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).

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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”.

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Only You by the Flying Pickets

#1274: Only You by the Flying Pickets

Peak Month: June 1984
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN’s chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Only You
Lyrics: “Only You

Brian Hibbard was born in the County of Monmouth in southwestern Wales in 1946. He got employment as a chimney sweep, a steel worker, a barman and a teacher before becoming an actor. In 1972-74 he supported the the UK miner’s strike. He joined John McGrath’s 7:84 Theatre Company. The theatre group’s name was chosen based on an article McGrath recalled from 1966 in the Economist which reported that 7% of the people in the UK owned 84% of the country’s wealth. 7:84 was a leftwing Scottish “political” theatre or agitprop company. In 1981 they performed a production called One Big Blow about a group of miners in a colliery brass band.
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Piltdown Rides Again by Piltdown Men

#1138: Piltdown Rides Again by Piltdown Men

Peak Month: December 1960
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Piltdown Rides Again

Ed Cobb of the Four Preps co-founded the Piltdown Men with Lincoln Mayorga, who was an arranger with the Four Preps. Mayorga played on piano, Tommy Tedesco on six-string bass guitar, Bob Bain on guitar, Scott Gordon on saxophone, Alan Brenmanen on drums, and several other session musicians. The band released instrumentals. Edward “Ed” Cobb was born in 1938. In the Fall of 1954 Hollywood High School held an audition for their annual talent show. Thirty-five girls auditioned, but no boys. The next day the school bulletin pleaded for “any guys out there who can do anything.” Four boys in the school choir formed a quartet overnight and stepped into the crinoline void as The Four Preps. They included bass singer Ed Cobb. The Four Preps won the talent show hands down, after singing covers of songs by The Crew Cuts and The Four Lads. Signed with Capitol Records in 1956, the Four Preps connected with the record buying public in 1958 with two Top Ten hits: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” and “Big Man”.

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#1292: Train by Shooter

Peak Month: September 1975
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Train

In 1971 a 50s cover band based in Toronto was formed named the Greaseball Boogie Band. Eat your heart out American Graffiti. The band released an album in 1973 of covers of early rock era classics. It included “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley, “High-School Confidential” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Slipin’ And A-Slidin’” by Little Richard, “Rockin’ Pnneumonia” by Huey “Piano” Smith, “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino, “Searchin’” by the Coasters, “Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett, “Sea Cruise” by Frankie Ford, and others. The band members included bass guitar player Gene Trach, vocalist Duncan White, keyboard player Ray Harrison, drummer Tommy “Short Ass” Frew, saxophonist Wayne “Pig Boy” Mills, and John “Animal” Bride.

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Brontosaurus Stomp by Piltdown Men

#1273: Brontosaurus Stomp by Piltdown Men

Peak Month: October 1960
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #75
YouTube.com link: “Brontosaurus Stomp

Ed Cobb of the Four Preps co-founded the Piltdown Men with Lincoln Mayorga, who was an arranger with the Four Preps. Mayorga played on piano, Tommy Tedesco on six-string bass guitar, Bob Bain on guitar, Scott Gordon on saxophone, Alan Brenmanen on drums, and several other session musicians. Edward “Ed” Cobb was born in 1938. In the Fall of 1954 Hollywood High School held an audition for their annual talent show. Thirty-five girls auditioned, but no boys. The next day the school bulletin pleaded for “any guys out there who can do anything.” Four boys in the school choir formed a quartet overnight and stepped into the crinoline void as The Four Preps. They included bass singer Ed Cobb. The Four Preps won the talent show hands down, after singing covers of songs by The Crew Cuts and The Four Lads. Signed with Capitol Records in 1956, the Four Preps connected with the record buying public in 1958 with two Top Ten hits: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” and “Big Man”.

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Rock Me Baby by David Cassidy

#1134: Rock Me Baby by David Cassidy

Peak Month: November 1972
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN’s chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #38
YouTube.com link: “Rock Me Baby
Rock Me Baby” lyrics

David Bruce Cassidy was born in 1950 in New York City, and was raised by parents who were both actors. His father, Jack Cassidy, was bipolar, was an alcoholic and had numerous same-sex relationships outside of his marriage, including one with Cole Porter. David Cassidy’s mother, Eveyln Ward, made her acting debut on Broadway in 1943, and appeared in about ten TV shows. She retired from acting in 1967. She divorced Jack Cassidy in 1954, and remarried in 1961, while Jack married Shirley Jones in ’56. But the Cassidy children weren’t told about the divorce for two years, while their parents hid the fact behind extensive touring and acting schedules. This, according to David Cassidy’s 1994 memoir.

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Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? by Elvis Presley

#1144: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: July 1957
2 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
“Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?” 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 #1196 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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Sentimental Kid by the Four Preps

#1244: Sentimental Kid by the Four Preps

Peak Month: August 1960
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN’s chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Sentimental Kid

Bruce Belland was born in Chicago in 1936. In 1946 his family moved to Los Angeles. As a star-struck 15-year-old, Belland delivered newspapers to dozens of world famous celebrities over in Beverly Hills. Those on his paper route included Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Durante, Danny Kaye, Ira Gershwin, Danny Thomas, Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Burns, and Rosalind Russell. This fueled Bruce Belland’s fantasy of a show business career. Edward “Ed” Cobb was born in 1938. Marv Inabnett was born in 1938 and was professionally billed as Marv Ingram. Glen Larson was born in Los Angeles in 1937. Marv Ingram starred in some episodes of the Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet in its opening season in 1952.

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#1283: Bongo Rock by Incredible Bongo Band

Peak Month: August 1973
6 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #57
YouTube.com “Bongo Rock

Preston Epps was born in Oklahoma in 1930 and learned to play percussion instruments while he was in the Korean War. In the early 50s Epps found his passion after he fell in love with the drums after visiting Bop City, a San Francisco jazz club. Epps was the main percussionist on “Earth Angel”, which was recorded in 1954 by the Penguins. In April 1955, “Earth Angel” climbed to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts, #8 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores pop music chart, and #2 on the Cashbox Best Selling Singles chart. In 1957 Preston Epps was featured in the film Calypso Heat Wave where he played the bongos. In 1959 Preston Epps released an instrumental he co-wrote titled “Bongo Rock”. The single peaked at #14 in June ’59 on the Billboard Hot 100. The instrumental climbed to #6 in Vancouver (BC).
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