Gonna Find Me A Bluebird by Joyce Hahn

#87: Gonna Find Me A Bluebird by Joyce Hahn

Peak Month: August 1957
24 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #84
YouTube.com: “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Lyrics: “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird

Joyce Hahn was born in 1929 in Eatonia, Saskatchewan. As a child, Hahn performed from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s with The Harmony Kids, a family troupe formed by her father, Harvey. The Harmony Kids also included her brothers Bob and Lloyd and sister Kay. headed eastward across Canada from frontier Saskatchewan to the bright lights of Broadway during the Great Depression. Their resourceful father Harvey had schooled them all in music and had built a customized trailer to transport the family across the country making pass-the-hat appearances along the way at clubs, barns and radio stations, where a youthful but enterprising Robert Hahn would often offer to write them a station ID for a small fee. The Harmony Kids ended up in New York, where they appeared on the popular radio network show, We the People. As their popularity grew, the war interceded and they headed back to Canada.

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Those Brown Eyes by the Tarriers

#97: Those Brown Eyes by the Tarriers

Peak Month: June 1957
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Those Brown Eyes
Lyrics: “Those Brown Eyes

The Tarriers formed from a collection of folk singers who performed regularly at Washington Square, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 4th Street in New York City during the mid-1950s. Since around the end of World War II, folksingers had been congregating on warm Sunday afternoons at the fountain in the center of the park. Tension and conflicts began to develop between the bohemian element and the remaining working-class residents of the neighborhood. The city government began showing an increasing hostility to the use of public facilities by the public. In 1947, the City of New York began requiring permits before public performances could be given in any city park. The Tarriers were Erik Darling, Bob Carey, Karl Karlton and Alan Arkin. Darling told Wayne Jancik in The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders. According to Darling, “Karl didn’t really mesh” and left the group before the remaining trio secured a contract with Glory Records in 1956, where the Tarriers scored two hits. The folk group got their name from the 1888 work song “Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill”. The title refers to Irish workers, drilling holes in rock to blast out railroad tunnels. A tarrier is someone who is known to tarry, to dawdle, to delay, to lag behind in their work. As such, choosing the name The Tarriers was a poke at the Protestant work ethic. Decades later a folk song chorus by Charlie King declared “Our life is more than our work, and our work is more than our job.”

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White Silver Sands by Owen Bradley Quintet

#163: White Silver Sands by Owen Bradley Quintet

Peak Month: July 1957
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “White Silver Sands
Lyrics: “White Silver Sands

Owen Bradley was born in rural Sumner County, Tennessee, in 1915. He learned to play piano in his childhood, and started to play in local nightclubs and roadhouses while he was in his teens. In 1935, when he was 20 Bradley got a job at WSM-AM radio in Nashville, where he worked as an arranger and musician. He played piano, organ and trombone on WSM broadcasts. In 1942, Bradley was hired as the station’s musical director. As well, he was increasingly sought after as the leader of his dance band, performing for well-heeled society parties all over the “Music City.” It was also in 1942 that Owen Bradley co-wrote country singer Roy Acuff’s hit “Night Train to Memphis”, and “Deliver Me To Tennessee” for Woody Herman and His Orchestra.

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Treat Me Nice by Elvis Presley

#220: Treat Me Nice by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: September 1957
7 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #27
YouTube.com: “Treat Me Nice
Lyrics: “Treat Me Nice

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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Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

#815: Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: December 1957
4 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Red Robinson Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #33 (2021)
YouTube.com: “Blue Christmas
Lyrics: “Blue Christmas

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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Sing Little Birdie Sing by Rosemary Clooney

#1065: Sing Little Birdie Sing by Rosemary Clooney

Peak Month: June 1957
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Sing Little Birdie Sing

Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky, in 1928. The town of 6,000 is situated on the Ohio River, across from the village of Aberdeen, Ohio. Rosemary and her sister Betty became entertainers in their teens and in 1945 got a spot on Cincinnati radio station WLW. This led to a recording contract for Rosemary Clooney with Columbia Records in 1946. That year she began to sing with Tony Pastor’s Big Band. With Pastor’s band she had three Top 20 hits on the Billboard pop chart: “You Started Something” (1948), “Grieving for You” and “A You’re Adorable” (both in 1949). In 1949 Clooney left the band and began recording solo. In 1950–51, she was a regular on the radio and television versions of Songs For Sale on CBS. Then, in 1951 she recorded “Come On-A My House”. The song topped the pop charts in the USA for six weeks, and was the number-four song for the year of 1951.

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Sittin' In The Balcony by Eddie Cochran

#251: Sittin’ In The Balcony by Eddie Cochran

Peak Month: May 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #18
YouTube.com: “Sittin’ In The Balcony
Lyrics: “Sittin’ In The Balcony

Eddie Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 1938. His family moved to the Los Angeles area in 1951 where Eddie attended Bell Gardens Junior High. While there he became friends with Connie ‘Guybo’ Smith. Smith was already a promising musical talent who played bass, steel guitar and mandolin. Eddie and Connie began to jam together and gave a concert at their junior high school. Connie “Guybo” Smith went on to become Cochran’s bass player and was one of the musicians heard on most records during Eddie’s brief professional career. In 1953, while still in junior high school, Eddie met another musician named Chuck Foreman. The two experimented with Foreman’s two-track tape recorder. The pair made recordings of a number of songs including “Stardust”, “The Poor People Of Paris”, “Hearts of Stone” and the “Cannonball Rag”. Cochran graduated from Bell Gardens Junior High in 1954.

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Wondering by Patti Page

#899: Wondering by Patti Page

Peak Month: July 1957
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Wondering
Lyrics: “Wondering

Patti Page was born on November 8, 1927. The New York Times writes “She was born Clara Ann Fowler in Claremore, Oklahoma, the second youngest of 11 children of a railroad laborer. Her mother and older sisters picked cotton. She often went without shoes. Because the family saved money on electricity, the only radio shows Miss Page heard as a child were Grand Old OpryThe Eddie Cantor Show and Chicago Barn Dance.”

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I'm Stickin' With You by Jimmy Bowen

#281: I’m Stickin’ With You by Jimmy Bowen

Peak Month: March 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube.com: “I’m Stickin’ With You
Lyrics: “I’m Stickin’ With You

James Albert Bowen was born in the mining town of Santa Rita, New Mexico, in 1937.  The town later became a ghost town after it was abandoned in 1967. Bowen’s family moved to a small town in northern Texas in 1941. From early in his childhood, Bowen was very athletic. By the time he was in high school, he was a star athlete who received a scholarship to West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas. While Bowen grew to be an athlete, he also had a musical side to him that began in his teens when he was given a ukulele. He later acquired a guitar and eventually an electric guitar. At a high school assembly, Bowen and some of his classmates were asked to play a couple of songs. Bowen recalls, “the reaction from girls was the absolute proof that we should get in that [music] business.” In 1955, while at university, Bowen formed the Serenaders with singer and guitar player Buddy Knox, and lead guitarist Don Lanier. Lanier and Bowen had grown up in the same town and knew each other before going to university. Bowen played bass guitar and took turns with Buddy Knox as lead vocalist on the tunes in their sets.

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Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep by Buddy Knox

#325: 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
YouTube.com: “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.

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Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong

#332: Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong

Peak Month: January 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #29 (in 1949)
YouTube.com: “Blueberry Hill
Lyrics: “Blueberry Hill

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1901. He was raised by his grandmother until he was five and sent to a school for black boys when he was six. He did odd jobs for the Karnoffskys, a family of Lithuanian Jews. The Karnoffskys took young Louis into their home and treated him like family. Knowing he lived without a father, they fed and nurtured him. His first musical performance may have been at the side of the Karnoffskys’ junk wagon. To distinguish them from other hawkers, he tried playing a tin horn to attract customers. Morris Karnoffsky gave Armstrong an advance toward the purchase of a cornet from a pawn shop. Around the age of fifteen, Armstrong pimped for a prostitute named Nootsy. However, that terminated after she stabbed him in the shoulder and Armstrong’s mother almost choked Nootsy to death.

