Wednesday In Your Garden by Barry Allen

#12: Wednesday In Your Garden by Barry Allen

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CHED
Peak Month: August 1970
Peak Position #7
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Wednesday In Your Garden
Lyrics: N/A

Barry Allen Rasmussen was born in 1945 in Edmonton, Alberta. His family was musical, and he learned guitar and sang from an early age. Barry wrote for the Canadianbands.com website decades later of himself: “While attending Victoria High School, he was a member of the curling club, and had aspirations of becoming a chartered accountant. But by the time he’d graduated, he was looking at a musical future, and spent the next couple of years in a number of makeshift groups, honing his chops and emulating his British invasion idols.” He joined Wes Dakus and the Rebels in 1965. They band went to New Mexico and recorded with Norman Petty, producer of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox and others. Petty was taken with Barry Allen’s vocal abilities and suggested Allen make some solo records. The outcome were the single releases in early 1965, “Easy Come Easy Go”, and “It’s Alright With Me Now”. The first single climbed to #6 in Edmonton in January 1965, and made the Top 30 in Regina (SK) and Calgary (AB). The followup single climbed to #9 in Edmonton in July 1965.

Continue reading →

More To Love by Jim Photoglo

#1: More To Love by Jim Photoglo

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CFRN
Peak Month: October 1981
Peak Position in Edmonton: #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “More To Love
Lyrics: “More To Love

Jim Photoglo grew up in Los Angeles. He began playing in bands as a teenager but never considered music as a “career” until he was in his early 20’s. Photoglo reminisces, “I wanted to get out of L.A., so I took to the highway ‘James Taylor’ style with an acoustic guitar, a sleeping bag and a lot of time to think…and all I thought about was music.” Returning to Los Angeles with music as a career goal, Photoglo began paying the usual dues. He took every kind of gig from playing in a funeral band to putting together a group to back John Belushi’s “Joe Cocker” imitation at a party for Paul McCartney. His solo career took off when he was signed to the Twentieth Century Fox label in 1979.

Continue reading →

Thank You Girl by the Beatles

#3: Thank You Girl by the Beatles

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: June 1964
Peak Position in Edmonton: #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #35
YouTube: “Thank You Girl
Lyrics: “Thank You Girl

Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool in 1942. He attended the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys and met fellow classmates  George Harrison on a school bus. When Paul was 14 his mom died from a blockage in one of her blood vessels. In his early teens McCartney learned to play trumpet, guitar and piano. He was left-handed and restrung the strings to make it work. In 1957, Paul met John Lennon and in October he was invited to join John’s skiffle band, The Quarrymen, which Lennon had founded in 1956. After Paul joined the group his suggested that his friend, George Harrison, join the group. Harrison became one of the Quarrymen in early 1958, though he was still only 14. Other original members of the Quarrymen, Len Garry, Rod Davis, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton left the band when their set changed from skiffle to rock ‘n roll. John Duff Lowe, a friend of Paul’s from the Liverpool Institute, who had joined the Quarrymen in early 1958 left the band at the end of school. This left Lennon, McCartney and Harrison as remaining trio. On July 15, 1958, John Lennon’s mother died in an automobile accident.

Continue reading →

Sky Pilot by Eric Burdon and the Animals

#5: Sky Pilot by Eric Burdon and the Animals

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CHED
Peak Month: June 1968
Peak Position in Edmonton: #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube: “Sky Pilot
Lyrics: “Sky Pilot

Eric Victor Burdon was born in 1941 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He was born into a working class family. Due to the river pollution and humidity in Newcastle he suffered asthma attacks daily. During primary school, Burdon writes in his memoir, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, he was “stuck at the rear of the classroom of around 40 to 50 kids and received constant harassment from kids and teachers alike”. He goes on to say his primary school was “jammed between a slaughterhouse and a shipyard on the banks of the Tyne. Some teachers were sadistic…and sexual molestation and regular corporal punishment with a leather strap was the order of the day.” In his song “When I Was Young”, he states he met his first love at 13, who was very experienced while he was not. He also says he smoked his first cigarette at 10 years old and would skip school with his friends to drink.

Continue reading →

Island Of Lost Souls by Blondie

#6: Island Of Lost Souls by Blondie

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CFRN
Peak Month: July 1982
Peak Position in Edmonton: #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #23
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube: “Island Of Lost Souls
Lyrics: “Island Of Lost Souls

Blondie is a band founded in 1974 in New York City by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the new wave scene of the mid-1970s in Manhattan. Angela Trimble was born in 1945 in Miami, Florida. She was adopted into the Harry family and raised in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Out of school, she worked as a Playboy Bunny, a go-go dancer, and a secretary for the BBC in New York City. In the late 60s she was in a folk group called Wind in the Willows who released an album in 1968. By this time she billed herself as Deborah Harry. In 1973 Harry joined The Stillettoes, which included guitarist Chris Stein. Harry and Stein became romantically involved. In 1974, Stein and Harry became the core for the band Angel and the Snake. By late 1974, they renamed the band Blondie.

Continue reading →

As Long As I'm Sure Of You by Bobby Curtola

#7: As Long As I’m Sure Of You by Bobby Curtola

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: June 1964
Peak Position in Edmonton #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “As Long As I’m Sure Of You
Lyrics: N/A

Bobby Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1943. (The town would become amalgamated into the city of Thunder Bay in 1970). His cousin Susan Andrusco remembers “Bobby would always be singing at our family gatherings. The family loved him. And he loved being the centre of attention. He would sing Oh My Papa, and my grandpa would cry.” Oh My Papa was a number-one hit for Eddie Fisher in January 1954, when Bobby Curtola was still ten-years-old. In the fall of 1959, sixteen-year-old high school student Bobby Curtola went from pumping gas at his father’s garage in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the life of a teen idol. Within a year he went from playing in his basement band, Bobby and the Bobcats, to recording his first hit single in 1960, “Hand In Hand With You”, which charted in June ’60 in Ontario, but not in Vancouver.

Continue reading →

Cry Baby by the Nomads

#8: Cry Baby by the Nomads

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: January 1967
Peak Position in Edmonton: #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Cry Baby
Lyrics: “N/A

The Nomads formed in 1958 and had nine members. Notable lead vocalist, Lennie Richards, was born in Edmonton in 1940. He joined the band in 1961. In 1962 Lennie Richards and the Nomads released “Teem Twist” in 1962. On the back of the 45 RPM record jacket it read “When he was 16 he began singing and playing the guitar. An Edmonton disc jockey heard him sing and arranged an audition which launched him on his singing career. Lennie performed with various local “Rock n’ Roll” groups throughout his high school days and after graduation up until 1961. In the spring of 1961, he joined the Nomads as their feature vocalist and rhythm guitar player. Today, Lennie Richards is one of the most popular young singers in Western Canada.” The band also released a cover of the Bell-Notes 1959 hit “I’ve Had It”.

Continue reading →

So Far Away by Dire Straits

#9: So Far Away by Dire Straits

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CHED
Peak Month: February 1986
Peak Position in Edmonton: #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ Playlist
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #19
YouTube: “So Far Away
Lyrics: “So Far Away

Dire Straits is a band that formed in 1977 comprised of Mark and David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers. Mark Freuder Knopfler was born in 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland. His Jewish-Hungarian father fled Hungary in 1939 before the outbreak of World War II. He learned to play guitar when he was a child and appeared on a local TV station in 1965 as part of a duo. Mark was influenced by Django Reinhardt, Hank Marvin of The Shadows, B.B. King, Chet Atkins and others. He studied journalism and kept his hand in music playing in the Duolian String Pickers and the Café Racers. Younger brother, David, was born in 1952. He was playing guitar, drum and piano by age eleven. At the age of 14 David Knopfler was playing in folk clubs. He went into social work and was living in London in the mid-70’s and sharing a flat with a promising guitarist named John Illsley. John Edward Illsley was born in Leister, England, in 1949. By the 1970’s Illsley was involved with a timber firm, studying sociology and opening a record shop. David Knopfler was impressed with Illsley’s talent and introduced him to Mark. Mark, David and John began jamming together, and Mark invited Illsley to join his band the Café Racers.

Continue reading →

Armful Of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen

#10: Armful Of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: January 1967
Peak Position in Edmonton: #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ Playlist
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Armful Of Teddy Bears
Lyrics: N/A

Barry Allen Rasmussen was born in 1945 in Edmonton, Alberta. His family was musical, and he learned guitar and sang from an early age. Barry wrote for the Canadianbands.com website decades later of himself: “While attending Victoria High School, he was a member of the curling club, and had aspirations of becoming a chartered accountant. But by the time he’d graduated, he was looking at a musical future, and spent the next couple of years in a number of makeshift groups, honing his chops and emulating his British invasion idols.” He joined Wes Dakus and the Rebels in 1965. They band went to New Mexico and recorded with Norman Petty, producer of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox and others. Petty was taken with Barry Allen’s vocal abilities and suggested Allen make some solo records. The outcome were the single releases in early 1965, “Easy Come Easy Go”, and “It’s Alright With Me Now”. The first single climbed to #6 in Edmonton in January 1965, and made the Top 30 in Regina (SK) and Calgary (AB). The followup single climbed to #9 in Edmonton in July 1965.

Continue reading →

Look Of Love by Lesley Gore

#11: Look Of Love by Lesley Gore

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: February 1965
Peak Position in Edmonton: #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #27
YouTube: “Look Of Love
Lyrics: “Look Of Love

Lesley Sue Goldstein was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York City. She was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, and attended the Dwight School for Girls. Lesley Gore recalls that in February 1963, “It’s My Party” was among some two hundred demos producer Quincy Jones brought to review with her in the den of her family home. On hearing the song, Gore told Jones: “That’s not half bad. I like it. Good melody. Let’s put it on the maybe pile.” The song proved to be the only demo Gore and Jones found agreeable. She recorded “It’s My Party” with Quincy Jones on March 30, 1963, while she was still a Junior (Grade 11) in high school. The singer was in tears because her boyfriend Johnny left with her best friend Judy. The song was released in early April 1963. It reached number-one on June 1, 1963, remaining for a second week on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cashbox Top 100 Singles chart. In Canada it peaked at #1 in Vancouver, Hamilton (ON), Toronto and Montreal. While on May 30, 1963, Leslie Gore was a guest on American Bandstand.

Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter