It's A Happening World by the Tokens

#12: It’s A Happening World by the Tokens

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CFNB
Peak Month: August 1967
Peak Position in Fredericton #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #69
YouTube: “It’s A Happening World
Lyrics: “It’s A Happening World

In 1955 a doo-wop group called The Linc-Tones formed in Brooklyn, New York. Neil Sedaka was a founding member of the group but left in 1957. They renamed themselves in 1957 as The Tokens. That year they appeared on TV for the first time on The Ted Steele Dance Time. In 1959 the Tokens recorded “Picture In My Wallet” under the name of Darrell & The Oxfords, which became a Top Ten hit in San Bernardino. They had a #15 charting hit in the USA in 1959 titled “Tonight I Fell in Love”. The Tokens are known best for their number one 1961 hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The song was originally a Zulu folk song called “M’bube” and Anglicized to “Wimoweh”. The Tokens consisted of Jay Siegel, Hank Medress and brothers Mitch and Phil Margo. True rock pioneers, they were among the first to successfully use the falsetto lead voice, a sound that influenced groups such as the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys. The group had their first Top 20 hit in the USA billed as The Tokens with “Tonight I Fell In Love”, in 1961. The song peaked at #27 in Vancouver.

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New World Coming by Mama Cass Elliot

#16: New World Coming by Mama Cass Elliot

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CFNB
Peak Month: March 1970
Peak Position in Fredericton: #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #42
YouTube: “New World Coming
Lyrics: “New World Coming

Ellen Naomi Cohen was born in 1941 and raised in Washington, D.C. She adopted the name “Cass” in high school after the actress Peggy Cass. When Ellen Cohen was 16 she saw Peggy Cass in the film Auntie Mame. Peggy Cass who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1959 in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in Auntie Mame. “Cass” Cohen later she took the surname “Elliot,” in memory of a friend who had died. She moved to Manhattan, pursuing an acting career where she toured in a musical production of The Music Man in 1962. She was part of a folk trio called the Big 3 from 1962 to 1964. From there she joined the Mugwumps, and met Denny Doherty. In 1965 she became part of The Mama’s & the Papas.

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Crazy Love by Poco

#4: Crazy Love by Poco

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Month: March-April 1979
Peak Position in Fredericton #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube: “Crazy Love
Lyrics: “Crazy Love

Richard Furay was born in 1944 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He got his first guitar when he was eight years old. He met Stephen Stills in the summer of 1963, and the pair formed the Au GoGo Singers. In 1965, they joined the Buffalo Springfield. Furay was part of the trend-setting sound of the Buffalo Springfield, with “For What It’s Worth” and other classics. The Buffalo Springfield began splintering in 1968. When Bruce Palmer left the band, he was replaced by Jim Messina who was in the recording studio for the bands’ last album Last Time Around. Messina and Furay formed Poco later that year. Messina began playing guitar at the age of five. He left Poco after the first two albums and became part of the duo of Loggins and Messina.

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Don't Blame The Children by Sammy Davis Jr.

#17: Don’t Blame The Children by Sammy Davis Jr.

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CFNB
Peak Month: February 1967
Peak Position in Fredericton: #6
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #41
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube: “Don’t Blame The Children
Lyrics: “Don’t Blame The Children

Samuel “Sammy” George Davis Jr. was born in 1925. At age three, Davis began his career in Vaudeville with his father Sammy Davis Sr. and the Will Mastin Trio. The trio toured nationally, and Davis Jr.’s film career began in 1933. His first film was Rufus Jones for President whose plot concerned an African-American’s run for the presidency in the USA. The candidate is a 7-year-old child named Rufus, played by Sammy Davis Jr. He was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 18 in 1944. After military service, Davis returned to the trio. In 1949, he released his first single titled “Bebop the Beguine”. The next year he released a cover of the 1934 Jimmy Durante hit record “Inka Dinka Doo”. Sammy Davis Jr. became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro’s in West Hollywood after the 1951 Academy Awards. With the trio, he became a recording artist. In 1953, Davis was offered his own television show on ABC, Three for the Road—with the Will Mastin Trio. However, the network couldn’t get a sponsor, so they dropped the show. In 1954, at the age of 29, he lost his left eye in a car accident. Several years later, he converted to Judaism, finding commonalities between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities. That year he covered Rosemary Clooney’s “Hey There”, with his version reaching #16 on the Billboard pop singles chart. In 1955, he appeared as a guest in the TV show What’s My Line? That same year he had a #9 hit on the Billboard Pop chart with “Something’s Gotta Give”, which reached #11 in the UK. That year he saw “Love Me Or Leave Me” reach #12 in the USA and #8 in the UK. While another hit singles in 1955, “That Old Black Magic”, climbed to #13 in the USA.

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Tiny Bubbles by Don Ho

#19: Tiny Bubbles by Don Ho

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CFNB
Peak Month: March 1967
Peak Position in Fredericton: #7 | #95 song of the year on CFNB
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #57
YouTube: “Tiny Bubbles
Lyrics: “Tiny Bubbles

Donald Tai Loy Ho was born in 1930 in Honolulu. He is a descendant of ethnic Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and German heritage. He attended Springfield College in Massachusetts on a football scholarship in 1950. But he but returned home to earn a Bachelor’s degree in sociology at University of Hawaii in 1953. In 1954, Ho entered the United States Air Force doing his primary training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi and spent time flying C-97s with the Military Air Transport Service. Transferred to Travis Air Force Base, California, he went to the local city of Concord and bought an electronic keyboard from a music store, and recalls, “That’s when it all started.” Ho traveled from state to state with his young family until he was called home to help his mother with the family bar business called Honey’s in Kaneohe, O’ahu.

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Happy by Blades Of Grass

#20: Happy by Blades Of Grass

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CFNB
Peak Month: September 1967
Peak Position in Fredericton: #4
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #87
YouTube: “Happy
Lyrics: “Happy

Formed in 1967, the Blades Of Grass lineup consisted of Bruce Ames on rhythm guitar and vocals, David Gordon on drums and organ, Frank DiChiara on bass guitar and vocals), and Marc Black on lead guitar and vocals. They were each born around 1950. Marc Black remembers being five-years-old when he got introduced to a ragtime tune titled “The Crazy Otto Melody”. The following year he heard Elvis Presley. In 1964, Black formed The Toasters. By 1966, he was in a band who named themselves the Furnace Men to allude to the basement of a store in Maplewood, New Jersey, where the band typically practiced. They performed at high school dances, and dances at the Jewish temple in town. Marc Black recalls, “By the time we were seniors, we would just rent a hall and lots of kids would show up.” Becoming a popular attraction in their hometown, the Furnace Men – Ames, Gordon, DiChiara and Black – received interest in managing partners Frank Latagona and Walter Gollander. The managers promised to find the Furnace Men a recording contract. In the spring of 1967, a contract was signed with Jubilee Records.

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The Comancheros by Claude King

#21: The Comancheros by Claude King

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CFAC
Peak Month: December 1961
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #71
YouTube: “The Comancheros
Lyrics: “The Comancheros

Claude King was born in 1923 in rural Louisiana. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. After WWII King formed a band with two of his friends and were called the Rainbow Boys. The trio played around Shreveport in their spare time while working an assortment of other jobs. He joined the Louisiana Hayride, a television and radio show produced at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and broadcast throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. He was on shows with Elvis Presley, Faron Young, Johnny Cash, Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells and others. He recorded for Gotham Records with little success. But when he switched to Columbia Records, he had a hit with “Big River, Big Man”. It was both a country top 10 and a small pop crossover success. Next, Claude King released “The Comancheros”.

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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.

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It's Nice To Be With You by the Monkees

#4: It’s Nice To Be With You by the Monkees

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CHED
Peak Month: July 1968
Peak Position in Edmonton: #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #51
YouTube: “It’s Nice To Be With You
Lyrics: “It’s Nice To Be With You

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 a talent contest at San Antonio College. He left Texas and moved to Los Angeles, with the intent of getting into the movie business. He became the “hoot master” at a regular hootenanny at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. In 1963 Nesmith released a 45 of a song he wrote called “Wanderin'”. 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 1967.

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Green, Green by the New Christy Minstrels

#9: Green, Green by the New Christy Minstrels

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CFAC
Peak Month: August 1963
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #19
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube: “Green, Green
Lyrics: “Green, Green

The New Christy Minstrels were a folk group formed by Randy Sparks in 1961. Randy Sparks was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1933. He was singing at the Purple Onion in San Francisco by the mid-50s. He released two solo albums in the late 50s. He sang over the opening credits for the 1958 movie Thunder Road, the film’s theme song. Sparks combined his trio with the Oregon quartet the Fairmount Singers, the Inn Group (singers John Forsha, Karol Dugan and Jerry Yester), banjo player Billy Cudmore, folk-blues singer Terry Wadsworth, folk singer Dolan Ellis and singer/guitarist Art Podell.  In 1962, the group released their debut album titled Presenting the New Christy Minstrels. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Chorus in 1963. In 1962, the group had a minor hit with “This Land Is Your Land”, which stalled at #93 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jerry Yester left the group and in time joined the Lovin’ Spoonful.
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