Hot Legs by Rod Stewart

#161: Hot Legs by Rod Stewart

Peak Month: April 1978
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube.com: “Hot Legs
Lyrics: “Hot Legs

Roderick David Stewart was born in London, England, in 1945. In 1956 he got introduced to rock ‘n roll when he saw Bill Haley and His Comets in concert, and heard Little Richard’s “The Girl Can’t Help It”. He was given a guitar by his dad in 1959, and he learned to play the Kingston Trio’s “A Worried Man”. He quit school at age 15 and worked as a newspaper boy. He auditioned with Joe Meek in 1961, but didn’t get a record deal. By 1963 he was part of an R&B band called The Dimensions. In 1965 he teamed up with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger to form a blues band called Steampacket. This lasted another year. Eventually, Stewart became part of the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. When that band broke up in the fall of ’68, Rod Stewart got invited to join the reformed Small Faces, who were now just called Faces.

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Puppet On A String by Elvis Presley

#850: Puppet On A String by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: December 1965
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube.com: “Puppet On A String
Lyrics: “Puppet On A String

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was stillborn. When he was eleven years old his parents bought him a guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store. As a result Elvis grew up as an only child. He and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. The young Presley graduated from high school in 1953. That year he stopped by the Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, including “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career recording “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at Sun Records in Memphis.

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Paloma Blanca by the George Baker Selection

#162: Paloma Blanca by the George Baker Selection

Peak Month: March 1976
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
YouTube.com: “Paloma Blanca
Lyrics: “Paloma Blanca

Hans Bouwens was born in December 1944 in Hoorn, North Holland, the Netherlands. He was born to a single mother. Months before Bouwens was born, his father, Peppino Caruso, a former Italian soldier from Calabria put to labor by the Germans in nearby Grosthuizen, had been killed while attempting to escape when he was to be transferred to Germany. Bouwens was raised by his mother and his grandparents. He sang and played guitar in a schoolband (The Jokers) with Bob Ketzers, but at the age of 14 he left school and took jobs unloading ships on the Zaan and eventually as a factory worker at a lemonade factory. In 1961, he took the stage name “Body” and formed the band Body and the Wild Cats, with Bob Ketzers and his brother Ruud as well as Gerrit Bruyn on bass, all from Wormerveer.

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White Silver Sands by Owen Bradley Quintet

#163: White Silver Sands by Owen Bradley Quintet

Peak Month: July 1957
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “White Silver Sands
Lyrics: “White Silver Sands

Owen Bradley was born in rural Sumner County, Tennessee, in 1915. He learned to play piano in his childhood, and started to play in local nightclubs and roadhouses while he was in his teens. In 1935, when he was 20 Bradley got a job at WSM-AM radio in Nashville, where he worked as an arranger and musician. He played piano, organ and trombone on WSM broadcasts. In 1942, Bradley was hired as the station’s musical director. As well, he was increasingly sought after as the leader of his dance band, performing for well-heeled society parties all over the “Music City.” It was also in 1942 that Owen Bradley co-wrote country singer Roy Acuff’s hit “Night Train to Memphis”, and “Deliver Me To Tennessee” for Woody Herman and His Orchestra.

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Only The Good Die Young by Billy Joel

#164: Only The Good Die Young by Billy Joel

Peak Month: July 1978
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #24
YouTube.com: “Only The Good Die Young
Lyrics: “Only The Good Die Young

William Martin Joel was born in 1949 in The Bronx. His father, Helmut “Howard” Joel, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and sold his textile business at a fraction of its value to be able to move to Switzerland. From there his father traveled to Cuba and was able to enter the United States from the Caribbean. Billy Joel’s mother, Rosalind Nyman, was born in Brooklyn, also to Jewish parents. Young William was coerced by his mother to take piano lessons at the age of four. He kept taking piano lessons until he was sixteen. His parents divorced when he was eight, and in his later years in high school Billy Joel played at a piano bar to make some extra income to support his single mother, his sister and himself. Though his parents were Jewish, Billy Joel did not identify as Jewish and began to attend a Roman Catholic parish at age eleven.

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Indian Giver by Bobby Curtola

#165: Indian Giver by Bobby Curtola

Peak Month: June-July 1963
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Indian Giver

Bobby Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1943. (The town would become amalgamated into the city of Thunder Bay in 1970). His cousin Susan Andrusco remembers “Bobby would always be singing at our family gatherings. The family loved him. And he loved being the centre of attention. He would sing Oh My Papa, and my grandpa would cry.” Oh My Papa was a number-one hit for Eddie Fisher in January 1954, when Bobby Curtola was still ten-years-old. In the fall of 1959, sixteen-year-old high school student Bobby Curtola went from pumping gas at his father’s garage in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the life of a teen idol. Within a year he went from playing in his basement band, Bobby and the Bobcats, to recording his first hit single in 1960, “Hand In Hand With You”, which charted in June ’60 in Ontario, but not in Vancouver.

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Stay With Me by Faces

#166: Stay With Me by Faces

Peak Month: January-February 1972
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube.com: “Stay With Me
Lyrics: “Stay With Me

In the summer of 1964 musician Steve Marriott met bass player Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones at a club when they were playing with their band, the Outcasts. They added Jimmy Winston on keyboards and began releasing singles, including  “Sha-la-la-la-lee”, which went to #3 in the UK in 1966. The Small Faces were part of the British mod subculture, sharp-dressed and absorbed with looks and fashion. The word Faces was a nod to the new mod fashion, and Small was a reference to all of them being no taller than 5’6”.

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Beyond The Clouds by the Poppy Family

#167: Beyond The Clouds by the Poppy Family

Peak Month: November 1968
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Beyond The Clouds
Lyrics: “Beyond The Clouds

Susan Pesklevits was born in 1948 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. When she was seven years old she was a featured singer on a local radio station. At the age of eight her family moved to the Fraser Valley town of Haney, British Columbia. When she was 13 years old she had her own radio show. In a December 1966 issue of the Caribou newspaper, the Quesnel Observer noted that Susan Pesklevits had auditioned for Music Hop in the summer of 1963 when she was only 15 years old. She had her first public performance at the Fall Fair in Haney when she was just 14 years old. It was noted she liked to ride horseback, ride motorcycles and attend the dramatic shows. Asked about what she could tell the folks in Quesnel about trends in Vancouver, Pesklevits had this to report, “the latest things in Vancouver are the hipster mini-skirts, bright colored suit slacks, and the tailored look. The newest sound is the “Acid Sound,” derived from L.S.D…. it is “pshodelic” which means it has a lot of fuzz tones and feed back. As an example, she gave “Frustration” recorded by the Painted Ship” a local band from Vancouver. Pesklevits added that on the West Coast “the latest dance is the Philly Dog. It mainly consists of two rows, one of girls and one of boys. The idea is to take steps, move in unison, while doing jerking motions and using a lot of hand movement.”

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Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman

#842: Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman

Peak Month: October 1969
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
2 weeks Hit Bound
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube.com: “Something In The Air
Lyrics: “Something In The Air

John David PercySpeedyKeen was born in West London, England, in 1945. In his late teens he played with The Krewsaders, and 1964-65 with The Second Thoughts. He was with a band called the Eccentrics and his song “City Of Lights” was recorded by Oscar in 1966. In 1967, his song “Armenia City In The Sky” was recorded by The Who for their album The Who Sell Out. This is the only song recorded for an album by The Who not written by any of the bandmates. It happened that Keen shared a flat with and worked as a driver for The Who’s guitarist and keyboard player Pete Townshend. Who bassist John Entwistle joked that people thought “Armenia City In The Sky” was “I’m an Ear Sitting in the Sky”.

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Refugee by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

#168: Refugee by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Peak Month: March 1980
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #15
YouTube.com: “Refugee
Lyrics: “Refugee

Thomas Earl Petty was born in 1950 in Gainesville, Florida. His father was a traveling salesman, and his mom worked at a tax office. While still ten years old, Tom Petty met Elvis Presley on the film set for Follow That Dream. But it was seeing the Beatles on TV in February 1964, that gave Tom Petty his inspiration. He recalls, “The minute I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show—and it’s true of thousands of guys—there was the way out. There was the way to do it. You get your friends and you’re a self-contained unit. And you make the music. And it looked like so much fun. It was something I identified with. I had never been hugely into sports. … I had been a big fan of Elvis. But I really saw in the Beatles that here’s something I could do. I knew I could do it. It wasn’t long before there were groups springing up in garages all over the place.” He dropped out of high school at age 17 to play bass with his newly formed band.

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