Green Green Grass Of Home by Tom Jones

#309: Green Green Grass Of Home by Tom Jones

Peak Month: January 1967
9 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #11 “Green Green Grass Of Home
Lyrics: “Green Green Grass Of Home

Thomas John Woodward was born in Wales in 1940. His father was a coal miner. Young Tom began singing at an early age and was in a children’s choir. At age 12 he had tuberculosis. While convalescing he spent more time developing an interest in music and listening to records. In 1963 he was the lead singer for the Welsh band Tommy Scott and the Senators. They had a record made with Tornados producer Joe Meek. In 1964 Jones was heard by a manager in the music industry based in London. Jones was brought to London and renamed Tom Jones. This was a strategy to get his attention after the successful musical Tom Jones won four Academy Awards in 1963, including Best Director and Best Picture.

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Sometimes A Fantasy by Billy Joel

#310: Sometimes A Fantasy by Billy Joel

Peak Month: December 1980
Peak Position: #3
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100: #36
YouTube: “Sometimes A Fantasy
Lyrics: “Sometimes A Fantasy

William Martin Joel was born in 1949 in The Bronx. His father, Helmut “Howard” Joel, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and sold his textile business at a fraction of its value to be able to move to Switzerland. From there his father traveled to Cuba and was able to enter the United States from the Caribbean. Billy Joel’s mother, Rosalind Nyman, was born in Brooklyn, also to Jewish parents. Young William was coerced by his mother to take piano lessons at the age of four. He kept taking piano lessons until he was sixteen. His parents divorced when he was eight, and in his later years in high school Billy Joel played at a piano bar to make some extra income to support his single mother, his sister and himself. Though his parents were Jewish, Billy Joel did not identify as Jewish and began to attend a Roman Catholic parish at age eleven.

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Action by Sweet

#311: Action by Sweet

Peak Month: March 1976
9 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #20 “Action
Lyrics: “Action

Brian Francis Connolly was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1945. He was left in the hospital where he was born by his mother who was teenager and a waitress. He was a foster child and by the age of 12 was living in London and attending school. In his mid-teens, Connolly joined the Merchant Navy. In 1966 Connolly replaced singer Ian Gillan (later of Deep Purple fame) in a band called Wainwright’s Gentlemen, which included drummer Mick Tucker. Born in 1947 in London, Michael Thomas Tucker first developed an interest in drawing art as a boy. By fourteen he had changed his interest to the drums, influenced by Sandy Nelson, Buddy Rich, and Gene Krupa. Tucker’s father offered him a drum kit but only if he would take drumming seriously. Hubert Tucker encouraged his son, even getting him his first gig, sitting in for Brian Bennett of Cliff Richard’s backing band the Shadows at a local workingman’s club.

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Make Believe by Wind

#312: Make Believe by Wind

Peak Month: October 1969
9 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28 “Make Believe
Lyrics: “Make Believe

Michael Anthony “Tony” Orlando Cassavitis was born in 1944 in New York City. In 1959 Orlando formed a doo-wop group called The Five Gents when he was 15-years-old. The Five Gents recorded some demo tapes. In the following months music publisher and producer Don Kirshner hired Orlando to write songs in an office across from New York’s Brill Building. In 1959 Tony Orlando recorded a doo-wop single titled “Ding Dong” on the Milo label. In 1961 he recorded “Halfway To Paradise” which climbed to #13 in Vancouver (BC) and #39 on the Billboard Hot 100. His next single, “Bless You”, peaked at #11 in Vancouver in September ’61, and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. He had a minor hit titled “Talkin’ About You” which made the Top 50 in Vancouver in January 1962, and cracked the Top 30 with “Chills” in the summer of ’62, and “Shirley” in early 1963.

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I Live For The Sun by the Sunrays

#313: I Live For The Sun by the Sunrays

Peak Month: September 1965
11 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #51 “I Live For The Sun
Lyrics: “I Live For The Sun

Eddy Medora was born in Los Angeles in 1945. He writes about the backstory to the Sunrays. “We were called the Renegades. We were a garage band rehearsing in my parents home in Pacific Palisades. We were in 7th and 8th grade. I saw a band  perform called the Riptides – they had a local hit called Machine Gun….After I saw the response from the crowd, I knew I wanted to start a band. We played all over West L.A. There were five of us – Marty, Darrol,  Mike, Ricky, and myself. We were doing pretty well when Mike moved away. Darrol also left. In the first year of high school, I met Steve and Vince.  These guys did not have a band. They were both good musicians. They asked if they could join our band. We auditioned them. After we heard them play, I knew they had all of our votes.”

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Don't Turn Me Away by 10cc

#314: Don’t Turn Me Away by 10cc

Peak Month: April 1982
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Don’t Turn Me Away
Lyrics: “Don’t Turn Me Away

Kevin Michael Godley was born in 1945 in a suburb of Manchester, England. Raised in a Jewish family, he formed a group named Group 17, along with four other members of the Jewish Lads Brigade. Godley studied Art and Design at Stoke On Trent College of Art from 1966-68. In the late ’60s, Kevin Godley met Lol Creme at a wedding. Laurence Neil “Lol” Creme was born in 1947 in the same suburb of Prestwich as Kevin Godley. Creme was also raised in a Jewish family. The pair co-founded a band in 1970 named Hotlegs, which included Graham Gouldman. Hotlegs had a #2 hit in the UK titled “Neanderthal Man”. The band split in 1970 and morphed into 10cc.

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This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide by the Kings

#315: This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide by the Kings

Peak Month: January 1981
12 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #43 “This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide
Lyrics: “This Beat Goes On
Lyrics: “Switching To Glide

The Kings were a band from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Oakville, Ontario. consisting of bass guitarist and lead vocalist David Diamond, guitarist Mister Zero, keyboard player Sonny Keyes, and drummer Max Styles. In 1977 keyboardist Sonny Keyes met John Picard in Vancouver. Picard then recruited fellow Oakville Trafalgar High School students, Max Styles and David Diamond, and the band was established.
It took three years before they got a record contract, but they kept playing small venues and getting a word-of-mouth buzz.

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Sinking Like A Sunset by Tom Cochrane

#317: Sinking Like A Sunset by Tom Cochrane

Peak Month: June 1992
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Sinking Like A Sunset
Lyrics: “Sinking Like A Sunset

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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San Francisco Girls by Fever Tree

#318: San Francisco Girls by Fever Tree

Peak Month: July 1968
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
2 weeks Hit Bound
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #98 “San Francisco Girls
Lyrics: “San Francisco Girls

Dennis Keller was the lead vocalist of the psychedelic-rock band Fever Tree. On bass guitar was E.E. “Bud” Wolfe, the bands percussionist was John Tuttle, on lead guitar was Michael Knust. While multi-instrumentalist Rob Landes played cello, clavinet, flute, harp, harpsichord, organ, piano and recorder. The genesis of Fever Tree was a Houston, Texas, cover band called the Bostwick Vines. Back in the fall of 1965, teenagers Keller and Knust had been working on developing a band with a new sound. Keller and Knust were both from Spring Branch, Texas, a small town half an hour north from San Antonio.

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If I Fell by the Beatles

#319: If I Fell by the Beatles

Peak Month: August 1964
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #53 “If I Fell
Lyrics: “If I Fell

Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool in 1942. He attended the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys and met fellow classmates  George Harrison on a school bus. When Paul was 14 his mom died from a blockage in one of her blood vessels. In his early teens McCartney learned to play trumpet, guitar and piano. He was left-handed and restrung the strings to make it work. In 1957, Paul met John Lennon and in October he was invited to join John’s skiffle band, The Quarrymen, which Lennon had founded in 1956. After Paul joined the group his suggested that his friend, George Harrison, join the group. Harrison became one of the Quarrymen in early 1958, though he was still only 14. Other original members of the Quarrymen, Len Garry, Rod Davis, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton left the band when their set changed from skiffle to rock ‘n roll. John Duff Lowe, a friend of Paul’s from the Liverpool Institute, who had joined the Quarrymen in early 1958 left the band at the end of school. This left Lennon, McCartney and Harrison as remaining trio. On July 15, 1958, John Lennon’s mother died in an automobile accident.

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