Linda Put The Coffee On by Ray Materick

#82: Linda Put The Coffee On by Ray Materick

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: January 1975
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #7
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Linda Put The Coffee On
Lyrics: “Linda Put The Coffee On

Ray Materick was born in Brantford, Ontario, in 1946. His father was an evangelical preacher and multi-talented musician. Ray followed in his fathers’ musical footsteps. While he was in high school, he was part of a band that played high school dances named The Chevron Sextet. He moved to Toronto in 1970, and spent several years in the coffee house circuit. At the age of 25, he released his first studio album titled Sidestreets. It was hailed as a stellar example of roots-folk. The Toronto Star wrote, “Just remarkable. Ten autobiographical song sketches that make emotional participation mandatory and inescapable.” From the album came a single titled “Season of Plenty”. It was released on Kanata Records 1010, with the B-side, “Goodbye”. But it didn’t chart nationally, though the B-side charted in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Kanata re-released the song on Kanata 1013.

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Can't Wait For The Night by Brighton Rock

#83: Can’t Wait For The Night by Brighton Rock

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: March 1987
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #17
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Can’t Wait For The Night
Lyrics: “Can’t Wait For The Night

Brighton Rock is a band from Niagara Falls, Ontario, who formed in 1982. The original bandmates were lead singer Gerry McGhee, lead guitar player Greg Fraser, bass guitarist Steve Skreebs, keyboard player Martin Victor, and drummer Mark Cavarzan. Initially, they named themselves Heart Attack. They released a single titled “Breakin’ Down The Barricade”. In 1984, they changed their name to Brighton Rock. Gerald McGhee was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1962. He moved to Ontario, and was singing in a Hamilton (ON) based band called The Rockers. When he joined Heart Attack, his fans in Hamilton stayed loyal to McGhee, and followed their output with interest. Martin Victor left the band and was replaced by Johnny Rogers. In 1985, the band released a self-titled EP. Then in 1986, the band released their debut album, Young, Wild and Free.

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Girl With A Problem by Northern Pikes

#85: Girl With A Problem by Northern Pikes

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: October 1990
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #12
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #27
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Girl With A Problem
Lyrics: “Girl With A Problem

In 1984, The Northern Pikes became a band. They were from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The band was made up of members from three existing bands in the city: Doris Daye, The Idols and 17 Envelope. John Peter “Jay” Semko was from Saskatoon and was already a gifted singer, songwriter, bass guitar player and pianist. Bryan Anthony Potvin was born in 1963 in Ottawa and his family moved to Victoria where he began playing guitar. Merl Bryck, born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, was a backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist. There were a number of lineup changes. In 1986 The Idols drummer, Don Schmid, made The Northern Pikes a permanent quartet, playing drums and percussion. Schmid was born in Saskatoon. Initially, the band released several EPs. The first was the self-titled The Northern Pikes in 1984. The second EP was Scene In North America, released in 1985. They recorded both EPs at a studio near Pike Lake, SK.

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Elephant Candy by The Fun And Games

#35: Elephant Candy by The Fun And Games

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: December 1968
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Elephant Candy
Lyrics: “Elephant Candy

There was a band of musicians from a high school in Houston, Texas, that included rhythm guitarist, trumpet and recorder player, and vocalist Rock Romano (born 1945). Rock was playing guitar by the age of 13. Romano was joined by classmates Mike Cemo, guitar player and vocalist Paul Guillet, and John Bonno. When they added Richard Bain, D. J. Greer, and drummer Carson Graham, the students took the name The Six Pents. They worked as the house band at La Maison in Houston. They also recorded a single at local studio named Andrus. After releasing the single, they changed their name to The Sixpentz. They released a single on Matrix label titled “Your Girl Too”. They moved to the Geer label and released “Good To You”. A third garage rock tune, “Summer Girl”, was released on the Kidd label in 1966.

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I'm An Adult Now by Pursuit of Happiness

#87: I’m An Adult Now by Pursuit of Happiness

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: March-April 1987
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #14
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Alternative Airplay chart ~ #6
YouTube: “I’m An Adult Now
Lyrics: “I’m An Adult Now

Murray Kevin “Moe” Berg was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1959. He learned to play guitar and was also a singer. Berg was a lead singer and guitarist in the Edmonton bands Troc ’59, The News, Modern Minds and Facecrime. Then he formed Pursuit of Happiness in 1985 after he met drummer Dave Gilby. They soon met bassist Johnny Sinclair and formed the band, adding sisters Tamara and Natasha Amabile as backing vocalists.

