Dancing Shoes by Cliff Richard

#69: Dancing Shoes by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: October-November 1963
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN Chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Dancing Shoes
Lyrics: “Dancing Shoes

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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The Next Time by Cliff Richard

#103: The Next Time by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: September 1963
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #99
YouTube.com: “The Next Time
Lyrics: “The Next Time

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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When A Boy Falls In Love by Mel Carter

#1101: When A Boy Falls In Love by Mel Carter

Peak Month: August 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s C-FUN-TASTIC FIFTY Survey
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #44
YouTube.com: “When A Boy Falls In Love
Lyrics: “When A Boy Falls In Love

Mel Carter was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1939. As a child he was in a choir at New Prospect Baptist Church. In 1954, Carter began studying under jazz singer Little Jimmy Scott. Carter went to Chicago and met Sam Cooke when Cooke was part of the Soul Stirrers. Mel Carter was also part of a street corner doo-wop group. In the late 50’s and early 60’s, Mel Carter appeared on stage with Dinah Washington at Ciros. In 1960 Carter released his first single on Arwin Records titled “I’m Coming Home”. In 1961 he switched labels to Mercury and released “I Need You So”. Then in 1962, he released a duet with Clyde King titled “The Wrong Side of Town”, which was a minor hit in California and West Virginia. In the spring of 1963, Mel Carter released “When A Boy Falls In Love” on the Derby label.

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True Love by Richard Chamberlain

#1303: True Love by Richard Chamberlain

Peak Month: July 1963
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #98
YouTube.com: “True Love
Lyrics: “True Love

George Richard Chamberlain was born in 1934 in Beverly Hills, California. After high school graduation in 1952, he studied acting at a college in Pomona. But, he was drafted in December 1952, and sent to fight in the Korean War. He rose to the rank of sergeant. In 1959, Richard Chamberlain appeared in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The following year, he made a guest appearance in the crime-drama series Rescue 8, about the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Other guest appearances in TV shows in the early ’60s include Gunsmoke, the crime series Bourbon Street BeatThriller hosted by Boris Karloff, The Deputy starring Henry Fonda, and another western titled Whispering Smith. In 1960, Chamberlain starred opposite Richard Falk in The Secret of the Purple Reef. In 1961, Chamberlain starred with Charles Bronson, Slim Pickens, and Duane Eddy in the western A Thunder of Drums. 

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It's All In The Game by Cliff Richard

#144: It’s All In The Game by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: November 1963
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube.com: “It’s All In The Game
Lyrics: “It’s All In The Game

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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Mecca by Gene Pitney

#158: Mecca by Gene Pitney

Peak Month: November 1963
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #12
YouTube.com: “Mecca
Lyrics: “Mecca

Gene Pitney was born in 1940 in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a songwriter who became a pop singer, something rare at the time. Some of the songs he wrote for other recording artists include “Rubber Ball” for Bobby Vee, “He’s A Rebel” for The Crystals and “Hello Mary Lou” for Ricky Nelson. Pitney was more popular in Vancouver than in his native America. Over his career he charted 14 songs into the Top Ten in Vancouver, while he only charted four songs into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Curiously, only two of these songs overlap: “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Vallance” and “I’m Gonna Be Strong”. Surprisingly “Only Love Can Break A Heart”, which peaked at #2 in the USA, stalled at #14 in Vancouver, and “It Hurts To Be In Love” stalled at #11 in Vancouver while it peaked at #7 south of the border.

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Indian Giver by Bobby Curtola

#165: Indian Giver by Bobby Curtola

Peak Month: June-July 1963
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Indian Giver

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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Baby Weemus by April Stevens & Nino Tempo

#1012: Baby Weemus by April Stevens & Nino Tempo

Peak Month: June 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Baby Weemus

Caroline Vincinette LoTempio was born in 1929 in Niagra Falls, New York. Stevens has recorded since she was fifteen years old. From the official website of April Stevens & Nino Tempo comes this story: “One day, while standing outside Hollywood’s famous Wallach Music City on Sunset and Vine, she was approached by Tony Sepe, the owner of Laurel Records, who asked her if she could sing. The young teenager thought he was probably flirting, but answered his question in the affirmative. Before long, she changed her name to April Stevens and recorded a few songs for Sepe’s small independent label. An aunt of Carol LoTiempo’s had suggested April as a name, and as she was born in April LoTiempo liked the name. Still in high school, April then moved on to record for Society Records. on “Don’t Do It”, her first for Society, her sweetly innocent approach to addressing very real concerns for a teenage girl was given a twist at the end by giving in to the boy’s advances, as long as there’s a commitment. “Don’t Do It” was banned from airplay… “”Stop holding my hand,” April pleaded; but in the second verse, she suggestively purred “I need it, how I need it…ooooh I want it.” Consequently, “Don’t Do It” sold by word of mouth only, from under the counter.”

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Alice In Wonderland by Neil Sedaka

#190: Alice In Wonderland by Neil Sedaka

Peak Month: March 1963
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube.com: “Alice In Wonderland
Lyrics: “Alice In Wonderland

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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Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richard

#242: Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: April 1963
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #99
YouTube.com: “Bachelor Boy
Lyrics: “Bachelor Boy

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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Killer Joe by the Rocky Fellers

#280: Killer Joe by the Rocky Fellers

Peak Month: April 1963
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #16
YouTube.com: “Killer Joe
Lyrics: “Killer Joe

The Rocky Fellers were a Filipino-American group comprised of brothers Tony Maligmat (born in 1944), Eddie Maligmat (born 1955), Junior Maligmat (born 1945), Albert Maligmat (born in 1953) and their father, Doroteo Maligmat (born 1924). The family was born in Manila, and moved to the USA in the mid-50s. On October 25, 1959, the Rocky Fellers appeared for the first time on TV on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show. They performed a cover of the Diamonds 1957 Top Ten hit “Little Darlin'”. The song was introduced by Dinah Shore who spoke of the exotic and primitive music of the Philippine Islands. Speaking of music, Dinah Shore said “And one of the richest and most exotic is the primitive music from the Philippine Islands,” Of course, “Little Darlin'” was rock ‘n roll and not a primitive song – so Shore was teasing her audience before they heard the song, setting them up to expect something, well “primitive.” Lead singer, Albert, told Dinah Shore after performing the song on her show that he learned to sing and play in the Philippines. From 1959, at the age of six onward, Albert Maligmat along with the other Rocky Fellers, opened for entertainers Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., George Burns, Carol Channing, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Rich Little, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, and Flip Wilson among others. A decade before the Jackson 5, The Rocky Fellers were example of what a family could do in the music business.

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Peanuts by the Four Seasons

#327: Peanuts by the Four Seasons

Peak Month: March-April 1963
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Peanuts” ~ Four Seasons
YouTube.com: “Peanuts” ~ Little Joe & The Thrillers (1957 original version)
Lyrics: “Peanuts

Pianist Bob Gaudio was born in The Bronx in 1942. At 14 years of age he co-founded The Royals. Gaudio had been playing piano since he turned eight in 1950. Gaudio was born in November 1942 in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The Royals opened for a local New Jersey doo-wop group named The Three Friends who had a hit in New York and Baltimore in the winter of 1956-57 titled “Blanche”. After the Fort Lee concert, The Three Friends invited The Royals to come to New York to be the session musicians for their upcoming recording date in the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway. It was there The Royals met The Three Friends manager, Leo Rogers. On the strength of their musical skills, Rogers invited The Royals to be session musicians for numerous recording artists in the building. They were also given a chance to record a song.

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Three Rows Over by Bobby Curtola

#340: 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
YouTube.com: “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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The Dreamer by Neil Sedaka

#937: 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
YouTube.com: “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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Gypsy Woman/String Along by Rick Nelson

#363: Gypsy Woman/String Along by Rick Nelson

Peak Month: June 1963
5 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Gypsy Woman Peak Position ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #62
YouTube.com: “Gypsy Woman
Lyrics: “Gypsy Woman

Peak Month: June 1963
6 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
String Along Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube.com: “String Along
Lyrics: “String Along

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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Surfer Joe by the Surfaris

#366: Surfer Joe by the Surfaris

Peak Month: August 1963
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #62
YouTube.com: “Surfer Joe” (Dot Records recording)
YouTube.com: “Surfer Joe” (DFS Records original 3:40 minute recording)
Lyrics: “Surfer Joe

Ronald Lee Wilson was born in 1944 in Los Angeles. At the age of 17 he was a drummer in a high school band in Covina, California, called the Charter Oak Lancers. Bob Berryhill was born in 1947 in Glendora, California. When he was eight years old his parents bought an acoustic guitar which his Dad played. Bob got interested in guitars, and when he was 13 his parents took the family to Hawaii. It was there he saw a performer play a ukulele. When Berryhill returned home he went with his Dad to a music store and asked the staff to show him a ukulele. They told him they didn’t have any, but suggested he buy a guitar. Bob Berryhill soon began to play guitar and in eighth grade was entered in a talent contest. It was at the talent show that Berryhill heard the duo Pat Connolly and Jim Fuller. In fact, they borrowed Berryhill’s music equipment.

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#368: Surfin’ Doll by Kathy Brandon

Peak Month: August 1963
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Surfin’ Doll

According to a comment on a YouTube.com thread by someone claiming to be her grandchild, Kathy Brandon was born in California. Kathy Brandon wrote or cowrote her songs. She was signed to Crystalette Records in 1962 while she was still in high school. Crystalette was a label started in 1956 and a subsidiary of Dot Records. Crystalette had few notable chart successes with its stable of recording artists. The exception was a million-seller in 1959 called “Pink Shoelaces” by Dodie Stevens. That single peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 in Vancouver (BC) on CKWX. Kathy Brandon’s first single release was in 1962 titled “Boy Of My Dreams”. The single was a commercial flop. In 1962 CFUN in Vancouver happened to spin “Shy Guy” by the Crystalettes on Crystalette Records. The single made it to #2 in October of that year. Possibly, the folks at Crystalette Records had a good promotional pitch with the DJ’s at CFUN.

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Tamoure by Bill Justis

#377: Tamoure by Bill Justis

Peak Month: May 1963
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #101
YouTube.com: “Tamoure

William Everett “Bill” Justis Jr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1926. He was a pioneer rock n’ roll musician, composer, and musical arranger, best known for his 1957 Grammy Hall of Fame song, “Raunchy”. Justis grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and studied music at Tulane University in New Orleans. Fine-tuning his trumpet and saxophone skills, he was featured in concert with local jazz and dance bands. In 1954, Justis went back to Memphis and hired by Sam Philips at Sun Records. While in the employ of Sun Records, Bill Justis made his own recordings. In addition he was a musical arranger Sun recordings by Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash.

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My Coloring Book by Barbra Streisand

#1407: My Coloring Book by Barbra Streisand

Peak Month: February 1963
7 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “My Coloring Book
Lyrics: “My Coloring Book

Barbara Joan Streisand was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. A year after she was born her 34-year-old father died of complications from an epileptic seizure, and a morphine injection given to address the situation. She had an older brother named Sheldon who was born in 1935. Barbara started her schooling at a Jewish Orthodox Jeshiva. Her mother remarried to Louis Kind in 1949, and with that marriage Barbara gained a half-sister named Roslyn. When she was nine years of age, she auditioned with MGM Records, though this didn’t result in a record deal. While attending Erasmus Hall High School she got to know a member of a choral club named Neil Diamond.  When she was 14, Streisand saw the Broadway play The Diary Of Anne Frank. After seeing the play she knew she wanted to pursue acting. In the summer of 1957, Barbara Streisand got small acting parts in Picnic and Desk Set at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge, New York, a small town southeast of Albany. In 1958 she appeared in a play called Driftwood, opposite a new actress named Joan Rivers.

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Little Latin Lupe Lu by The Righteous Brothers

#504: Little Latin Lupe Lu by The Righteous Brothers

Peak Month: July 1963
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #49
YouTube.com: “Little Latin Lupe Lu
“Little Latin Lupe Lu” lyrics

Robert Lee Hatfield was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, in 1940. Growing up, he worked at his parents dry-cleaning store. He was very athletic and considered becoming a professional basketball player, but decided to pursue a career in music after graduating from high school in 1958. He moved to Long Beach where he entered university at California State. He was in a group named the variations when he met Bill Medley, a member of a quartet called the Paramours. Hatfield joined the vocal group in 1962. However, they decided to change change their name based on a response by an audience member at the end of a concert in Orange County. During a set by the Paramours, Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley stepped forward on stage to perform a duet dripping with emotion. As the song ended a black Marine stood up and yelled, “That’s righteous, brothers.”

