The Hucklebuck by Chubby Checker

#462: The Hucklebuck by Chubby Checker

Peak Month: December 1960
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube.com: “The Hucklebuck
The Hucklebuck” lyrics

Ernest Evans was born in 1941 in Spring Gulley, South Carolina. He grew up in South Philadelphia. As a child, his mother took him to a show performed by child piano prodigy Sugar Child Robinson. Also at the performance was the country singer Ernest Tubb. Ernest was so inspired, that he decided to become an entertainer when he grew up. At the age of eleven he formed a street corner doo-wop group. He took up piano and while attending South Philadelphia High School, one of his friends was Fabian Forte. After school he worked at Fresh Farm Poultry on 9th Street at the Produce Market. His boss decided to give a nickname to his portly employee and called him “Chubby.”

Continue reading →

Roll Over Beethoven by Electric Light Orchestra

#535: Roll Over Beethoven by Electric Light Orchestra

Peak Month: August 1973
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #42
YouTube.com: “Roll Over Beethoven”
“Roll Over Beethoven” lyrics

Jeffrey Lynne was born in suburban Birmingham, England in 1947. His dad bought him a guitar when he turned twelve. In 1966 he formed a band that by 1968 called themselves the Idle Race. He left for another band by the end of the 60s named The Move. The latter development was a catalyst for working on a musical project combining rock with orchestration. Beverley “Bev” Bevan was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1944. He learned to play drums and in 1956 he joined a rock band named Denny Laine & the Diplomats. In 1965 he moved on to join Carl Wayne & the Vikings, and in 1966 The Move. Bevan went through the transition from the Move to Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynne. By the end of 1970 the Electric Light Orchestra was born.
Continue reading →

I'm Scared by Burton Cummings

#463: I’m Scared by Burton Cummings

Peak Month: April 1977
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #61
YouTube.com: “I’m Scared
I’m Scared” lyrics

Burton Cummings is the former lead singer and keyboardist for the Winnipeg, Manitoba, based rock ‘n roll band The Guess Who. He was with the band from 1965 to 1975. Cummings sang, wrote or co-wrote many hit songs. These include “American Woman”, “Clap For The Wolfman”, “Hand Me Down World”, “Laughing”, “No Time”, “Share The Land”, “Star Baby” and “These Eyes”. His solo career includes many hit singles, including “My Own Way To Rock” and “Fine State Of Affairs”. His first solo hit single was “Stand Tall”, in 1976, which was his biggest hit as a solo recording artist.

Continue reading →

Down By The River by Joey Gregorash

#464: Down By The River by Joey Gregorash

Peak Month: October 1971
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Down By The River
Down By The River” Neil Young lyrics

Joey Gregorash was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His dad played the violin and young Joey took an interest in learning the instrument. In February 1964 Gregorash saw the Beatles perform on the The Ed Sullivan Show and was turned onto rock ‘n roll. He learned how to play the drums and formed a band called The Mongrels in 1965 with childhood friend John Nykon. Later Gregorash went solo and won a 1972 Juno Award in 1972 for Outstanding Performance-Male for his hit single “Down By the River”. For over a decade Gregorash pursued other interests until in 1987 his single, “Together (The New Wedding Song),” became a hit in Canada.

Continue reading →

From New York To L.A. by Patsy Gallant

#465: From New York To L.A. by Patsy Gallant

Peak Month: October 1976
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “From New York To L.A.
From New York To L.A.” lyrics

Patricia Gallant was born in 1948 in Cambellton, New Brunswick. Her family was Acadian, and she was one of ten children. From the age of five she was the youngest of four sisters performing as the Gallant Sisters. Her mother coaxed four of the sisters for the group, hoping to earn some funds for the cash-strapped household. By 1956, when the family moved to Moncton, NB, the Gallant Sisters began appearing on TV. This led to appearances in nightclubs when they moved to Montreal in 1958. In 1967 she recorded her first single in French for the Quebec and New Brunswick Francophone market. She continued to release songs over the following five years in French, and then issued English versions. Gallant was featured in numerous TV commercials. And she was a regular on both the French-language TV variety program Discothèque and an English variety show called Music Hop.

Continue reading →

Piltdown Rides Again by Piltdown Men

#1057: Piltdown Rides Again by Piltdown Men

Peak Month: December 1960
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX’s chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Piltdown Rides Again

Ed Cobb of the Four Preps co-founded the Piltdown Men with Lincoln Mayorga, who was an arranger with the Four Preps. Mayorga played on piano, Tommy Tedesco on six-string bass guitar, Bob Bain on guitar, Scott Gordon on saxophone, Alan Brenmanen on drums, and several other session musicians. The band released instrumentals. Edward “Ed” Cobb was born in 1938. In the Fall of 1954 Hollywood High School held an audition for their annual talent show. Thirty-five girls auditioned, but no boys. The next day the school bulletin pleaded for “any guys out there who can do anything.” Four boys in the school choir formed a quartet overnight and stepped into the crinoline void as The Four Preps. They included bass singer Ed Cobb. The Four Preps won the talent show hands down, after singing covers of songs by The Crew Cuts and The Four Lads. Signed with Capitol Records in 1956, the Four Preps connected with the record buying public in 1958 with two Top Ten hits: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” and “Big Man”.

Continue reading →

Oh Joan by the Beau-Marks

#466: Oh Joan by the Beau-Marks

Peak Month: February 1961
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Oh Joan

Originally named the Del Tones when they formed in Montreal in 1958, the groups’ first single, called “Moonlight Party”, climbed to #1 in Montreal in May 1959. However, there were other bands with the same name. The Deltones had a single on Vee-Jay Records that was a minor hit in Chicago. That group had a minor hit in Philadelphia on another label in 1960 called “Strollin’ the Blues”. There was also a band from Australia called the Delltones. To avoid confusion, the Del Tones from Montreal changed their name to the Beau-Marks in 1959 in response to a political controversy. Their new name was a pun on the Bomarc, the worlds first supersonic long-range, anti-aircraft missile, developed by Boeing. The development of the Bomarc missile was accompanied by problems with its propulsion system. In 1958 the Conservative Government, led by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was faced with two strategies for Canadian air defense. One was to produce the Avro Arrow, a very fast missile at a cost of over 12 Million per aircraft. It was created by the Canadian company, Avro Canada. The other option was to purchase Bomarc missles made by Boeing in Seattle, Washington, for 2 Million. The later missiles would be tipped with nuclear warheads. However, the Conservatives opted eventually not to have nuclear tipped missiles in Canada. With the cancellation of the Avro Arrow, the company lost over 14,000 jobs.

Continue reading →

Bumble Boogie by B. Bumble and the Stingers

#467: Bumble Boogie by B. Bumble and the Stingers

Peak Month: March 1961
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #21
YouTube.com: “Bumble Boogie

Earl Palmer was born in 1924 in New Orleans. At the age of five he began to tap dance professionally. This was with his mother and an aunt in Ida Cox’s Darktown Scandals Review, touring on the Black Vaudeville Circuit. At the age of twelve “Little Earl Palmer” headlined a floor show at the Rhythm Club in New Orleans. When the United States entered World War II, Earl Palmer was recruited for the service. But he remembers “They didn’t want no niggers carrying guns,” so Earl loaded ammunition for white infantrymen. Returning home in 1945, Palmer attended the Gruenwald School of Music in New Orleans, where studied piano and percussion and learned to read music. He joined Dave Bartholomew and the Dew Droppers as a drummer for the big band.
Continue reading →

She's A Rainbow by the Rolling Stones

#468: She’s A Rainbow by the Rolling Stones

Peak Month: January 1968
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube.com: “She’s A Rainbow
“She’s A Rainbow” lyrics

Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent, England, in 1943, some 18 miles east of London. Though his father and grandfather were both teachers by profession, and he was encouraged to be a teacher, the boy had different aspirations. “I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing. Some kids sing in choirs; others like to show off in front of the mirror. I was in the church choir and I also loved listening to singers on the radio–the BBC or Radio Luxembourg –or watching them on TV and in the movies.” In 1950 Mick Jagger met Keith Richards while attending primary school. They became good friends until the summer of 1954 when the Jagger family moved to the village of Wilmington, a mile south of Dartford. The pair bumped into each other at a train station in 1961 and resumed their friendship.

Continue reading →

Communication Breakdown by Roy Orbison

#1048: Communication Breakdown by Roy Orbison

Peak Month: December 1966
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #9
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #60
YouTube.com: “Communication Breakdown

Roy Kelton Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas in 1936. When he turned six his dad gave him a guitar. Both his dad, Orbie Lee, and uncle Charlie Orbison, taught him how to play. Though his family moved to Forth Worth for work at a munitions factory, Roy was sent to live with his grandmother due to a polio outbreak in 1944. That year he wrote his first song “A Vow of Love”. The next year he won a contest on Vernon radio station KVWC and was offered his own radio show on Saturdays. After the war his family reunited and moved to Wink, Texas, where Roy formed his first band, in 1949, called The Wink Westerners.

Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter