It's So Easy by the Crickets

#2: It’s So Easy by the Crickets

City: Charlottetown, PEI
Radio Station: CVER
Peak Month: October 1958
Peak Position in Charlottetown ~ #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “It’s So Easy”
Lyrics: “It’s So Easy

The Crickets became a rock ‘n roll/rockabilly group in 1957. They are credited with influencing a whole range of recording artists including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. In fact, the Beatles got the idea for their name as a riff off of another insect, cricket, just going up one letter of the alphabet from C to B for Beatles. Paul McCartney once told the press, “If it wasn’t for the Crickets, there wouldn’t be any Beatles.” The Crickets were initially the backing band for Buddy Holly and among their hits are “That’ll Be The Day”, Peggy Sue”, “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away”, “Maybe Baby”, “It’s So Easy” and “Rave On”.

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Ballad of Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum

#346: Ballad of Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum

Peak Month: August 1958 and January 1962
Peak CFUN position in Vancouver ~ #2 (1958)
Peak CFUN position in Vancouver ~ #4 (1962)
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #62
YouTube: “Ballad Of Thunder Road
Lyrics: “Ballad of Thunder Road

Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was born in Bridgeport (CT) in 1917. His father died in a railyard accident in 1919. At the age of 12, young Robert Mitchum began performing in a Vaudeville show that appeared along the East Coast. At the age of 14 he hopped freight trains and travelled across America. He dug ditches, fought as a boxer, and worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1933 he was arrested for vagrancy and worked on a chain gang. During WWII Mitchum worked as a machine operator for Lockheed Martin. In 1942-43, he appeared in a number of episodes in Hopalong Cassidy. This included the 1943 movie Hoppy Serves a Writ.

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The Hula Hoop Song by Georgia Gibbs

#1: The Hula Hoop Song by Georgia Gibbs

City: Charlottetown, PEI
Radio Station: CVER
Peak Month: October 1958
Peak Position in Charlottetown ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #39
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube: “The Hula Hoop Song
Lyrics: “The Hula Hoop Song

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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Ballad Of A Teenage Queen by Johnny Cash

#19: Ballad Of A Teenage Queen by Johnny Cash

Peak Month: March 1958
11 weeks on CKWX’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
Billboard Top 100 Singles 1958 Year End ~ #81
BONUS REVIEW
YouTube: “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen
Lyrics: “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen

John R. “Johnny” Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, in 1932. At the age of five he started working with his sharecropping parents and siblings in the cotton fields. During his childhood his family home was flooded twice. He began singing and playing guitar by the age of 12. He moved to Detroit in his late teens for work. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Air Force as a Morse Code Intercept Operator for Soviet Army transmissions at a base in Germany from 1950 to 1954. When he was discharged from the military he and his new wife, Liberto, moved to Memphis. Cash worked as an appliance salesman while trying to get a break in the music industry. Cash got to audition with Sun Records in 1954. He had his first charting single on the Billboard Country charts in 1955 titled “Cry! Cry! Cry!” Subsequently single releases, “So Doggone Lonesome” and “I Walk The Line” climbed to #4 and #1 on the Country charts. The latter hit also was his first debut on the Billboard pop charts where it made it to #17 in 1956.

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King Creole by Elvis Presley

#66: King Creole by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: August 1958
8 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “King Creole
Lyrics: “King Creole

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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Just Young by Andy Rose/Paul Anka

#1239: Just Young by Andy Rose/Paul Anka

Peak Month: October 1958
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #5 ~ Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #69 (Andy Rose)/ #80 (Paul Anka)
YouTube: “Just Young” Andy Rose
YouTube: “Just Young” Paul Anka
Lyrics: “Just Young

Andy Rose was born Andrew Gattuso in Brooklyn, New York. His mother was an Italian immigrant from Sicily. Andy Rose has only one child a daughter. Andy had two brothers, Roger and Sal, and one sister. In 1958, Rose was signed with Aamco Records, a tiny New York label owned by Carl LeBow at 204 West 49th Street in Manhattan. It was formed on May 19, 1958. It was more of an album outlet during their existence focusing on Carribbean and Calypso music. In fact they only issued four singles, all in 1958, two of which were by Rose. The first release was “Just Young”.