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This Mourning by Chalk Circle

#90: This Mourning by Chalk Circle

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: November 1987
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #13
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “This Mourning
Lyrics: “This Mourning

Chalk Circle is a band from Newcastle, Ontario. Its origins grew from a band formed in 1982 called The Casualties. The continuous members were lead singer and guitarist Chris Tait, and bass guitarist Brad Hopkins. The band changed their name to The Reactors, and then to New Addition. In 1984 they became Chalk Circle. The name was taken from Bertolt Brecht’s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The play is set in the Soviet Union around the end of WWII. It shows a dispute between two communes, the Collective Fruit Farm Galinsk fruit growing commune and the Collective Goat Farmers. They are arguing over who is to own and manage an area of farm land after the Nazis have retreated from a village and left it abandoned. A parable has been organised by one group, an old folk tale, to be played out to cast light on the dispute. In one part of the play, two women argue over whether a boy named Michael is their own son. A chalk circle is drawn and Michael is placed in the center. The two women are invited to pull Michael out of the chalk circle. If they both pull, they will tear the child in half and get half each? Choosing such a reference for the band’s name, Chalk Circle recorded some interesting songs commenting on contemporary culture.

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Cotton Fields by the Highwaymen

#1: Cotton Fields by the Highwaymen

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CHNS
Peak Month: November 1961
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #13
YouTube: “Cotton Fields
Lyrics: “Cotton Fields

Dave Louis Fisher was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1940. In high school, Fisher had been part of a doo-wop group named The Academics. In 1958, Fisher helped form The Clansmen as a collegiate folk quintet of four freshmen at Weslayan University in Middletown, Connecticut. According to Joseph Murrells in his book, The Book of Golden Discs, Dave Fisher was the quintet’s lead singer and arranger. The other original members of the group were tenor Bob Burnett (born in Providence, RI), bass Steve Butts (born in New York City), baritone Chan Daniels (born in Argentina) and guitarist Steve Trott (born in Glen Ridge, NJ). The name, The Clansmen, they reasoned, was suggestive of Irish and Scottish clans, reflecting the Celtic roots of the songs the folk group performed. However, in the Civil Rights era with growing awareness of the violent acts and images of the Ku Klux Klan (known as the Klansmen), The Clansmen was not going to be a wise choice for the folk group to bill themselves if they wanted to go far. When they signed with United Artists at the end of 1959, they were given a new name, The Highwaymen. The name was inspired by the lines from lines by British poet, Alfred Noyes, “A highwayman comes riding…riding…riding,” from his 1906 poem The Highwayman. 

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Milk Train by the Everly Brothers

#54: Milk Train by the Everly Brothers

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: November 1968
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #7
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Milk Train
Lyrics: “Milk Train

Isaac Donald “Don” Everly was born in 1937 and Phillip Jason “Phil” Everly was born in 1939. Don was born in Muhlenberg County in Kentucky, and Phil was born in Chicago. Their dad, Ike, had been a coal miner who decided to pursue music as a guitar player. From the mid-40s Ike and his wife, Margaret, sang as a duo in Shanendoah, Iowa. Later they included their sons “Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil,” on local radio stations KMA and KFNF. In time they were billed as The Everly Family. In 1953, the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Family friend and musician Chet Atkins got a record deal for the Everly Brothers with RCA Victor in 1956. However, their first single release was a commercial failure and they were dropped from the label. Next, Atkins got them connected with Archie Bleyer, and the boys were signed to Cadence Records. In 1957, their first single on the label, “Bye Bye Love“, became a million-seller and launched their career.

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Flying On Your Own by Rita MacNeil

#2: Flying On Your Own by Rita MacNeil

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: January 1987
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Flying On Your Own
Lyrics: “Flying On Your Own

Rita MacNeil was born in Big Pond, Nova Scotia, in 1944. Her family moved to Toronto for some years before returning to Cape Breton. In 196o she moved from Cape Breton to Toronto and worked for a summer at Eaton’s, in the Customer Account Services Department. This was the store where her mother worked for awhile in the 1950s. By 1964, MacNeil had begun taking voice lessons. In 1965, she dated a man from Sicily and got pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter and in the following years she battled issues with her weight – ranging between 119 and 183 pounds. She got married in 1970 and had a second child. But that marriage ended in divorce, and by 1979 she was a single-parent on welfare.

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When I'm With You by Sheriff

#3: When I’m With You by Sheriff

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CJCH
Peak Month: March 1983
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #61
YouTube: “When I’m With You
Lyrics: “When I’m With You

Sheriff was a band formed in Toronto in 1979. The lead vocalist was Federico “Freddy” Curci. He was born in Toronto in 1962. Growing up in his Italian-Canadian family, he was first exposed to opera. But in his late childhood he discovered Black Sabbath and the Doobie Brothers. In the mid-70s, Curci was part of a number of Italian wedding bands that played in Greater Toronto. Curci co-founded Sheriff with Steven “Steve” DeMarchi, also born in Toronto (1961 ?) and his parents also immigrated to Canada from Italy. The third founding member of Sheriff is Arnold Lanni. He was born in 1956 in Toronto. Bass guitarist, Wolf D. Hassel, joined Sheriff in 1982, as did Rob Elliott on drums.

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