April Fool by Chalk Circle

#70: April Fool by Chalk Circle

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: July 1986
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #11
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “April Fool
Lyrics: “April Fool

Chalk Circle is a band from Newcastle, Ontario. Its origins grew from a band formed in 1982 called The Casualties. The continuous members were lead singer and guitarist Chris Tait, and bass guitarist Brad Hopkins. The band changed their name to The Reactors, and then to New Addition. In 1984 they became Chalk Circle. The name was taken from Bertolt Brecht’s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The play is set in the Soviet Union around the end of WWII. It shows a dispute between two communes, the Collective Fruit Farm Galinsk fruit growing commune and the Collective Goat Farmers. They are arguing over who is to own and manage an area of farm land after the Nazis have retreated from a village and left it abandoned. A parable has been organised by one group, an old folk tale, to be played out to cast light on the dispute. In one part of the play, two women argue over whether a boy named Michael is their own son. A chalk circle is drawn and Michael is placed in the center. The two women are invited to pull Michael out of the chalk circle. If they both pull, they will tear the child in half and get half each? Choosing such a reference for the band’s name, Chalk Circle recorded some interesting songs commenting on contemporary culture.

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It's The End Of The World As We Know It by R.E.M.

#72: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It by R.E.M.

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: March 1988
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #10
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #69
YouTube: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Lyrics: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

R.E.M. is a band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980. Drummer William “Bill” Berry was born in Duluth (MN) in 1958. His family spent some years variously in Wisconsin and then Ohio, before moving to Macon (GA) in 1972. In high school he met guitar player Mike Mills. Born in Orange County (CA), Mills moved with his family to Georgia when he was six months old. Mills and Berry formed a band called Shadowfax, which later became The Back Door Band. Lead vocalist, Michael Stipe, was born in Decatur (GA) in 1960. Like Mike Mills, he was raised in a military family. When Stipe was in university, he met store clerk and guitar player Peter Buck. The pair formed a band and were later joined by Berry and Mills. Peter Buck was born in 1956 in Berkeley (CA). His family moved to Georgia where he attended public school.

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Sadie The Cleaning Lady by John Farnham

#60: Sadie The Cleaning Lady by John Farnham

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: May 1968
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #12
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Sadie The Cleaning Lady
Lyrics: “Sadie The Cleaning Lady

John Peter Farnham was born in 1949 in Essex, England. He moved with his family to Australia in 1959. While in Grade Ten, in 1964 he began performing as Johnny Farnham a local Melbourne band called the Mavericks on weekends. In late 1965, he became the lead singer for Strings Unlimited. In 1967, Farnham was signed to the EMI label and recorded a novelty song titled “Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)”

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Saving Myself by Eria Fachin

#79: Saving Myself by Eria Fachin

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: July 1988
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #7
Peak position in Vancouver ~ Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #50
YouTube: “Saving Myself
Lyrics: “Saving Myself

Eria Fachin was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1960. Around the age of 15, she began doing performance art, musical theatre, jingles for commercials, and appearing in nightclubs and TV variety shows. She released a few singles in her teens, but these got little notice. In 1988, Eria Fachin released her debut album, My Name Is Eria Fachin, on Critique Records. She toured across Canada to support the album as an opening act for Candi and the Backbeat. The debut single from her album was titled “Saving Myself”.

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I Been Moved by Andy Kim

#80: I Been Moved by Andy Kim

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: August 1971
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #9
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #97
YouTube: “I Been Moved
Lyrics: “I Been Moved

Andy Kim’s father came from Lebanon to Pennsylvania and finally settled in Montreal, where Kim was born in December 1946. Around the age of 15 Andrew Youakimm became fascinated with the music business in New York City. He’d travel from Montreal to the Big Apple by bus or train and try to figure out how to break into the music industry. He bought copies of Billboard Magazine, Cashbox Magazine and other trade papers to see which record companies had hits on the pop charts.

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Love Makes No Promises by Candi

#81: Love Makes No Promises by Candi

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: May 1989
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #12
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #26
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Love Makes No Promises
Lyrics: “Love Makes No Promises

In the mid-80s, Candita Pennella fronted an Italian wedding band in Toronto named Sensation. Her nickname was Candi. The band consisted of bass player Nino Milazzo, drummer Paul Russo, keyboard player Rich Imbrogno and singer Candita Pennella. The band decided to change their name to Candi. They recorded an album in 1988 titled Candi. They released a single titled “Dancing Under A Latin Moon,” which made the Top 30 across Canada on the RPM singles chart and #68 on the Billboard Hot 100. Several follow up singles made the pop charts in Canada. Among these were “Missing You” and “Love Makes No Promises”.

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Joy In The Morning by Richard Chamberlain

#58: Joy In The Morning by Richard Chamberlain

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: July-August 1965
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #9
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Joy In The Morning
Lyrics: “Joy In The Morning

George Richard Chamberlain was born in 1934 in Beverly Hills, California. After high school graduation in 1952, he studied acting at a college in Pomona. But, he was drafted in December 1952, and sent to fight in the Korean War. He rose to the rank of sergeant. In 1959, Richard Chamberlain appeared in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The following year, he made a guest appearance in the crime-drama series Rescue 8, about the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Other guest appearances in TV shows in the early ’60s include Gunsmoke, the crime series Bourbon Street BeatThriller hosted by Boris Karloff, The Deputy starring Henry Fonda, and another western titled Whispering Smith. In 1960, Chamberlain starred opposite Richard Falk in The Secret of the Purple Reef. In 1961, Chamberlain starred with Charles Bronson, Slim Pickens, and Duane Eddy in the western A Thunder of Drums. 

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Linda Put The Coffee On by Ray Materick

#82: Linda Put The Coffee On by Ray Materick

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: January 1975
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #7
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Linda Put The Coffee On
Lyrics: “Linda Put The Coffee On

Ray Materick was born in Brantford, Ontario, in 1946. His father was an evangelical preacher and multi-talented musician. Ray followed in his fathers’ musical footsteps. While he was in high school, he was part of a band that played high school dances named The Chevron Sextet. He moved to Toronto in 1970, and spent several years in the coffee house circuit. At the age of 25, he released his first studio album titled Sidestreets. It was hailed as a stellar example of roots-folk. The Toronto Star wrote, “Just remarkable. Ten autobiographical song sketches that make emotional participation mandatory and inescapable.” From the album came a single titled “Season of Plenty”. It was released on Kanata Records 1010, with the B-side, “Goodbye”. But it didn’t chart nationally, though the B-side charted in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Kanata re-released the song on Kanata 1013.

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Can't Wait For The Night by Brighton Rock

#83: Can’t Wait For The Night by Brighton Rock

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: March 1987
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #17
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Can’t Wait For The Night
Lyrics: “Can’t Wait For The Night

Brighton Rock is a band from Niagara Falls, Ontario, who formed in 1982. The original bandmates were lead singer Gerry McGhee, lead guitar player Greg Fraser, bass guitarist Steve Skreebs, keyboard player Martin Victor, and drummer Mark Cavarzan. Initially, they named themselves Heart Attack. They released a single titled “Breakin’ Down The Barricade”. In 1984, they changed their name to Brighton Rock. Gerald McGhee was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1962. He moved to Ontario, and was singing in a Hamilton (ON) based band called The Rockers. When he joined Heart Attack, his fans in Hamilton stayed loyal to McGhee, and followed their output with interest. Martin Victor left the band and was replaced by Johnny Rogers. In 1985, the band released a self-titled EP. Then in 1986, the band released their debut album, Young, Wild and Free.

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Girl With A Problem by Northern Pikes

#85: Girl With A Problem by Northern Pikes

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: October 1990
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #12
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #27
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Girl With A Problem
Lyrics: “Girl With A Problem

In 1984, The Northern Pikes became a band. They were from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The band was made up of members from three existing bands in the city: Doris Daye, The Idols and 17 Envelope. John Peter “Jay” Semko was from Saskatoon and was already a gifted singer, songwriter, bass guitar player and pianist. Bryan Anthony Potvin was born in 1963 in Ottawa and his family moved to Victoria where he began playing guitar. Merl Bryck, born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, was a backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist. There were a number of lineup changes. In 1986 The Idols drummer, Don Schmid, made The Northern Pikes a permanent quartet, playing drums and percussion. Schmid was born in Saskatoon. Initially, the band released several EPs. The first was the self-titled The Northern Pikes in 1984. The second EP was Scene In North America, released in 1985. They recorded both EPs at a studio near Pike Lake, SK.

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