Doin' It Right by the Powder Blues

#116: Doin’ It Right by the Powder Blues

Peak Month: March 1980
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
2 weeks Playlist
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Doin’ It Right
Lyrics: “Doin’ It Right

In 1978 Prism band member, Tom Lavin, left the group to form Powder Blues. Lavin had also recorded and been a member of Denise McCann’s backing band. Powder Blues was made up of Tom Lavin on guitar and vocals, Jack Lavin on bass, Mark Hasselbach on trumpet, Duris Maxwell on drums, Wayne Kozak, Gordon Bertram and David Woodward all on saxophone, Bill Hicks on drums and Will MacCalder on keyboards and vocals. Jack Lavin had been a member of Teen Angel. Willie MacCalder was formerly a member of Willie and The Walkers. Duris Maxwell was a former member of Skylark and Doucette. Gordie Bertram had been a member of Foreman Byrnes. Mark Hasselbach had been with Airbrush, a jazz band. David Woodward, born in Arlington, Virginia, had been a member of Toronto’s Downchild Blues Band since 1971.

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Wonderland By Night by Anita Bryant

#117: Wonderland By Night by Anita Bryant

Peak Month: December 1960
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #18 “Wonderland By Night
Lyrics: “Wonderland By Night

Anita Bryant was born in 1940 in a small town in northeastern Oklahoma. Her parents divorced by the time Bryant was 18 months old. Her father left to join the U.S. Army and fight in the war effort. While her mother got a job at Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City. When Bryant was two years old, her grandfather taught her to sing “Jesus Loves Me”. She was singing onstage at the age of six, at local fairgrounds in Oklahoma. She sang occasionally on radio and television, and was invited to audition when Arthur Godfrey’s talent show came to town.

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Looking For Clues by Robert Palmer

#118: Looking For Clues by Robert Palmer

Peak Month: January 1981
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
2 weeks Playlist
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #105 “Looking For Clues
Lyrics: “Looking For Clues

Robert Allen Palmer was born in the market town of Batley, in West Yorkshire, about 9 miles southwest of Leeds, England. Palmer’s father was a British naval intelligence officer stationed in Malta. Growing up Palmer heard jazz, blues and soul music on American Forces Radio. At the age of 15, Robert Palmer joined a band called the Mandrakes. At the age of 20 he was invited to be a backing vocalist for a single by The Alan Bown Set in 1969 titled “Gypsy Girl”. In 1970 he joined a 12-piece-jazz fusion group named Dada that included Elkie Brooks. In 1971 Palmer, Brooks and her husband guitarist Peter Gage, formed a band called Vinegar Joe. Dada once opened for Jimi Hendrix, and Vinegar Joe once opened a concert for The Who. After they disbanded in 1974, Brooks went on to have a number of Top Ten hits on the UK singles chart including “Pearl’s a Singer”, “Sunshine After the Rain”, and “No More the Fool”.

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Money by the Flying Lizards

#119: Money by the Flying Lizards

Peak Month: February 1980
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #50 “Money
Lyrics: “Money

David Cunningham was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1954. From 1973 to 1977, Cunningham attended the Maidstone College of Art in Kent, England. Deborah Evans-Stickland was born in the 1950s and went to art school. She joined the Flying Lizards in 1976. David Toop was born in 1949 in suburban London. He studied at the Hornsby College of Art. He became involved with the London Musicians Collective. In 1975 he recorded New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments. Steve Beresford was born in 1950 in Shropshire, England. Beresford joined the Portsmouth Sinfonia in the 70s. While the Flying Lizards were a recording act, Beresford and Toop were also part of a band called Alterations. Michael Upton was born in 1938 in Birmingham, England, and studied at the Birmingham College of Art in the mid-50s. Vivien Goldman was born in 1952 in London. She began her career as a journalist for Cassettes and Cartridges in the early 70s. Next, she was hired as a PR officer for Atlantic Records, and subsequently for Island Records, where she worked with Bob Marley. She was a writer and editor for London-based Sounds magazine in the late 1970s, at the time she joined the Flying Lizards. Julian Marshall British singer, songwriter, and keyboard player, who was one half of the duo Marshall Hain.

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Step by Step by the Crests

#286: Step by Step by the Crests

Peak Month: April 1960
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14 “Step By Step
Lyrics: “Step By Step

The Crests were a doo-wop group formed by J.T. Carter with Talmadge Gough, Harold Torres and Patricia Van Dross. With a group in place Carter chose Johnny Mastrangelo to be the lead vocalist and had his name on the billing as Johnny Mastro (later changed to Johnny Maestro). Maestro’s vocal style helped The Crests rack up five Top 40 hits on the national Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. Their first record was in 1957 with “Sweetest One“. Van Dross left the group after their debut single release. Their second single release, “16 Candles“, climbed up to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1959.  Other Top 40 hits included “Six Nights A Week”, “The Angels Listened In”, “Step By Step” and “Trouble In Paradise”. the late 1950’s, The Crests performed on several national teen dance shows, including American Bandstand and The Dick Clark Show. The group was inter-racial: African-American, Puerto Rican and Italian-American.

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Enter Sandman by Metallica

#120: Enter Sandman by Metallica

Peak Month: November 1991
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #16 “Enter Sandman
Lyrics: “Enter Sandman

James Alan Hetfield was born in 1963 in suburban Los Angeles. His mom was a light opera singer and his dad a truck driver. Hetfield was nine years old when he first began piano lessons, after which he learned to play the drums and finally, at the age of 14, he started to play guitar. He graduated from high school in 1981. Lars Ulrich was born in 1963 in Denmark. His father was a professional tennis player. His paternal grandparents were persecuted in World War II by the Nazi’s since the grandmother was Jewish. This family history taught young Lars about prejudice, and how governments can scapegoat categories of people within its populace. When he was nine years old, his father bought tickets to a Deep Purple concert. in Copenhagen. Within a few years Lars was playing a drum kit. Lars was ranked in the Top Ten tennis players in his age group in Denmark. He moved to California in 1980 and planned to enter a seven-man competition in Newport Beach. But, since he didn’t make the cut, Ulrich switched his focus from tennis to music.

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Let's Have A Party by Wanda Jackson

#121: Let’s Have A Party by Wanda Jackson

Peak Month: August 1960
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN Chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37 “Let’s Have A Party
Lyrics: “Let’s Have A Party

Wanda Lavonne Jackson was born in 1937 in Maud, Oklahoma. According to Wolf Kurt in his essay, “You Can’t Catch Me: Rockabilly Bursts Through The Door,” Jackson’s dad was a musician. In search of a better life, he relocated the family to Bakersfield, California, in the 1940’s. While in Bakersfield, her dad purchased Wanda a guitar and taught her to play. Tom Jackson also took his daughter to live concerts by Spade Cooley, Tex Williams and Bob Wills, which opened her eyes and ears to the exciting world of country and western music. It was when she was eleven years old that her family returned to Oklahoma in the fall of 1948. In 1954, while she was still sixteen years old, Wanda Jackson started to sing professionally in Oklahoma City. While in high school, Jackson had been discovered by country music recording artist, Hank Thompson, who heard Wanda singing KLPR-AM in Oklahoma City. Thompson asked Wanda to sing with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. This led to her recording several  songs with Capitol Records. Among those was a duet with the Brazos Valley Boys bandleader, Billy Gray titled “You Can’t Have My Love”. The song climbed to #8 on the Billboard country chart.

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To Susan On The West Coast Waiting by Donovan

#122: To Susan On The West Coast Waiting by Donovan

Peak Month: February 1969
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG Chart
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #35 “To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
Lyrics: “To Susan On The West Coast Waiting

Donovan Phillips Leitch was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1946. As a child he contracted polio and was left with a limp. At the age of 14 he began to play the guitar and when he was 16 years old he set his artistic vision to bring poetry to popular culture. He began busking and learned traditional folk and blues guitar. Music critics began branding him as mimicking Bob Dylan’s folk style. Like Dylan, Donovan wore a leather jacket, the fisherman’s cap, had a harmonica cradle and a song with “Wind” in the title. Dylan wrote “Blowing In The Wind” and Donovan had a hit in 1965 titled “Catch The Wind”.  Donovan was nicknamed by music critics in the UK as the “British Dylan.”

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Bad Boy by Marty Wilde

#123: Bad Boy by Marty Wilde

Peak Month: March 1960
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN Chart
Peak Position #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #45 “Bad Boy
Lyrics: “Bad Boy

Reginald Leonard Smith was born in 1939 in Greater London. He was performing under the name Reg Patterson at London’s Condor Club in 1957, when he was spotted by impresario Larry Parnes. Parnes gave his protégés stage names like Billy Fury, Duffy Power and Dickie Pride, hence the change to Wilde. The ‘Marty’ came from the 1955 Academy Award winning Best Picture, Marty. Wilde gave an audition of the Jimmy Rodgers hit “Honeycomb”, and got a record contract on the spot. Both “Honeycomb” and Wilde’s cover of “Oh-Oh I’m Falling In Love Again” got airplay in the UK, but didn’t crack the pop chart.

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Blue Angel by Roy Orbison

#124: Blue Angel by Roy Orbison

Peak Month: September-October 1960
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN Chart
CFUN Twin Pick Hit ~ September 3, 1960
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #9
Peak Position on Cashbox Singles Chart ~ #13 “Blue Angel
Lyrics: “Blue Angel

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.

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