Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order

#61: Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: February 1987
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #7
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #98
YouTube: “Bizarre Love Triangle
Lyrics: “Bizarre Love Triangle

Bernard Sumner was born in 1956 in Salford, Lancashire, England. In his youth he learned to play guitar, keyboards, synthesizer and melodica. After graduation from public school, he got work with Stop Frame as a television animator cartoonist. After Sumner and his childhood friend Peter Hook saw the Sex Pistols at a concert in Manchester, they decided to form the post-punk band Joy Division. Born Peter Woodhead in 1956 in Salford, he took his stepfather’s surname, Hook, after his mother remarried. Peter Hook learned to play bass guitar, guitar, melodica, electronic drums and synthesizer. Stephen Paul David Morris was born in 1957 in the market town of Macclesfield, 16 miles south of Manchester. He learned to play the drum from a young age. Over the years he added percussion, keyboards and synthesizer to his resume.

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Autobahn by Kraftwerk

#62: Autobahn by Kraftwerk

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: May 1975
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube: “Autobahn
Lyrics: “Autobahn

Kraftwerk is a band from Dusseldorf, Germany, formed in 1969. Ralf Hütter was born in 1946 in Krefeld, West Germany. He co-founded the band with Florian Schneider-Esleben. Schneider was born in 1947 in Öhningen, West Germany. In 1967 he was in the band Pissoff. Wolfgang Flür was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, in 1947. He was in a band called The Spirits of Sound in the mid-to-late 69s. He joined Kraftwerk in 1973. Klaus Röder was born in Stuttgart, West Germany, in 1948. He studied violin and piano, then began a study of sound engineering in 1968, later switching to part-time studies in composition and guitar at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. He joined Kraftwerk in 1974. Kraftwerk was part of the emerging krautrock “cosmic music” scene in the early 1970s. This music was comprised of avant-garde, psychedelia, minimalistic rhythms, and electronic music.

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Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder

#38: Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CHQR
Peak Month: April 1986
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ “Also Getting Airplay”
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #24
YouTube: “Overjoyed
Lyrics: “Overjoyed

Stevland Hardaway Judkins was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1950. He was born six weeks premature and confined to a hospital incubator. After birth he developed resulted in retinopathy of prematurity – a condition of some premature babies – in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach. Soon after his birth he became blind. As an adult he remarked “people who see often choose the book by the cover…. Maybe a person is also beautiful inwardly and that’s the side I’ll know first.” When he was four his mother divorced his father and remarried. The boy took his new father’s legal name, Morris, after they moved to Detroit. He remembers that in the winter of 1954 “my mother, brothers and I went to this dry dock where there was coal and steal some to keep warm. To a poor person, that’s not stealing, that’s not a crime. That’s a necessity.” As he could not see, he spent a lot of time in his family home listening to the radio. His favorite recording acts were Johnny Ace, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, and later Del Shannon. An uncle gave him a harmonica. After he mastered the instrument, he was given a drum kit one Christmas. And a neighbor gave her piano to Stevie where she moved from the neighborhood. He formed a singing partnership with his friend John Glover. They billed themselves as Stevie and John, playing on street corners, parties and dances.

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Kiss Me You Fool by Northern Pikes

#63: Kiss Me You Fool by Northern Pikes

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: February 1991
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #8
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #29
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Kiss Me You Fool
Lyrics: “Kiss Me You Fool

In 1984, the Northern Pikes formed in their hometown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The band was made up of members from three existing bands in the city: Doris Daye, The Idols and 17 Envelope. John Peter “Jay” Semko was from Saskatoon and was already a gifted singer, songwriter, bass guitar player and pianist. Bryan Anthony Potvin was born in 1963 in Ottawa and his family moved to Victoria where he began playing guitar. Merl Bryck, born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, was a backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist. There were a number of lineup changes. In 1986 The Idols drummer, Don Schmid, made The Northern Pikes a permanent quartet, playing drums and percussion. Schmid was born in Saskatoon. Initially, the band released several EPs. The first was the self-titled The Northern Pikes in 1984. The second EP was Scene In North America, released in 1985. They recorded both EPs at a studio near Pike Lake, SK.

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There Ought To Be A Law by Mickey & Sylvia

#66: There Ought To Be A Law by Mickey & Sylvia

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CHML
Peak Month: March 1957
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #6
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #47
YouTube: “There Ought To Be A Law
Lyrics: “There Ought To Be A Law

Mickey and Sylvia were a calypso-pop duo who were popular in the mid to late 50s. MacHoustonMickeyBaker was born in 1925 in Louisville, Kentucky. His mother was black and his father is believed to be white. Baker was put in an orphanage at age 11 in 1936. After a series of escapes from the orphanage, at age 16 he headed to New York City. It was there he found work as a laborer and then a dishwasher. But after hanging out in the pool halls of 26th Street, he gave up regular work to become a full-time pool shark. At the age of 19, he saved $14 and bought a guitar. In 1949, he formed his own band. In the early 50s, Mickey Baker started working as a session musician.

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In My Room by the Beach Boys

#64: In My Room by the Beach Boys

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: December 1963
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #11
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #23
YouTube: “In My Room
Lyrics: “In My Room

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. Mike was born in Los Angeles in 1941 and Carl was born in 1946 in Hawthorne, California. Brian Wilson named the group Carl and the Passions in order to convince his brother to join. They had a performance in the fall of 1960 at Hawthorne High School, where they attended. Their set included some songs by Dion and the Belmonts. Among the people in the audience was Al Jardine, another classmate. Jardine was born in Hawthorne in 1942. He 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. Dennis was born in Inglewood in 1944.

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My What A Shame by Dino, Desi & Billy

#56: My What A Shame by Dino, Desi & Billy

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: March 1968
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “My What A Shame
Lyrics: N/A

Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV is the son of Des Arnaz and Lucille Ball. His birth in 1953 was one of the most publicized in television history. His parents were the stars of the television sitcom I Love Lucy, and Ball’s pregnancy was part of the storyline, which was considered daring then. The same day Lucy gave birth to Desi Jr., the fictional Lucy Ricardo gave birth to “Little Ricky.” As a testament to how interested the American public was in Lucy’s TV baby, Arnaz appeared on the cover on the very first issue of TV Guide with a title that read: “Lucy’s $50,000,000 baby.” The reason he was given this title was because revenue from certain tie-in commitments were expected to top that mark. In 1964 Desi became the drummer for the pop trio Dino, Desi and Billy. “Dino” was Dean Paul Martin, the son of pop singer Dean Martin “Billy” was Billy Hinsche, brother-in-law of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

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Mr. Businessman by Ray Stevens

#65: Mr. Businessman by Ray Stevens

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: August 1968
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube: “Mr. Businessman
Lyrics: “Mr. Businessman

Harold Ray Ragsdale was born in January 1939, in Clarkdale, Georgia. In high school he formed a group called The Barons. When he was 18, he was signed to Capitol Records on their Prep label. His debut single was “Five More Steps”. The single charted briefly on CKWX in Vancouver in February 1958. In the summer of 1960, Stevens “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” climbed to #22 in Vancouver. While in 1961, Stevens released a single about unscrupulous pharmaceutical products pitched to cure whatever ails you. “Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills” reached #8 in Vancouver, and also charted in the Top 50 in Winnipeg and Montreal. For several decades, Ray Stevens’ song was the longest song title to make the Billboard Hot 100.

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April Fool by Chalk Circle

#70: April Fool by Chalk Circle

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: July 1986
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #11
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “April Fool
Lyrics: “April Fool

Chalk Circle is a band from Newcastle, Ontario. Its origins grew from a band formed in 1982 called The Casualties. The continuous members were lead singer and guitarist Chris Tait, and bass guitarist Brad Hopkins. The band changed their name to The Reactors, and then to New Addition. In 1984 they became Chalk Circle. The name was taken from Bertolt Brecht’s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The play is set in the Soviet Union around the end of WWII. It shows a dispute between two communes, the Collective Fruit Farm Galinsk fruit growing commune and the Collective Goat Farmers. They are arguing over who is to own and manage an area of farm land after the Nazis have retreated from a village and left it abandoned. A parable has been organised by one group, an old folk tale, to be played out to cast light on the dispute. In one part of the play, two women argue over whether a boy named Michael is their own son. A chalk circle is drawn and Michael is placed in the center. The two women are invited to pull Michael out of the chalk circle. If they both pull, they will tear the child in half and get half each? Choosing such a reference for the band’s name, Chalk Circle recorded some interesting songs commenting on contemporary culture.

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It's The End Of The World As We Know It by R.E.M.

#72: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It by R.E.M.

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: March 1988
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #10
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #69
YouTube: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Lyrics: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

R.E.M. is a band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980. Drummer William “Bill” Berry was born in Duluth (MN) in 1958. His family spent some years variously in Wisconsin and then Ohio, before moving to Macon (GA) in 1972. In high school he met guitar player Mike Mills. Born in Orange County (CA), Mills moved with his family to Georgia when he was six months old. Mills and Berry formed a band called Shadowfax, which later became The Back Door Band. Lead vocalist, Michael Stipe, was born in Decatur (GA) in 1960. Like Mike Mills, he was raised in a military family. When Stipe was in university, he met store clerk and guitar player Peter Buck. The pair formed a band and were later joined by Berry and Mills. Peter Buck was born in 1956 in Berkeley (CA). His family moved to Georgia where he attended public school.

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