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”.

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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.

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Lovedrops by Barry Allen

#2: Lovedrops by Barry Allen

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: May 1966
Peak Position #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Lovedrops
Lyrics: “Lovedrops

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.
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Diamonds And Gold by Willie And The Walkers

#13: Diamonds And Gold by Willie And The Walkers

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: May 1967
Peak Position in Edmonton: #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Diamonds And Gold
Lyrics: N/A

Will MacCalder was born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1947. His family moved to Edmonton, Alberta, while he was an infant. In his teens he began to follow the CFRN hit parade in Edmonton. At the age of 13 he began to learn to play the saxophone. He formed a band called the Barons, and subsequently the Casuals and in the mid-60s, the Tempests. Another bandmate with the Tempests was drummer Rolie Hardie. MacCalder recalls, “I thank him from the bottom of my heart. He taught me what it was to play in time! And he caught me on numerous occasions playing out of time! He just had the knack.” Rolie Hardie was born in Kelowna, British Columbia, in 1949. His older brother, Bill – born in 1947 in Kelowna – learned to play Hawaiian steel guitar. Bill Hardie was part of a band called the Nobles, and later the Vacqueros who had a guitarist named Dennis Petruk. Before they split up, the Vacqueros recruited Rolie Hardie from the Tempests to join their band.

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Hello Melinda Goodbye by the Five Man Electrical Band

#16: Hello Melinda Goodbye by the Five Man Electrical Band

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CHED
Peak Month: February 1971
Peak Position in Edmonton: #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Hello Melinda Goodbye
Lyrics: “Hello Melinda Goodbye

The Five Man Electrical Band was a Canadian mainstream rock band from Ottawa. They had an international hit in 1970 called “Signs.” Les Emmerson was born in 1944. In 1963 the Staccatos, an Ottawa group, was formed. It included lead singer and local disc jockey Dean Hagopian. After some local hits they got the attention of Capitol Records. When Dean Hagopian left around 1964, Les Emmerson stepped in as lead vocalist. One of their 1965 singles imitated the surfing sound with “Moved To California.” In 1966 their Top 40 hit on the Canadian RPM singles chart, “Let’s Run Away,” won the group the two Juno awards that year for Best Produced Single and Vocal Instrumental Group Of The Year.

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Hard Life Alone by Ray Materick

#18: Hard Life Alone by Ray Materick

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CFRN
Peak Month: November 1972
Peak Position in Edmonton: #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Hard Life Alone
Lyrics: N/A

Ray Materick was born in Brantford, Ontario, in 1943. His father was an evangelical preacher, and also had been a dance band leader. Ray Materick tried to learn the guitar at the age of 8, but found it too challenging. In his teens he became proficient at guitar and was in a band called The Chevron Sextet. In his late twenties, he moved to Toronto in 1970. For several years he performed at concerts in the coffee house circuit in the Toronto regional area. In 1972, Materick recorded an album titled Sidestreets. It was hailed as a stellar example of roots-folk. The Toronto Star wrote, “Just remarkable. Ten autobiographical song sketches that make emotional participation mandatory and inescapable.” From the album came a single titled “Season of Plenty”. It was released on Kanata Records 1010, with the B-side, “Goodbye”. But it didn’t chart nationally, though the B-side charted in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Kanata re-released the song on Kanata 1013. At last, “Season of Plenty” began to appear on the Canadian RPM Top Pop Singles Chart on October 7, 1972.

