Three Rows Over by Bobby Curtola

#342: Three Rows Over by Bobby Curtola

Peak Month: September 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Three Rows Over
Lyrics: “Three Rows Over

Bobby Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1943. (The town would become amalgamated into the city of Thunder Bay in 1970). His cousin Susan Andrusco remembers “”Bobby would always be singing at our family gatherings. The family loved him. And he loved being the centre of attention. He would sing Oh My Papa, and my grandpa would cry.” Oh My Papa was a number-one hit for Eddie Fisher in January 1954, when Bobby Curtola was still ten-years-old. In the fall of 1959, sixteen-year-old high school student Bobby Curtola went from pumping gas at his father’s garage in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the life of a teen idol. Within a year he went from playing in his basement band, Bobby and the Bobcats, to recording his first hit single in 1960, “Hand In Hand With You”, which charted in June ’60 in Ontario, but not in Vancouver.

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The Hippy Hippy Shake by the Swinging Blue Jeans

#343: The Hippy Hippy Shake by the Swinging Blue Jeans

Peak Month: March 1964
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #24
YouTube.com: “Hippy Hippy Shake
Lyrics: “Hippy Hippy Shake

The Swinging Blue Jeans had their origins in a band called the Bluegenes, a jazz-influenced skiffle sextet group formed by Bruce  McCaskill. From the liner notes on their 1964 album Hippy Hippy Shake, there is a great description about the Swinging Blue Jeans’ origins. “It was in 1959 that Ray Ennis and Norman Kuhlke met in a dance hall in Garston, a suburb of Liverpool. And it was that meeting that led to the formation of the Swinging Blue Jeans. Ray was a regular singer with the group playing at Garston’s Wilson Hall. Norman used to go in, listen to the band, and request songs for Ray to sing. (“One of my biggest fans,” Ray laughs). Together they formed the SBJ – washboard (which Norman played), tea-chest bass and three guitars (one of which Ray played). They appeared at clubs and dance halls in and around Liverpool for a year, and then, in a talent contest at the Empire Theatre one night, they came up against a group led by Ralph Ellis.”

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Jodie by Joey Gregorash

#344: Jodie by Joey Gregorash

Peak Month: May 1971
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Jodie
Lyrics: “Jodie

Joey Gregorash was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His dad played the violin and young Joey took an interest in learning the instrument. In February 1964 Gregorash saw the Beatles perform on the The Ed Sullivan Show and was turned onto rock ‘n roll. He learned how to play the drums and formed a band called The Mongrels in 1965 with childhood friend John Nykon. Later Gregorash went solo and won a 1972 Juno Award in 1972 for Outstanding Performance-Male for his hit single “Down By the River”. For over a decade Gregorash pursued other interests until in 1987 his single, “Together (The New Wedding Song),” became a hit in Canada.

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My Bucket's Got A Hole In It by Ricky Nelson

#345: My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It by Ricky Nelson

Peak Month: April 1958
5 weeks on Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #12
YouTube.com: “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It
Lyrics: “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It

In 1940 Eric Hilliard Nelson was born. On February 20, 1949, while still eight years old, he took the stage name of Ricky Nelson when appearing on the radio program, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66). A child actor, Ricky was also a musician and singer-songwriter. He also co-starred alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in the western Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard singles charts between 1957 and 1973.

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The Straight Life by Bobby Goldsboro

#346: The Straight Life by Bobby Goldsboro

Peak Month: December 1968
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “The Straight Life
Lyrics: “The Straight Life

Bobby Goldsboro was born in Mariana, Florida, in the Florida Panhandle in 1941. Shortly after his birth his family moved 35 miles north to Dothan, Alabama, where he was raised. Goldsboro learned is musical skills as he grew, by the age of twenty-one, Goldsboro became a guitarist for Roy Orbison. From 1962 to 1964 Goldsboro toured with Orbison, including the tour where The Beatles appeared as the opening act on the UK tour with Orbison as headliner. He roomed with Roy Orbison and they became close friends. In 1962, Goldsboro released his first of four singles on Laurie Records. Only one of these, “Molly,” made the Billboard Hot 100, and only marginally.

