Joan Of Arc by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

#1123: Joan Of Arc by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Peak Month: April 1982
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Joan Of Arc
Lyrics: “Joan Of Arc

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) is a band that formed in 1978 in the Liverpool suburb of Wirral, UK. The bands’ co-founder, George Andrew “Andy” McCluskey, was born in 1959 in the town of Heswall on The Wirral peninsula. In primary school McCluskey met Paul Humphreys. The two teamed up in their teens to play in the bands Hitlerz Underpantz, VCL XI and the Id. The latter was a synth-pop band that also included future OMD member Malcolm Holmes. Paul David Humphreys was born in 1960 Merseyside. He was influenced by Kraftwerk and Brian Eno.  Malcolm Holmes was born in a suburb of Merseyside in The Wirral in 1960. When the Id was founded in 1977, Holmes became the band’s drummer. He joined OMD in 1980. Martin Cooper was born in 1958 and joined OMD in 1980.

Continue reading →

Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me) by Chris Isaak

#1045: Can’t Do A Thing (To Stop Me) by Chris Isaak

Peak Month: May 1993
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #105
YouTube.com: “Can’t Do A Thing
Lyrics: “Can’t Do A Thing

Christopher Joseph Isaak was born in 1956 in Stockton, California. He graduated from high school in 1974 and while in university was in an exchange program to Japan. After 1981 he formed a rockabilly band called Silvertone. Then in 1985 he got a record deal with Warner Bros. Records and released his debut album Silvertone. Two of the tracks from the album appeared in the neo-noir film Blue Velvet. Isaak released a self-titled second album in 1986 which garnered more attention and positive reviews. The track “Blue Hotel” was a hit in France. In 1988 Isaak recorded “Suspicion Of Love” which was included in the film Married to the Mob. In 1989 Isaak appeared in the video for the Elton John song “Sacrifice”.

Continue reading →

So Listen by MCJ & Cool G

#1077: So Listen by MCJ & Cool G

Peak Month: October 1990
10 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “So Listen

MCJ & Cool G were James McQuaid (MCJ), originally part of the Halifax hip hop group New Beginning, and Richard Gray (Cool G). MCJ was the rapper and Cool G mostly sang the choruses. Their sound included new jack swing which was popular at the time. New jack swing originated with Janet Jackon’s 1986 Control album, featuring her hits “What Have You Done For Me Lately”, “When I Think Of You”, “Nasty” and the title track. Other examples of new jack swing are Club Nouveau’s cover of “Lean On Me”, Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”, “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)” by Hi Five, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston, “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown, and “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd.

Continue reading →

Communication Breakdown by Roy Orbison

#1122: Communication Breakdown by Roy Orbison

Peak Month: December 1966
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #60
YouTube.com: “Communication Breakdown

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.

Continue reading →

Harlem Nocturne by the Viscounts

#1041: Harlem Nocturne by the Viscounts

Peak Month: December 1965
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #39
YouTube.com: “Harlem Nocturne

Joe Spievak was born in Edison, New Jersey, in 1936. He and his younger brother Bobby both learned to play guitar. They earned a reputation as child prodigies and were featured at numbers of local amateur shows. After high school, Joe Spievak went into the Naval Reserves. During boot camp, Joe Spievak met Clark Smith and found out he played drums. The pair became close friends and formed a rhythm section. Smith also knew a saxophonist named Harry Haller, who lived in Keyport, New Jersey, less than twenty miles away. Another person living and working in Keyport was Larry Vecchio. Born in 1935, Vecchio was a barber and had dreams of becoming a promoter. But instead of promoting The Viscount for a local concert, Larry Vecchio was asked to join the band and become their keyboard player.

Continue reading →

Everyone's A Winner by Bootsauce

#1036: Everyone’s A Winner by Bootsauce

Peak Month: April 1991
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Everyone’s A Winner
“Everyone’s A Winner” lyrics

Sonny Greenwich Jr. was born on January 1, 1962, in Toronto. In his childhood his family moved to the south shore of Montreal and went to high school in the suburb of Longueuil. He got his first guitar on the occasion of his sixteenth birthday and formed a band that became named Dogstar. At a Montreal area Christmas party in 1988, Greenwich met singer Drew Ling (born Drew Thorpe) and guitarist Perry Johnson (who was later billed as Pere Fume). They instantly hit it off and found they shared musical interests. Soon they were playing with each other and formed a band.

Continue reading →

Rock N' Roll Duty by Kim Mitchell

#1031: Rock N’ Roll Duty by Kim Mitchell

Peak Month: August 1989
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Rock N” Roll Duty
“Rock N’ Roll Duty” lyrics

Joseph Kim Mitchell was born in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1952. In his teen years Mitchell learned to play guitar. When he was 14 he joined a band called Grass Company. After high school, by 1970 he was playing in a number of bands in Sarnia. He was in a band called Zooom for a few years. Then in 1973 he formed the Max Webster, a progressive rock and heavy metal band. Max Webster released six studio albums. Though it didn’t get a following in the USA, by the early 1980s the band had Top 20 hits in Hamilton, Toronto, Regina, Victoria, Quebec City, and Top 30 hits in Ottawa and Halifax. Kim Mitchell toured with Max Webster until it dissolved in 1982. Kim Mitchell tested a new sound in the club circuit in southwestern Ontario and formed the Kim Mitchell band.

Continue reading →

What Happened To Janie by Johnny Crawford

#1032: 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.

Continue reading →

Rockin' Goose by Johnny And The Hurricanes

#1184: Rockin’ Goose by Johnny And The Hurricanes

Peak Month: October 1960
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #60
YouTube.com: “Rockin’ Goose

John Matthew Pocisk was born in rural Ohio near Toledo in 1940. He learned to play the saxophone. Poscisk formed his first band while he was in high school. Subsequently, he formed a band in October 1957 name the Orbits. The name was taken from news stories about the Space Race between the USA and the USSR that began in the mid-50’s. On October 4, 1957, the USSR had a successful launch of Sputnik 1 which was the first space craft to orbit the earth with a human on board. The Orbits were based in Toledo, Ohio. They developed a following and were soon noticed by talent agents who heard one of their demos. The Orbits were approached by Harry Balik and Ira Micahnik of Artists Inc. in Detroit. Balik and Micahnik managed Little Willie John and the Royaltones. and taken under the wing of management who had their name changed to Johnny And The Hurricanes. Johnny Pocisk was billed as Johnny Paris while performing with the Hurricanes.

Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter