Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil

#110: Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil

Peak Month: May 1990
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #47
YouTube.com: “Blue Sky Mine
Lyrics: “Blue Sky Mine

Peter Garrett was born in suburban Sydney, Australia, in 1953. He learned to play harmonica and sing. In 1972 Garrett met drummer Robert Hirst in Sydney. Hirst was also born in suburban Sydney in 1955. In the early 1970s, while still in school, Rob Hirst played in a Beatles cover band named Schwampy Moose. His bandmates were keyboard and guitar player Jim Moginie, and bass guitar player Andrew “Bear” James. Moginie was born in 1956 in Kalamuda, Western Australia.The band changed their name in 1972 to Farm. In 1976 they were joined by Peter Garrett and changed their name to Midnight Oil. The following year the added Sydney born Martin Rotsey on guitar.

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You're The Voice by John Farnham

#193: You’re The Voice by John Farnham

Peak Month: August 1987
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
1 week Playlist
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #82 (in 1990)
YouTube.com: “You’re The Voice
Lyrics: “You’re The Voice

John Peter Farnham was born in 1949 in Essex, England. He moved with his family to Australia in 1959. While in Grade Ten, in 1964 he began performing as Johnny Farnham a local Melbourne band called the Mavericks on weekends. In late 1965, he became the lead singer for Strings Unlimited. In 1967, Farnham was signed to the EMI label and recorded a novelty song titled “Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)”. It became a number-one single in Australia for five weeks in early 1968. He followed up with two more Top Ten hits on the Australian pop charts, including a cover of the 1930s pop standard “Underneath The Arches”. In 1969, Johnny Farnham’s cover of the Three Dog Night song, “One”, peaked at #4 in Australia. He returned to the top of the Australian pop charts later that year with a cover of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”. He had three more Top Ten hits in Australia in the 1970s, and a Top Ten cover of the Beatles “Help” in 1980.

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Send Me An Angel by Real Life

#249: Send Me An Angel by Real Life

Peak Month: March 1984
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #29
YouTube.com: “Send Me An Angel
Lyrics: “Send Me An Angel

In late 1980, Richard Zatorski placed an ad in a local newspaper in Melbourne, Australia. The ad was for a violin and keyboard player looking for a guitarist with whom to write songs. Guitarist David Sterry answered the ad. Zatorski and Sterry formed a writing partnership and began work on the material that would eventually become the first songs by Real Life. Sterry recalls “When I was little kid, I heard The Beatles singing “She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah,” and even though I was only eight, I understood what a hit song was. So then I grew up on Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Cream, and then into The Clash, XTC, Kraftwerk, New Order, The Cure etc. etc.” Sterry, born in 1954, was also into science fiction and loved the TV shows Thunderbirds, My Favorite Martian, Lost In Space, and Star Trek.

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Truganini by Midnight Oil

#1343: Truganini by Midnight Oil

Peak Month: June 1993
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Truganini
Lyrics: “Truganini

Peter Robert Garrett was born in 1953 in Sydney, Australia. He studied politics at the Australian National University, and later law at the University of New South Wales. According to the bands’ website, it was in 1975 that Garrett was asked to join a Sydney-based rock band called The Oils. In 1972 drummer and singer Rob Hirst, bass guitar player Andrew “Bear” James, and guitar player, keyboard player and vocalist Jim Moginie, began playing music together at school. Their band played mostly Beatles covers. Robert George Hirst was born in Camden, New South Wales, in 1955. James Moginie was born in 1956 in Kalamuda, Western Australia. In 1976 guitar player Martin Rotsey joined the band around the time they officially became Midnight Oil. Martin Rotsey was born in Sydney in the mid-50s.

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Hey St. Peter by Flash And The Pan

#712: Hey St. Peter by Flash And The Pan

Peak Month: October 1979
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #76
YouTube.com: “Hey St. Peter
“Hey St. Peter” lyrics

Johannes Hendrikus Jacob van den Berg was born in the Netherlands in 1946. When he turned 13 he taught himself to play guitar in his family’s tenement home. He played guitar in a band called The Starfighters, based in The Hague. When he was seventeen his family moved to Australia in 1963. The following year, going by the anglicized name of Harry Vanda, he became the lead guitar player for a Sydney band called The Easybeats. A co-founder of the band was George Young. Also an immigrant to Australia, in his case from Glasgow, Scotland, George Redburn Young was a rhythm guitarist. After one of the coldest winters in Scotland on record in 1962, the Young family saw a Television ad from the Australian government promising travel assistance for families seeking a new start with a life in Australia. In 1964 The Easybeats often held band practices in a local laundromat. Vanda and Young became a songwriting duo and scored an international hit in 1966 titled “Friday On My Mind”. The song climbed to #9 in Vancouver, #1 in The Netherlands and Australia, #2 in New Zealand and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.

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Bitter Tears by INXS

#933: Bitter Tears by INXS

Peak Month: March 1991
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #46
YouTube.com: “Bitter Tears
“Bitter Tears” lyrics

INXS is a band from Australia pronounced “in excess” or “In-XS.” Originally the band from Sydney, which formed in 1977, was named The Farriss Brothers. Mainstays were Garry Beers on bass guitar, Andrew Farriss on guitar and keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar and Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone. From 1977 to 1997, the lead vocalist, Michael Hutchence, was a charismatic presence with sultry good looks adding to the bands buzz. Initially known for their new wave/ska /pop style, they later developed a harder rock style, including funk and dance elements.

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The Pushbike Song by The Mixtures

#1015: The Pushbike Song by The Mixtures

Peak Month: April 1971
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #44
YouTube.com: “The Pushbike Song
“The Pushbike Song” lyrics

Australian musicians Terry Dean and Rod De Clerk met in Tasmania in 1965. They then met Laurie Arthur, a member of The Strangers, and the three decided to form a band together after a jam session. They quickly signed to EMI that same year and released three singles, including “Music, Music, Music“, a cover of the old Teresa Brewer hit from 1950. They went through several line-up changes over the following few years, then signed to CBS Records in 1969. Among those to join the band were the brothers Idris and Evan Jones who had been with the Gingerbread Men, an Australian pop group who had a Top 20 cover of “Let The Little Girl Dance” in 1965.

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Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris

#1379: Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris

Peak Month: December 1961
3 weeks on CKWX chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Six White Boomers
“Six White Boomers” lyrics

Rolf Harris was born in Western Australia in a small town near Perth in 1930. He moved to London, England, in 1952 and got work with the BBC the following year. He was featured in a children’s one-hour TV show called Jigsaw, offering a regular ten-minute cartoon drawing section with a puppet called “Fuzz” made and operated on the show by magician Robert Harbin. Harris went on to illustrate Harbin’s Paper Magic programme in 1956. In 1954, Harris was a regular on the BBC TV show, Whirligig, which featured a character called “Willoughby,” who came to life on a drawing board, but was erased at the end of each show. Concurrently, Harris performed his piano accordion at an expat club for Australians and New Zealanders in London called Down Under. While there Harris wrote his signature song “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” which became a hit in Australia and New Zealand in 1960 and in North America in the summer of 1963.
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Vancouver Town '71 by Rolf Harris

#1048: Vancouver Town ’71 by Rolf Harris

Peak Month: July 1971
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Vancouver ’71

Rolf Harris was born in Western Australia in a small town near Perth in 1930. He moved to London, England, in 1952 and got work with the BBC the following year. He was featured in a children’s one-hour TV show called Jigsaw, offering a regular ten-minute cartoon drawing section with a puppet called “Fuzz” made and operated on the show by magician Robert Harbin. Harris went on to illustrate Harbin’s Paper Magic programme in 1956. In 1954, Harris was a regular on the BBC TV show, Whirligig, which featured a character called “Willoughby,” who came to life on a drawing board, but was erased at the end of each show. Concurrently, Harris performed his piano accordion at an expat club for Australians and New Zealanders in London called Down Under. While there Harris wrote his signature song “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” which became a hit in Australia and New Zealand in 1960 and in North America in the summer of 1963.

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