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Connie-O by The Four Seasons

#531: Connie-O by The Four Seasons

Peak Month: January 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Connie-O
“Connie-O” lyrics

Pianist Bob Gaudio was born in The Bronx in 1942. At 14 years of age he co-founded The Royals. Gaudio had been playing piano since he turned eight in 1950. Gaudio was born in November 1942 in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The Royals opened for a local New Jersey doo-wop group named The Three Friends who had a hit in New York and Baltimore in the winter of 1956-57 titled “Blanche”. After the Fort Lee concert, The Three Friends invited The Royals to come to New York to be the session musicians for their upcoming recording date in the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway. It was there The Royals met The Three Friends manager, Leo Rogers. On the strength of their musical skills, Rogers invited The Royals to be session musicians for numerous recording artists in the building. They were also given a chance to record a song.

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Acapulco 1922 by Tijuana Brass

#1216: Acapulco 1922 by Tijuana Brass

Peak Month: January 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com “Acapulco 1922

Herb Alpert was born in 1935 in Los Angeles. His parents were Jewish immigrants, from the Ukraine and Romania. He started to play the trumpet at the age of eight. After he graduated from high school, he joined the United States Army and played trumpet. In 1956 he was one of the drummers at Mt. Sinai in the film The Ten Commandments. In 1957 he became a songwriter for Keen Records. He teamed up with Lou Adler in 1958 and released a single titled “The Trial” credited to Herb B. Lou and the Legal Eagles. The recording was of the “break-in” genre, like Buchanan & Goodman’s “Flying Saucer” from 1956. The single had break-in’s from “Tears On My Pillow” by Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” by the Teddy Bears, “Little Star” by The Elegants, “Volare” by Domenico Modugno and others. “The Trial” made the Top Ten in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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The Twelfth Rose by The Browns

#1382: The Twelfth Rose by The Browns

Peak Month: June 1963
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #17
Twin Pick Hit June 1/63
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “The Twelfth Rose
“The Twelfth Rose” lyrics

Ella Maxine Brown was born in 1931. Jim Ed Brown was born in 1934, and Bonnie Jean Brown was born in 1938. All three siblings were born in Sparkman, Arkansas. The family owned a farm and their father worked in a sawmill. When the family moved to Pine Bluff, an hours drive east, the children began to sing together at church and other social functions. Maxine signed Jim Ed up for a talent contest on KLRA’s “Barnyard Frolic,”a radio station in Little Rock. Jim Ed didn’t win the contest, but was offered a spot on the radio show’s cast. In 1954 Jim and Maxine formed a duo and recorded a single titled “Looking Back To See”. They performed it on the Ernest Tubb radio show and it became a #8 hit on the Billboard Country chart that summer.

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Witchcraft by Elvis Presley

#566: Witchcraft by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: November 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN’s chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube.com: “Witchcraft
“Witchcraft” 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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#1298: Spanish Twist by The Roller Coasters

Peak Month: April 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #82
YouTube.com: “Spanish Twist

On May 1, 1961, Billboard magazine reported that the Holiday Inn motel chain had begun a record label in Memphis, Tennessee, called Holiday Inn Records. The head of the Holiday Inn label was Wayne Foster. It was reported the record company “would sell entirely through distributors, who would most likely receive tie-in advertising from the motel chain, which uses 50 radio stations and numerous consumer magazines nationwide for its own promotion.” Billboard added that Holiday Inn records debut single release was “Rimshot Pt. 1” by the Roller Coasters. The single was released on April 1, 1961. Foster told Billboard that “Rimshot Pt. 1” already had “sales figures totaling 6,000 for an eight-day period in the Memphis and New Orleans area.” It was reported the instrumental was receiving airplay as well in Atlanta. It was anticipated that the Memphis-area Roller Coasters would be made use of in the Holiday Inns “promotion work for the motel chain.” “Rimshot Pt. 1” climbed to #10 in Memphis and #13 in Shreveport, LA.

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What Happened To Janie by Johnny Crawford

#1042: What Happened To Janie by Johnny Crawford

Peak Month: August 1963
8 weeks on the C-FUN-TASTIC FIFTY
Peak Position: #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “What Happened To Janie

John Ernest Crawford was born in 1946 in Los Angeles. He got into acting as a child star and by the age of  nine was one of the Mouseketeers in the first season caste of the The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. Crawford was asked in 1982 about how he got picked for the show. He recalled, “I went on the audition and I did a tapdance routine with my brother, and we also did a fencing routine. Then they asked if we had anything else we could do. My grandmother told me to tell them that I imitated ’50s singer Johnny Ray. I stepped forward and did my imitation of him singing “Cry” and that was what got me into the Mouseketeers.” Though he was cut from the show in 1956 after Disney cut the caste from 24 to 12, Crawford continued to get acting roles. Between 1956 and 1958 he appeared in episodes of The Lone Ranger, The Loretta Young Show, Sheriff of Cochise, Wagon Train, Crossroads, Whirlybirds, Mr. Adams and Eve and Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater. The latter featured an episode that became a syndicated TV show called The Rifleman. Johnny Crawford played Mark McCain, son of Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors). In 1959 Crawford was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in The Rifleman. The show ran from 1958 to 1963.

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Cindy's Gonna Cry by Johnny Crawford

#874: Cindy’s Gonna Cry by Johnny Crawford

Peak Month: September 1963
7 weeks on the C-FUN-TASTIC FIFTY
Peak Position: #3
Twin Pick Hit of the Week ~ August 24, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #72
YouTube.com link: “Cindy’s Gonna Cry
“Cindy’s Gonna Cry” lyrics

John Ernest Crawford was born in 1946 in Los Angeles. He got into acting as a child star and by the age of  nine was one of the Mouseketeers in the first season caste of the The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. Crawford was asked in 1982 about how he got picked for the show. He recalled, “I went on the audition and I did a tapdance routine with my brother, and we also did a fencing routine. Then they asked if we had anything else we could do. My grandmother told me to tell them that I imitated ’50s singer Johnny Ray. I stepped forward and did my imitation of him singing “Cry” and that was what got me into the Mouseketeers.” Though he was cut from the show in 1956 after Disney cut the caste from 24 to 12, Crawford continued to get acting roles. Between 1956 and 1958 he appeared in episodes of The Lone Ranger, The Loretta Young Show, Sheriff of Cochise, Wagon Train, Crossroads, Whirlybirds, Mr. Adams and Eve and Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater. The latter featured an episode that became a syndicated TV show called The Rifleman. Johnny Crawford played Mark McCain, son of Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors). In 1959 Crawford was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in The Rifleman. The show ran from 1958 to 1963.

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(He's A) Big Man by Kathy Kirby

#589: (He’s A) Big Man by Kathy Kirby

Peak Month: February 1963
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “(He’s A) Big Man
“(He’s A) Big Man” lyrics

Kathleen O’Rourke was born in suburban London, UK, in 1938. She was raised by her single mom after her father left the family when she was very young. Her singing talent became apparent early on and she took singing lessons with a view to becoming an opera star. She was discovered by British bandleader Bert Ambrose in 1954 when she was still 16. He was one of the highest-paid musicians in Britain. He performed every Saturday night on BBC radio, recorded countless singles, and was renowned for having an unerring ear for a hit. Bert Ambrose made Kathy Kirby a featured singer in his band from 1956 to 1959. Ambrose went on to become her manager and her lover until his death in 1971 at the age of 74. Because of her looks Kathy Kirby was referred to as the ‘British Monroe.’
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Keep Away From Other Girls by Babs Tino

#601: Keep Away From Other Girls by Babs Tino

Peak Month: January 1963
7 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Keep Away From Other Girls
“Keep Away From Other Girls” lyrics

There is next to nothing online to be found about Babs Tino. She was from Philadelphia and composed her debut single, on Cameo Records, titled “My Honeybun” in 1957. One of the few narrative threads is found in the liner notes from the 1997 Ace Records album, Early Girls Vol. 2. The liner notes reveal: “Babs Tino had the looks and the talent but failed to get the breaks and therefore barely qualifies as a footnote to a footnote in the history books. Having made a solitary single for Cameo Records in 1957, it seems she did not record again until 1961 when she signed with Kapp Records and had six singles released between then and 1963. Owner Dave Kapp was a pillar of New York’s musical establishment, a man with strongly held views on the linear alignment of musical notes in relation to pitch and tempo, and no-one got through the door at Kapp unless they could count bars and sing in tune. The best arrangers/songwriters (including Bacharach and Leiber & Stoller) were assigned to Tino’s sessions but only her third single, ‘Forgive me’, made any sort of impression ‘bubbling’ under the Hot 100 for one week in 1962 and gaining a UK release.

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Shindig by The Shadows

#637: Shindig by The Shadows

Peak Month: December 1963
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Shindig

Brian Robson Rankin was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1941. He learned how to play the banjo and the piano in his childhood. But when he heard Buddy Holly, Rankin decided to learn the guitar. He had several buddies named Brian and so he got the nickname, “Hank”, to distinguish him from his namesakes. He liked the rockabilly singer, Marvin Rainwater, and his 1957 hit “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird”. Subsequently, Brian Rankin took the stage name Hank Marvin. Marvin and his boyhood chum, Bruce Welch, formed a band named The Railroaders in 1956. In early 1958 they released a song titled “Jean Dorothy” credited to The Five Chestnuts. Bruce and Hank moved to London later that year and briefly performed as The Geordie Boys. At the age of seventeen, Hank Marvin got a lucky break and was selected as guitarist in Cliff Richard’s backing band, The Drifters, as they were known in 1958. Fellow guitarist, Bruce Welch, also joined The Drifters.
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Needles And Pins by Jackie DeShannon

#642: Needles And Pins by Jackie DeShannon

Peak Month: June 1963
12 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #84
YouTube.com: “Needles And Pins
“Needles And Pins” lyrics

Sharon Lee Myers was born in Hazel, Kentucky, in 1941, a town on the Tennessee and western Kentucky border. When she was only two years old she received her first vocal training. By 1947, she was appearing on a local radio station as a child country and western singer. And by 1952, Sharon Lee Myers was hosting her own radio show. In 1954, with the family farm posing mounting challenges, the family moved to her mother’s home town of Aurora, Illinois, a seven hour drive north of Hazel. A year later, when she was in 8th grade, the family moved to nearby Batavia, Illinois. Her dad became a barber and young Sharon got instant recognition in the local paper. A headline in on May 5, 1955, in the Batavia Herald read “Sharon Lee Myers, Only 13, Is Talented Batavia Vocalist.” The paper enthused, “Though only 13, the youngster can boast almost 11 years of voice training and experience and in the past she has toured most of the south making personal appearances. Also she has sung on radio with a rhythm band for 2 years and has appeared on television 3 times.”

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Danger by Vic Dana

#662: Danger by Vic Dana

Peak Month: June 1963
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #96
YouTube.com: “Danger
“Danger” lyrics

Samuel Mendola was born in 1940 in Buffalo, New York. He told reporter J. T. Crawford “I was nine years old and had just started tap dancing,” he says. “My parents asked me if I wanted to take dancing lessons. I said I didn’t because I thought it was just for girls. I wound up taking some lessons and did some local shows. I went to the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour, which, in those days, was like American Idol. They had variety acts, and people wrote in from all over the country and picked the winners. And I won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.” When he was eleven, Samuel Mendola was taken to see Sammy Davis Jr. perform in Buffalo. Vic Dana recalls, “They knew I loved the way he danced. He was 27 at the time and was just making it. He didn’t even have top billing at the time. My mother talked to the master of ceremonies and told him a local boy in the crowd had just won the Ted Mack show. So he called me up and asked if I’d dance. I said no because I didn’t have my dancing shoes. My mother said, ‘Yes you do!’ and pulled them out of her purse. So I danced. Apparently Sammy was watching from the wings. When he came out, he asked me to dance with him. We did this little tap challenge. It went over so well, that he asked my parents if I could travel with him. That began a relationship with Sammy that I’ll remember forever.”

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It'll Be Me by Cliff Richard

#681: It’ll Be Me by Cliff Richard

Peak Month:  August 1963
11 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “It’ll Be Me
“It’ll Be Me” 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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Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance by Shelley Fabares

#691: Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance by Shelley Fabares

Peak Month: April 1963
8 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #7
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #72
YouTube.com: “Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance
“Ronnie, Call Me When You Get A Chance” lyrics

Michele Anne Marie Fabares was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1944. From the age of three she appeared as a model, including for clothing ads. At 9, she guested on a live TV special with Frank Sinatra, who sang his hit “Young at Heart” to her. She appeared on a TV adaptation of Our Town with Sinatra, Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint, and was a regular on The Mickey Mouse Club. When she was ten years old, she appeared in an episode of Letter To Loretta (the original name of The Loretta Young Show) in late January, 1954. In grade seven, Shelley Fabares met Annette Funicello, and they became lifelong friends after attending catechism classes. In 1957, Shelley Fabares appeared with Kim Novak and Agnes Moorehead in the movie, Jeanne Eagles. In 1958, she appeared in the film, Marjorie Morningstar, about a young Jewish girl living in New York City, and her attempt to become an artist. That year she also appeared in Summer Love, with Fay Wray and Rod McKuen.

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Falling by Roy Orbison

#698: Falling by Roy Orbison

Peak Month: June 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
CFUN Pick of the Week ~ May 18, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22
YouTube.com: “Falling
“Falling” lyrics

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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Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard by Diane Ray

#737: Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard by Diane Ray

Peak Month: August 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #31
YouTube.com: “Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard
“Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard” lyrics

Carol Diane Ray was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1945. In 1963 Diane Ray graduated from Gastonia High School. Earlier that year she entered a talent contest on a local AM radio station, WAYS, in Charlotte, NC. She had been singing with a band called the Continentals. In the September 7, 1963, Billboard Magazine reported that Mercury Records A & R director (Artists and Repetoire), Shelby Singleton, was on the panel of judges for the WAYS-AM radio contest in Charlotte. Diane Ray won the talent contest and she was signed to Mercury Records. While she went to Nashville to do some more recording, her first single, “Please Don’t Talk to the Lifeguard”, appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.

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How Do You Do It by Gerry And The Pacemakers

#742: How Do You Do It by Gerry And The Pacemakers

Peak Month: May-June 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart in 1963
YouTube.com: “How Do You Do It?
“How Do You Do It?” lyrics

In September 1942, Gerry Marsden was born in Liverpool, UK. His interest in music began at an early age. During World War II Marsden recalls standing on top of an air raid shelter singing “Ragtime Cowboy Joe”. Passers by applauded. Gerry and Fred Marsden’s father was a railway clerk who entertained the neighbours by playing the ukulele. With the vogue for skiffle music in the mid-’50s, he took the skin off one of his instruments, put it over a tin of Quality Street and said to Freddie, “There’s your first snare drum, son.” Gerry sang in a church choir by the age of twelve. In 1957 the brothers appeared in the show Dublin To Dingle at the Pavilion Theatre in Lodge Lane. Studies meant little to either of them. Freddie left school and worked for a candle-maker earning £4 a week, and Gerry’s job was as a delivery boy for the railways. Their parents did not mind and encouraged their musical ambitions. Marsden formed the group in the late ’50s, calling themselves, The Mars-Bars, a nod to the Mars Bar candy bar and the first syllable of Marsden’s surname. The band consisted of Marsden as frontman and guitarist, Fred Marsden on drums, Les Chadwick on bass, and Arthur Mack on piano. The latter left in ’61 to be replaced by Les McGuire (who also played saxophone). After they formed The Mars-Bars, the Mars Company objected and the band was renamed Gerry and the Pacemakers. They were featured on a beat show with Gene Vincent at Liverpool Stadium in 1960. Along with the Beatles, the group now known as Gerry and the Pacemakers, toured clubs in Liverpool and in Hamburg, Germany.

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Donna Means Heartbreak by Gene Pitney

#745: Donna Means Heartbreak by Gene Pitney

Peak Month: July 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
CFUN Twin Pick June 30, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Donna Means Heartbreak
“Donna Means Heartbreak” lyrics

Gene Pitney was born in 1940 in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a songwriter who became a pop singer, something rare at the time. Some of the songs he wrote for other recording artists include “Rubber Ball” for Bobby Vee, “He’s A Rebel” for The Crystals and “Hello Mary Lou” for Ricky Nelson. Pitney was more popular in Vancouver than in his native America. Over his career he charted 14 songs into the Top Ten in Vancouver, while he only charted four songs into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Curiously, only two of these songs overlap: “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Vallance” and “I’m Gonna Be Strong”. Surprisingly “Only Love Can Break A Heart”, which peaked at #2 in the USA, stalled at #14 in Vancouver, and “It Hurts To Be In Love” stalled at #11 in Vancouver while it peaked at #7 south of the border.

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Town Crier by Tommy Roe

#753: Town Crier by Tommy Roe

Peak Month: February 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Town Crier

In Atlanta, Georgia, Thomas David “Tommy” Roe was born in 1942. At the age of 17, while he was still in high school, Roe was part of a trio with Bob West and Mike Clark called The Satins. Roe wrote a song called “Caveman” in 1959, backed with “I Got A Girl”  and the trio was billed as Tommy Roe and The Satins released their first single on Judd Records. When he finished high school Tommy got work a soldering wires at a General Electric plant. In 1960 the single was re-issued on the Trumpet label. This time “I Got A Girl” climbed into the #10 spot on WAKE 1340 AM in Atlanta. The trio released a song in 1960 called “Sheila”, complete with Buddy Holly-esque vocal effects. But it failed to chart. Two years later Roe signed a contract with ABC-Paramount Records. Though he was just twenty years old, Roe found himself on the top of the national charts in America and Australia in October 1962 with a new version of “Sheila”. When “Sheila” became a hit, ABC-Paramount Records asked Tommy Roe to go on tour to promote the hit. Roe was hesitant to leave his steady paycheck at GE until ABC-Paramount changed his mind when they advanced him $5,000.

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Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

#804: Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: May 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Twin Pick Hit of the Week: April 6, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Summer Holiday
“Summer Holiday” 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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I Have A Boyfriend by The Chiffons

#776: I Have A Boyfriend by The Chiffons

Peak Month: December 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “I Have A Boyfriend
I Have A Boyfriend” lyrics

Formed in 1960, The Chiffons were a girl-group from the Bronx. The group consisted of three classmates from James Monroe High School, Patricia Bennett, Barbara Lee and lead singer, Judy Craig. Songwriter, Ronnie Mack, who wrote the groups first hit, “He’s So Fine”, suggested the group add Sylvia Peterson to make them a quartette in 1962. In March 1963, “He’s So Fine” took the group to #1 for four weeks in  on the Billboard charts and to #1 on the Vancouver pop charts for three weeks. The tune ended up being involved in a plagiarism lawsuit against former Beatle, George Harrison. A record by Harrison, “My Sweet Lord”, was found to be a case of “subconscious plagiarism” by a US judge in 1976 in favor of Bright Tunes Music Corporation that owned the rights to “He’s So Fine”. The ruling involved U.S. Copyright Law where it was found that “substantial similarity” was proved, that a level of similarity between “He’s So Fine” and “My Sweet Lord” existed to a degree necessary to show that copying had occurred.
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I Got Burned by Ral Donner

#811: I Got Burned by Ral Donner

Peak Month: March 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “I Got Burned

Ralph Stuart Emanuel Donner was born in Chicago in 1943. As early as age three young Ralph was performing Al Jolson songs in blackface. When he was three it was 1946, and The Jolson Story was a box office smash. At the age of eight, young Donner appeared before a Youth For Christ rally in Chicago in 1951 at Orchestra Hall. He sang a song on the radio that year by the Ink Spots titled “It’s No Secret (What God Can Do)”. When he was eleven years old he sang “The Old Rugged Cross” on WGN radio in Chicago. In his teens he entered a number of talent shows. In the fall of 1957, he formed a band called the Rockin’ Five. The group played with Sammy Davis Jr. on one occasion on a local TV station. At the age of 15, Donner was a guest at popular rock ‘n roll DJ Alan Freed’s Big Beat Rock N’ Roll Show. The show was held at the Civic Opera House in Chicago on April 26, 1958. Others on stage were Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Diamonds, Frankie Lymon, Danny & The Juniors and Chuck Berry. Prior to that concert, Ralph Donner appeared on “Time For Teens” on March 9th. He was mobbed by fans and had to be rescued by the police.

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Platinum High School by Conway Twitty

#816: Platinum High School by Conway Twitty

Peak Month: January 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Platinum High School
“Platinum High School” lyrics

Conway Twitty was an American Country and Western singer with three crossover pop hits on the US charts and five crossover hits on the pop charts in Vancouver. He went on to chart 58 songs in the Canadian Country charts between 1968 and 1990 (61 songs on US Country & Western charts). Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, in 1957 he decided his real name didn’t have the right stuff for the music business and becoming a star. He looked on a map and finding Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas, he put the two towns names together and became Conway Twitty. From his initial #1 hit in 1958, “It’s Only Make Believe”, 25 year old Conway Twitty became known for his blend of country, rockabilly and rock n’ roll.

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Move Over by Bobby Curtola

#820: Move Over by Bobby Curtola

Peak Month: December 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
CFUN Twin Pick November 2, 1963
YouTube.com link: “Move 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 Ontario, but not in Vancouver. After performing on the Bob Hope Show in 1960, the charismatic teenager, with his handsome boy-next-door looks was quickly finding himself within a whirlwind called “Curtolamania.”Continue reading →

Gypsy Heart by Bobby Curtola

#821: Gypsy Heart by Bobby Curtola

Peak Month: April 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
CFUN Twin Pick March 30, 1963
YouTube.com link: “Gypsy Heart

Bobby Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1943. (The town would become amalgamated into the city of Thunder Bay in 1970). 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 Ontario, but not in Vancouver. After performing on the Bob Hope Show in 1960, the charismatic teenager, with his handsome boy-next-door looks was quickly finding himself within a whirlwind called “Curtolamania.”

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Love Finds A Way by Lorne Greene

#846: Love Finds A Way by Lorne Greene

Peak Month: November 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Love Finds A Way

Lyon Himan Green was born in 1915 in Ottawa. His parents were Russian Jews who emigrated from White Russia (present daddy Belarus) in 1913. It was a time when Russian Jews experienced pogroms, large-scale anti-Jewish riots, at the hands of the cossacks. Green’s father owned a shoe repair store and made orthotics. Young Lyon Himan Green worked as a shoeshine boy outside his father’s shop by the age of eleven, making 15 cents for each pair of shoes he shined. Lyon was called Chaim at home and he learned to speak Yiddish. Though he began studying chemical engineering, he switched to languages and drama. Green also worked at the campus radio station. Green was hired out of university to work at the CBC as as an announcer. By 1939 he gave newscasts on national radio and was dubbed the Voice of Canada. In 1941 Greene was the narrator for Churchill’s Island, a National Film Board depiction of the defense of Great Britain. The film won the first Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject.
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My Little Girl by The Crickets

#896: My Little Girl by The Crickets

Peak Month: March 1963
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “My Little Girl
“My Little Girl” lyrics

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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Hootenanny by The Glencoves

#961: Hootenanny by The Glencoves

Peak Month: July 1963
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #38
YouTube.com: “Hootenanny
“Hootenanny” lyrics

The Glencoves were a folk group formed in 1961 in Mineola, Long Island, New York. Their membership consisted of lead vocalist and banjo player Don Connors, backing vocalist and guitar player Bill Byrne, backing vocalist John Cadley and backing vocalist and guitar player Brian Bolger. John Cadley began playing guitar at the age of 13 after hearing a recording of the Kingston Trio in 1959. Of the Glencoves, John Cadley is the one member who has remained in the music business over the decades.

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The Last Leaf/Shy Girl by The Cascades

#965: The Last Leaf/Shy Girl by The Cascades

Peak Month: May 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart (The Last Leaf)
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart (Shy Girl)
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #60/#91
YouTube.com: “The Last Leaf
“The Last Leaf” lyrics
YouTube.com: “Shy Girl
“Shy Girl” lyrics

The origins of The Cascades, a smooth pop harmony group, were born in 1960 aboard the U.S.S. Jason AR-8. When the ship wasn’t overseas in Sasebo, Japan, it docked in San Diego. The group initially consisted of singer and lead guitarist Lenny Green, singer and drummer Dave Wilson, bass player Dave Stevens and rhythm guitarist Art Eastlink. On and off ship they were known to other servicemen and local San Diegans’ as The Silver Strands. Fellow friend and serviceman on the U.S.S. Jason, John Gummoe, was a huge fan and started to serve as the group’s manager. Gummoe booked the group for five gigs a week. He also performed duets with Dave Wilson as part of the Silver Strands’ concerts. The group left the U.S. Navy and became billed as The Thundernotes. They released an instrumental surf single in the fall of 1961. “Pay Day” got airplay on the local San Diego radio station KDEO. Lenny Green left the group and John Gummoe officially joined the band as lead vocalist.

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Livin' High by Vince Everett

#1005: Livin’ High by Vince Everett

Peak Month: October 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Livin’ High

Of all the Elvis Presley soundalikes, two stand head and shoulders above the rest: Ral Donner and Vince Everett. Ral Donner, with songs like “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until You Lose It,” often sounded like a tamed down Elvis after Presley finished his service in the U.S. Army. In contrast, Vince Everett contained the dynamic, raucous energy on Elvis’ earlier recordings. Vince Everett was the name of the character Elvis Presley played in the 1957 movie, Jailhouse Rock. In that movie Elvis’ Vince Everett is sent to jail for manslaughter. Vince Everett has a cellmate, Hunk Houghton, who was a country and western singer. In Jailhouse Rock, Vince Everett forms a bond with his cellmate. After serving his sentence he and Hunk Houghton are part of the same band and find fortune and fame.

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Freight Train by The Canadian Sweethearts

#1390: Freight Train by The Canadian Sweethearts

Peak Month: August 1963
6 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #17
CFUN Twin Pick August 3, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Freight Train
“Freight Train” lyrics (Paul James, Fred Williams, Christian Albertine)
“Freight Train” lyrics (Elizabeth Cotten)

The Canadian Sweethearts were Bob Regan and Lucille Starr. Regan was born in 1931 and baptized as Robert Frederickson in the village of Rolla, twenty miles north of Dawson Creek, British Columbia. In his childhood he learned to play the harmonica, guitar, mandolin and fiddle. In 1938, Lucille Marie Raymonde Savoie was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba. In 1958, Regan had been performing in his brother’s band The Peace Rangers and had recorded an instrumental called “Teenage Boogie” Starr, now twenty, had performed in the French band Les Hirondelles and later as a solo singer. That year Starr and Regan met at a wedding and began playing together in concert. They soon married and started playing and recording under the billing “Bob and Lucille.” They released two singles on the Ditto label recorded in Hollywood, California, in 1958. The first recording was “Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Moe”, followed up with “The Big Kiss”.

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Kiss And Run by Tommy Roe

#1061: Kiss And Run by Tommy Roe

Peak Month: August 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Kiss And Run

In Atlanta, Georgia, Thomas David “Tommy” Roe was born in 1942. At the age of 17, while he was still in high school, Roe was part of a trio with Bob West and Mike Clark called The Satins. Roe wrote a song called “Caveman” in 1959, backed with “I Got A Girl”  and the trio was billed as Tommy Roe and The Satins released their first single on Judd Records. When he finished high school Tommy got work a soldering wires at a General Electric plant. In 1960 the single was re-issued on the Trumpet label. This time “I Got A Girl” climbed into the #10 spot on WAKE 1340 AM in Atlanta. The trio released a song in 1960 called “Sheila”, complete with Buddy Holly-esque vocal effects. But it failed to chart. Two years later Roe signed a contract with ABC-Paramount Records. Though he was just twenty years old, Roe found himself on the top of the national charts in America and Australia in October 1962 with a new version of “Sheila”. When “Sheila” became a hit, ABC-Paramount Records asked Tommy Roe to go on tour to promote the hit. Roe was hesitant to leave his steady paycheck at GE until ABC-Paramount changed his mind when they advanced him $5,000.

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Hurry Up And Tell Me by Paul Anka

#1388: Hurry Up And Tell Me by Paul Anka

Peak Month: October 1963
6 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Hurry Up And Tell Me

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 the song, died in December 2022). For awhile he dated Annette Funicello who had a Top Ten hit about Paul Anka called “Tall Paul”. He continued to have a string of Top Ten and Top 20 hits into 1963 in Canada, the United States, the UK and Italy. Between August 1957 and November 1963 Paul Anka had 29 Top 40 hits on the Vancouver pop charts.  But with the British Invasion, Paul Anka was sidelined not to significantly return to the pop charts until his #1 hit in 1974, “You’re Having My Baby”.

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The Ice Cream Man by The Tornados

#1383: The Ice Cream Man by The Tornados

Peak Month: August 1963
8 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “The Ice Cream Man

In 1937 Clemente Anselmo Arturo “Clem” Cattini was born in North London. At first he worked at his father’s Italian restaurant. He then joined Johnny Kidd & the Pirates playing on their hit “Shakin’ All Over”. Then he became producer Joe Meek’s in-house drummer, backing artists such as John Leyton and Don Charles, before helping found the Tornados in 1961, and playing on their international No. 1 hit “Telstar”. Over recording history in the United Kingdom, Cattini has been the drummer on hundreds of recordings by artists as diverse as Cliff Richard, The Kinks, The Yardbirds and Lou Reed. Cattini has been a session drummer on 44 different singles that reached #1 in the UK. Other members of The Tornados original line-up were Heinz Burt on bass guitar, George Bellamy on rhythm guitar, Alan Caddy on lead guitar and Roger La Vern on keyboards. They were the band that toured with UK teen idol Billy Fury.

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#1120: He’s Mine (I Love Him, I Love Him, I Love Him) by Alice Wonder Land

Peak Month: November 1963
9 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #62
YouTube.com: “He’s Mine (I Love Him, I Love Him, I Love Him)
“He’s Mine (I Love Him, I Love Him, I Love Him)” lyrics

Alice Wonder Land was the pseudonym of Alice Faye Henderson, a one-hit wonder who recorded the pop song, “He’s Mine” in 1963. The name refers to Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 1963, Henderson was working as a maid for a neighbor of Stephen Schlaks, a songwriter and co-owner of Bardell Records. Schlaks signed Henderson to record “He’s Mine”. Little Eva had recently had a hit with “The Loco-Motion”, after being discovered by Carole King, for whom she babysat.

