Puppet On A String by Elvis Presley

#850: Puppet On A String by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: December 1965
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube.com: “Puppet On A String
Lyrics: “Puppet On A String

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was stillborn. When he was eleven years old his parents bought him a guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store. As a result Elvis grew up as an only child. He and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. The young Presley graduated from high school in 1953. That year he stopped by the Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, including “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career recording “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at Sun Records in Memphis.

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Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman

#842: Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman

Peak Month: October 1969
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
2 weeks Hit Bound
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube.com: “Something In The Air
Lyrics: “Something In The Air

John David PercySpeedyKeen was born in West London, England, in 1945. In his late teens he played with The Krewsaders, and 1964-65 with The Second Thoughts. He was with a band called the Eccentrics and his song “City Of Lights” was recorded by Oscar in 1966. In 1967, his song “Armenia City In The Sky” was recorded by The Who for their album The Who Sell Out. This is the only song recorded for an album by The Who not written by any of the bandmates. It happened that Keen shared a flat with and worked as a driver for The Who’s guitarist and keyboard player Pete Townshend. Who bassist John Entwistle joked that people thought “Armenia City In The Sky” was “I’m an Ear Sitting in the Sky”.

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Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

#812: Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: December 1957
4 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Red Robinson Teen Canteen chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #33 (2021)
YouTube.com: “Blue Christmas
Lyrics: “Blue Christmas

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was stillborn. When he was eleven years old his parents bought him a guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store. As a result Elvis grew up as an only child. He and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. The young Presley graduated from high school in 1953. That year he stopped by the Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, including “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career recording “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at Sun Records in Memphis.

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Wondering by Patti Page

#893: Wondering by Patti Page

Peak Month: July 1957
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Wondering
Lyrics: “Wondering

Patti Page was born on November 8, 1927. The New York Times writes “She was born Clara Ann Fowler in Claremore, Oklahoma, the second youngest of 11 children of a railroad laborer. Her mother and older sisters picked cotton. She often went without shoes. Because the family saved money on electricity, the only radio shows Miss Page heard as a child were Grand Old OpryThe Eddie Cantor Show and Chicago Barn Dance.”

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Help Me Girl by the Animals

#872: Help Me Girl by the Animals

Peak Month: December 1966
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #29
YouTube.com: “Help Me Girl
Lyrics: “Help Me Girl

Eric Victor Burdon was born in 1941 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He was born into a working class family. Due to the river pollution and humidity in Newcastle he suffered asthma attacks daily. During primary school, Burdon writes in his memoir, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, he was “stuck at the rear of the classroom of around 40 to 50 kids and received constant harassment from kids and teachers alike”. He goes on to say his primary school was “jammed between a slaughterhouse and a shipyard on the banks of the Tyne. Some teachers were sadistic…and sexual molestation and regular corporal punishment with a leather strap was the order of the day.” In his song “When I Was Young”, he states he met his first love at 13, who was very experienced while he was not. He also says he smoked his first cigarette at 10 years old and would skip school with his friends to drink.

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I Want You Back by West End Girls

#868: I Want You Back by West End Girls

Peak Month: September 1991
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “I Want You Back
Lyrics: “I Want You Back

Camille Henderson was born in Vancouver, BC, in 1970. From the age of ten she was a working actor in film, stage and TV. At the age of fifteen she starred in the Canadian film directed by Sandy Wilson titled My American Cousin. She played the role of Shirley, a preteen girl. Her father, Bill Henderson, was a member of the Vancouver Sixties band The Collectors. He continued with most of his bandmates as they morphed into Chilliwack in 1970.

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The Friends Of Mr. Cairo by Jon and Vangelis

#878: The Friends Of Mr. Cairo by Jon and Vangelis

Peak Month: December 1981
10 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
Lyrics: “The Friends Of Mr. Cairo

Jon and Vangelis was the name for a musical collaboration between the lead singer of Yes, Jon Anderson, and Greek multi-instrumentalist Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou – known professionally as Vangelis. John Roy Anderson was born in Lancashire, England, in 1944. At age 15 he left school and got work as a lorry driver and then a milkman to help make money for the family. His brother Tony, was part of a band called The Warriors, and John was asked to join on vocals. He was with the Warriors from 1962 to 1968. Anderson released two solo singles with little commercial success in 1968. That year he also met bass guitarist Chris Squires, guitar player Peter Banks, drummer Bill Bruford and reconnected with keyboard player Tony Kaye. The five musicians formed a band they called Yes. The band released a self-titled debut album in 1969. In 1970 John Anderson dropped the “h” from his first name, becoming Jon Anderson. From 1969 to 1978 Yes released nine studio albums. Their 1973 Top 20 hit, “Roundabout” was the zenith of their early fame.

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I'm Free by the Soup Dragons

#836: I’m Free by the Soup Dragons

Peak Month: March 1991
10 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #79
YouTube: “I’m Free” ~ Soup Dragons
YouTube: “I’m Free” ~ Rolling Stones
Lyrics: “I’m Free

In 1982 Sean Dickson, Jim McCullough and Sushil K. Dade were bandmates in the Scottish indie-pop group BMX Bandits. Though they continued to perform with the band, the trio decided to form the Soup Dragons in 1985. They were an alternative rock band from Bellshill, Scotland. The Soup Dragons released Hang Ten in 1986. Two singles from the album, “Whole Wide World” and “Hang Ten” climbed to #2 on the UK Indie singles chart.  a second studio album, This Is Our Art, in 1988. From the album came “Can’t Take No More”, which climbed to number-one on the UK Indie singles chart. Another single from the album, “Soft As Your Face”, had a more accessible sound for the UK Pop singles chart. Both of these single releases cracked the Top 70 on the pop chart. A third single, “The Majestic Head”, became the sixth single to peak in the Top 5 on the UK Indie chart. Up to this point the band had an indie rock sound.

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Bring Me Some Water by Melissa Etheridge

#872: Bring Me Some Water by Melissa Etheridge

Peak Month: November 1988
11 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Bring Me Some Water
Lyrics: “Bring Me Some Water

Melissa Lou Etheridge was born in 1961 in Leavenworth, Kansas. While in high school she was a member of several country bands. She moved to Boston after high school and while in college she performed at clubs in the area. She moved to Los Angeles and caught the attention of Island Records in 1986. In 1988 she made her first appearance on the Vancouver (BC) pop chart with “Bring Me Some Water”.  It was from her self-titled debut album.

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