There'll Be Peace In The Valley by Elvis Presley

#365: There’ll Be Peace In The Valley by Elvis Presley

Peak Month: March-April 1957
7 weeks on Red Robinson’s Teen Canteen Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley
Lyrics: “(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon Presley, was stillborn. When he was eleven years old his parents bought him a guitar at the Tupelo Hardware Store. As a result Elvis grew up as an only child. He and his parents, Vernon and Gladys, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. The young Presley graduated from high school in 1953. That year he stopped by the Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, including “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, Elvis began his singing career recording “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at Sun Records in Memphis.

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Stay With Me Tonight by Jeffrey Osborne

#366: Stay With Me Tonight by Jeffrey Osborne

Peak Month: February 1984
10 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #30
YouTube.com: “Stay With Me Tonight
Lyrics: “Stay With Me Tonight

Jeffrey Linton Osborne was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1948. He was the youngest of twelve children. His dad was Clarence “Legs” Osborne who was a trumpeter with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. When he was 13-years-old, Jeffrey’s dad died in 1961. At the age of fifteen, in 1963, young Jeffrey was a drummer with the O’Jays for two weeks (when the group’s drummer took ill). In 1970 Osborne joined the group L.T.D. (standing for Love, Togetherness, and Devotion). In 1977 they had a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts with “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again”. Two other singles, “Love Ballad” (1976) and “Holding On (When Love Is Gone)” (1978), also topped the R&B chart. Jeffrey Osborne sang lead vocals on all three of the groups’ number-one R&B singles.

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Surfer Joe by the Surfaris

#367: Surfer Joe by the Surfaris

Peak Month: August 1963
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #3
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #62
YouTube.com: “Surfer Joe” (Dot Records recording)
YouTube.com: “Surfer Joe” (DFS Records original 3:40 minute recording)
Lyrics: “Surfer Joe

Ronald Lee Wilson was born in 1944 in Los Angeles. At the age of 17 he was a drummer in a high school band in Covina, California, called the Charter Oak Lancers. Bob Berryhill was born in 1947 in Glendora, California. When he was eight years old his parents bought an acoustic guitar which his Dad played. Bob got interested in guitars, and when he was 13 his parents took the family to Hawaii. It was there he saw a performer play a ukulele. When Berryhill returned home he went with his Dad to a music store and asked the staff to show him a ukulele. They told him they didn’t have any, but suggested he buy a guitar. Bob Berryhill soon began to play guitar and in eighth grade was entered in a talent contest. It was at the talent show that Berryhill heard the duo Pat Connolly and Jim Fuller. In fact, they borrowed Berryhill’s music equipment.

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Roll Me Away by Dwayne Ford

#780: Roll Me Away by Dwayne Ford

Peak Month: September 1980
11 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Roll Me Away

Dwayne Ford was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1949. Ford learned the piano from the age of five. He was a professional musician by the time he turned sixteen. Ford joined the Nomads while in Alberta. Ford moved to Toronto in 1970 and was hired on by Ronnie Hawkins, as part of the Ronnie Hawkins’ Rock And Roll Revival And Travelling Medicine Show. By late 1971 Ford, and two other members of Hawkins’ band – Terry Danko and Jim Atkinson – were feeling ready for a new challenge. The three musicians left Hawkins band and formed Atkinson, Danko and Ford. Two other members of Hawkins band, guitarist Hugh Brockie and Brian Hilton also joined up with the new trio which changed its name to Bearfoot.

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#368: Surfin’ Doll by Kathy Brandon

Peak Month: August 1963
9 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Surfin’ Doll

According to a comment on a YouTube.com thread by someone claiming to be her grandchild, Kathy Brandon was born in California. Kathy Brandon wrote or cowrote her songs. She was signed to Crystalette Records in 1962 while she was still in high school. Crystalette was a label started in 1956 and a subsidiary of Dot Records. Crystalette had few notable chart successes with its stable of recording artists. The exception was a million-seller in 1959 called “Pink Shoelaces” by Dodie Stevens. That single peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 in Vancouver (BC) on CKWX. Kathy Brandon’s first single release was in 1962 titled “Boy Of My Dreams”. The single was a commercial flop. In 1962 CFUN in Vancouver happened to spin “Shy Guy” by the Crystalettes on Crystalette Records. The single made it to #2 in October of that year. Possibly, the folks at Crystalette Records had a good promotional pitch with the DJ’s at CFUN.

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This Flight Tonight by Nazareth

#369: This Flight Tonight by Nazareth

Peak Month: October 1974
10 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #117
YouTube.com: “This Flight Tonight
Lyrics: “This Flight Tonight

William “Dan” McCafferty was born in 1946 in Dunfermline, near Fife, Scotland. His musical influences include Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Otis Redding. He learned to play the bagpipes and the talkbox in his teens, as well as becoming a singer. He formed a band in 1961 called the Shadettes. By 1963 McCafferty was performing professionally full time before audiences. Manuel “Manny” Charlton was born in 1941 in La Línea de la Concepción on the Bay of Gibraltar in Spain. In his youth he learned to play guitar. Charlton was in the Mark 5 and the Red Hawks before joining the Shadettes. Pete Agnew was born in Dunfermline in 1946. He learned to play rhythm guitar and bass guitar in his youth. Agnew joined the Shadettes in 1961. Darrell Antony Sweet was born in 1947 in the South Coast of England in Bournemouth. He was a piper in his youth and also learned to play drums.

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It's A Man's Man's Man's World by James Brown

#370: It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World by James Brown

Peak Month: June 1966
8 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #1
1 week Wax to Watch
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #8
YouTube.com: “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
Lyrics: “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World

James Joseph Brown Jr. was born in a shack in the piney woods of South Carolina, outside the small town of Barnwell, 45 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia. The year was 1933, and Brown never knew his parents. From the age of four he was raised in a whorehouse in Augusta. As America entered World War II in December 1941, young James entertained troops at Camp Gordon doing buck dances (similar to clogging) on a bridge near his aunts brothel. He quit school in grade six, and won a talent contest in 1944 at the Lenox Theatre in Augusta. By age 13 he had a sidewalk group named the Cremona Trio, who made pennies for songs. He also took up boxing. But in 1949 he was sent to jail for three years for armed robbery. In June 1952, after being paroled Brown joined the gospel group the Ever-Ready Gospel Singers.

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China In My Hand by T'Pau

#975: China In My Hand by T’Pau

Peak Month: March 1988
9 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “China In Your Hand
Lyrics: “China In Your Hand

Carol Ann Decker was born in 1957 in the Merseyside region of Lancashire. She formed the band T’Pau in 1986 with guitarist Ron Rogers. Ronald Phillip Rogers was born in Shrewsbury, England, in 1959. Decker met Rogers in the gigging circuit in 1981. Decker remembers trying to get initial interest even prior to forming T’Pau by sending demos to record companies. “The knock-backs from the labels were never constructive. They would just listen to the cassettes and send them back with a standard letter. Then, towards the end, it got even worse when we would get feedback with a multiple-choice table, and the responses ranged from ‘Not quite what we are looking for,’ to ‘Don’t give up your day job.’ I imagine those punky little A&R guys thought it was funny, but it really wasn’t.”

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Even Better Than The Real Thing by U2

#371: Even Better Than The Real Thing by U2

Peak Month: September 1992
14 weeks on CKLG’s Vancouver Chart
Peak Position ~ #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube.com: “Even Better Than The Real Thing
Lyrics: “Even Better Than The Real Thing

U2 is a band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in September 1976. Its members include lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Bono, lead guitar and keyboard player the Edge, synthesizer and guitar player Adam Clayton, and drummer and percussionist Larry Mullen Jr. The band formed when its members were all teenagers. The band had several name changes before they settled on U2 in 1978. By 1980 they had been awarded a contract with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. With the release of their second album in 1981, October, and the lead Top Ten single in Ireland called “Fire”, the band were emerging as a force.

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Her Town Too by James Taylor and J.D. Souther

#372: Her Town Too by James Taylor and J.D. Souther

Peak Month: May 1981
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN Chart
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #11
YouTube.com: “Her Town Too
Lyrics: “Her Town Too

James Vernon Taylor was born in Boston in 1948. From the age of three, he lived with his family in North Carolina. Taylor would say later “Chapel Hill, the Piedmont, the outlying hills, were tranquil, rural, beautiful, but quiet. Thinking of the red soil, the seasons, the way things smelled down there, I feel as though my experience of coming of age there was more a matter of landscape and climate than people.” During his childhood he took cello lessons, and picked up guitar at the age of 12. James Taylor got to know people in the folk music scene on Martha’s Vineyard, where his family had a vacation home. In 1963 he was playing coffeehouses on the island as part of a duo named Jamie & Kootch. But in 1961 he was enrolled in a boarding school in Milton, Massachusetts. The pressures of the school were too much for the very sensitive James, even though he was doing well academically. Back in North Carolina he became depressed and by 1965 was sleeping for 20 hours a day.

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