Hallelujah I Love Her So by Ray Charles

#5: Hallelujah I Love Her So by Ray Charles

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: October 1956
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Hallelujah I Love Her So
Lyrics: “Hallelujah I Love Her So”

Ray Charles Robinson Sr. was born in 1930 in Albany, Georgia. His half-brother, George, was born when Ray was one-years-old. The brother had the same father, but George’s mother was someone the father had taken up with after he abandoned the family in the first year of Ray Charles’ life. George died accidentally in their mother’s laundry tub at the age of 4. From an early age Ray learned to play piano, though he began to lose his sight at the age of 4, and lost it by age 7.  In 1937, Ray Charles was sent to St. Augustine (FL) to attend the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. At the school, young Ray learned to play classical piano by using braille music. In 1945, his mother died when he was 14-years-old.

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Fever by Little Willie John

#7: Fever by Little Willie John

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: December 1956
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #27
Peak Position on Billboard R&B Best Sellers ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard R&B Jockeys chart ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard R&B Jukebox chart ~#1
YouTube: “Fever
Lyrics: “Fever

Little Willie John was born in 1937 in Cullendale, Arkansas. His family moved to Detroit in 1941 when his dad got work in a factory. He performed in a gospel singing group with a number of his siblings in the late 40s. In the early 50s he was singing with Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams Orchestra. In 1952 he had a seasonal regional hit in Detroit with “Mommy What Happened to Our Christmas Tree”. The song was credited to 14-year-old Willie John and Three Lads and a Lass. Willie John got the attention of a talent scout and was signed to King Records in 1955. He was nicknamed “Little Willie” due to his stature. His first hit with King Records was “All Around the World” which shot to #5 on the R&B charts in ’55. The song is a profession of the singer’s love for someone addressed as “my baby,” describing what else wouldn’t be true if he doesn’t love his woman. The refrain:

Well, if I don’t love you, baby
Grits ain’t groceries
Eggs ain’t poultry
And Mona Lisa was a man.

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Two In The Afternoon by Dino, Desi & Billy

#52: Two In The Afternoon by Dino, Desi & Billy

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: June 1967
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #8
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #99
YouTube: “Two In The Afternoon
Lyrics: “Two In The Afternoon

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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Dance With The Guitar Man by Duane Eddy

#10: Dance With The Guitar Man by Duane Eddy

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: December 1962
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #12
YouTube: “Dance With The Guitar Man
Lyrics: “Dance With The Guitar Man

Duane Eddy was born in Corning, New York, in 1938. When he turned five years old he started to play guitar. His family moved to Arizona and in 1954, at the age of 16, Eddy got a Chet Atkins Gretch guitar. In 1954, at Coolidge High School Duane met Jimmy Delbridge who shared his love of music. Both boys played guitar and sang. In short order they were appearing on local radio in Coolidge, KCKY, as Jimmy and Duane. Jimmy sang best and Duane was a superior guitar player. Duane persuaded Jimmy leave the guitar behind and play piano. During 1955 local Phoenix disc jockey Lee Hazlewood was informally managing the duo. In June ’55 Hazlewood drove Eddy and Jimmy Dell (as he was now known) to Ramsey Recording Studio in Phoenix. In the studio the duo recorded the first of Hazelwood’s songs, “Soda Fountain Girl” and “I Want Some Lovin’ Baby”. These were old hillbilly tunes  backed by Buddy Long & the Western Melody Boys.

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A Young Girl by Noel Harrison

#15: A Young Girl by Noel Harrison

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CHNS
Peak Month: January  1966
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #51
YouTube: “A Young Girl
Lyrics: “A Young Girl

Noel Harrison was born in 1934, and was the son of Rex Harrison and his first of six wives, Ethel Collette-Thomas. When he was 15, his mother took Noel out of school to live in the Swiss Alps. Harrison never returned to school and began ski-racing. He joined the Ipswich theatre repertory group and taught himself guitar, but his main interest and most of his spare time was spent skiing. At an early age, he was a member of the British ski team, becoming its first giant-slalom champion in 1953. In 1952, Harrison represented Great Britain at the Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway. Four years later he was part of Great Britain’s olympic tea at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

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Condition Red by the Goodees

#17: Condition Red by the Goodees

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CHNS
Peak Month: February 1969
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #46
YouTube: “Condition Red
Lyrics: “Condition Red

The Goodees were a girl group comprised of Kay Evans, Sandra Jackson and Judy Williams. They became friends at Memphis’ Messick High School. They started singing at school assemblies and local events. They got a break in 1967 when they won a local talent contest. The winning prize included an audition with Stax Records.

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Wisdom Of A Fool by the Five Keys

#17: Wisdom Of A Fool by the Five Keys

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: January 1957
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #35
YouTube: “Wisdom Of A Fool
Lyrics: “Wisdom Of A Fool

Around 1945, a gospel quartette from Newport News, Virginia, was formed. They consisted of Rudy (born 1932) and Bernard West (born in 1929) and Ripley (born in 1930) and Raphael Ingram. They called themselves The Sentimental Four. They added a second tenor, Edwin Hall, to the group, though they kept their name. Music commentator Marc Goldberg writes, “With their changed sound, the Sentimental Four (plus one) won the Jefferson Theater amateur show for five consecutive weeks.” Consequently, they were rewarded with a trip to the Apollo Theater. The manager of the Jefferson Theater in Newport News was Ike Burton. He was so excited about The Sentimental Four, that he offered to become their manager, which they accepted. Burton wanted the group to change their name. Goldberg recounts, “They were in his office when a key ring with 5 skeleton keys on it fell on the floor, and the “5 Keys” they became.” Soon they had double-breasted gray plaid suits and blue and white ties with the ‘K’ stitched on. They showed up at the Apollo Theatre Amateur Hour on August 24, 1949, with their new outfit.

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Little Coquette by Jimmy Beasley

#16: Little Coquette by Jimmy Beasley

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: October 1956
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Little Coquette
Lyrics: “Little Coquette

Jimmy Beasley was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1929. (Real Blues Magazine states he was born in 1929, while Wikipedia states he was born in 1931). Beasley was in several bands while in high school. But he also developed a talent for boxing. Between 1948 and 1950 he won 59 out of 65 fights vying for the Golden Glove competition. In 1954, Beasley was about to move to Los Angeles, when his band – The Sonny Kenner Trio – became the house band at the El Capitan Club at 18th and Vine in Kansas City. On one occasion, Billie Holiday showed up at the club and asked to sing with the trio. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Beasley got to know people in the music scene. For a semester he studied theology at Pepperdine College in Malibu, but quit before the year was through.

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Pretty Little Girl by the Monarchs

#20: Pretty Little Girl by the Monarchs

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: October 1956
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #6
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Pretty Little Girl
Lyrics: “Pretty Little Girl

The Monarchs were a doo-wop group from New York City.  The members consisted of Arthur Allen, Arthur Kemp, Fred Wells, Robert Galloway, and Robert White. They released a single titled “Wanna Go Home” on Wing Records in 1955. They switched labels to record on Neil Records in 1956. Their first effort was “Always Be Faithful”. Their third single release was “Pretty Little Girl” late summer ’56. A photo of the group at the top of this post features the five members on each side of a table with a manager and his spouse at the back of the table.

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Tears For Souvenirs by Tommy Leonetti

#19: Tears For Souvenirs by Tommy Leonetti

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: January 1957
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Tears For Souvenirs

Nicola Tomaso Lionetti was born in 1929 in North Bergen, New Jersey. He had a talent for singing and changed his name. He sang with the Charlie Spivak jazz band and the Tony Pastor jazz Band. In the early fifties, Arthur Godfrey remarked on his television show that, when told they had booked Tommy Leonetti, he thought that it was a trio called “Tommy, Lee, and Eddy.” Leonetti had a minor hit in 1954 on the Billboard Pop chart titled “I Cried”, which peaked at #30. His biggest hit in the USA was in 1956 with “Free”, which peaked at #23 on the Billboard chart. He was a singer with the 1957‐58 cast of Your Hit Parade.

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