Sinful Wishes by Kon Kan

#1216: Sinful Wishes by Kon Kan

Peak Month: May 1993
Peak Position #19
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Sinful Wishes

Barry Harris was born in Toronto. In 1988 he envisioned a one-off project involving a synth-pop version of Lynn Anderson’s 1971 hit “Rose Garden”. Harris got Kevin Wynne to be a vocalist for the single. This was due to Wynne’s ability to mimic the vocal drone found in singles by New Order (i.e. “Blue Monday”). The duo got their name – Kon Kan –  from the phrase “Can Con” which is short for Canadian Content which is the name of a rule that enforces Canadian radio stations to at least play 30% music from Canadian musicians. “I Beg Your Pardon” peaked at #3 in New York City, #7 in Hamilton (ON) and Columbia (SC), #9 in Chicago, #10 in San Francisco, and #15 in Vancouver (BC). Internationally, “I Beg Your Pardon” peaked at #5 in the UK, #7 in New Zealand, and #8 in Germany. On March 18, 1990, at the Juno Awards, Kon Kan won an award for Best Dance Recording.
Continue reading →

Keep On Running by Spencer Davis Group

#1338: Keep On Running by Spencer Davis Group

Peak Month: March 1966
Peak Position #9
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN Chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #76
YouTube.com: “Keep On Running
Lyrics: “Keep On Running

Spencer David Nelson Davies was born in 1939 in Swansea, Wales. Davis learned to play harmonica and accordion at the age of six. In 1955, at the age of 16, Spencer formed a group called The Saints with Bill Perkes (later known as Bill Wyman, bass guitarist for the Rolling Stones). Davies dropped the “e” in his surname since, though “Davies” was pronounced “Davis” in Wales, it didn’t get pronounced like this elsewhere. In the late 50s, Spencer met Christine Perfect, who he dated and played with in a folk group called the Ian Campbell Trio. She later married John McVie and was a lead singer in Fleetwood Mac. In 1963 he formed the Spencer Davis Group

Continue reading →

Boys Of Autumn by David Roberts

#1188: Boys Of Autumn by David Roberts

Peak Month: September 1982
8 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Boys Of Autumn
Lyrics: “Boys Of Autumn

David Roberts was born in Boston in 1958. His family moved to Toronto when he was young and he grew up in Canada. When he was 19 years old, in 1977, he was signed to WEA Records in Canada. In 1981 he provided backing vocals for an album by Lisa Dal Bello. In 1982 he released his debut album All Dressed Up. Roberts wrote all ten tracks for the album. On his Facebook page Roberts states that the album was recorded in Sunset Studios in Los Angeles. And that his session musicians included Jeff Pocaro, Steve Lukather and Mike Pocaro from Toto, recent winner of a 1980 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Song – “After The Love Has Gone” by Earth, Wind & Fire: David Foster (writer and arranger), multi-instrumentalist and Grammy Award nominee in 1982 for Album of the Year (Breakin’ Away): Jay Graydon, Michael Boddicker – a studio musician whose electronic keyboards were featured on “Rock With You” and “Off The Wall” for Michael Jackson, percussionist Paulinho Da Costa who had recently been in the studio with George Benson on “Give Me The Night” and the Brothers Johnson hit “Stomp”, and Bill Champlin from the rock band Chicago.

Continue reading →

Souvenir by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

#1395: Souvenir by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Peak Month: June 1982
Number of weeks on Vancouver’s CFMI Chart – insufficient data due to unavailable charts
Peak Position ~ #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Souvenir
Lyrics: “Souvenir

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) is a band that formed in 1978 in the Liverpool suburb of Wirral, UK. The bands’ co-founder, George Andrew “Andy” McCluskey, was born in 1959 in the town of Heswall on The Wirral peninsula. In primary school McCluskey met Paul Humphreys. The two teamed up in their teens to play in the bands Hitlerz Underpantz, VCL XI and the Id. The latter was a synth-pop band that also included future OMD member Malcolm Holmes. Paul David Humphreys was born in 1960 Merseyside. He was influenced by Kraftwerk and Brian Eno.  Malcolm Holmes was born in a suburb of Merseyside in The Wirral in 1960. When the Id was founded in 1977, Holmes became the band’s drummer. He joined OMD in 1980. Martin Cooper was born in 1958 and joined OMD in 1980.

Continue reading →

My Coloring Book by Barbra Streisand

#1386: My Coloring Book by Barbra Streisand

Peak Month: February 1963
7 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “My Coloring Book
Lyrics: “My Coloring Book

Barbara Joan Streisand was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. A year after she was born her 34-year-old father died of complications from an epileptic seizure, and a morphine injection given to address the situation. She had an older brother named Sheldon who was born in 1935. Barbara started her schooling at a Jewish Orthodox Jeshiva. Her mother remarried to Louis Kind in 1949, and with that marriage Barbara gained a half-sister named Roslyn. When she was nine years of age, she auditioned with MGM Records, though this didn’t result in a record deal. While attending Erasmus Hall High School she got to know a member of a choral club named Neil Diamond.  When she was 14, Streisand saw the Broadway play The Diary Of Anne Frank. After seeing the play she knew she wanted to pursue acting. In the summer of 1957, Barbara Streisand got small acting parts in Picnic and Desk Set at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge, New York, a small town southeast of Albany. In 1958 she appeared in a play called Driftwood, opposite a new actress named Joan Rivers.

Continue reading →

If You Want This Love by Sonny Knight

#1392: If You Want This Love by Sonny Knight

Peak Month: October 1964
6 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #91
YouTube: “If You Want This Love
Lyrics: “If You Want This Love

Joseph Coleman Smith was born in 1934, in the western Chicago suburb of Maywood. His family moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950’s. In 1953 Joseph Smith signed with Aladdin Records and recorded a novelty tune he wrote titled “But Officer”. The song was a humorous response to police stopping young African-Americans back in the early 50’s. Do things ever change? Joseph C. Smith chose to record “But Officer” under the pseudonym Sonny Knight. Aladdin was interested in him after he penned “Vicious, Vicious Vodka”. The tune was one Amos Milburn went on to record in 1954. Sonny Knight went on to record a few records on the Specialty label in 1955.

Continue reading →

Town Without Pity by the Wildroot Orchestra

#1155: Town Without Pity by the Wildroot Orchestra

Peak Month: January 1982
7 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Town Without Pity
Lyrics: “Town Without Pity

Around 1971 a band called Wildroot formed in Vancouver (BC). An article by Canadianbands.com identifies Howie Vickers was the lead vocalist, Frank Allison was on guitar, Ian Berry was on keyboards and saxophone, Charles Faulkner was on bass guitar and Jim McGillveray was on drums. who formed in the 70s. Charles Faulkner was previously a member of Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck, a psychedelic rock band from Vancouver (1967-71). Jim McGillveray is credited with being one of the last members of the Painted Ship, a Vancouver (BC) band that folded in 1968. McGillveray, Ian Berry and Frank Allison were all previously members of Vancouver’s New Breed, a band that formed in 1966.

Continue reading →

Are You Ready For Love by Patsy Gallant

#1368: Are You Ready For Love by Patsy Gallant

Peak Month: February 1977
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Are You Ready For Love
Lyrics: “Are You Ready For Love

Patricia Gallant was born in 1948 in Cambellton, New Brunswick. Her family was Acadian, and she was one of ten children. From the age of five she was the youngest of four sisters performing as the Gallant Sisters. Her mother coaxed four of the sisters for the group, hoping to earn some funds for the cash-strapped household. By 1956, when the family moved to Moncton, NB, the Gallant Sisters began appearing on TV. This led to appearances in nightclubs when they moved to Montreal in 1958. In 1967 she recorded her first single in French for the Quebec and New Brunswick Francophone market. She continued to release songs over the following five years in French, and then issued English versions. Gallant was featured in numerous TV commercials. And she was a regular on both the French-language TV variety program Discothèque and an English variety show called Music Hop.

Continue reading →

Easy Money by Valdy

#1137: Easy Money by Valdy

Peak Month: December 1980
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Easy Money

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).

Continue reading →

Homosapien by Pete Shelley

#1382: Homosapien by Pete Shelley

Peak Month: July 1982
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN’s chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Homosapien
Lyrics: “Homosapien

Peter Campbell McNeish was born in 1955, in the town of Leigh, ten miles west of Manchester. His parents were working class, with his mother a mill worker and father working in a coal mine. In 1974 he met Howard Trafford while attending Bolton College, ten miles northwest of Manchester. In 1975 they went to London to see the Sex Pistols. The following year they formed a punk rock band they called the Buzzcocks. McNeish adopted the stage name Pete Shelley, with his “surname” taken from his favorite poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Trafford took the stage name Howard Devoto. Shelley and Devoto co-wrote the Buzzcocks first single “Orgasm Addict”, released in 1977. After the band’s first EP, Howard Devoto left the Buzzcocks. The Buzzcocks fused their hard-driving punk sound with some pop sensibilities. This got them on the UK Singles chart as they climbed into the Top 40 in 1978 with “What Do I Get?” and “Love You More”.

Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter