to make it work. In 1957, Paul met John Lennon and in October he was invited to join John’s skiffle band, The Quarrymen, which Lennon had founded in 1956. After Paul joined the group his suggested that his friend, George Harrison, join the group. Harrison became one of the Quarrymen in early 1958, though he was still only 14. Other original members of the Quarrymen, Len Garry, Rod Davis, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton left the band when their set changed from skiffle to rock ‘n roll. John Duff Lowe, a friend of Paul’s from the Liverpool Institute, who had joined the Quarrymen in early 1958 left the band at the end of school. This left Lennon, McCartney and Harrison as remaining trio. On July 15, 1958, John Lennon’s mother died in an automobile accident.

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Der Kommissar by Falco

#590: Der Kommissar by Falco

Peak Month: January 1983
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #72
YouTube.com: “Der Kommissar
“Der Kommissar” lyrics

Johann “Hans” Hölzel was born in 1957 in Vienna, Austria. He was raised by his mother. Showing musical genius at a young age, his mother bought him a baby grand piano at the age of four. He was conscripted for military service in the mid-70’s. In the late ’70’s he experimented with performance art, striptease, music and political satire. He performed under a number of pseudonyms, one which was John DiFalco. His military service influenced his choice to keep his hair short, making him stand out from the shabbier underground musicians in the Vienna music scene. In the late ’70s’, he was a member of Dradhiwaberl, a shock rock band. He signed as a solo artists with a recording company in 1981 after his independent release of “Ganz Wein” in 1981.

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Run Samson Run by Neil Sedaka

#591: Run Samson Run by Neil Sedaka

Peak Month: September 1960
8 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube.com: “Run Samson Run
“Run Samson Run” lyrics

In 1939 Neil Sedaka was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Brighton Beach beside Coney Island. His paternal grandparents immigrated to America from Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, in 1910. His fathers side of the family there were Sephardi Jews and his mother’s side Ashkenazi Jews from Russian and Polish background. Sedaka is a cousin of the late singer Eydie Gorme. When Neil was eight years old he listened to a show on the radio called The Make-Believe Ballroom that opened his world to appreciation for music. Within a year Neil had began learning classical piano at the age of nine at the Julliard School of Music. His progress was impressive and Arthur Rubinstein voted Neil as one of the best New York High School pianists after he turned 16 years old.

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