Better Be Home Soon by Crowded House

#327: Better Be Home Soon by Crowded House

Peak Month: September 1988
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #42
YouTube.com: “Better Be Home Soon
Lyrics: “Better Be Home Soon

Neil Mullane Finn was born in 1958 in Te Awamutu on the North Island of New Zealand. His brother Brian Timothy Finn was born in the same New Zealand town in 1952. Neil began playing guitar when he was eight-years-old, and decided to be a professional musician at age 12. Tim Finn learned to play guitar, drums and piano. In 1972, when Tim was 20 and Neil was 14, the Finn brothers co-founded the rock band Split Enz. Over time the band shifted their sound to New Wave and Art Rock. With Split Enz they enjoyed international hits that included “One Step Ahead“, “I Got You”, and “Six Months In A Leaky Boat”.

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Confusion by Electric Light Orchestra

#419: Confusion by Electric Light Orchestra

Peak Month: January 1980
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube.com: “Confusion
Lyrics: “Confusion

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.

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Peanuts by the Four Seasons

#328: Peanuts by the Four Seasons

Peak Month: March-April 1963
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Peanuts” ~ Four Seasons
YouTube.com: “Peanuts” ~ Little Joe & The Thrillers (1957 original version)
Lyrics: “Peanuts

Pianist Bob Gaudio was born in The Bronx in 1942. At 14 years of age he co-founded The Royals. Gaudio had been playing piano since he turned eight in 1950. Gaudio was born in November 1942 in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The Royals opened for a local New Jersey doo-wop group named The Three Friends who had a hit in New York and Baltimore in the winter of 1956-57 titled “Blanche”. After the Fort Lee concert, The Three Friends invited The Royals to come to New York to be the session musicians for their upcoming recording date in the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway. It was there The Royals met The Three Friends manager, Leo Rogers. On the strength of their musical skills, Rogers invited The Royals to be session musicians for numerous recording artists in the building. They were also given a chance to record a song.

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Concrete Sea by Terry Jacks

#329: Concrete Sea by Terry Jacks

Peak Month: September 1972
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Concrete Sea
Lyrics: “Concrete Sea

Terrence Ross Jacks was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1944. During his career as a recording artist he became a household name and recognized as a singer, songwriter, record producer and environmentalist. His family moved to Vancouver in 1961 and he formed a band named The Chessmen along with local guitarist, Guy Sobell. The Chessmen had four singles that made the Top 20 in Vancouver, two which were double-sided hits. These included three Top Ten hits: “Love Didn’t Die”, “The Way You Fell” and “What’s Causing This Sensation”. In 1966 Terry Jacks met Susan Pesklevits on a local CBC music show called Let’s Go.

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Commotion by Creedence Clearwater Revival

#330: Commotion by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Peak Month: September 1969
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #3
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #30
YouTube.com: “Commotion
Lyrics: “Commotion

John Fogerty was born in 1945 in Berkeley, California. He was raised in nearby El Cerrito. He learned to play guitar in his youth. In 1959 John Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford formed a trio named the Blue Velvets. Based in El Cerrito, California, just north of Berkeley, they were joined in 1960 by John’s brother, Tom, who had been in a band called The Playboys. The Blue Velvets were influenced by Little Richard and other rock ‘n roll greats. They played a number of hits on the radio and their cover of Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Want To Dance,” was an audience favorite. In 1964 the Blue Velvets changed their name to the Golliwogs. They had a Top Ten hit called “Brown Eyed Girl” in San Jose (#7), Fresno (#3) and Miami (#8) in the winter of 1965-66. It was a blues infused tune, but not the same-titled song that Van Morrison would take up the charts the following year.

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Don't Break My Heart by Kasim Sulton

#1179: Don’t Break My Heart by Kasim Sulton

Peak Month: April 1982
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Don’t Break My Heart
Lyrics: “Don’t Break My Heart

Kasim Anthony Sulton was born in Staten Island, New York, in 1955. He graduated from high school in Staten Island and in 1974 was in the band Cherry Vanilla. In 1976 he played bass guitar on the progressive rock album for Steve Hillage. In 1977 Sulton contributed backing vocals and bass guitar on Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell. The album featured the hit singles “Paradise By The Dash Board Light” and “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”. As well in 1977, Sulton joined the band Utopia and played bass guitar and sang vocals. In 1978 Kasim Sulton was a featured musician on the Todd Rundgren album Back To The Bars. And in 1979 Sulton was a studio musician for the Rick Derringer album Guitars And Women. While in 1980 Sulton was in the studio for Shaun Cassidy’s Wasp album. He also was with Utopia for their 1980 album Adventures In Utopia, and their 1982 album Swing to the Right. Continue reading →

Do The Bartman by the Simpsons

#332: Do The Bartman by the Simpsons

Peak Month: January 1991
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Do The Bartman
Lyrics: “Do The Bartman

Nancy Jean Cartwright was born in 1957 in Dayton, Ohio. When she was in Grade Four at St. Charles Borromeo school, she won the school’s speech competition when she performed of Rudyard Kipling’s How the Camel Got His Hump. In high school she was part of the Fairmont West High School theater and also the marching band. Cartwright often entered public speaking competitions. During high school she came first in the category for  “Humorous Interpretation” at the National District Tournament two years in a row. It was suggested by judges of the competition that she try performing cartoon voices. After high school she went to Ohio University where she placed fifth in the National Speech Tournament’s exposition category with her speech “The Art of Animation”.

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Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong

#333: Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong

Peak Month: January 1957
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #29 (in 1949)
YouTube.com: “Blueberry Hill
Lyrics: “Blueberry Hill

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1901. He was raised by his grandmother until he was five and sent to a school for black boys when he was six. He did odd jobs for the Karnoffskys, a family of Lithuanian Jews. The Karnoffskys took young Louis into their home and treated him like family. Knowing he lived without a father, they fed and nurtured him. His first musical performance may have been at the side of the Karnoffskys’ junk wagon. To distinguish them from other hawkers, he tried playing a tin horn to attract customers. Morris Karnoffsky gave Armstrong an advance toward the purchase of a cornet from a pawn shop. Around the age of fifteen, Armstrong pimped for a prostitute named Nootsy. However, that terminated after she stabbed him in the shoulder and Armstrong’s mother almost choked Nootsy to death.

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Sit Down I Think I Love You by the Mojo Men

#505: Sit Down I Think I Love You by the Mojo Men

Peak Month: February 1967
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #2 ~ CKLG
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #36
YouTube.com: “Sit Down I Think I Love You” ~ Mojo Men baroque rock cover
YouTube.com: “Sit Down I Think I Love You” ~ Buffalo Springfield original rock version
Lyrics: “Sit Down I Think I Love You

Singer and bass guitarist Jim Alaimo was born James Charles Alamio in 1938. Jim was in a Coral Gables, Florida, band called the Redcoats with his cousin Steve Alaimo. They released a single in 1958 titled “Home By Eleven” on a label called Dade Records, which is also the name of the county that Coral Gables was located. In 1959 they released a doo-wop single titled “I Want You To Love Me”. Subsequent singles in ’59-’60 were rockabilly-infused “She’s My Baby”, a doo-wop tune “You Can Fall In Love”, and teen ballad “Love Letters”. Steve Alaimo went on to have a solo career and had a Top 30 hit in 1963 titled “Everyday I Have To Cry”.

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I Come Off by Young MC

#1063: 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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