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Claudette by the Everly Brothers

#109: Claudette by the Everly Brothers

Peak Month: May 1958
8 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #30
YouTube.com: “Claudette
Lyrics: “Claudette

Isaac Donald “Don” Everly was born in 1937 and Phillip Jason “Phil” Everly was born in 1939. Don was born in Muhlenberg County in Kentucky, and Phil was born in Chicago. Their dad, Ike, had been a coal miner who decided to pursue music as a guitar player. From the mid-40s Ike and his wife, Margaret, sang as a duo in Shanendoah, Iowa. Later they included their sons “Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil,” on local radio stations KMA and KFNF. In time they were billed as The Everly Family. In 1953, the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Family friend and musician Chet Atkins got a record deal for the Everly Brothers with RCA Victor in 1956. However, their first single release was a commercial failure and they were dropped from the label. Next, Atkins got them connected with Archie Bleyer, and the boys were signed to Cadence Records. In 1957, their first single on the label, “Bye Bye Love“, became a million-seller and launched their career.

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Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor by Johnny Horton

#128: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor by Johnny Horton

Peak Month: March 1958
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Chart
Pick Hit ~ February 16, 1958
Peak Position ~ #1 ~ Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Lyrics: “Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor

John LeGale Horton was born on April 30, 1925, in Los Angeles, born to migrant fruit pickers. He spent most of his life growing up in East Texas when the family wasn’t back in California picking fruit. A great athlete, twenty-six colleges offered him basketball scholarships after his graduation from high school. Horton chose to study geology for a while in Seattle. Then in 1948 he went north to Alaska to pan for gold. While there he began to write songs. Back in the lower forty-eight, Horton was a winner at a talent contest in Henderson, Texas. This prompted him to move back to California and seek a career in music. He was a guest on Cliffie Stone’s Hometown Jamboree on KXLA-TV in Pasadena. This spawned The Singing Fisherman, Horton’s own half-hour show. He got married to a girl he met in Hollywood named Donna Cook. In high demand to perform on the Louisiana Hayride, they relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana. Touring was hard on the newlyweds and Horton got divorced.

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This Little Girl Of Mine by the Everly Brothers

#132: This Little Girl Of Mine by the Everly Brothers

Peak Month: February 1958
8 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Survey
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
YouTube: “This Little Girl Of Mine
Lyrics: “This Little Girl Of Mine

Isaac Donald “Don” Everly was born in 1937 and Phillip Jason “Phil” Everly was born in 1939. Don was born in Muhlenberg County in Kentucky, and Phil was born in Chicago. Their dad, Ike, had been a coal miner who decided to pursue music as a guitar player. From the mid-40s Ike and his wife, Margaret, sang as a duo in Shanendoah, Iowa. Later they included their sons “Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil,” on local radio stations KMA and KFNF. In time they were billed as The Everly Family. In 1953, the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Family friend and musician Chet Atkins got a record deal for the Everly Brothers with RCA Victor in 1956. However, their first single release was a commercial failure and they were dropped from the label. Next, Atkins got them connected with Archie Bleyer, and the boys were signed to Cadence Records. In 1957, their first single on the label, “Bye Bye Love“, became a million-seller and launched their career.

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The Day The Rains Came by Jane Morgan

#291: The Day The Rains Came by Jane Morgan

Peak Month: Octcober 1958
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #21
YouTube: “The Day That The Rains Came
Lyrics: “The Day That The Rains Came

Florence Catherine Currier was born in 1924 in the suburbs of Boston. Her family moved to Florida when she was four-years-old. When she was five, Florence started taking voice lessons as well as piano. In the summertime, she was a child actor in theater productions at the Kennebunkport Playhouse in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Playhouse was founded by her brother. At the age of 17, in the summer of 1941, she was listed as the Treasurer of the Kennebunkport Playhouse. During her years at school, she competed in singing competitions with other students across Florida and the Southeast. Upon graduating from high school in Daytona Beach, she was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music in Manhattan. She had plans to become an opera singer, and studied opera at the school.

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Love Of My Life by the Everly Brothers

#292: Love Of My Life by the Everly Brothers

Peak Month: December 1958
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #40
YouTube: “Love Of My Life
Lyrics: “Love Of My Life

Isaac Donald “Don” Everly was born in 1937 and Phillip Jason “Phil” Everly was born in 1939. Don was born in Muhlenberg County in Kentucky, and Phil was born in Chicago. Their dad, Ike, had been a coal miner who decided to pursue music as a guitar player. From the mid-40s Ike and his wife, Margaret, sang as a duo in Shanendoah, Iowa. Later they included their sons “Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil,” on local radio stations KMA and KFNF. In time they were billed as The Everly Family. In 1953, the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Family friend and musician Chet Atkins got a record deal for the Everly Brothers with RCA Victor in 1956. However, their first single release was a commercial failure and they were dropped from the label. Next, Atkins got them connected with Archie Bleyer, and the boys were signed to Cadence Records. In 1957, their first single on the label, “Bye Bye Love“, became a million-seller and launched their career.

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

#343: 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
YouTube: “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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Rave On by Buddy Holly

#598: Rave On by Buddy Holly

Peak Month: June 1958
8 weeks on CKWX’s Vancouver Chart (peak #7)
Peak Position ~ #4 Red Robinson Chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube.com: “Rave On
Lyrics: “Rave On”

In 1936, Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas. When he was five years old he won $5 when he entered a local talent show and sang “Down The River of Memories.” He listened to the Grand Ole Opry growing up and after trying to learn the piano settled on taking up the guitar. During his Junior and Senior years in school, Holley entered some talent shows with friends in duos and doing gigs with a band playing a blend of country & western and rhythm & blues. He had a band that performed live on the Lubbock radio station KDAV. After high school graduation Holly focused on making a career as a musician. He heard Elvis Presley in concert in Lubbock in 1955. Shortly after Hollry would appear as the opening act for Presley in concert three times in 1955. Owen Bradley, who would also produce records for Conway Twitty, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline and Gene Vincent, became Holley’s record producer after he signed a record deal with Decca Records in February 1956. After signing the record deal, Buddy Holley dropped the “e” from his surname to become Buddy Holly.

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Kathaleen by Sonny James

#916: Kathaleen by Sonny James

Peak Month: March 1958
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Kathaleen

James Hugh Loden was born on a farm outside of Hackleburg, Alabama, in 1928. Sonny remembers from the age of three how people would gather in each others’ homes to play music amid the bronze glow of Aladdin and coal-oil lamps. He recalls “That’s when Pop decided, ‘Well, I’ll give him something that he can at least play around on.’ That’s when he cut the molasses bucket in half and used the bottom of it and put a neck on it and then reversed it. It became the top of a little banjo, but it was tuned like a mandolin- So then I graduated to a mandolin and long about that time -I must have been about three or something – I began singing.” Now that he could play the mandolin and sing James was given the nickname “Sonny boy”. In 1933, with his parents and a sister, Sonny began to appear regularly on Saturday nights on a WMSD radio in Muscle Shoals in northwestern Alabama. Soon the family was billed as Sonny Loden and the Southerners. An adopted daughter also joined the family to make them a singing group of five. In 1946 the family moved to anchor a program with radio station WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina. James, now 18, roomed with two musicians who were in a band called Johnny and Jack’s Tennessee Mountain Boys, Chet Atkins and fiddler Paul Warren. “We’d just pick up a storm” James recalled.

