Let Me by Paul Revere And The Raiders

#295: Let Me by Paul Revere And The Raiders

Peak Month: July 1969
9 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #20
YouTube.com: “Let Me
Lyrics: “Let Me

A band called The Downbeats formed in Boise, Idaho, in 1958. Paul Revere Dick started the band originally as an instrumental group. They had their first chart single in Vancouver in 1960. It was an instrumental riff on the piano tune, Chopsticks, which they titled “Beatnik Sticks”. They changed their name to Paul Revere And The Raiders in 1960. Between 1960 and 1976 they released 41 singles. They charted five songs into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. These included “Kicks”, and “Hungry” (1966), “Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” (1967) and their cover of Don Fardon’s 1968 single “Indian Reservation,” which peaked at #1 for the band in 1971. They were even more popular in Vancouver where they charted over fifteen songs into the Top Ten on the local charts here on the West Coast.

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Biology by Danny Valentino

#296: Biology by Danny Valentino

Peak Month: January 1960
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #95
YouTube.com: “Biology
Lyrics: “Biology

Vincent Pacimeo was born in 1941 in Flushing, New York. He was interviewed on the This Is My Story website by and Dik de Heer in 2016. Pacimeo first sang in public when he was five-years-old. Then his career as a musician was launched when he was nine-years-old and appeared “on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour television show playing the drums.” His musical influences were Al Jolson and WWII big bands (like Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman etc.). As he got better at drumming, Vince was invited to “play with older and seasoned musicians. By that time he was tap dancing and singing Broadway and movie musical songs.” Vince was inspired by the great singer and dancer, Gene Kelly. In the early 50s, singer and tap dancer Gene Kelly starred in numbers of musicals, including An American In Paris (1951), Singing In The Rain (1952), and Brigadoon (1954). Vince had a dream that he could be a great singer and dancer like Gene Kelly. In his mid-teens, Vince was captivated by jazz music. And he began to focus more on his vocal skills than his drumming.

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Shame Shame by the Magic Lanterns

#297: Shame Shame by the Magic Lanterns

Peak Month: January 1969
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #29
YouTube.com: “Shame Shame
Lyrics: “Shame Shame

James Robert Bilsbury was born in 1942 in Liverpool, England. Around 1957 he joined the the Ray Johnson Skiffle Group. He was subsequently a member of the Nightboppers, the Beat Boys, and then the Hammers. In 1962 Bilsbury, as lead vocalist and on lead guitar, formed the Sabres with guitar player Peter Shoesmith, bass guitarist Ian Moncur, and drummer Allan Wilson. By 1964 the band changed their name to the Magic Lanterns. In 1966 they released a single titled “Excuse Me Baby”. The song was influenced by British Dance Hall nostalgia. It peaked at #44 on the UK singles chart. In 1967 they released their debut album Lit Up – With the Magic Lanterns.

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White Hot by Red Rider

#298: White Hot by Red Rider

Peak Month: April 1980
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #48
YouTube.com: “White Hot
Lyrics: “White Hot

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.

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Don't Stop The Music by the Bay City Rollers

#299: Don’t Stop The Music by the Bay City Rollers

Peak Month: August 1976
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Don’t Stop The Music
Lyrics: “Don’t Stop The Music

Alan Longmuir was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1948. The family was poor and lived in tenement housing with no bath or bathroom. Alan recalls in his memoir, “to have a proper wash we used the Dalry Public Baths in Caledonian Crescent… I remember the Baths had a Brylcreem dispensing machine at a penny squirt.” In 1958 Alan went to the Scotia movie cinema to see Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley. He learned to play acoustic guitar. He had been hanging out with a rough crowd and was known by the teachers at school as a truant. He worked at a dairy, cleaning stables and delivering milk on a horse and cart before he left school in 1963 at the age of 15. He also sang in the Tynecastle School Choir before he quit school. Alan’s father worked as an undertaker, going to work in a top hat and long coat. There was often a hearse outside the Longmuir home. Alan recalls that his father “used to come along the street with the hearse and people would wonder who died, but it was just him coming home for his lunch.”
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If I Ever Lose My Faith In You by Sting

#300: If I Ever Lose My Faith In You by Sting

Peak Month: April 1993
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube.com: “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You
Lyrics: “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner was born in Wallsend on Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, England, in 1951. His mother was a hairdresser and his father was a milkman and engineer. When he was ten-years-old, young Sumner got introduced to Spanish guitar, when a family friend left it at the Sumner residence. After high school he was variously a bus conductor, building labourer and tax officer. He went to college and from 1974-76 was a public school teacher. Sumner performed jazz in the evening, weekends and during breaks from college and teaching, playing with the Phoenix Jazzmen, Newcastle Big Band, and Last Exit. He gained his nickname, “Sting,” due to his habit of wearing a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes with the Phoenix Jazzmen. Bandleader Gordon Solomon thought Sumner looked like a bee which prompted the name “Sting.” According to Sting, in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, “they thought I looked like a wasp, and they’d joke. They called me Sting. They thought it was hilarious…That became my name.”

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