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Tina by the Easy Riders

#351: Tina by the Easy Riders

Peak Month: June 1957
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #96
YouTube.com: “Tina
Lyrics: “Tina

Terry Gilkyson was born in 1916 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He went to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied voice, composition and harmony. He moved to Tucson, Arizona, to work on a ranch. But when World War II began he was drafted and sang folk songs over the Armed Forces radio network. After the war he was married and began to write songs. His first big break was when he wrote “The Cry Of The Wild Goose”, a number-one hit in March 1950 for Frankie Laine. He recorded two albums of folk songs, The Solitary Singer, volumes 1 and 2, in 1950 and 1951. And in 1951 Gilkyson was the featured vocalist in the Weavers number-one hit in May-June titled “On Top Of Old Smokey”.

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There'll Be Peace In The Valley by Elvis Presley

#364: There’ll Be Peace In The Valley by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: March-April 1957
7 weeks on Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley
Lyrics: “(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley

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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Rock House by Buddy Knox & the Rhythm Orchids

#416: Rock House by Buddy Knox & the Rhythm Orchids

Peak Month: July 1957
6 weeks on CKWX’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Rock House
“Rock House” lyrics

Buddy Wayne Knox was born in 1933 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.

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Ooby Dooby by Roy Orbison

#429: Ooby Dooby by Roy Orbison

Peak Month: January 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #55
YouTube.com: “Ooby Dooby
Lyrics: “Ooby Dooby

Roy Kelton Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas in 1936. When he turned six his dad gave him a guitar. Both his dad, Orbie Lee, and uncle Charlie Orbison, taught him how to play. Though his family moved to Forth Worth for work at a munitions factory, Roy was sent to live with his grandmother due to a polio outbreak in 1944. That year he wrote his first song “A Vow of Love”. The next year he won a contest on Vernon radio station KVWC and was offered his own radio show on Saturdays. After the war his family reunited and moved to Wink, Texas, where Roy formed his first band, in 1949, called The Wink Westerners.

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Playing For Keeps by Elvis Presley

#439: Playing For Keeps by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: January 1957
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CJOR ~ Red Robinson Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #34
YouTube.com: “Playing For Keeps
Lyrics: “Playing For Keeps

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.

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Pledge Of Love by Mitchell Torok

#473: Pledge Of Love by Mitchell Torok

Peak Month: May 1957
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube.com: “Pledge Of Love
“Pledge Of Love” lyrics

In 1929 Mitchell Torok was born in Houston, Texas. His parents were immigrants from Hungary. Torok learned the guitar at the end of elementary school. A natural athlete, Mitch went to university in Nacogdoches, Texas, on a football and baseball scholarship. While at university he was hired to write a song to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Cononco Oil Company. He also cut his first record in the late 40s while hosting a radio show in Lufkin, two hours northeast of Houston, and another radio show in the Houston suburb of Rosenberg.

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You're My One And Only Love by Ricky Nelson

#508: You’re My One And Only Love by Ricky Nelson

Peak Month: August 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #16
YouTube.com: “You’re My One And Only Love
“You’re My One And Only Love” lyrics

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. A child actor, Ricky was also a musician and singer-songwriter. who starred alongside his family in the long-running television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66), as well as co-starring 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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One Step At A Time by Brenda Lee

#976: One Step At A Time by Brenda Lee

Peak Month: February 1957
4 weeks on Vancouver’s CJOR’s chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #43
YouTube.com link: “One Step At A Time

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.”

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Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? by Elvis Presley

#1156: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: July 1957
2 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
“Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?” 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.

