Courage by The Tragically Hip

#959: Courage by The Tragically Hip

Peak Month: May 1993
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Courage
“Courage” lyrics

In the early 1980’s bass player Gord Sinclair and guitar player Rob Baker were students at Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute in Kingston, Ontario. They had performed at the collegiate’s Variety Show in a band they called The Rodents. In 1984 Baker and Sinclair were in their early twenties. The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario when the duo added drummer Johnny Fay and lead singer Gordon Downie. Their name came from a skit in the movie Elephant Parts, directed by former Monkee’s guitarist Michael Nesmith. The Tragically Hip added Paul Langois, a guitar player, to their line-up in 1986. When they performed at the Horeshoe Tavern in Toronto in the mid-80’s, they were sign to a recording contract with MCA after the company president, Bruce Dickinson, saw the band at the tavern. A self-titled EP (Extended Play) was released in 1987 with a couple of singles that got some airplay. The group was launched.

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Suspicion by Elvis Presley

#962: Suspicion by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: July 1962
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #103
YouTube.com: “Suspicion” – LP Cut
“Suspicion” lyrics

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”, song #1117 on this Countdown. 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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Nobody by Doucette

#976: Nobody by Doucette

Peak Month: September 1979
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #18
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Nobody
“Nobody” lyrics

In 1952 Jerry Doucette was born in Montreal into a musical family. At the age of four his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario. At the age of six got his first guitar. When he was eight he began to take guitar lessons. When he was eleven he joined a band called the Reefers. When he turned 16 he moved to Toronto and was a member of a number of bands including Brutus. He moved to Vancouver in 1972 and  played with the Alexis Radlin Band. Soon after he joined the Seeds of Time who were searching for a guitarist. In 1974 they changed their name to the Rocket Norton Band. Doucette remained with this band until he decided to go solo in 1977, after Mushroom Records expressed support for such a move.

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Animal Heart by Glass Tiger

#901: Animal Heart by Glass Tiger

Peak Month: May 1991
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Animal Heart
“Animal Heart” lyrics

Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario called Tokyo spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early the following year when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records. The band consisted of Alan Frew on vocals and guitar, Sam Reid on keyboards, Al Connelly on guitar, Wayne Parker on bass and Michael Hanson on drums.

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Brain Washed by David Clayton-Thomas & The Bossmen

#902: Brain Washed by David Clayton-Thomas & The Bossmen

Peak Month: August 1966
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
1 week ~ Wax To Watch on CKLG June 19, 1966
YouTube.com: “Brain Washed
“Brain Washed” lyrics

David Henry Thomsett was born in 1941 Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK. His dad, Fred, was a Canadian soldier who served in World War II. His mom, Freda, played piano at a hospital in London to cheer up ill and wounded soldiers. His parents met in London at the hospital where his mom was playing the piano. After the war ended the family moved to Willowdale, Ontario, in suburban Toronto. As a child, Clayton-Thomas writes in his autobiography about his relationship with his father and describes him as “A big rough man, six feet tall, 200 pounds, with a vicious temper hardened by the horrors of war, he was the complete opposite of my gentle grandfather with his funny songs and his puppet shows, and he terrified me. This enraged Fred…. The army had taught Fred that discipline was the answer to everything. He’d toughen the youngster up. And the beatings began.” And so David Henry Thomsett began to run away from home at an early age. At the age of fifteen David left home after his father stormed into the home of a girl he was dating while he was having dinner and his father pulled him out into their front yard and beat David to a pulp. David left home and never returned. He was now a street kid living through a Toronto winter. After a series of arrests for vagrancy and probation violations he was sent to the Guelph Reformatry when he was sixteen.

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Take A Chance With Me by Roxy Music

#904: Take A Chance With Me by Roxy Music

Peak Month: September 1982
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Take A Chance With Me
“Take A Chance With Me” lyrics

In 1945, Bryan Ferry was born in Washington, near Durham, England. His dad worked on a farm and took care of pit ponies. After he got his undergraduate degree, he took courses in fine art at Newcastle University in the mid’60’s. While he was studying, he was part of a student band named the City Blues. With his fine arts degree he started to teach pottery at a girl’s school in London. Concurrently, Ferry founded a band called Banshees. After that he formed a band that included Graham Simpson named the Gas Board. In 1968 he took up residence in London. Ferry was fired from his teaching post for hosting sessions with the ceramics students where they listened to records. Ferry moved on and assembled a band with bass player, Graham Simpson, saxophone and oboe player, Andy MacKay, synthesizer player, Brian Eno, guitarist, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson on drums and percussion being the musicians who endured in the midst of a few minor lineup changes in the early years. He called the band Roxy Music.

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Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

#938: Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald:
Peak Month: September 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Goody Goody
“Goody Goody” lyrics

Ella Fitzgerald first came to national attention with her #1 hit in 1938, “A Tisket, A Tasket.” Before Billboard Magazine began in the 1940’s the song was listed at #1 on the Record Buying Guide and the weekly radio broadcasts of Your Hit Parade, a radio a radio institution on NBC, started in 1935, that billed itself as “an accurate, authentic tabulation of America’s taste in popular music.” She was born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1917. Ella’s mother Temperance “Tempie” Fitzgerald and a second lover, Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, New York, in 1920. Joe dug ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Tempie worked at a laundromat. At age 15 both her mother and Joe died in quick succession, her mom from complications arising from an automobile accident and Joe from a heart attack. In 1934, Ella won a draw to complete in an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Originally planning a dance routine, a troupe that performed ahead of her were so spectacular she spontaneously decided to sing instead. Her performance brought the crowd to its feet and she did an encore.

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Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger

#905: Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger

Peak Month: June 1986
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
1 week Hitbound on CKLG
YouTube.com: “Thin Red Line
“Thin Red Line” lyrics

Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario, Glass Tiger was initially called Tokyo. As Tokyo, they spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early into 1985 when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records. The band consisted of Alan Frew on vocals and guitar, Sam Reid on keyboards, Al Connelly on guitar, Wayne Parker on bass and Michael Hanson on drums.

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Jennifer Juniper by Donovan

#906: Jennifer Juniper by Donovan

Peak Month: April 1968
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
1 week Hitbound on CKLG
YouTube.com: “Jennifer Juniper
“Jennifer Juniper” lyrics

Donovan Phillips Leitch was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1946. As a child he contracted polio and was left with a limp. At the age of 14 he began to play the guitar and when he was 16 years old he set his artistic vision to bring poetry to popular culture. He began busking and learned traditional folk and blues guitar. Music critics began branding him as mimicking Bob Dylan’s folk style. Like Dylan, Donovan wore a leather jacket, the fisherman’s cap, had a harmonica cradle and a song with “Wind” in the title. Dylan wrote “Blowing In The Wind” and Donovan had a hit in 1965 titled “Catch The Wind”.  Donovan was nicknamed by music critics in the UK as the “British Dylan.” In 1965 Bob Dylan flew to London for a concert tour of England in from April 28,  to May 10, 1965. In a 1967 documentary titled Don’t Look Back, by D. A Pennebaker, Donovan appears with Dylan. In a concert performance of “Talkin’ World War Three Blues”, Dylan sings, “I looked in the closet – and there was Donovan.” During the film Dylan and Donovan each play some songs at a hotel party with a concert poster in the background headlined by Donovan, Unit Four Plus 2 and Wayne Fontana and Mindbenders. Dylan patronizes Donovan, while Donovan suggests “I can help you, man.” However, in the by the release of his second studio album, Fairytale, Donovan was forging new musical territory. “Sunny Goodge Street” featured some jazz elements and psychedelia.  And Dylan bid farewell to acoustic guitar and picked up an electric guitar.

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Only Sixteen by Terry Black

#907: Only Sixteen by Terry Black

Peak Month: September 1965
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Only Sixteen
“Only Sixteen” lyrics

Terrance Black was born in Vancouver in 1949. Local DJ, Red Robinson, has said about Terry Black: “Back in the British Invasion days, a young Vancouver singer took the city by storm. He was discovered by Buddy Clyde on Dance Party, a teen show on CHAN TV (now Global). Buddy was able to get the attention of the owner of Dunhill records, the same label that the Mamas and Papas recorded for as well as P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and others of the day.” Terry Black’s first single, “Sinner Man,” was a minor hit in Canada in 1964. His vocal style mimicked the sound of many male vocalists who were part of the British Invasion. While he was fifteen years old, Black had a #2 hit in Vancouver with “Unless You Care“. His single was kept out of the #1 spot in September ’64 by Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”. “Unless You Care” was written and produced by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Two of the studio musicians on the single were Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, who both went on to have recording careers. The song was a major hit in Canada and also cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at #99. In Canada, Black was awarded the Male Vocalist of the Year award at the Maple Music Awards in 1964.

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