Turn To Stone by the Electric Light Orchestra

#258: Turn To Stone by the Electric Light Orchestra

Peak Month: January 1978
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #13
Billboard 1978 Year-End #94
YouTube.com: “Turn To Stone
Lyrics: “Turn To Stone

Jeffrey Lynne was born in suburban Birmingham, England in 1947. His dad bought him a guitar when he turned twelve. In 1966 he formed a band that by 1968 called themselves the Idle Race. He left for another band by the end of the 60s named The Move. The latter development was a catalyst for working on a musical project combining rock with orchestration. Beverley “Bev” Bevan was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1944. He learned to play drums and in 1956 he joined a rock band named Denny Laine & the Diplomats. In 1965 he moved on to join Carl Wayne & the Vikings, and in 1966 The Move. Bevan went through the transition from the Move to Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynne. By the end of 1970 the Electric Light Orchestra was born.

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Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers

#259: Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers

Peak Month: October 1990
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #13
YouTube.com: “Unchained Melody
Lyrics: “Unchained Melody
* Note – in 1965 the single was a #1 hit in Vancouver and #4 on Billboard

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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Two by Del Erickson

#259: Two by Del Erickson

Peak Month: March 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Two

Delmar Walter Erickson was born in 1943 in Hennepin, Minnesota. Buddy Clyde was host of the Dance Party show on CKWX. He wrote these liner notes for the album, Presenting Del Erickson on Thunderbird Records TBLP – 1001.
 Buddy Clyde stated, “I’ve been asked to write a few glowing words about the young gentleman you’re about to meet. When I’m sold on something I have a tendency to get a bit carried away. (Just ask any of my listeners). And Del Erickson is an artist that isn’t very hard to get sold on. 
Starting out as an actor in motion pictures, Del has appeared in Blackboard JungleDiary Of Anne Frank, Hot Rod Girl and Blue Angel, just to name a few. Also ninety major T.V. productions. From motion pictures to recording Del has succeeded in having two “single” hits. Now he enjoys his new found career as a disc jockey in Vancouver, B.C., of course singing is still a major part of Del’s active life.
 This album has established a new plateau in his varied and exciting career. Right now I’m going to ask you to open a bottle of your favourite refreshment, relax and enjoy Del Erickson in person…”

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Harper Valley PTA by Ricky Page

#260: Harper Valley PTA by Ricky Page

Peak Month: September 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Harper Valley PTA
Lyrics: “Harper Valley PTA

Ricky Page was born June Evelyn Kuykendall in 1929, in Lindsay, Oklahoma. She was one of five children. She recalled in an interview in 2005 that she began singing from the age of two. She remembers singing along to the radio, as her family couldn’t afford a record player. They also had hoe downs. She moved to Fresno, California, and worked at a Jewish Deli. It was there that she met George Motola, an LA producer of R&B singer Jessie Belvin, The Shields and other acts. Motola left her a five dollar tip for serving him a milkshake. They were subsequently married and she began to write songs credited to Riki Page. In 1957 Page was the only singer for a recording act billed as The Georgettes. When the Georgettes appeared in concert, several other women would be hired to perform though they were never at the recording studio. The Georgettes were named after George Motola who cowrote a rockabilly song “Love Like A Fool”. It made airplay in San Francisco and Los Angeles in November 1957. And in early 1958 charted to #15 in Buffalo, as well as Top 30 in Phoenix and Houston, and the Top 40 in Toronto.

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Going Up The Country by Canned Heat

#261: Going Up The Country by Canned Heat

Peak Month: January 1969
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #11
YouTube.com: “Going Up The Country
Lyrics: “Going Up The Country

Robert Ernest Hite was born in 1943 in Torrence, California. He took an interest in blues, rhythm & blues and rock ‘n roll by the early 50s. His record collection of 78 RPMs grew to over 15,000, which he liked to sing along with. Plump into his twenties, Hite was nicknamed “The Bear.” Alan Christie Wilson was also born in 1943, in Arlington, Massachusetts. He was part of a high school jazz ensemble and played trombone. But in 1959, at the age of sixteen, Wilson turned his attention to the blues after he heard The Best of Muddy Waters album. Inspired by Little Walter (“My Babe”), Wilson began to play the harmonica. In 1964, blues legend Mississippi John Hurt performed at Cafe Yana in Cambridge (MA). Alan Wilson was invited to come on stage and accompany Hurt. At the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, Alan Wilson was able to interact with bluesman Skip James. It was from James he learned high-pitched blues singing which he later employed while singing “On The Road Again” and “Going Up The Country”.

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Teacher Teacher by Rockpile

#262: Teacher Teacher by Rockpile

Peak Month: February 1981
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #51
YouTube.com “Teacher Teacher
“Teacher Teacher” lyrics

Dave Edmunds was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1944. At the age of twelve, he heard a 45 RPM recording of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”. From that moment Dave Edmunds began to play the guitar, learning songs by Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, Duane Eddy and others inspired the youngster. He formed a few bands in the late 50s and early 60s that gave him experience playing before audiences. One of the bandmates from his teen years was a drummer named Tommy Riley. By 1968, they formed a trio with John Williams named Love Sculpture. The trio had a #5 hit in the UK titled the “Sabre Dance”. This was a cover of Aram Khachaturian’s 1942 ballet Gayane. It was popularized in 1948 by Woody Herman who had a #3 hit in America. In 1970, Edmunds released a solo recording of the 1955 R&B classic, “I Hear You Knocking”, by Smiley Lewis. In the winter of 1970-71, the song climbed to #1 in the UK, #4 in the USA and #2 in Vancouver.
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I Still Believe In Tomorrow by John and Anne Ryder

#263: I Still Believe In Tomorrow by John and Anne Ryder

Peak Month: December 1969
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #70
YouTube.com: “I Still Believe In Tomorrow
Lyrics: “I Still Believe In Tomorrow

John & Anne Ryder were singers who grew up in Sheffield, England. While they both had separate careers, they dated, got married and became a husband-and-wife singing duo. There is almost nothing about them online. Searches for any interviews they may have given to the press, or bios are off the radar. However, more is known about the songwriters of their one notable hit. And thanks to some liner notes from their only album, there is something to report about this obscure singing duo from England.

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Here Comes My Baby by the Tremeloes

#263: Here Comes My Baby by the Tremeloes

Peak Month: May 1967
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #13
YouTube.com: “Here Comes My Baby
Lyrics: “Here Comes My Baby

In 1956 at Park Modern Secondary School in Barking, Essex, two school mates, Brian Poole and Alan Blakley, started a band.  On family holidays together, they’d tell their parents about their dreams of being on TV. They learned a couple of tunes by Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers, got two acoustic Hofner guitars, and asked their saxophone and bass playing school mate, Alan Howard to join them. Once they started performing at local parties, they met drummer Dave Munden, who soon joined them. Soon Alan Blakley, Dave Munden and Brian Poole found that they could harmonise any song they wanted to and developed a style of their own, with all of them singing and playing and Alan Howard on bass guitar. At this time they did not have a name but soon opted for Tremilos after the sound on the new amplifiers which they could not yet afford. In time, the lead guitarist from Joe & The Teems, Ricky West (born Richard Westwood), was added to the band in 1960.

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Next Plane To London by Rose Garden

#264: Next Plane To London by Rose Garden

Peak Month: November 1967
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube.com: “Next Plane To London
Lyrics: “Next Plane To London

In 1964, a couple of students at a local Los Angeles high school discovered their mutual interest in making music. All born around 1949-1950, John Noreen and Jim Groshong both played guitar. Bill Fleming played bass guitar and Bruce Bowdin was a drummer. They decided to form a band and named themselves the Blokes. A ‘bloke’ is British slang for ‘an ordinary guy, man.’ Noreen, Groshong and the others chose their name after a British slang word, hoping to get in on the musical craze surrounding the British Invasion in ’64.

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I'm Still Searching by Glass Tiger

#265: I’m Still Searching by Glass Tiger

Peak Month: May 1988
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #31
YouTube.com: “I’m Still Searching
Lyrics: “I’m Still Searching

Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario called Tokyo spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early the following year when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records. The band consisted of Alan Frew on vocals and guitar, Sam Reid on keyboards, Al Connelly on guitar, Wayne Parker on bass and Michael Hanson on drums.

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