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Trouble by Elvis Presley

#997: Trouble by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: August 1958
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Red Robinson chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Trouble
Lyrics: “Trouble”

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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Look Who's Blue by Don Gibson

#1000: Look Who’s Blue by Don Gibson

Peak Month: November 1958
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #58
YouTube.com: “Look Who’s Blue
Lyrics: “Look Who’s Blue

In 1928 Donald Eugene Gibson was born in Shelby, North Carolina. His family was poor and he stopped attending school in grade two to help out his sharecropping parents. He developed an interest in music at an early age and was inspired by recording artists like Tennessee Ernie Ford. Don Gibson began performing at local clubs before he was 18. In his late teens he held down a number of jobs including a as soda jerk, baby diaper deliveryman and dishwasher. A friend came home from Paris, France, after World War II with records by the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. This enhanced Gibson who began to experiment with different styles by his mid-teens. In 1946, he became a regular with the Tennessee Barn Dance in Knoxville, but things weren’t what Gibson expected. The fans wanted old-time country, not Gibson’s brand of crooning. He hung on to the radio job but struggled on $30 a week earned playing beer joints.

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Blue Ribbon Baby by Tommy Sands And The Raiders

#1013: Blue Ribbon Baby by Tommy Sands And The Raiders

Peak Month: September 1958
7 weeks on Vancouver’s Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #50
YouTube.com: “Blue Ribbon Baby
Lyrics: “Blue Ribbon Baby”

In 1937 Thomas Adrian “Tommy” Sands was born in Chicago. His dad was a piano player and his mom was a big-band singer. His family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, when he was seven. He began playing the guitar at eight and within a year had a job performing twice weekly on a local radio station. At the beginning of his teen years, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he attended Lamar High School and joined a band called Jimmie Lee Durden and the Junior Cowboys. It was made up of Sands, Durden, and Billy Reno. They performed on radio, at county fairs, and did personal appearances. He was only fifteen when Colonel Tom Parker heard about Tommy Sands and signed him to RCA Records. Sands became an overnight sensation and instant teen-idol when he appeared on Kraft Television Theater in January 1957 as “The Singin’ Idol.” On the episode Sands played the part of a singer who was very similar to Elvis Presley, with guitar, pompadour hair, and excitable teenage fans. The song Tommy Sands sang during the show was titled “Teen Age Crush“. Soon it climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in Vancouver.

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Cradle Baby by Eddie Cochran

#1336: Cradle Baby by Eddie Cochran

Peak Month: January 1958
3 weeks on the Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Cradle Baby
Lyrics: Cradle Baby”

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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Lend Me Your Comb by Carol Hughes

#1272: Lend Me Your Comb by Carol Hughes

Peak Month: January 1958
3 weeks on Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Lend Me Your Comb
Lyrics: “Lend Me Your Comb

In 1942 Carol Hughes was born, likely somewhere in New Jersey. A local paper in West Orange, New Jersey wrote in the winter of 1956 that “…a 14 years old, sophomore at West Orange High School (NJ) (has been) singing since the age of 2. She’s had TV experience appearing on the Arthur Murray Dance Party and the Dean Martin Show….” Carol Hughes’ first single was “Fancy Dance” recorded in October 1956 while she was only 14 years old. She was one of a number of female rockers following in the tradition of Brenda Lee, of which there were very few. In October 1956 male soloists and vocal groups dominated the record charts. At the time Carol Hughes released her first single there were 39 songs in the Top 50 in the USA that were sung by male soloists or male vocal groups. Making up the the difference were three tunes by male/female duos like Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly and eight charted songs by female recording acts. All were traditional pop singers like Patti Page (“Allegheny Moon”), Doris Day (“What Ever Will Be Will Be”) and The Chordettes (“Lay Down Your Arms”).

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#1311: Young Dove’s Calling by The Couplings

Peak Month: February 1958
3 weeks on Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Cash Box Magazine #58 | Music Vendor Magazine #77
YouTube.com: “Young Dove’s Calling

The Couplings were a four-part harmony doo-wop group possibly from Ohio. They released only two songs on one 45 RPM single in early 1958. The B-side was “I Can See” which showed off their bass singer. The A-side was “Young Dove’s Calling”. That song was featured on a February 20, 1958, episode of American Bandstand where the group performed. Soon after “Young Dove’s Calling” spent two weeks on the Cash Box magazine singles chart, peaking at #58. It also made it onto a third national music industry magazine called Music Vendor where it peaked at #77. However, the single failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. In North America the song got onto Cash Box and Music Vendor chart lists based on the Top 40 chart performances on a number of local radio markets where it made the Top 40. The Couplings charted “Young Dove’s Calling” as high as #23 in Albany, NY, #16 in Detroit, #19 in Houston, #37 in Toronto and #22 in Buffalo. Its best chart performance was in Vancouver where it made it into the Top Ten peaking at #7.

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With Your Love by Jack Scott

#1118: With Your Love by Jack Scott

Peak Month: January 1958
3 weeks on Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube.com: “With Your Love
Lyrics: “With Your Love”

Giovanni Dominico Scafone Jr. was born in 1936 in Windsor, Ontario, and spent some of his years growing up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park, Michigan. In 1954 he formed a band called the Southern Drifters. In 1957 he got a record deal with ABC-Paramount. He scored four Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and two more in the Top 30 in the USA. In Vancouver Jack Scott was a teen idol with his good looks and classic rock ‘n roll. He enjoyed eight Top Ten hits on the Vancouver charts including “What In The World’s Come Over You” and his most successful hit in town, “Goodbye Baby” that peaked at #2 and spent 17 weeks on the CKWX charts in 1958. At the time, Scott had more US singles in the Billboard Hot 100 (19), in a shorter period of time (41 months), than any other recording artist – with the exception of The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino and Connie Francis. Scott charted twenty songs on the local record surveys in Vancouver between July 1958 and November 1962.

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Cherry Pie by Tri-Lads

#1103: Cherry Pie by Tri-Lads

Peak Month: March 1958
4 weeks on Red Robinson Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Cherry Pie
Lyrics: “Cherry Pie”

In 1938, Billy Reynolds Eustis was born in Harden City, Oklahoma. This is a town nearly two hours southeast of Oklahoma City. He was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Eustis graduated Tulsa Central High School same year as Oklahoma City native, J. J. Cale. In 1957, during his senior year in Tulsa High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Billy Eustis (pictured on the right in the photo below) teamed up with Jim Scott, Mary Hazelton and Dan Smith to perform in the teen vocal group The Countabulies.

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So Young by Ray Smith

#1098: So Young by Ray Smith

Peak Month: October 1958
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “So Young

Ray Smith was born in 1934 in the hamlet of Melber, Kentucky, thirteen miles from the town of Paducah where the Ohio River and the Tennessee River meet. Smith was the seventh son of a sharecropper who, in turn, was also the seventh son in Smith’s grandfather’s family. His dad later worked at the atomic bomb plant in Paducah. Smith left his home at the age of twelve. He worked as a gopher on a Coca-Cola Truck and then operated an oven at Kirchoff’s Bread plant in Paducah. As he grew up Ray Smith worked as a curb hop at Price’s Barbecue at 34th and Broadway where he would serve U.S. (KY) Senator Alben W. Barkley, who later became President Harry Truman’s Vice-President. Next he worked as a sole back tacker and tack machine operator at the International Shoe Company.

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Mary, Mary Lou by Bill Haley

#1116: Mary, Mary Lou by Bill Haley

Peak Month: January 1958
4 weeks on Vancouver’s Teen Canteen Chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Mary, Mary Lou
Lyrics: “Mary, Mary Lou”

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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