Rock And Roll Song by Valdy

#632: Rock And Roll Song by Valdy

Peak Month: September 1972
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Rock And Roll Song
“Rock And Roll Song” lyrics

Paul Valdemar Horsdal was born in Ottawa in 1945. Valdy was a member of the London Town Criers during the 1960s and subsequently joined Montreal band The Prodigal Sons. Prior to beginning his solo career, he was based in Victoria. There he  worked with various artists, including Canadian country music singer Blake Emmons. Emmons was the host of CTV show Funny Farm (Canada’s answer to the CBS TV show Hee Haw).

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Gypsy by Abraham's Children

#662: Gypsy by Abraham’s Children

Peak Month: March 1973
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #119
YouTube.com: “Gypsy
“Gypsy” lyrics

Vincenzo Donato Bertucci moved with his Italian immigrant family to Toronto when he was six years old. When he was in high school he formed a band named Just Us. His school mate, Ron Bartley, was a singer and guitarist. Bartley had been raised as a child in Virden, Manitoba. His parents were a duo called the Singing Sweethearts. Bartley’s family moved to the Annex neighborhood in Toronto when he was ten. When he was 13-years-old, Ron Bartley met Jimi Bertucci. They hung around the St. Alban’s Boy Club and talked about music. Soon, Bartley and Bertucci co-founded the London Tones. Bertucci also was asked to join a band called The Death, which opened for James Brown and the Famous Flames at a venue in the Toronto suburb of Mimico, Ontario.

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A Little Salvation by Luba

#653: A Little Salvation by Luba

Peak Month: March 1990
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position: #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “A Little Salvation
“A Little Salvation” lyrics

Lubomyra Kowalchyk was born in 1958 in Montreal, Quebec. During her teens she travelled across Canada performing traditional Ukrainian folk songs at weddings and festivals. Growing up she studied piano, guitar, flute and voice. She was a fine-arts student when she formed a band called Zorya in 1973, releasing an album. In 1977 she released her second album titled. Lubomyra. In 1978 she formed a band named Luba with herself as the lead vocalist. Then, when her father died in 1979, she wrote what would become her signature song, “Everytime I See Your Picture”, as a tribute to him. The first studio album for the band Luba, Chain Reaction, was released in 1980. A Luba (EP) was released in 1982 containing “Every time I See Your Picture”.  The song climbed to #1 in Ottawa, #3 in Halifax, #6 in Montreal and #11 in Kitchener (ON). She performed in front of 12,000 rock fans at the Montreal Forum in January 1983. She was the opening act at that concert for the headliner Chris de Burgh.

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I Can't Control Myself by The Troggs

#688: I Can’t Control Myself by The Troggs

Peak Month: October 1966
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG’s chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #43
YouTube.com link: “I Can’t Control Myself
“I Can’t Control Myself” lyrics

The Troggs formed in 1964 and decades later were dubbed by music critics as the “first British punk band.” Never strangers to controversy, many of their records were considered by radio programmers and social conservatives as too suggestive for the masses, and they consequently banned them. The band’s first big hit was “Wild Thing” which is rated by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 500 songs in the rock ‘n roll era. While they racked up their biggest string of Top Ten singles between 1966 and 1968, the band consisted of co-founders Reg Presley and Ronnie Bond, as well as Pete Staples and Chris Britton.

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Nice To Luv You by 54-40

#640: Nice To Luv You by 54-40

Peak Month: July 1992
13 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Nice To Luv You
“Nice To Luv You” lyrics

54-40 is a band from Tsawwassen, British Columbia. Bass player Brad Merritt teamed up with guitarist and vocalist Neil Osbourne had met at South Delta High School in Tsawwassen in 1978. In 1981 they decided to form a band and asked drummer, Ian Franey, to join them. Neil Osbourne’s father had a position with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Consequently, the family moved as Osbourne’s dad got new postings variously from Regina, rural Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Edmonton and finally Tsawwassen. Ian Franey’s father was the director of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

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You're Not The Same Girl by Blue Northern

#668: You’re Not The Same Girl by Blue Northern

Peak Month: August 1981
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG’s chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “You’re Not The Same Girl

Blue Northern was a Vancouver band that got their start in 1977. The founding members were Garry Comeau on guitar and fiddle, Lee Roy Stephens on bass, steel and rhythm guitar player Jimmy Wilson and Brady Gustafson on drums. As they developed their sound the band wanted to broaden their audience appeal. It happened that one of the audience members who enjoyed Blue Northern in concert was Billy Cowsill.

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Twisting By The Pool by Dire Straits

#608: Twisting By The Pool by Dire Straits

Peak Month: May 1983
11 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Twisting By The Pool
“Twisting By The Pool” lyrics

Dire Straits is a band that formed in 1977 comprised of Mark and David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers. Mark Freuder Knopfler was born in 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland. His Jewish-Hungarian father fled Hungary in 1939 before the outbreak of World War II. He learned to play guitar when he was a child and appeared on a local TV station in 1965 as part of a duo. Mark was influenced by Django Reinhardt, Hank Marvin of The Shadows, B.B. King, Chet Atkins and others. He studied journalism and kept his hand in music playing in the Duolian String Pickers and the Café Racers. Younger brother, David, was born in 1952. He was playing guitar, drum and piano by age eleven. At the age of 14 David Knopfler was playing in folk clubs. He went into social work and was living in London in the mid-70’s and sharing a flat with a promising guitarist named John Illsley. John Edward Illsley was born in Leister, England, in 1949. By the 1970’s Illsley was involved with a timber firm, studying sociology and opening a record shop. David Knopfler was impressed with Illsley’s talent and introduced him to Mark. Mark, David and John began jamming together, and Mark invited Illsley to join his band the Café Racers.
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Friends/Honey Roll by Elton John

#614: Friends/Honey Roll by Elton John

Peak Month: May 1971
Friends:
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN’s chart
Friends Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #34
Honey Roll:
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG’s chart
Honey Roll Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Friends
“Friends” lyrics
YouTube.com link: “Honey Roll
“Honey Roll” lyrics

Reginald Kenneth Dwight was born in 1947. When he was three years old he astounded his family when he was able to play The Skater’s Waltz by Émile Waldteufel by ear at the piano. When he was eleven years old he won a scholarship as a Junior Exhibitor at the Royal Academy of Music. Between the ages of 11 and 15  he attended the Academy on Saturday mornings. In 1962, by the age of 15, he was performing with his group, The Corvettes, at the Northwood Hills Hotel (now the Northwood Hills Public House) in a northern borough of London. While he was playing with a band called Bluesology in the mid-60s he adopted the stage name Elton John. His stage name, which became his legal name in 1967, was taken from Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean, and their lead singer, Long John Baldry.
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Needles And Pins by Jackie DeShannon

#601: Needles And Pins by Jackie DeShannon

Peak Month: June 1963
12 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #84
YouTube.com: “Needles And Pins
“Needles And Pins” lyrics

Sharon Lee Myers was born in Hazel, Kentucky, in 1941, a town on the Tennessee and western Kentucky border. When she was only two years old she received her first vocal training. By 1947, she was appearing on a local radio station as a child country and western singer. And by 1952, Sharon Lee Myers was hosting her own radio show. In 1954, with the family farm posing mounting challenges, the family moved to her mother’s home town of Aurora, Illinois, a seven hour drive north of Hazel. A year later, when she was in 8th grade, the family moved to nearby Batavia, Illinois. Her dad became a barber and young Sharon got instant recognition in the local paper. A headline in on May 5, 1955, in the Batavia Herald read “Sharon Lee Myers, Only 13, Is Talented Batavia Vocalist.” The paper enthused, “Though only 13, the youngster can boast almost 11 years of voice training and experience and in the past she has toured most of the south making personal appearances. Also she has sung on radio with a rhythm band for 2 years and has appeared on television 3 times.”

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Just Came Back by Colin James

#602: Just Came Back by Colin James

Peak Month: September 1990
12 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Just Came Back
“Just Came Back” lyrics

Colin James Munn was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1964. He is a neo-swing artist who mixes swing, jump blues, rockabilly, ska and contemporary rock ‘n roll into his performances and recordings. In 1984 he was playing with a Regina. As luck would have it American rocker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, was in town to appear in concert. Vaughan was fresh from the releases of his 1983 album, Texas Flood, and his 1984 album, Couldn’t Stand The Weather. Vaughan had also been given a spotlight as a guitarist playing numbers of songs on David Bowie’s 1983 Let’s Dance album. The opening act for Stevie Ray Vaughan was unable to perform, and with just a few hours to prepare, Colin James Munn was asked to be the opener for the Regina concert with members of a local band called Flying Colours. James knocked it out of the ballpark and was asked by Stevie Ray Vaughan to join him for the rest of the tour as the opening act. James played the rest of the tour with his backing band, the Hoodoo Men. But it was Stevie Ray Vaughan who suggested that Munn drop his last name and just go by Colin James. Munn sounded too much like “mud” over the distortion from the loudspeakers at the concert venues.

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