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Unfaithful Diane by Don Deal

#530: Unfaithful Diane by Don Deal

Peak Month: November 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Unfaithful Diane
“Unfaithful Diane” lyrics

In 1938 Don Deal was born on a farm in Honey Creek, Iowa, a dozen miles north of Council Bluffs. He developed an interest in music while he was a child. His family relocated to California during 1952, first living in Bell, California, south of downtown Los Angeles. Then his family moved a few miles east to the LA suburb of Bell Gardens. Don got a job working as an assistant at Bert Keiffer’s Music Store. One day while working at the store he met Eddie Cochran. They became good friends. One day Don Deal was singing at the back of the music store after finishing a shift. It happened that a talent scout named Smoky Rodgers heard Deal singing. Rodgers was blown away and convinced young Deal to move to San Diego. Deal was given a gig performing at the Bostonian Ballroom three nights a week. Deal also was put on a television show based in Tijuana, Mexico, where he appeared five times a week.

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Bye Bye Love by Webb Pierce

#565: Bye Bye Love by Webb Pierce

Peak Month: June 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen chart on CKWX
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #73
YouTube.com: “Bye Bye Love
“Bye Bye Love” lyrics

Michael Webb Pierce was born in Monroe, Louisiana, in 1921. By the time he was 15 Pierce had learned to play guitar and had a weekly 15-minute show on KMLB-AM in Monroe. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1942. After the war ended he and his wife, Betty Jane Lewis, moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1947 they appeared regularly on KTBS-AM on their morning show Webb Pierce with Betty Jane, the Singing Sweetheart. Webb Pierce worked as a manager of a men’s furnishing section of a Sears Roebuck department store. In 1949 the couple signed with 4-Star Records in California. Webb was successful, but Betty Jane was not. Their changing musical fortunes led to divorce in 1950.

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Loving You by Elvis Presley

#633: Loving You by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: June 1957
4 weeks on Red Robinson’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube.com: “Loving You
“Loving You” 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.

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Why by The Cues

#702: Why by The Cues

Peak Month: January 1957
5 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #77
YouTube.com link: “Why
“Why” lyrics

From the late 1940’s Atlantic Records was a primary company for rhythm and blues artists. In 1954, with rock n’ roll a new sound on radio, The Cues were Atlantic Records’ first studio vocal group. Their primary way of earning a living was by being a back-up group for other R&B artists on the Atlantic label. Though they had a group name, The Cues, that they tried to make a hit record with, they earned their bread and butter going by different names. As back-up to Ruth Brown they were the Rhythm makers. As backup group to LaVern Baker they were known as the Gliders. When doing backup on a recording for Big Joe Turner they went by the name of the Blues Kings. And with Ivory Joe Hunter they took the moniker, the Ivory Tones.
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Golly by The Four Lads

#733: Golly by The Four Lads

Peak Month: June 1957
16 weeks on CKWX’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position: #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Golly

The Four Lads are a Canadian male quartet from Toronto, Ontario. They were originally made up of Corrado “Connie” Codarini, James F. “Jimmy” Arnold, John Bernard “Bernie” Toorish and Frank Busseri. They met as members of St. Michael’s Choir School. Originally, they named themselves the Otnorots (made up mostly of spelling the place name Toronto backwards. They changed their name to the Four Dukes. But after they found out a group in Detroit had the same name, then they settled on the Four Lads. They got a break when Mitch Miller noticed them when they were recruited by talent scouts to go to New York. Mitchell had them sing back-up on Johnny Ray’s 1951 smash hit, “Cry”, and his big follow up, “The Little White Cloud that Cried”.
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Fourteen Karat Gold by Don Cherry

#789: Fourteen Karat Gold by Don Cherry

Peak Month: September 1957
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Fourteen Karat Gold
“Fourteen Karat Gold” lyrics

