Mr. Special by the Allan Sisters

#29: Mr. Special by the Allan Sisters

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CHNS
Peak Month: December 1964-January 1965
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #10
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Mr. Special

The Allan Sisters were from Edmonton, Alberta. Jackie started singing at the age of 7, and Coralie took up singing soon after. The sisters were billed in Edmonton as the Allan Sisters. They were part of a group named the Four Tops, years before the Motown group of the same name began making hit records. RPM magazine describes the transition they made from Edmonton to Ontario. “The girls left their home in Edmonton to give show business a whirl in Upper Canada. They were part of a group called the Four Tops, but after many disappointments the group broke up and the Two Tops left and became the successful Allan Sisters.” RPM details how the sisters were discovered in talent scout Art Snider, who was also the music director for the CBC variety show Country Hoedown.
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Rumours Of Glory by Bruce Cockburn

#30: Rumours Of Glory by Bruce Cockburn

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: December 1980
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #17
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #104
YouTube: “Rumours Of Glory
Lyrics: “Rumours Of Glory

Bruce Cockburn was born in Ottawa in 1945. He has stated in interviews that his first guitar was one he found around 1959 in his grandmother’s attic, which he adorned with golden stars and used to play along to radio hits. Some of these included songs by the Beau Marks from Montreal. Later he was taught piano and music theory by Peter Hall, the organist at Westboro United Church which Cockburn and his family attended. Cockburn had been listening to jazz and wanted to learn musical composition. Hall encouraged him and, along with his friend Bob Lamble, a lot of time was spent at Hall’s house listening to and discussing jazz. After graduating, he took a boat to Europe and busked in Paris. Cockburn attended Berklee School of Music in Boston, where his studies included jazz composition, for three semesters between 1964 and 1966. That year he dropped out and joined an Ottawa band called The Children, which lasted for about a year.

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Why? by Bronski Beat

#1: Why? by Bronski Beat

City: Guelph, ON
Radio Station: CJOY
Peak Month: May 1985
Peak Position in Guelph #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Australian pop chart – #10
Peak Position on Belgian pop chart – #3
Peak Position on Dutch pop chart – #2
Peak Position on French pop chart – #8
Peak Position on Irish pop chart – #6
Peak Position on Italian pop chart – #5
Peak Position on New Zealand pop chart – #11
Peak Position on South African pop chart – #7
Peak Position on Spanish pop chart – #2
Peak Position on Swiss pop chart – #7
Peak Position on UK pop chart – #6
Peak Position on West German pop chart – #5
YouTube: “Why?
Lyrics: “Why?

James “Jimmy” Somerville was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1961. He moved to London in 1980 and attended the London Gay Teenage Group. In 1983 he co-founded Bronski Beat with Steven Forrest, the latter adopted the stage name Steve Bronski. Forrest was born in 1960 in Glasgow. Larry Steinbachek was also born in 1960, in his case in London. He worked as an electrician and was studying to be a musician prior to forming Bronski Beat. The three mates were sharing a flat in Brixton when they decided to form a group. They first performed publicly at an arts festival, September in the Pink. The trio were unhappy with the inoffensive nature of contemporary gay performers and sought to be more outspoken and political.

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Theme For A New Love by Davy Jones

#33: Theme For A New Love by Davy Jones

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: June 1967
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #51
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Theme For A New Love
Lyrics: “Theme For A New Love

David Thomas Jones was born in suburban Manchester, UK, in 1945. Jones began acting in his childhood. In 1959, his Aunt Jessie answered an ad in the Manchester Evening News calling for “school boys to audition for a radio play” with the BBC She helped David, at 13, get the lead role in There is a Happy Land. He was on an episode of Coronation Street  in March 1961, when he was 15 years of age. He also had a guest appearance in the BBC police TV show Z-Cars. He considered pursuing becoming a jockey riding on horses. However, he was encouraged to pursue acting. He appeared on stage as Little Michael in Peter Pan, and then as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! in the early 60’s in the West End of London. In 1964 he was in a Broadway production of Oliver! and nominated for a Tony Award at the age of 18. On February 9, 1964, Jones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on one of the episodes where the Beatles also were guests.

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Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind by the Peppermint Trolley Company

#2: Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind by the Peppermint Trolley Company

City: Guelph, ON
Radio Station: CJOY
Peak Month: July 1968
Peak Position in Guelph #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #20
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #59
YouTube: “Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind
Lyrics: “Baby You Come Rolling Cross My Mind

In 1966, the Peppermint Trolley Company was a group formed in Redlands, California. There was a band named the Mark V which had been together since 1962. It consisted of members Danny Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Steve Hauser, Dave Kelliher, Brad Madson and Dick Owens. They teamed with producer Dan Dalton, who urged the band to change its name. The Peppermint Trolley Company’s name was proposed by Jimmy Faragher and chosen by a committee of the Mark V band members. The Peppermint Trolley Company’s debut single was “Lollipop Train”. The song was co-written by P.F. Sloan and Steve Bari. It was another song passing on advice to those lacking insight into interpersonal and societal issues. “Lollipop Train” was a Top 20 hit in Chico (CA) in October 1966. When the group called it quits in February of 1967, Danny and Jimmy, along with Dalton, decided to continue recording under the “Trolley” name. The PTC would now be a duo consisting of Danny and Jimmy Faragher. Danny played trombone, marxophone, and melodica.

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Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

#1: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

City: Grande Prairie, AB
Radio Station: CFGP
Peak Month: July 1967
Peak Position in Grande Prairie #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #19
YouTube: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Lyrics: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. was born in 1939 in Washington D.C. His father was a Pentecostal church minister who never held down a job for more than three years in a row. Marvin’s childhood consisted of “brutal whippings”, since Gay Sr. would strike him for any shortcoming, including putting his hairbrush in the wrong place or coming home from school a minute late. Marvin later stated, “It wasn’t simply that my father beat me, though that was bad enough. By the time I was twelve, there wasn’t an inch on my body that hadn’t been bruised and beaten by him.” He also said that “living with Father was like living with a king, an all-cruel, changeable, cruel and all-powerful king”. He later recalled, “if it wasn’t for Mother, who was always there to console me and praise me for my singing, I think I would have been one of those child suicides you read about in the papers.”

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I Can Make It With You by the Pozo-Seco Singers

#2: I Can Make It With You by the Pozo-Seco Singers

City: Grande Prairie, AB
Radio Station: CFGP
Peak Month: December 1966
Peak Position in Grande Prairie #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube: “I Can Make It With You
Lyrics: “I Can Make It With You

In 1964, baritone singer Don Williams and tenor Lofton Kline were a Corpus Christi singing duo that went by the name of The Strangers Two. They heard 17-year-old Ray High School student, Susan Taylor, performing solo at the Del Mar Hootenannies. Lofton recalls, “Don was married and had a little one to support, and was working at Pittsburgh Plate Glass.  I was going to Del Mar College in Corpus.  The college had a hootenanny scheduled and Don and I were asked to entertain.” After they met Susan Taylor, as Lofton tells it, ““We asked her to come over and practice with us the following week.  She did…and the rest is ‘history.’” Susan’s alto voice blended perfectly with Don’s baritone and Lofton’s tenor.

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#35: Morning Town by For Keeps

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: November 1967
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Morning Town

For Keeps were a band from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They consisted of Colin Wedgewood, Doug Melville-Ness, Mickey Ellis and Lorence Hud . This sixties garage rock band recorded “Morning Town” in 1967. Lorence Hud was born Lorenc Hudnik in 1947. Hud studied music at the University of Saskatchewan. Doug Melville-Ness was born in 1947.

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Shadows In The Moonlight by Anne Murray

#1: Shadows In The Moonlight by Anne Murray

City: Fredericton, NB
Peak Month: July 1979
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Position in Fredericton #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube: “Shadows In The Moonlight
Lyrics: “Shadows In The Moonlight

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.

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Broken Hearted Me by Anne Murray

#2: Broken Hearted Me by Anne Murray

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Month: November 1979
Peak Position in Fredericton #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #12
YouTube: “Broken Hearted Me
Lyrics: “Broken Hearted Me

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.

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