Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richard

#242: Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: April 1963
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #99 “Bachelor Boy
Lyrics: “Bachelor Boy

Cliff Richard was born Harry Roger Webb on October 14, 1940, in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1940 Lucknow was part of the British Raj, as India was not yet an independent country. Webb’s father worked on as a catering manager for the Indian Railways. His mother raised Harry and his three sisters. In 1948, when India had become independent, the Webb family took a boat to Essex, England, and began a new chapter. At the age of 16 Harry Webb was given a guitar by his father. Harry then formed a vocal group called the Quintones. Webb was interested in skiffle music, a type of jug band music, popularized by “The King of Skiffle,” Scottish singer Lonnie Donegan who had an international hit in 1955 called “Rock Island Line”.

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Hand Me Down World by the Guess Who

#336: Hand Me Down World by the Guess Who

Peak Month: August 1970
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
1 week Preview
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17 “Hand Me Down World
Lyrics: “Hand Me Down World

Randolph Charles Bachman was born in 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When he was just three years old he entered the King of the Saddle singing contest on CKY radio, Manitoba’s first radio station that began in 1923. Bachman won the contest. When he turned five years he began to study the violin through the Royal Toronto Conservatory. Though he couldn’t read music, he was able to play anything once he heard it. He dropped out of high school and subsequently a business administration program in college. He co-founded a Winnipeg band called Al & The Silvertones with Chad Allan in 1960.

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Mammy Blue by Pop-Tops

#301: Mammy Blue by Pop-Tops

Peak Month: November 1971
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #57 “Mammy Blue
Lyrics: “Mammy Blue

Phil Trim was born on in 1940 as Theophilus Earl Trim in Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago. After he moved to Spain, he became part of a Trinidad Steel Band in Madrid. Then in 1967 as he formed and became the lead singer of the Spanish baroque rock group Los Pop Tops/Pop Tops. Other members of the band were guitar player and backing vocalist Julián Luis Angulo, saxophonist, clarinetist and backing vocalist Alberto Vega, bass and trumpet player Enrique Gómez, organ player and pianist Ignacio Pérez, drummer José Lipiani, and guitar player Ray Gómez.

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Man On The Corner by Genesis

#302: Man On The Corner by Genesis

Peak Month: April 1982
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #41 “Man On The Corner
Lyrics: “Man On The Corner

Genesis formed in Surrey, UK, in 1967. The band consisted of keyboard player Tony Banks, bass and guitar player Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins on drums and vocals, and Peter Gabriel as lead vocalist. Peter Gabriel left the band in the mid-70’s. However, with Gabriel’s departure, Phil Collins became the primary lead vocalists. The bands name was suggested by their producer, Jonathan King, of “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” fame on the pop charts in 1965. King had earlier suggested the band go by the name of Gabriel’s Angels. Though the band initially adopted that name, they soon changed their name to From Genesis to Revelation. Soon, they shortened their name to Genesis. It was a band name that led to many possibilities, including a riff off of their name on their first album, Genesis to Revelation.

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He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother by Neil Diamond

#303: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by Neil Diamond

Peak Month: December 1970
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #20 “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Lyrics: “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

Neil Leslie Diamond was born in Brooklyn in 1941. His parents were Russian and Polish immigrants and both Jewish. His dad was a dry-goods merchant. When he was in high school he met Barbra Streisand in a Freshman Chorus and Choral Club. Years later they would become friends. When he was sixteen Diamond was sent to a Jewish summer camp called Surprise Lake Camp in upstate New York. While there he heard folk singer, Pete Seeger, perform in concert. That year Diamond got a guitar and, influenced by Pete Seeger, began to write poems and song lyrics. While he was in his Senior year in high school, Sunbeam Music Publishing gave Neil Diamond an initial four month contract composing songs for $50 a week (US $413 in 2017 dollars). and he dropped out of college to accept it.

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Mendocino by Sir Douglas Quintet

#304: Mendocino by Sir Douglas Quintet

Peak Month: February 1969
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #27 “Mendocino
Lyrics: “Mendocino

Douglas Wayne Sahm was born in 1941 in San Antonio, Texas. Sahm began singing at age five and learned to play the steel guitar at age six. He was considered a child prodigy on the instrument. By the age of eight, he had appeared on the Louisiana Hayride. And on December 19, 1952, at the age of eleven, Doug Sahm appeared onstage in Austin, Texas, at what would be the final concert performance by Hank Williams at the Skyline Club. [Williams would die on January 1, 1953]. Doug Sahm also performed in the early 50s with country stars Faron Young, Webb Pierce and Hank Thompson. He won a children’s talent contest on KMAC in San Antonio, where he performed regularly for two years. At age thirteen, he was offered a spot on the Grand Ole Opry. However, his mother declined the offer, wanting Doug Sahm to finish school. Meanwhile, he grew proficient in accordion, guitar and piano. In 1955 he recorded at the age of 14 as Little Doug and the Bandits.

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Little Bones by Tragically Hip

#305: Little Bones by Tragically Hip

Peak Month: April 1991
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Little Bones
Lyrics: “Little Bones

In the early 1980’s bass player Gord Sinclair and guitar player Rob Baker were students at Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute in Kingston, Ontario. They had performed at the collegiate’s Variety Show in a band they called The Rodents. In 1984 Baker and Sinclair were in their early twenties. The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario when the duo added drummer Johnny Fay and lead singer Gordon Downie. Their name came from a skit in the movie Elephant Parts, directed by former Monkee’s guitarist Michael Nesmith. The Tragically Hip added Paul Langois, a guitar player, to their line-up in 1986. When they performed at the Horeshoe Tavern in Toronto in 1984, they were signed to a recording contract with MCA after the company president, Bruce Dickinson, saw the band at the tavern. A self-titled EP (Extended Play) was released in 1987 with a couple of singles that got some airplay. The group was launched.

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I Could Be So Good To You by Don and the Goodtimes

#306: I Could Be So Good To You by Don and the Goodtimes

Peak Month: May 1967
11 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #56 “I Could Be So Good To You
Lyrics: “I Could Be So Good To You

Ron “Buzz” Overman was born in 1946 and was in a rock band from Walla Walla titled the Gems starting in 1960. In 1964 he joined a garage band in Walla Walla named Hawk and the Randelas. His Don And The Goodtimes bandmates knew Overman as a huge fan of Star Trek, as well as corn on the cob and watermelon. Joey Newman was born in 1947 in Seattle, and became a guitarist with Don And The Goodtimes. His guitar playing was credited on their 1967 studio album, So Good, with contributing to a “get-up-and-go quality” to the bands’ music. Before he was with the band he was known as a good pool player and winner of numbers of go-cart racing trophies. L’il Don Gallucci was born in 1947 in Portland, Oregon, and was a child prodigy. He was a member of the Kingsmen and was playing organ and keyboards on their 1963 hit “Louie Louie”. While he was with the Don And The Goodtimes, Gallucci was the bands’ musical arranger, known to lift weights “to keep muscles on his slender frame,” and in 1967 was expected to “set an Olympic Record for dating.”

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Invisible by Alison Moyet

#307: Invisible by Alison Moyet

Peak Month: April 1985
13 weeks on CFMI’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #31 “Invisible
Lyrics: “Invisible

Geneviève Alison Jane Moyet was born in 1961 in Billericay, Essex, England. After leaving school at 16, she worked as a shop assistant and trained as a piano tuner. She was involved in a number of punk rock, pub rock and blues bands in the South East Essex area during the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the Vandals, the Screamin’ Ab Dabs, the Vicars and the Little Roosters. At the age of 21, Moyet’s mainstream pop career began in 1982 with the formation of the synth-pop duo Yazoo with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke.

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And The Heavens Cried by Ronnie Savoy

#308: And The Heavens Cried by Ronnie Savoy

Peak Month: November 1960
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #84 “And The Heavens Cried
Lyrics: “And The Heavens Cried

Ronnie Savoy was born in Detroit in 1941 (or 1939), and his birth name was Eugene Ronald Hamilton. Savoy told website Soul Source in 2016: “Our parents came to Detroit in the 1920s to get away from the South. My mother came from quite a comfortable  background but my father had it more difficult – he had hustled on the streets since an early age, after his mother died, when he was only thirteen. He played guitar and wrote songs – his dream was to make it as a songwriter and a singer. He would play his guitar to us coming up, usually the blues. My older brother Bobby started to pick up on the blues chords, ’cause, being the eldest, he was the first to get a guitar, but we found that music too miserable and sad.’ Although the seed was sown, no pressure was applied. ‘My parents didn’t push us into music, even though we all began to show promise at quite an early age. My father worked at Ford and advised us not to work in a factory. It was a very happy home environment. There were nine of us all together – three boys and six girls. Bobby was the spearhead. He encouraged and led us. He was the first to start writing his own songs and singing them and that inspired Kent and me. I guess the turning point for us was when we heard Billy Ward and the Dominoes. They were our greatest inspiration. Seeing them in concert in Detroit made me want to become an entertainer. I spoke to Marv Johnson years later about this and he confirmed that he’d had the same experience!”

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