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Rain-O by Chilliwack

#2: Rain-O by Chilliwack

City: Chilliwack, BC
Radio Station: CHWK
Peak Month: January 1971
Peak Position in Chilliwack ~ #12
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Rain-O
Lyrics: “Rain-O

Bill Henderson was born in Vancouver in 1944. He learned guitar and became the guitarist for the Panarama Trio that performed at the Panarama Roof dance club on the 15th Floor of the Hotel Vancouver. He formed the psychedelic pop-rock Vancouver band, The Collectors, in 1966. The Vancouver rock band The Collectors, was formerly named The Classics who were a Vancouver group led by Howie Vickers in the mid-60s who often appeared on CFUN. The Classics were part of the regular line-up on Let’s Go, a show on CBC TV. Though the Classics released several singles the group needed room to grow and reformed as The Collectors. They would become one of the most innovative of Vancouver’s recording acts through the rest 60s. In the spring of 1966, Vickers was asked to put together a house band at the Torch Cabaret in Vancouver. Along with Claire Lawrence on horns, they recruited guitarist Terry Frewer, drummer Ross Turney and Brian Newcombe on bass. Within a couple of months, fellow Classics member Glenn Miller replaced Newcombe on bass and Bill Henderson, a student at UBC, replaced Frewer on guitars. With Vickers now handling vocals, their sound changed from doing covers of R&B tunes to psychedelic rock. This led them to gigs along the Canadian and US west coast. Their strongest fan base in America was in California.

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Mary Lou by Ronnie Hawkins

#2: Mary Lou by Ronnie Hawkins

City: Cornwall, ON
Radio Station: CJSS
Peak Month: October 1959
Peak Position in Cornwall ~ #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #26
YouTube: “Mary Lou
Lyrics: “Mary Lou

Ronnie Hawkins was born in Huntsville, Arkansas, on January 10, 1935, two days after Elvis Presley. Hawkins’ mother was a teacher; his father, a barber. Known affectionately over the years as “Mr. Dynamo,” “Sir Ronnie,” “Rompin’ Ronnie,” and “The Hawk,” Hawkins’ love of music started in high school. He formed the first version of his band The Hawks while studying at the University of Arkansas in the 1950s. Ronnie remembers, he’d commandeer an old gas station on Dickson street for rehersals. “We’d unplug their outside Coke machine and plug in our instruments,” Hawkins said. “They had the warmest Cokes in town.” In 1958, on the recommendation of Conway Twitty – who considered Canada to be the promised land for a rock’n roll singer – Hawkins came to Hamilton, Ontario to play a club called The Grange. He never left. Adopting Canada as his home, Hawkins became a permanent resident in 1964. In 1958 he released his first single, “Hey, Bo Diddley”.

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Happy Feeling/If There's A Thought by the Happy Feeling

#1: Happy Feeling/If There’s A Thought by the Happy Feeling

City: Calgary, Alberta
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: November 1968
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ Hit-bound #36
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Happy Feeling
Lyrics: N/A

City: Calgary, Alberta
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: March 1969
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
B-side: “If There’s A Thought

Happy Feeling was a band from Calgary, Alberta. They formed in the late 60s. Gordie Moffat played bass guitar, keyboards, harmonica, lead and backing vocals. Bob Moffat played  rhythm guitar, lead guitar, keyboards, percussion, and backing vocals. Jim Aiello played keyboards, and was the frontman and lead vocalist for the band. Bruce Frost played bass guitar. Gerry Mudry was the bands’ drummer, and Dan Ferguson played lead guitar, and shared lead and backing vocals.

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Blue Bonnie Blue by 49th Parallel

#2: Blue Bonnie Blue by 49th Parallel

City: Calgary, Alberta
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: February 1968
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Blue Bonnie Blue
Lyrics: N/A

Singer Dennis Abbott and guitar player Dan Lowe formed a band in the mid-60’s called The Real McCoys. The name was soon discarded in favor of The Shades of Blond. The band consisted of Abbott and Lowe, joined by Bob Carlson on guitar, Dave Petch on organ, Mick Woodhouse on bass guitar, and Terry Bare on drums. The Shades of Blond played covers of British Invasion hits. As well, they began to write some songs and experimented with a fuzz-guitar garage rock sound. This got them a contract to record on International Master Discovery Records, which put out an album featuring four of the new Calgary bands. By ’67 they’d changed their name to 49th Parallel, and had all but outgrown the local circuit. They played the prairies relentlessly for the next year or so, making over a dozen stops in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan at The Temple Gardens alone.

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