California Girl by Chilliwack

#413: California Girl by Chilliwack

Peak Month: December 1976
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “California Girl
Lyrics: “California Girl

Bill Henderson was born in Vancouver in 1944. He learned guitar and became the guitarist for the Panarama Trio that performed at the Panarama Roof dance club on the 15th Floor of the Hotel Vancouver. He formed the psychedelic pop-rock Vancouver band, The Collectors, in 1966.

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Constantly/True True Lovin' by Cliff Richard

#414: Constantly/True True Lovin’ by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: July 1964
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Constantly“/”True True Lovin’
Constantly” lyrics
True True Lovin’” lyrics

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”.

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Soolaimon by Neil Diamond

#415: Soolaimon by Neil Diamond

Peak Month: June 1970
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #30 “Soolaimon
“Soolaimon” lyrics

Neil Leslie Diamond was born in Brooklyn in 1941. His parents were Russian and Polish immigrants and both Jewish. His dad was a dry-goods merchant. When he was in high school he met Barbra Streisand in a Freshman Chorus and Choral Club. Years later they would become friends. When he was sixteen Diamond was sent to a Jewish summer camp called Surprise Lake Camp in upstate New York. While there he heard folk singer, Pete Seeger, perform in concert. That year Diamond got a guitar and, influenced by Pete Seeger, began to write poems and song lyrics. While he was in his Senior year in high school, Sunbeam Music Publishing gave Neil Diamond an initial four month contract composing songs for $50 a week (US $413 in 2017 dollars). and he dropped out of college to accept it.

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Whirly Girl by OXO

#416: Whirly Girl by OXO

Peak Month: May 1983
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28 “Whirly Girl
“Whirly Girl” lyrics

Ismael Angel Ledesma was born in 1952 in Cuba and migrated to Miami as a child. He was influenced by the Latin sounds that pervaded his Cuban culture. Ismael also thrived on pop and rock and roll music that he first heard in Cuba and later coming to Florida in the late 50’s. Ledesma recalls, “My education has come from ‘Hands On’ experience which started at T.K. Records in Miami, FL and continued on through all the recording studios I worked at as a recording artist, record producer and sound engineer.” He began his work with T.K. Records in 1971. In the early 1970s, Ledesma was hired by as a session musician. Ledesma’s credits include guitar on Gwen McCrae’s 1975 disco hit “Rockin’ Chair”. In 1976 he formed a disco band based in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, Florida, named Foxy. They had a number one hit on the Billboard R&B chart in August 1978 titled “Get Off”. The song was co-written by Ledesma. “Get Off” made the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 that November. Foxy appeared on American Bandstand, the Midnight Special, The Joey Bishop Show and The Mer Griffin Show. Foxy also toured as an opening act with The Jackson 5, Rick James, Natalie Cole and Sister Sledge.
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Fancy by Bobbie Gentry

#417: Fancy by Bobbie Gentry

Peak Month: February 1970
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #31 “Fancy
Fancy” lyrics

Bobbie Gentry was born in 1942 and named Roberta Lee Streeter at birth. She was born and raised in Woodland, Mississippi, about 80 miles from the Tallahatchie Bridge in Money, Mississippi. When she was 13 she moved to be with her mom in Arcadia, California. After graduating from high school in 1960, she chose her stage name from the 1952 film Ruby Gentry, about a heroine born into poverty but determined to make a success of her life. Bobbie Gentry started performing at local country clubs. She was introduced to Bob Hope who helped make some connections and she performed in a revue at Les Folies Bergeres nightclub of Las Vegas.

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Love Really Hurts Without You by Billy Ocean

#418: Love Really Hurts Without You by Billy Ocean

Peak Month: May 1976
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22 “Love Really Hurts Without You
“Love Really Hurts Without You” lyrics

Leslie Sebastian Charles was born in Trinidad in 1950. Trinidad and Tobago was a British colony at the time, and his family moved to Britain in 1960 during the colonial period. Once Les became a teenager, he started to sing in clubs on Saville Road in London. He recorded some ballads in the Pye Records studio in the mid-60s. However, the label decided not to release them. In 1969 he joined a band called The Shades of Midnight, and in 1971 his first single was released titled “Nashville Rain”. The single was credited to Les Charles. From 1972 to 1974 Charles was the frontman for Scorched Earth, a group that backed other artists at studio recordings. Scorched Earth released a couple of singles in the UK in 1974. During these years he was variously going by the stage name of Joshua, Big Ben – a humorous choice for a man who was 5’8″ – and Sam Spade.

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Deep Enough For Me by Ocean

#419: Deep Enough For Me by Ocean

Peak Month: July 1971
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #73 “Deep Enough For Me
“Deep Enough For Me” lyrics

Dave Tamblyn and Greg Brown were high school friends in London, Ontario. Dave played guitar and Greg played keyboards. They played gigs on the weekends with a variety of bands. In time they added singer Janice Morgan and became Leather and Lace. From London, they relocated to Toronto and performed in the hipster scene in trendy Yorkville. They added to their number bass player Jeff Jones and drummer Chuck Slater. In 1970 Yorkville Records was able to get Capitol Records to be the distributor for Ocean. Their debut single, “Put Your Hand In The Hand” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in Vancouver. The song had been recorded as a track by Anne Murray on one of her albums a few years prior. Ocean quickly went from playing gigs at high schools and night clubs in Toronto to doing concerts across North America and Europe, as well as starring on the A list of pop music TV shows.

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The Majestic by Dion

#420: The Majestic by Dion

Peak Month: December 1961
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #2
1 week Hot Prospects
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36 “The Majestic
“The Majestic” lyrics

Dion Francis DiMucci was born in the Bronx, NY, in 1939. His parents named him Dion in honor of the French Canadian Dionne quintuplents who captured the interest of millions around the world after the five infants were born in May 1934. Dion’s dad, Pasquale DiMucci, was a vaudeville performer and Dion accompanied him to see his dad on stage. As a child he was given an $8 dollar guitar by his uncle while he lived on 183rd Street. Dion’s childhood was set in the midst of conflict between his parents. In an interview with New York Magazine in 2007, Dion remembers “…There was a lot of unresolved conflict in my house… My pop, Pasquale, couldn’t make the $36-a-month rent on our apartment at 183rd and Crotona Avenue.” He was a dreamer, a failed vaudevillian, and sometimes Catskills puppeteer. He’d talk big and lift weights he’d made from oilcans, while Frances, Mrs. DiMucci, took two buses and the subway downtown to work in the garment district on a sewing machine. “When they’d start yelling, I’d go out on the stoop with my $8 Gibson and try to resolve things that way.”

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Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard by Paul Simon

#421: Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard by Paul Simon

Peak Month: May 1972
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN
1 week Preview
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22 “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard
Lyrics: “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard

Paul Frederic Simon was born in 1941 in Newark, New Jersey, to Hungarian-Jewish parents. His dad was a bandleader who went by the name Lou Sims. When he was eleven years old he met Art Garfunkel and were both part of a sixth grade drama production of Alice In Wonderland. By 1954 Paul and Art were singing at school dances. In 1957, in their mid-teens, they recorded the song “Hey, Schoolgirl” under the name “Tom & Jerry”, a name that was given to them by their label Big Records. The single reached No. 49 on the pop charts.

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I Feel Free by Cream

#422: I Feel Free by Cream

Peak Month: March 1967
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #116 “I Feel Free
“I Feel Free” lyrics

Peter EdwardGingerBaker was born in 1939 in South London. He excellent at British football in his teens. At age fifteen he began to play drums and took lessons from iconic British jazz drummer Phil Seaman. In 1962 Baker joined Blues Incorporated along with Jack Bruce and others who played at the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club. In 1963, Baker was one of the founding members of a jazz/rhythm & blues band, called The Graham Bond Organisation, spelled the British way. Jack Bruce also joined the band. The band appeared in the 1965 UK film Gonks Go Beat, which also featured Lulu and the Nashville Teens.

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