Three Rows Over by Bobby Curtola

#342: Three Rows Over by Bobby Curtola

Peak Month: September 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Three Rows Over
Lyrics: “Three Rows Over

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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Doowutchyalike by Digital Underground

#1051: Doowutchyalike by Digital Underground

Peak Month: September 1990
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Doowutchyalike
Lyrics: “Doowutchyalike

In 1987, Digital Underground formed in Oakland, California. The frontman for the group is Gregory Jacobs who is billed as Shock G. Jacobs was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, and spent most of his childhood in Tampa, Florida. But after his parents divorce when he was age 12, he moved back to Brooklyn. At that time he discovered turntabling: the manipulation of phonograph records and needles and a mixer by a DJ. At that time he used the nickname MC Starchild. His nickname changed to Shah-G when his cousin, Shah-T gave him the name. It shifted in time from Shah-G to Shock G. Moving back to Tampa and then to Oakland, Shock G got work as a clerk in a music store. He met up with Chopmaster J and Kenny-K. The trio became Digital Underground.

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The Hippy Hippy Shake by the Swinging Blue Jeans

#343: The Hippy Hippy Shake by the Swinging Blue Jeans

Peak Month: March 1964
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #24 “Hippy Hippy Shake
Lyrics: “Hippy Hippy Shake

The Swinging Blue Jeans had their origins in a band called the Bluegenes, a jazz-influenced skiffle sextet group formed by Bruce  McCaskill. From the liner notes on their 1964 album Hippy Hippy Shake, there is a great description about the Swinging Blue Jeans’ origins. “It was in 1959 that Ray Ennis and Norman Kuhlke met in a dance hall in Garston, a suburb of Liverpool. And it was that meeting that led to the formation of the Swinging Blue Jeans. Ray was a regular singer with the group playing at Garston’s Wilson Hall. Norman used to go in, listen to the band, and request songs for Ray to sing. (“One of my biggest fans,” Ray laughs). Together they formed the SBJ – washboard (which Norman played), tea-chest bass and three guitars (one of which Ray played). They appeared at clubs and dance halls in and around Liverpool for a year, and then, in a talent contest at the Empire Theatre one night, they came up against a group led by Ralph Ellis.”

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Jodie by Joey Gregorash

#344: Jodie by Joey Gregorash

Peak Month: May 1971
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Jodie
Lyrics: “Jodie

Joey Gregorash was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His dad played the violin and young Joey took an interest in learning the instrument. In February 1964 Gregorash saw the Beatles perform on the The Ed Sullivan Show and was turned onto rock ‘n roll. He learned how to play the drums and formed a band called The Mongrels in 1965 with childhood friend John Nykon. Later Gregorash went solo and won a 1972 Juno Award in 1972 for Outstanding Performance-Male for his hit single “Down By the River”. For over a decade Gregorash pursued other interests until in 1987 his single, “Together (The New Wedding Song),” became a hit in Canada.

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My Bucket's Got A Hole In It by Ricky Nelson

#345: My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It by Ricky Nelson

Peak Month: April 1958
5 weeks on Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #12 “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It
Lyrics: “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It

In 1940 Eric Hilliard Nelson was born. On February 20, 1949, while still eight years old, he took the stage name of Ricky Nelson when appearing on the radio program, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66). A child actor, Ricky was also a musician and singer-songwriter. He also co-starred alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in the western Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard singles charts between 1957 and 1973.

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Thing Of Beauty by Hothouse Flowers

#646: Thing Of Beauty by Hothouse Flowers

Peak Month: July 1993
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Thing Of Beauty
Lyrics: “Thing Of Beauty

Liam Ó Maonlaí was born in 1964 in County Dublin, Ireland. He grew up in suburban Dublin and in his teens he won an award for playing the bodhrán, an Irish drum. In 1979 he formed a punk rock band called The Complex, which he left in 1981. Fiachna Ó Braonáin was born in Dublin in 1965. Other original bandmates included drummer Jerry Fehily (born in Cork, Ireland, in 1966), saxophonist Leo Barnes (born in 1956), and bass guitarist Peter O’Toole (born in 1965 in Dublin). Fehily only began learning the drum at the age of 17. O’Toole left school when he was sixteen and got jobs delivering bread, making fiddles and working as a lumberjack. “We’d been in the same band before,” O’Toole says of O’Maonlai, “but we’d never actually met. It was that sort of band — there were loads of people.” O’Maonlai, Ó Braonáin, Fehily, Barnes and O’Toole made up the core of Hothouse Flowers when they formed in 1985.

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The Straight Life by Bobby Goldsboro

#346: The Straight Life by Bobby Goldsboro

Peak Month: December 1968
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36 “The Straight Life
Lyrics: “The Straight Life

Bobby Goldsboro was born in Mariana, Florida, in the Florida Panhandle in 1941. Shortly after his birth his family moved 35 miles north to Dothan, Alabama, where he was raised. Goldsboro learned is musical skills as he grew, by the age of twenty-one, Goldsboro became a guitarist for Roy Orbison. From 1962 to 1964 Goldsboro toured with Orbison, including the tour where The Beatles appeared as the opening act on the UK tour with Orbison as headliner. He roomed with Roy Orbison and they became close friends. In 1962, Goldsboro released his first of four singles on Laurie Records. Only one of these, “Molly,” made the Billboard Hot 100, and only marginally.

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Black Land Farmer by Wink Martindale

#347: Black Land Farmer by Wink Martindale

Peak Month: September 1961
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN
Peak Position #4 CFUN/ #2 CKWX
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #85 “Black Land Farmer
Lyrics: “Black Land Farmer

Winston Conrad “Wink” Martindale was born in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1933. His first work for pay was as a paperboy for the Jackson Sun. Then he was a soda jerk at Baker’s Drug Store. In 1951, Martindale began his career as a disc jockey while he was still just 17-years-old at WPLI in Jackson. His starting salary was $1.02 a week. He was quickly hired at WTJS, also in Jackson, and next at WDXI. In short order Martindale had doubled his salary. He would recall later ““I think that I was born with a desire to be a radio announcer. I always had that great desire to sit behind a microphone. My first ‘mic’ was two paper cups attached to a string. It wasn’t long before I was sitting behind the real thing.” Between 1953 and 1957 he was a DJ at WHBQ in Memphis. Meanwhile, he earned a Bachelors degree at Memphis State University majoring in Speech and English, with a minor in Journalism.

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Thirsty Ears by Powder Blues

#348: Thirsty Ears by Powder Blues

Peak Month: September 1981
11 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
2 weeks Top 20 Extras
Peak Position ~ #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Thirsty Ears
“Thirsty Ears” lyrics

In 1978 Prism band member, Tom Lavin, left the group to form Powder Blues. Lavin had also recorded and been a member of Denise McCann’s backing band. Powder Blues was made up of Tom Lavin on guitar and vocals, Jack Lavin on bass, Mark Hasselbach on trumpet, Duris Maxwell on drums, Wayne Kozak, Gordon Bertram and David Woodward all on saxophone, Bill Hicks on drums and Will MacCalder on keyboards and vocals. Jack Lavin had been a member of Teen Angel. Willie MacCalder was formerly a member of Willie and The Walkers. Duris Maxwell was a former member of Skylark and Doucette. Gordie Bertram had been a member of Foreman Byrnes. Mark Hasselbach had been with Airbrush, a jazz band. David Woodward, born in Arlington, Virginia, had been a member of Toronto’s Downchild Blues Band since 1971.

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The Dreamer by Neil Sedaka

#930: The Dreamer by Neil Sedaka

Peak Month: July 1963
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
CFUN Twin Pick Hit of the Week ~ July 6, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #47 “The Dreamer
Lyrics: “The Dreamer

In 1939 Neil Sedaka was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Brighton Beach beside Coney Island. His paternal grandparents immigrated to America from Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, in 1910. His fathers side of the family there were Sephardi Jews and his mother’s side Ashkenazi Jews from Russian and Polish background. Sedaka is a cousin of the late singer Eydie Gorme. When Neil was eight years old he listened to a show on the radio called The Make-Believe Ballroom that opened his world to appreciation for music. Within a year Neil had began learning classical piano at the age of nine at the Julliard School of Music. His progress was impressive and Arthur Rubinstein voted Neil as one of the best New York High School pianists after he turned 16 years old.

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