In 1924, Donald Ross Cherry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. After high school he was already winning golf championships in the summer of 1941. But once America entered World War II, he was drafted into the Army-Air Corps. In 1946, he returned to golf and as an amateur won over ninety trophies in nine years. At night he began to perform in front of audiences singing popular songs of the day. He got noticed and by 1950 had a recording contract with Decca Records. Credited to the Victor Young Orchestra, Don Cherry’s vocal on “Mona Lisa” (a bigger hit for Nat King Cole) led to more attention. He recorded a 1927 hit titled “Thinking Of You” that was featured in the 1950 Tin Pan Alley film, Three Little Words. Cherry scored his second Top Ten hit as “Thinking of You” climbed to #4. The following year Don Cherry charted two more singles into the pop charts.
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In The Middle Of A Dark, Dark Night by Guy Mitchell

#852: In The Middle Of A Dark, Dark Night by Guy Mitchell

Peak Month: August 1957
16 weeks on CKWX chart
Peak Position ~ #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #83
YouTube.com: “In The Middle Of A Dark, Dark Night

In 1927 Albert George Cernick was born in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were immigrants from Yugoslavia after World War I. in 1938 he parents moved to California. At the age of 11 he got a contract with Warner Brothers Pictures as a child actor. He also was featured on radio station KFWB in Los Angeles. He worked as a saddle maker by day and a singer at night. The prospect of roles in Hollywood failed to materialize. So the family moved to San Francisco where young Guy became part of Dude Martin’s band. Mitchell entered the U.S. Navy in 1945 for two years. Returning to civilian life, Mitchell joined the Carmen Cavallaro band as the featured vocalist in late 1946. In 1949 he won an Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout’s Award and got a record contract with the Columbia label.
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Goody Goody by Frankie Lymon

#586: Goody Goody by Frankie Lymon

Frankie Lymon:
Peak Month: August 1957
7 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #20
YouTube.com: “Goody Goody
“Goody Goody” lyrics

In 1942 Franklin Joseph “Frankie” Lymon was born in New York City. Frankie and his brothers grew up in a musical home in Harlem. Their mother, Jeanette, was a domestic maid. Their dad, Howard Lymon Sr., had a job as a truck driver and was a member of a gospel group called the Harlemaires. Frankie and his brothers, Howard and Lewis, all attended the Harlemaires rehearsals and concerts from an early age. From the age of ten Frankie worked at a grocery store to help the family pay the rent. He also had a sideline hustling prostitutes. When Frankie’s voice developed into a beautiful boy soprano lead singer he joined a group called  The Teenagers, originally named the Earth Angels and then the Premiers. The doo-wop groups original lineup consisted of three African Americans: Frankie Lymon, Jimmy Merchant and Sherman Garnes, and two Puerto Ricans: Herman Santiago and Joe Negroni.

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Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

#946: Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald:
Peak Month: September 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Goody Goody
“Goody Goody” lyrics

Ella Fitzgerald first came to national attention with her #1 hit in 1938, “A Tisket, A Tasket.” Before Billboard Magazine began in the 1940’s the song was listed at #1 on the Record Buying Guide and the weekly radio broadcasts of Your Hit Parade, a radio a radio institution on NBC, started in 1935, that billed itself as “an accurate, authentic tabulation of America’s taste in popular music.” She was born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1917. Ella’s mother Temperance “Tempie” Fitzgerald and a second lover, Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, New York, in 1920. Joe dug ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Tempie worked at a laundromat. At age 15 both her mother and Joe died in quick succession, her mom from complications arising from an automobile accident and Joe from a heart attack. In 1934, Ella won a draw to complete in an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Originally planning a dance routine, a troupe that performed ahead of her were so spectacular she spontaneously decided to sing instead. Her performance brought the crowd to its feet and she did an encore.

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Drive In Show by Eddie Cochran

#930: Drive In Show by Eddie Cochran

Peak Month: July 1957
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #82
YouTube.com: “Drive In Show
“Drive In Show” lyrics

Eddie Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 1938. His family moved to the Los Angeles area in 1951 where Eddie attended Bell Gardens Junior High. While there he became friends with Connie ‘Guybo’ Smith. Smith was already a promising musical talent who played bass, steel guitar and mandolin. Eddie and Connie began to jam together and gave a concert at their junior high school. Connie “Guybo” Smith went on to become Cochran’s bass player and was one of the musicians heard on most records during Eddie’s brief professional career. In 1953, while still in junior high school, Eddie met another musician named Chuck Foreman. The two experimented with Foreman’s two-track tape recorder. The pair made recordings of a number of songs including “Stardust,” “The Poor People Of Paris,” “Hearts of Stone” and the “Cannonball Rag.” Cochran graduated from Bell Gardens Junior High in 1954.

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Don't Knock The Rock by Bill Haley And His Comets

#932: Don’t Knock The Rock by Bill Haley And His Comets

Peak Month: January 1957
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Don’t Knock The Rock
“Don’t Knock The Rock” lyrics

Bill Haley was born in Michigan in 1925. His dad played the mandolin and banjo while his mom played the piano. In a story Haley would relate years later in a biography, he recalled as a child when he made a simulated guitar out of cardboard, his parents bought him a real one. Sleeve notes accompanying the 1956 Decca album, Rock Around The Clock, describe Bill Haley’s early life and emerging career: “Bill got his first professional job at the age of 13, playing and entertaining at an auction for the fee of $1 a night. Very soon after this he formed a group of equally enthusiastic youngsters and managed to get quite a few local bookings for his band.”

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9 LB. Hammer by Sanford Clark

#1223: 9 LB. Hammer by Sanford Clark

Peak Month: February 1957
3 weeks on Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “9 LB. Hammer
“Nine Pound Hammer” lyrics

Sanford Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1935. In his early childhood his family moved to Phoenix. Sanford got his first guitar when he was 12 years old. He played around Phoenix until 1953, then he was enlisted at the age of 18 into the U.S. Air Force for four years. He then moved to Johnston Island in the Pacific where he played music when he was off-duty. The Air Force assigned back home in Phoenix where returned to playing clubs again. Local guitar player, Al Casey, had been a friend of Sanford Clark’s since school days told local disc jockey Lee Hazlewood to go listen to Sanford. Hazlewood was impressed with Sanford’s voice. He was looking for somebody to record a song he had just written. About a week later he took Sanford into Floyd Ramsey’s studio with Al Casey and recorded “The Fool”. Hazlewood gave his wife, Naomi Ford, the songwriting credit for “The Fool.” At the time it was not allowed for a producer or manager to also be a writer of the songs that were being recorded in the studio. Sanford stated that he felt they were a mix between Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and just trying to get something a little different with there sound. People often wonder how the “drum sound” was made on the recording. They found a piece of split bamboo and beat it on the guitar case, then Casey insisted that the drummer use a drumstick.Continue reading →

Tell Me That You Love Me by Paul Anka

#1138: Tell Me That You Love Me by Paul Anka

Peak Month: November 1957
8 weeks on CKWX chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Tell Me That You Love Me
“Tell Me That You Love Me” lyrics

Paul Anka was 16 years old when he had a number one hit with “Diana” in 1957, a song he wrote about a girl in the church he attended. (Diana Ayoub, who inspired Anka to write the song, died in December 2022). He continued to have a string of Top Ten and Top 20 hits into 1963 in Canada, the United States, the UK and Italy. But with the British Invasion, Paul Anka was sidelined not to return to the pop charts until his #1 hit in 1974, “You’re Having My Baby”. The song was a duet with Odia Coates. The duo enjoyed a string of Top 20 hits in Canada and the USA including 1974’s “One Man Woman/One Woman Man” and 1975’s “I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone” and “(I Believe) There’s Nothing Stronger Than Our Love”.

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(If'n You Don't) Somebody Else Will by Monica Lewis

#1078: (If’n You Don’t) Somebody Else Will by Monica Lewis

Peak Month: May 1957
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “(If’n You Don’t) Somebody Else Will
“(If’n You Don’t) Somebody Else Will” lyrics

May Lewis was born in Chicago in 1922. Her father Leon, was a musical director for CBS and her mother, Jessica, sang with the Chicago Opera Company. Lewis began to take singing lessons in her childhood. She overcame early poverty and capitalized on lucky breaks. She was discovered by Benny Goodman. Miss Lewis was studying at Hunter College when she was hired as a $25-a-week vocalist on a radio wake-up program called Gloom Dodgers to help support the family. She soon had her own radio show, Monica Makes Music. Then she won the part of a singing cigarette girl in the short-lived Broadway show Johnny 2×4, starring alongside a very young Lauren Bacall.

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Sugar Candy by Georgia Gibbs

#1085: Sugar Candy by Georgia Gibbs

Peak Month: June 1957
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Sugar Candy

Georgia Gibbs was a traditional pop singer who sang with the Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and other big bands in the 40s. She went on to have numerous hits prior to the arrival of Elvis Presley in 1956, who with other rock n’ rollers swept many traditional pop singers like Georgia Gibbs off the pop charts. Gibbs was born in 1919 as Frieda Lipschitz in a Russian-Jewish immigrant home in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father died shortly after she was born and as an infant lived in an orphanage until she was seven years old. Before she left the orphanage her musical talents were in bloom and she got lead roles each year in the orphanage’s variety show. Back at home when her mother got work as a midwife, young Frieda was often left on her own for weeks at a time with only a Philco radio for company.

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Red Hot by Billy Riley

#1096: Red Hot by Billy Riley

Peak Month: November 1957
4 weeks on Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Red Hot
“Red Hot” lyrics

Billy Lee Riley was born in in Pocahontas, Arkansas in 1933. His father was a sharecropper, which means he rented land from a landowner and used the land in return for giving a portion of the profits of the crops produced to the landowner on their portion of land. Though Riley’s father was a house painter by trade he would work in the cotton fields to feed the family during lean times. Young Billy Lee began playing harmonica at age six, and learned blues guitar in his early teens. “Blues is the music I grew up hearing on the plantation. There were black families and white families all living together, far from town. We were poor, and playing music was our main form of entertainment,” he recalled. In 1957 Riley recorded “Red Hot,” included in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Song’s that Shaped Rock n’ Roll.

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Crying My Heart Out For You by Julius La Rosa

#1058: Crying My Heart Out For You by Julius La Rosa

Peak Month: June 1957
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Crying My Heart Out For You

Julius La Rosa was born in Brooklyn in 1930 and raised in an Italian-American Roman Catholic milieu. Out of high school he joined the U.S. Navy and became a radioman. According to a 1991 New York Times article, La Rosa sang in the Navy Choir, at officers clubs and bars to pay for drinks. La Rosa was in the Navy when Arthur Godfrey heard him sing. Godfrey had been encouraged to listen to La Rosa by a buddy of La Rosa’s named George “Bud” Andrews, who happened to be the seaman mechanic on Godfrey’s personal airplane. Godfrey soon invited Julius La Rosa to appear on his CBS TV show. After his discharge, Julius La Rosa became a star on the Arthur Godfrey and his Friends from 1951 to 1953, recording several hits including “Eh, Cumpari”, which shot to #2 on the Billboard pop charts.

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That's When Your Heartaches Begin by Elvis Presley

#1210: That’s When Your Heartaches Begin by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: April 1957
3 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #58
YouTube.com: “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin
“That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” lyrics

On July 18, 1953, Elvis Presley recorded “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” at a Sun Records session in Memphis, Tennessee. He paid $3.98 ($35.26 in 2017 dollars) for studio time to allow recording of a double-sided single. The demo he recorded at the time he was 18 years old. On the A-side, he recorded “My Happiness”, later made famous by Connie Francis in 1958. He would later revisit the song on at least two occasions. The first was as the 38th of 47 songs recorded on December 4, 1956, during the Million Dollar Quartet sessions on December 4, 1956. In these sessions Elvis is one of four musicians playing along with Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. His final version of the song was recorded at the Radio Recorders Studio on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles on January 13, 1957. It was the B-side to “All Shook Up”.Continue reading →

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