I Come Off by Young MC

#1064: I Come Off by Young MC

Peak Month: May 1990
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #75
YouTube.com: “I Come Off
Lyrics: “I Come Off

Marvin Young was born in 1967 in London, UK. His parents, both Jamaican immigrants, left England when he was three-years-old. They moved the family to Queens, New York, when Marvin was eight. While he was a student at the University of Southern California, he rapped over the phone to two owners of an independent record label in Hollywood named Matt Dike and Michael Ross. After he performed his rap on the phone, Young was given a record contract while he was  still talking to Dike and Ross. In 1989 he cowrote with Dike, Ross and Tone Lōc on the songs “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina”. These two rap rock singles crossed over from the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart to the Billboard Hot 100, where they respectively peaked at #2 and #3.

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Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid

#357: Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid

Peak Month: January 1985
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #11
YouTube.com: “Do They Know It’s Christmas
Lyrics: “Do They Know It’s Christmas

Band Aid was the name of a mostly British supergroup formed to record a song in response to news reports of the famine in Ethiopia. The famine had been ongoing since 1983, and recording artists were motivated by what they were seeing on TV broadcasts in the fall of 1984 as the situation worsened. Band Aid was comprised of members of British bands Bananarama, the Boomtown Rats, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Heaven 17, Status Quo, Spandau Ballet, Style Council, and Ultravox. American R&B band Kool & The Gang – who happened to be in London during a visit to their record label in the UK – also agreed to take part in the project. As well, Phil Collins from Genesis, Sting from the Police, and George Michael from Wham! were featured vocalists.

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Handle With Care by the Traveling Wilburys

#479: Handle With Care by the Traveling Wilburys

Peak Month: April 1989
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #45
YouTube.com: “Handle With Care
“Handle With Care” lyrics

The Traveling Wilburys is the name of a supergroup formed in the late 80s by George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, the frontman for the Electric Light Orchestra – Jeff Lynne – and Bob Dylan. George Harrison was born in Liverpool in 1943. Harrison remembers cycling past a home in his neighborhood that was playing “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley. The encounter with the song got him hooked on rock ‘n roll. He subsequently was influenced by Little Richard and Buddy Holly. Harrison’s father bought him his first guitar in 1956 when Harrison was 13 years old. After Paul McCartney joined John Lennon’s group, the Quarymen, McCartney suggested that his friend, George Harrison, join the group. Harrison became one of the Quarrymen in early 1958, though he was still only 14. They changed their name to the Silver Beatles and then the Beatles in the spring of 1960. They group headed to Hamburg, Germany, on August 17, 1960, for a three-and-a-half month stint. In early 1961 the Beatles returned for more engagements in Germany. On June 22, 1961, Bert Kaempfert produced “My Bonnie”, “Ain’t She Sweet” and eight other songs. Later in 1961, “My Bonnie” climbed to #4 on the Hamburg pop charts and #32 on the German pop charts.

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Tapioca Tundra by The Monkees

#844: Tapioca Tundra by The Monkees

Peak Month: April 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #34
YouTube.com: “Tapioca Tundra
“Tapioca Tundra” lyrics

Robert Michael Nesmith was born on December 30, 1942 in Houston, TX. His mother, Bette invented liquid paper and would later leave the $20 million estate to him. Affectionately nicknamed “Nez,” he learned to play saxophone as a young child and joined the United States Air Force years later. After two years in the Air Force, he left to pursue a career in folk music. In 1962 Nesmith won the San Antonio College talent award, performing folk songs and writing his own songs. By 1963, he had moved to Los Angeles, with the intent of getting into the movie business. He also was hosting a hootenanny at the Troubador in West Hollywood, as the “hootmaster.” Nesmith released a 45 single titled “Wandering'”, which he penned. In 1964 Nesmith wrote “Different Drum”, which was a #13 hit for Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in Vancouver in late 1967.

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Here's To You by Hamilton Camp

#877: Here’s To You by Hamilton Camp

Peak Month: June 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #76
1 week Hitbound CKLG, April 20, 1968
YouTube.com: “Here’s To You
“Here’s To You” lyrics

Bob Camp was born in London, England, in 1934. His family moved to the United States during World War II. At the age of twelve he got his first part in a motion picture called Bedlam, a B-horror movie starring Boris Karloff. Camp got cast as a shoeshine boy in Outrage in 1950, the second film out of Hollywood concerning a plot about rape. He played in the film noire classic from 1950, Dark City, and in another horror film, The Son of Dr. Jekyll. Over a career in film from 1946 to the mid-2000’s, he played in sixty movies. Some of the actors played alongside over his  with include Errol Flynn, Robert Preston, Charlton Heston, Jack Webb, Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton,Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, William Holden, Fredric March, Shelley Winters,  Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tommy Sands, Pat Boone, Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Jim Backus, Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Billy Crystal, Joan Rivers, Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Christopher Plummer, Art Carney, Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, Julie Andrews, Larry Hagman, Stockyard Channing, David Carradine, Demi Moore, Nick Nolte, Ed Harris, Tim Robbins, Clint Eastwood, Madeline Kahn, Mickey Rooney, Forest Whitaker, Al Pacino, Madonna, Catherine O’Hara and others.

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Concrete And Clay by Unit Four plus Two/Eddie Rambeau

#970: Concrete And Clay by Unit Four plus Two/Eddie Rambeau

Peak Month: May 1965
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28/#35
YouTube.com: “Concrete And Clay” ~ Unit Four plus Two
YouTube.com: “Concrete And Clay” ~ Eddie Rambeau
“Concrete And Clay” lyrics

The east Hertfordshire, UK, based Unit Four plus Two had originally been formed as a four piece band named Unit Four. It was the brain child of the former lead guitarist of the Hunters, and member of Adam Faith’s Roulettes, Brian Parker. Parker, born in 1940 in Cheshunt, dropped out of the original line up (Parker, Moeller, Meikle, and Moules) because of failing health, but stayed in the background. Unit Four plus Two’s style was closer to folk music than progressive beat music. Still, they got a recording contract with Decca. Their singles were largely ignored and failed commercially in the UK singles chart until Parker co-wrote and produced the song “Concrete and Clay.” Pianist and guitar player, Tommy Moeller, born in Liverpool in 1945, was the other co-writer of the song, and a member of the group. This was a diversion from the folk material the band had been working with. Two of Parker’s former colleagues from the Roulettes (Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit) were drafted in to boost the rhythm section. The resulting record was a #1 hit in the UK which peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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From Me To You By Del Shannon/The Beatles

#1262: From Me To You By Del Shannon/The Beatles

Peak Month: July 1963
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #77 (Del Shannon)/ #116 (the Beatles in 1963)
Youtube.com “From Me To You” The Beatles
Youtube.com “From Me To You” Del Shannon
“From Me To You” lyrics

Charles Weedon Westover was born on December 30, 1934. He was known professionally as Del Shannon. Westover was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He learned ukulele and guitar and listened to country music. He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and while in Germany played guitar in a band called The Cool Flames. When his service ended, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan. There he worked as a carpet salesman and as a truck driver in a furniture factory. He found part-time work as a rhythm guitarist in singer Doug DeMott’s group called Moonlight Ramblers, working at the Hi-Lo Club. Ann Arbor deejay Ollie McLaughlin heard the band. In July 1960, Westover signed to become a recording artist and composer on the Bigtop label. Westover changed his name to Del Shannon. It was a combination of Shannon Kavanagh (a wannabe wrestler who patronized the Hi-Lo Club) with Del, derived from the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, which Westover’s carpet store boss drove.

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