I Come Off by Young MC

#1064: I Come Off by Young MC

Peak Month: May 1990
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #75
YouTube.com: “I Come Off
Lyrics: “I Come Off

Marvin Young was born in 1967 in London, UK. His parents, both Jamaican immigrants, left England when he was three-years-old. They moved the family to Queens, New York, when Marvin was eight. While he was a student at the University of Southern California, he rapped over the phone to two owners of an independent record label in Hollywood named Matt Dike and Michael Ross. After he performed his rap on the phone, Young was given a record contract while he was  still talking to Dike and Ross. In 1989 he cowrote with Dike, Ross and Tone Lōc on the songs “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina”. These two rap rock singles crossed over from the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart to the Billboard Hot 100, where they respectively peaked at #2 and #3.

Continue reading →

Human Race by Red Rider

#1085: Human Race by Red Rider

Peak Month: April-May 1983
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Human Race
Lyrics: “Human Race

Tom Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in 1953. When he was eleven he got his first guitar. In his late teens and early twenties, he performed in coffee houses across Canada in the early 70’s. His debut album, Hang On To Your Resistance, was released in 1974. Then Tom Cochrane made his way to Los Angeles. In 1975, Cochrane got work composing theme music for the movie My Pleasure Is My Business. This was a film about Xavier Hollander, the call girl and adult film star who authored her own memoir, The Happy Hooker, in 1971. Unable to get subsequent work in Hollywood, Cochrane returned to Canada for drive a taxi and work on a cruise line. At a concert at the El Mocambo for Red Rider in 1978, Tom Cochrane met the band. Soon after Cochrane was invited to join Red Rider.

Continue reading →

Doowutchyalike by Digital Underground

#1051: Doowutchyalike by Digital Underground

Peak Month: September 1990
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Doowutchyalike
Lyrics: “Doowutchyalike

In 1987, Digital Underground formed in Oakland, California. The frontman for the group is Gregory Jacobs who is billed as Shock G. Jacobs was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, and spent most of his childhood in Tampa, Florida. But after his parents divorce when he was age 12, he moved back to Brooklyn. At that time he discovered turntabling: the manipulation of phonograph records and needles and a mixer by a DJ. At that time he used the nickname MC Starchild. His nickname changed to Shah-G when his cousin, Shah-T gave him the name. It shifted in time from Shah-G to Shock G. Moving back to Tampa and then to Oakland, Shock G got work as a clerk in a music store. He met up with Chopmaster J and Kenny-K. The trio became Digital Underground.

Continue reading →

Tell Me What You Dream by Restless Heart

#1022: Tell Me What You Dream by Restless Heart

Peak Month: May 1993
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #43
YouTube.com: “Tell Me What You Dream
Lyrics: “Tell Me What You Dream

Restless Heart was a country band from the USA that formed in 1984. There were several lineup changes and by 1992 they were comprised of John Dittrich on drums, lead and background vocals; Paul Gregg on bass guitar, lead and background vocals, Dave Innis on piano, keyboards, rhythm guitar, lead and background vocals, and Greg Jennings on lead guitar and background vocals. All four were part of the original lineup. Dittrich was born in 1951 in Syracuse, New York; Gregg was born in 1954 in Altus, Oklahoma; Innis was born in 1959 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Jennings was born in 1954 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1983 Dave Innis wrote “Dare Me” which was recorded by the Pointer Sisters in 1984, and peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985.

Continue reading →

Joan Of Arc by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

#1124: 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

#1047: 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

#1079: 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

#1123: 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

#1043: 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

#1038: 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 →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter