Piltdown Rides Again by Piltdown Men

#1067: Piltdown Rides Again by Piltdown Men

Peak Month: December 1960
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Piltdown Rides Again

Ed Cobb of the Four Preps co-founded the Piltdown Men with Lincoln Mayorga, who was an arranger with the Four Preps. Mayorga played on piano, Tommy Tedesco on six-string bass guitar, Bob Bain on guitar, Scott Gordon on saxophone, Alan Brenmanen on drums, and several other session musicians. The band released instrumentals. Edward “Ed” Cobb was born in 1938. In the Fall of 1954 Hollywood High School held an audition for their annual talent show. Thirty-five girls auditioned, but no boys. The next day the school bulletin pleaded for “any guys out there who can do anything.” Four boys in the school choir formed a quartet overnight and stepped into the crinoline void as The Four Preps. They included bass singer Ed Cobb. The Four Preps won the talent show hands down, after singing covers of songs by The Crew Cuts and The Four Lads. Signed with Capitol Records in 1956, the Four Preps connected with the record buying public in 1958 with two Top Ten hits: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” and “Big Man”.

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Communication Breakdown by Roy Orbison

#1057: 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.

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Rock Me Baby by David Cassidy

#1066: Rock Me Baby by David Cassidy

Peak Month: November 1972
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN’s chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #38
YouTube.com link: “Rock Me Baby
Rock Me Baby” lyrics

David Bruce Cassidy was born in 1950 in New York City, and was raised by parents who were both actors. His father, Jack Cassidy, was bipolar, was an alcoholic and had numerous same-sex relationships outside of his marriage, including one with Cole Porter. David Cassidy’s mother, Eveyln Ward, made her acting debut on Broadway in 1943, and appeared in about ten TV shows. She retired from acting in 1967. She divorced Jack Cassidy in 1954, and remarried in 1961, while Jack married Shirley Jones in ’56. But the Cassidy children weren’t told about the divorce for two years, while their parents hid the fact behind extensive touring and acting schedules. This, according to David Cassidy’s 1994 memoir.

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

#1074: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? by Elvis Presley

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

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was stillborn. When he was eleven years old his parents bought him a guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store. As a result Elvis grew up as an only child. He and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. The young Presley graduated from high school in 1953. That year he stopped by the Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, including “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”, song #1104 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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Acapulco 1922 by Tijuana Brass

#1122: 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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All I Wanna Do by Doucette

#1065: All I Wanna Do by Doucette

Peak Month: October 1978
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “All I Wanna Do
“All I Wanna Do” lyrics

In 1952 Jerry Doucette was born in Montreal into a musical family. At the age of four his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario. At the age of six got his first guitar. When he was eight he began to take guitar lessons. When he was eleven he joined a band called the Reefers. When he turned 16 he moved to Toronto and was a member of a number of bands including Brutus. He moved to Vancouver in 1972 and  played with the Alexis Radlin Band. Soon after he joined the Seeds of Time who were searching for a guitarist. In 1974 they changed their name to the Rocket Norton Band. Doucette remained with this band until he decided to go solo in 1977, after Mushroom Records expressed support for such a move.

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Rockin' Goose by Johnny And The Hurricanes

#1108: 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.

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If You Go This Time by Platinum Blonde

#1026: If You Go This Time by Platinum Blonde

Peak Month: June 1988
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “If You Go This Time
“If You Go This Time” lyrics

Mark Holmes was born in the UK and lived in Manchester until the family moved to Toronto. He met several other musicians and formed a punk band that played covers to The Police and other new wave bands. After a lineup change, Holmes was playing guitar and the lead vocalist, Chris Steffler was the drummer and Sergio Galli was a second guitarist. The trio became Platinum Blonde. They got a record deal with CBS in 1983. Their debut album, Standing In The Dark, earned them two Video Of The Year nominations at the 1984 Juno Awards. But it was their second album, Alien Shores, which included “Crying Over You”, a #1 single on the Canadian RPM charts in 1985, and in Vancouver.

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Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

#1110: Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Peak Month: January 1985
8 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Power Of Love
“Power Of Love” lyrics

William Johnson was born in 1960 in Liverpool, UK. Growing up, his nickname was Billy. In 1965 he wrote his first song on a glockenspiel. At the age of 13 he got the nickname Joyful Johnson and dyed his hair. He attended school with less frequency due to being bullied in response to his androgynous appearance. He was influenced by David Bowie, Marc Bolan, the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol and bought a guitar through the sale of cigarettes. At the age of 14 he took the name Holly Johnson in tribute to the actress Holly Woodlawn, a Puerto Rican transgendered actress and friend of Andy Warhol. In 1976 Holly Johnson became part of the Demi Monde in Liverpool’s hedonistic counter-culture. In 1977, Johnson became part of the punk/new wave band Big In Japan. After that band split in 1979, Johnson continued to pursue a musical career. In 1980 he was invited to join Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

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