Music Man by 54-40

#829: Music Man by 54-40

Peak Month: November 1992
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Music Man
Lyrics: “Music Man”

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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Look What You've Done by The Pozo Seco Singers

#861: Look What You’ve Done by The Pozo Seco Singers

Peak Month:  January 1967
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #6
1 Week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube.com:”Look What You’ve Done
Lyrics: “Look What You’ve Done”

In 1964, baritone singer Don Williams and tenor Lofton Kline were a Corpus Christi singing duo that went by the name of The Strangers Two. They heard 17-year-old Ray High School student, Susan Taylor, performing solo at the Del Mar Hootenannies. Lofton recalls, “Don was married and had a little one to support, and was working at Pittsburgh Plate Glass.  I was going to Del Mar College in Corpus.  The college had a hootenanny scheduled and Don and I were asked to entertain.” After they met Susan Taylor, as Lofton tells it, ““We asked her to come over and practice with us the following week.  She did…and the rest is ‘history.’” Susan’s alto voice blended perfectly with Don’s baritone and Lofton’s tenor.
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Kiss Him Goodbye by The Nylons

#869: Kiss Him Goodbye by The Nylons

Peak Month:  July 1987
10 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Kiss Him Goodbye
Lyrics: “Kiss Him Goodbye”

The Nylons are an a cappella group that formed in 1978, based in Toronto. The original members were all gay men: Dennis Simpson, Paul Cooper, Claude Morrison and Marc Connors. They released their self-titled album in 1982. There were some lineup changes after 1979 when Dennis Simpson left. By the time the Nylons released their first album, Arnold Robinson was the newcomer joining the other original group members. In 1986, the group appeared on the Canadian children’s TV show Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show. The show was hosted by a trio of the entertainers and singers known as Sharon, Lois & Bram. The Nylons appeared in an episode of the TV show, Treasure Island, and sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. The next year they released their fourth album, Happy Together.

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My Back Pages by The Byrds

#802: My Back Pages by The Byrds

Peak Month: April 1967
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
1 week Hitbound: March 18, 1967
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #30
YouTube.com: “My Back Pages
Lyrics: “My Back Pages

Around 1963 a folk trio that named itself the Jet Set, consisted of Roger McGuinn on vocals and lead guitar, Gene Clark on vocals tambour and rhythm guitar and David Crosby on vocals and rhythm guitar. In 1964 the trio released a single that was a commercial failure and credited to The Beefeaters. They added bass (and mandolin) player Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke and became The Byrds. They offered up a fusion of folk-rock and became an instant hit with two #1 hits in Vancouver and the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965: “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn, Turn, Turn”. The former was written by Bob Dylan and the latter by Pete Seeger. A single between their #1 hits was another Dylan tune titled “All I Really Want To Do”. The Byrds were perennial favorites in Vancouver who consistently had better chart runs in Vancouver than back in their home country of America. Aside from their two #1 hits, they failed to chart other songs into the Billboard Hot 100. But in Vancouver they charted ten songs into the Top Ten.

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God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

#833: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

Peak Month: September 1966
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #39
YouTube.com: “God Only Knows
Lyrics: “God Only Knows”

Brian Wilson was born in Inglewood, California, in 1942. In biographer Peter Ames Carlin’s book, Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, he relates that when Brian Wilson first heard George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” it had a huge emotional impact on him. As a youngster, Wilson learned to play a toy accordion and sang in children’s choirs. In his teens he started a group with his cousin, Mike Love and his brother, Carl. His named the group Carl and the Passions in order to convince his brother to join. They had a performance at Hawthorne High School, where they attended. Among the people in the audience was Al Jardine, another classmate. Jardine was so impressed with the performance that he let the group know. Jardine would later be enlisted, along with Dennis Wilson to form the Pendletones in 1961. The first song Brian Wilson wrote would become “Surfer Girl”. A demo of the tune was made in February 1962 and would go on to be a Top Ten hit when it was released a year later in 1963. However, their first recording was a doo-wop-surf tune called “Surfin’” in October 1961. It was released in November ’61 on the Candix Enterprises Inc. label. The surprise for the group was that the record label had changed the group’s name from the Pendletones to the Beach Boys. Consequently, as each time the record was played by a DJ in America, radio listeners were being introduced to the Beach Boys. The name Pendletones was now history.

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Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

#840: Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: May 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Twin Pick Hit of the Week: April 6, 1963
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Summer Holiday
Lyrics: “Summer Holiday”

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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Queen Of The Angels by Deane Hawley

#803: Queen Of The Angels by Deane Hawley

Peak Month: July 1962
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #9
CFUN Twin Pick May 26, 1962
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Queen Of The Angels

William Deane Hawley was born in Staten Island, New York, on December 18, 1937. He moved to California at the age of three. He attended USC and got a Masters in Human Behavior while also recording pop singles and appearing on several TV music shows. He recorded his first song in 1958, credited to Deane Hawley and The Crystals on the Valor label. He worked with a number of songwriters including Dorsey Burnette (“Bossman”) and Sharon Sheeley (“Don’t Dress the World in Black”) and Ben Wiseman and Fred Wise (“Pocket Full of Rainbows”).

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You, Me And Mexico by Edward Bear

#804: You, Me And Mexico by Edward Bear

Peak Month: April 1970
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
1 week Hitbound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #68
YouTube.com link: “You, Me And Mexico
Lyrics: “You, Me And Mexico

In the mid-60’s Larry Evoy and Paul Weldon were jamming in basements and experimenting with blues rock tunes. In 1966 bass player Craig Hemmings and drummer Dave Brown formed a band with Evoy and Weldon. They got guitarist Danny Marks to join them after he answered an ad. (Marks left the band in 1970 and was replaced by Roger Ellis). After a year they settled on the name The Edward Bear Revue. They got the name from A.A. Milne’s children’s book, Winnie The Pooh, whose central character has the proper name of Edward Bear. In time the band shortened their name to Edward Bear. The band originally was a blues and rock band and opened in 1968 for a Toronto concert with Led Zeppelin as the headliner.
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Mama by B.J. Thomas

#805: Mama by B.J. Thomas

Peak Month: June 1966
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #4 CFUN
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #22
YouTube.com link: “Mama
Lyrics: “Mama

Billy Joe Thomas was born in Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1942. His family eventually moved to Houston, Texas. When he was in his teens playing baseball, Billy Joe Thomas took the name of BJ. This was because there were too many boys on the baseball team with the name of Billy Joe. During his teens he sang in a church choir. In 1958, BJ Thomas heard “To Be Loved” by Jackie Wilson. He credits the song as being a catalyst for his love of singing. In the late 50’s, in grade eleven, his Junior year, BJ Thomas became lead singer for a local band named The Triumphs. He got to know Roy Head and the Traits. The Traits and The Triumphs participated in several Battle of the Bands events in the early 60’s. In 1966, BJ Thomas got a record contract with Scepter Records.
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Theme For A Dream by Cliff Richard

#806: Theme For A Dream by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: April 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6 CFUN
Peak Position #4 CKWX
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Theme For A Dream
Lyrics: “Theme For A Dream

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”.

Continue reading →

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