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I Like Your Kind Of Love by Bob Luman and Sue Thompson

#1215: I Like Your Kind Of Love by Bob Luman and Sue Thompson

Peak Month: October 1963
8 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Music Vendor ~ #113
YouTube.com: “I Like Your Kind Of Love
“I Like Your Kind Of Love” lyrics

Bob Luman was born in Blackjack, Texas, in 1937. Before 1955 the only hits Bob Luman had were on the baseball field. He was an outstanding baseball player for his school team in Kilgore, Texas. He also fronted a band that performed the country hits. But after seeing Elvis Presley perform in Kilgore in May 1955, Luman was resolved that his hits going forward would be “Rockabilly hits.”

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Enamorado by Keith Colley

#1125: Enamorado by Keith Colley

Peak Month: October 1963
9 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #66
YouTube.com: “Enamorado
“Enamorado” lyrics

Born in Spokane, Washington, Jarrell Keith Colley grew up in the wheat farming countryside. He attended the University of Washington. While he was there he made a demo of the hit by Dion & The Belmont’s, “A Teenager In Love.” Colley’s version got some airplay locally and was heard by Jerry Dennon or Jerden Records. Dennon got young Keith a record contract that was transferred over to Era Records. In 1961 Colley released “Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart” which got some airplay in Boston. His next single at the end of the year, “Put ‘Em Down”, got some airplay in Spokane and Seattle, while the flip side, “(And Her Name Is) Scarlet” got him on the Top 40 in San Bernardino, California.

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Ridin' the Wind ~ The Tornados

#1246: Ridin’ the Wind ~ The Tornados

Peak Month: January 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Ridin’ The Wind

In 1937 Clemente Anselmo Arturo “Clem” Cattini was born in North London. At first he worked at his father’s Italian restaurant.  He then joined Johnny Kidd & the Pirates playing on their hit “Shakin’ All Over”. Then he became producer Joe Meek’s in-house drummer, backing artists such as John Leyton and Don Charles, before helping found the Tornados in 1961, and playing on their international No. 1 hit “Telstar”. Over recording history in the United Kingdom, Cattini has been the drummer on hundreds of recordings by artists as diverse as Cliff Richard, The Kinks, The Yardbirds and Lou Reed. Cattini has been a session drummer on 44 different singles that reached #1 in the UK. Other members of The Tornados original line-up were Heinz Burt on bass guitar, George Bellamy on rhythm guitar, Alan Caddy on lead guitar and Roger La Vern on keyboards. They were the band that toured with UK teen idol Billy Fury.

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From Me To You By Del Shannon/The Beatles

#1278: From Me To You By Del Shannon/The Beatles

Peak Month: July 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #77 (Del Shannon)/ #116 (the Beatles in 1963)
Youtube.com “From Me To You” The Beatles
Youtube.com “From Me To You” Del Shannon
“From Me To You” lyrics

Charles Weedon Westover was born on December 30, 1934. He was known professionally as Del Shannon. Westover was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He learned ukulele and guitar and listened to country music. He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and while in Germany played guitar in a band called The Cool Flames. When his service ended, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan. There he worked as a carpet salesman and as a truck driver in a furniture factory. He found part-time work as a rhythm guitarist in singer Doug DeMott’s group called Moonlight Ramblers, working at the Hi-Lo Club. Ann Arbor deejay Ollie McLaughlin heard the band. In July 1960, Westover signed to become a recording artist and composer on the Bigtop label. Westover changed his name to Del Shannon. It was a combination of Shannon Kavanagh (a wannabe wrestler who patronized the Hi-Lo Club) with Del, derived from the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, which Westover’s carpet store boss drove.

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Tears of Misery by Pat Hervey

#1315: Tears of Misery by Pat Hervey

Peak Month: March 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Tears Of Misery
“Tears Of Misery” lyrics & chords

At 5’3, Pat Hervey could belt out a tune with a style similar to Brenda Lee. Hervey was one of Canada’s early female singers who were successful in the early ’60s. 

She grew up in Toronto and had her first public performance singing at the age of nine. She also sang in a high school choir and with a girlfriend who played guitar at social dances and parties. Toronto DJ Al Boliska heard her at an amateur Rock & Roll show and put her in touch with CBC Television. The network signed her and she appeared regularly on their Club 6, Country Hoedown, Music Hop, Parade, While We’re Young, and Holiday Ranch shows.

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What Does A Girl Do by Marcie Blane

#1347: What Does A Girl Do by Marcie Blane

Peak Month February 1963
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 #82
YouTube.com link” “What Does A Girl Do?
“What Does A Girl Do?” lyrics

Marcie Blane’s actual name was Marcia Blank and she was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was the second oldest of four children living with her parents, Ernest and Muriel. Marcie had music in her blood. Ernest Blank made his salary as a professional musician and music teacher. He’d been working as a pianist in the Catskill Mountains when he met and fell in love with 16-year-old Muriel Shalit. Her parents only gave their blessing to their daughter’s marriage on the condition that Ernest graduate from college. After he graduated from New York University with a degree in music education the couple were married.

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Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys

#1411: Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys

Peak Month: December 1963
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Cashbox Magazine ~ #69
CFUN Twin Pick of the week ~ December 7, 1963
YouTube.com link: “Little Saint Nick
“Little Saint Nick” lyrics

On this first Christmas Day since the Countdown began on October 3, 2016, here is a song that was a hit in Vancouver called “Little Saint Nick” by the Beach Boys. It was the CFUN Twin Pick of the week for December 7, 1963. As it only spent three weeks on the C-FUNTASTIC FIFTY, it did not chart as well as other songs on this Countdown. But it was a hit single here in Vancouver. As a song that made it onto record surveys in the USA it did well in a few radio markets in California (#9 in Los Angeles, #3 in San Bernardino and #1 in Sacramento), Seattle (#9) Salt Lake City (#5) and Boston (#10). Otherwise, the song got little airplay across the USA. For the most part, “Little Saint Nick” was a hit in December 1963 from the California coast up to Vancouver. The song was judged too cheery a tune to play on the radio in late November 1963, and December 1963, while Americans were still mourning the death of President John F. Kennedy.
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