Poor Boy/Let Me/Were Gonna Move by Elvis Presley

#81: Poor Boy/Let Me/Were Gonna Move by Elvis Presley

B-side: “Poor Boy”
Peak Month: December 1956
7 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #35
YouTube.com: “Poor Boy
Lyrics: “Poor Boy

A-side: “Let Me”
Peak Month: December 1956
5 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Let Me
Lyrics: “Let Me

B-side: “We’re Gonna Move”
Peak Month: December 1956
6 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “We’re Gonna Move
Lyrics: “We’re Gonna Move

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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Bigelow 6-200 by Brenda Lee

#320: 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
YouTube.com: “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 went 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 them 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.”

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Confidential by Sonny Knight

#463: Confidential by Sonny Knight

Peak Month: December 1956
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CJOR ~ Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube.com: “Confidential
“Confidential” lyrics

Joseph Coleman Smith was born in 1934, in the western Chicago suburb of Maywood. His family moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950’s. In 1953 Joseph Smith signed with Aladdin Records and recorded a novelty tune he wrote titled “But Officer”. The song was a humorous response to police stopping young African-Americans back in the early 50’s. Do things ever change? Joseph C. Smith chose to record “But Officer” under the pseudonym Sonny Knight. Aladdin was interested in him after he penned “Vicious, Vicious Vodka”. The tune was one Amos Milburn went on to record in 1954. Sonny Knight went on to record a few records on the Specialty label in 1955.

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Blue Moon Of Kentucky by Elvis Presley

#489: Blue Moon Of Kentucky by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: September 1956
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CJOR Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Blue Moon Of Kentucky
“Blue Moon Of Kentucky” lyrics

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”, song #1196 on this Countdown. 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 on July 19.

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Bluejean Bop by Gene Vincent

#993: Bluejean Bop by Gene Vincent

Peak Month: October 1956
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #49
YouTube.com: “Bluejean Bop
“Bluejean Bop” lyrics

Vincent Eugene Craddock was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1935. He later took the stage name Gene Vincent and is best known for the rockabilly hit from 1956 titled “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” From a young age he was interested in classical music as well as country and rhythm and blues. He received his first guitar at the age of twelve as a gift from a friend. Norfolk, Virginia, was the home of a large naval base and Vincent’s parents opened a general store and sailors’ tailoring shop. Vincent Eugene Craddock dropped out of school at 17 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1952. His completed a Korean War deployment though he never saw combat. Craddock planned a career in the Navy. However, in 1955, he used his $612 re-enlistment bonus to buy a new Triumph motorcycle. In July 1955 his left leg was shattered in a motorcycle crash in Norfolk. In hospital, his leg was saved. But the injury left him with a limp and chronic pain. He wasn’t suitable for the U.S. Navy anymore. He wore a steel sheath around the leg from then onward. The female driver in a Chrysler who who ran a red light and struck him was drunk. Craddock changed his name to Gene Vincent, with his first name, Vincent, as his surname and his shortened middle name, Eugene, as his first name.

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