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Black Land Farmer by Wink Martindale

#347: Black Land Farmer by Wink Martindale

Peak Month: September 1961
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN
Peak Position #4 CFUN/ #2 CKWX
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #85
YouTube.com: “Black Land Farmer
Lyrics: “Black Land Farmer

Winston Conrad “Wink” Martindale was born in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1933. His first work for pay was as a paperboy for the Jackson Sun. Then he was a soda jerk at Baker’s Drug Store. In 1951, Martindale began his career as a disc jockey while he was still just 17-years-old at WPLI in Jackson. His starting salary was $1.02 a week. He was quickly hired at WTJS, also in Jackson, and next at WDXI. In short order Martindale had doubled his salary. He would recall later ““I think that I was born with a desire to be a radio announcer. I always had that great desire to sit behind a microphone. My first ‘mic’ was two paper cups attached to a string. It wasn’t long before I was sitting behind the real thing.” Between 1953 and 1957 he was a DJ at WHBQ in Memphis. Meanwhile, he earned a Bachelors degree at Memphis State University majoring in Speech and English, with a minor in Journalism.

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Thirsty Ears by Powder Blues

#348: Thirsty Ears by Powder Blues

Peak Month: September 1981
11 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
2 weeks Top 20 Extras
Peak Position ~ #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Thirsty Ears
“Thirsty Ears” lyrics

In 1978 Prism band member, Tom Lavin, left the group to form Powder Blues. Lavin had also recorded and been a member of Denise McCann’s backing band. Powder Blues was made up of Tom Lavin on guitar and vocals, Jack Lavin on bass, Mark Hasselbach on trumpet, Duris Maxwell on drums, Wayne Kozak, Gordon Bertram and David Woodward all on saxophone, Bill Hicks on drums and Will MacCalder on keyboards and vocals. Jack Lavin had been a member of Teen Angel. Willie MacCalder was formerly a member of Willie and The Walkers. Duris Maxwell was a former member of Skylark and Doucette. Gordie Bertram had been a member of Foreman Byrnes. Mark Hasselbach had been with Airbrush, a jazz band. David Woodward, born in Arlington, Virginia, had been a member of Toronto’s Downchild Blues Band since 1971.

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Josie by Steely Dan

#349: Josie by Steely Dan

Peak Month: December 1978
14 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
YouTube.com: “Josie
Lyrics: “Josie

Donald Jay Fagen was born into a Jewish household in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1948. The first record he bought was “Reelin’ and Rockin'” by Chuck Berry in 1958. In 1959, when he was eleven years old, a cousin of Donald Fagen suggested he explore jazz music. So he attended the Newport Jazz Festival. Fagen recalled later “I lost interest in rock ‘n’ roll and started developing an anti-social personality.” By 1960, after he’d turned twelve, Fagen began frequenting the Village Vanguard jazz club. He was able to see Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, and Miles Davis. He learned to play the piano, and he played baritone horn in the high school marching band. Fagen also drew inspiration from the Boswell Sisters, Henry Mancini, Ray Charles, Sly and the Family Stone and a variety of Motown recording acts.

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I Wanna Live by Glen Campbell

#350: I Wanna Live by Glen Campbell

Peak Month: June 1968
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #1
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “I Wanna Live
Lyrics: “I Wanna Live

Glen Travis Campbell was born in 1936 in the village of Billstown, Arkansas. His dad was a sharecropper. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and at the age of 18 joined his uncle’s band, Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys. Campbell also had guest spots on a local KOB children’s TV show, K Circle B Time. In 1958, Campbell formed the Western Wranglers. In 1960 he moved to LA and joined The Champs of “Tequila” fame. Campbell also became a session musician in a group that would become known as The Wrecking Crew. During this time Glen Campbell played on recordings for Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and others. He recorded his first single in 1961 titled “Turn Around Look At Me.”

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The Witch/Psycho by The Sonics

#351: The Witch/Psycho by The Sonics

Peak Month: March 1965
“The Witch”
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “The Witch
Lyrics: “The Witch

4 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Psycho
Lyrics: “Psycho

The Sonics were formed in 1960 in Tacoma when teenage guitarist Larry Parypa was encouraged by his parents to take his budding musical talents to the next level. A number of lineup changes ensued over the first several years. The band was an instrumental group until 1962, when Marilyn Lodge joined and became the bands first vocalist. She was replaced in 1963 by a local frontman named Ray Michelsen. At the time the bands’ drummer, Bill Dean, was not totally committed to the musical project. In time he left the band. Elsewhere on the musical scene in Tacoma were The Searchers (distinct from the British band the Searchers) who formed in 1961. The Searchers included Gerry Roslie on keyboards, Rob Lind on saxophone and Bob Bennett on drums. In search of a new drummer for the Sonics, once Larry Parypa heard the Searchers in concert – a new lineup fell into place.

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