San Francisco Girls by Fever Tree

#319: San Francisco Girls by Fever Tree

Peak Month: July 1968
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
2 weeks Hit Bound
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #98 “San Francisco Girls
Lyrics: “San Francisco Girls

Dennis Keller was the lead vocalist of the psychedelic-rock band Fever Tree. On bass guitar was E.E. “Bud” Wolfe, the bands percussionist was John Tuttle, on lead guitar was Michael Knust. While multi-instrumentalist Rob Landes played cello, clavinet, flute, harp, harpsichord, organ, piano and recorder. The genesis of Fever Tree was a Houston, Texas, cover band called the Bostwick Vines. Back in the fall of 1965, teenagers Keller and Knust had been working on developing a band with a new sound. Keller and Knust were both from Spring Branch, Texas, a small town half an hour north from San Antonio.

Continue reading →

If I Fell by the Beatles

#320: If I Fell by the Beatles

Peak Month: August 1964
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #53 “If I Fell
Lyrics: “If I Fell

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.

Continue reading →

Bigelow 6-200 by Brenda Lee

#321: Bigelow 6-200 by Brenda Lee

Peak Month: November 1956
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CJOR chart/Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Bigelow 6-200
Lyrics: “Bigelow 6-200

Brenda Mae Tarpley was born in 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents were poor. During her childhood, young Brenda shared a sagging iron bed with her brother and sister in a series of three-room houses. They had no running water. Here parents were from job to job. After the stock market crash in 1929, Brenda’s mother would recall “you could hardly buy a job.” The region was devastated by an infestation of the boll weevil. Brenda started singing solos each Sunday at the Baptist church where her family attended. In her 2002 autobiography, she wrote “I grew up so poor, and it saddens me to see the poverty that is still there. A lot of my family have never done any better. Some of there are just exactly where they were when I was a kid. And in a way, there is still something inside of me that is a part of that, the part that doesn’t expect much. Little things make them happy, and that’s the same with me.”

Continue reading →

Celebrate by the Infidels

#1032: Celebrate by the Infidels

Peak Month: March 1992
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Celebrate
Lyrics: “Celebrate

Margaret Leslie Johnson was born in Toronto in 1959. She became as a child performer in the mid-1960s when, after entering elementary school, she and her brother were chosen by Toronto producer Ed Mirvish to appear as part of the cast in a Royal Alexandra Theatre production of Porgy and Bess. Subsequent musicals featured Johnson as a child performer in South Pacific and Finian’s Rainbow. Later, she was given formal training at the National Ballet School in Toronto, and the Banff School of Fine Arts in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Banff, Alberta. According to Molly Johnson’s website bio, in 1974, at the age of 15, she fronted a Toronto disco band named A Chocolate Affair. The band lasted for a year.

Continue reading →

Sugar Daddy by Patsy Gallant

#322: Sugar Daddy by Patsy Gallant

Peak Month: August 1977
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Sugar Daddy
Lyrics: “Sugar Daddy

Patricia Gallant was born in 1948 in Cambellton, New Brunswick. Her family was Acadian, and she was one of ten children. From the age of five she was the youngest of four sisters performing as the Gallant Sisters. Her mother coaxed four of the sisters for the group, hoping to earn some funds for the cash-strapped household. By 1956, when the family moved to Moncton, NB, the Gallant Sisters began appearing on TV. This led to appearances in nightclubs when they moved to Montreal in 1958. In 1967 she recorded her first single in French for the Quebec and New Brunswick Francophone market. She continued to release songs over the following five years in French, and then issued English versions. Gallant was featured in numerous TV commercials. And she was a regular on both the French-language TV variety program Discothèque and an English variety show called Music Hop.

Continue reading →

The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt by the Shadows

#323: The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt by the Shadows

Peak Month: August 1964
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt

Brian Robson Rankin was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1941. He learned how to play the banjo and the piano in his childhood. But when he heard Buddy Holly, Rankin decided to learn the guitar. He had several buddies named Brian and so he got the nickname, “Hank”, to distinguish him from his namesakes. He liked the rockabilly singer, Marvin Rainwater, and his 1957 hit “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird”. Subsequently, Brian Rankin took the stage name Hank Marvin. Marvin and his boyhood chum, Bruce Welch, formed a band named The Railroaders in 1956. In early 1958 they released a song titled “Jean Dorothy” credited to The Five Chestnuts. Bruce and Hank moved to London later that year and briefly performed as The Geordie Boys. At the age of seventeen, Hank Marvin got a lucky break and was selected as guitarist in Cliff Richard‘s backing band, The Drifters, as they were known in 1958. Fellow guitarist, Bruce Welch, also joined The Drifters.

Continue reading →

"D" In Love by Cliff Richard

#324: “D” In Love by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: March 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “D In Love
Lyrics: “‘D’ In Love

Cliff Richard was born Harry Roger Webb on October 14, 1940, in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1940 Lucknow was part of the British Raj, as India was not yet an independent country. Webb’s father worked on as a catering manager for the Indian Railways. His mother raised Harry and his three sisters. In 1948, when India had become independent, the Webb family took a boat to Essex, England, and began a new chapter. At the age of 16 Harry Webb was given a guitar by his father. Harry then formed a vocal group called the Quintones. Webb was interested in skiffle music, a type of jug band music, popularized by “The King of Skiffle,” Scottish singer Lonnie Donegan who had an international hit in 1955 called “Rock Island Line”.

Continue reading →

Shaka Shaka by Zwol

#1016: Shaka Shaka by Zwol

Peak Month: November 1979
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Shaka Shaka

Walter “Zwol” Zwolinski was born in Toronto in 1946. He formed the Canadian rock band Brutus in 1969. The band included Tom Wilson who was a former member of Little Caesar And The Consuls. The Consuls had a number-one hit in Vancouver (BC), Winnipeg (MB), Seattle and Grand Rapids (MI) in the summer of 1965 with “(My Girl) Sloopy”. It also made the Top Ten in San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Toronto, Edmonton (AB), Wilmington (DL), Reno (NV) and Erie (PA). Between 1969 and 1971 the Waterloo (ON) based Brutus were opening acts for Chicago, the Staccatos and the Guess Who. Then Brutus disbanded in ’71.

Continue reading →

Blues Theme by the Arrows

#325: Blues Theme by the Arrows

Peak Month: March 1967
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37 “Blues Theme

Davie Allan is a guitarist best known for his work on soundtracks to various teen and biker movies in the 1960s. Allan’s backing band is almost always the Arrows (i.e., Davie Allan & the Arrows), although the Arrows have never been a stable lineup. In the late sixties, Davie Allan & The Arrows carved their niche in the musical history books with an array of classic instrumentals and two dozen motion picture soundtracks. The most notable of the movies was Roger Corman’s cult classic The Wild Angels featuring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra. The Arrows also were featured in Devil’s Angels, The Glory Stompers (Dennis Hopper) and Born Losers (the film that introduced the character Billy Jack). Some of the other 60’s “B” films were Riot On Sunset Strip, Thunder Alley, The Angry Breed, Mary Jane, Teenage Rebellion, Hellcats, Mondo Hollywood, The Wild Racers, Wild in The Streets, The Golden Breed, Skaterdater and The Hard Ride. The LA Reader described the bands’ sound as “perhaps the closest thing you’ll ever hear to a combination of Link Wray, Dick Dale and Henry Mancini…”

Continue reading →

Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep by Buddy Knox

#326: Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep by Buddy Knox

Peak Month: June 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17 “Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep
Lyrics: “Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep

Buddy Wayne Knox was born in 1933, in Happy, Texas, a small farm town in the Texas Panhandle a half hour south of Amarillo. During his youth he learned to play the guitar. He was the first artist of the rock era to write and perform his own number one hit song, “Party Doll“. The song earned Knox a gold record in 1957 and was certified a million seller. Knox was one of the innovators of the southwestern style of rockabilly that became known as “Tex-Mex” music.

Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter