Refugee by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

#168: Refugee by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Peak Month: March 1980
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #15
YouTube.com: “Refugee
Lyrics: “Refugee

Thomas Earl Petty was born in 1950 in Gainesville, Florida. His father was a traveling salesman, and his mom worked at a tax office. While still ten years old, Tom Petty met Elvis Presley on the film set for Follow That Dream. But it was seeing the Beatles on TV in February 1964, that gave Tom Petty his inspiration. He recalls, “The minute I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show—and it’s true of thousands of guys—there was the way out. There was the way to do it. You get your friends and you’re a self-contained unit. And you make the music. And it looked like so much fun. It was something I identified with. I had never been hugely into sports. … I had been a big fan of Elvis. But I really saw in the Beatles that here’s something I could do. I knew I could do it. It wasn’t long before there were groups springing up in garages all over the place.” He dropped out of high school at age 17 to play bass with his newly formed band.

Continue reading →

No Regrets by Tom Cochrane

#169: No Regrets by Tom Cochrane

Peak Month: February 1992
18 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “No Regrets
Lyrics: “No Regrets

Tom Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in 1953. When he was eleven he got his first guitar. In his late teens and early twenties, he performed in coffee houses across Canada in the early 70’s. His debut album, Hang On To Your Resistance, was released in 1974. Then Tom Cochrane made his way to Los Angeles. In 1975, Cochrane got work composing theme music for the movie My Pleasure Is My Business. This was a film about Xavier Hollander, the call girl and adult film star who authored her own memoir, The Happy Hooker, in 1971. Unable to get subsequent work in Hollywood, Cochrane returned to Canada for drive a taxi and work on a cruise line. At a concert at the El Mocambo for Red Rider in 1978, Tom Cochrane met the band. Soon after Cochrane was invited to join Red Rider.

Continue reading →

Lucky Devil/There's A Little Song Singing In My Heart by Carl Dobkins Jr.

#170: Lucky Devil/There’s A Little Song Singing In My Heart by Carl Dobkins Jr.

A-side: “Lucky Devil”
Peak Month: February 1960
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #25
YouTube.com: “Lucky Devil
Lyrics: “Lucky Devil

B-side: “(There’s A Little Song Singing) In My Heart”
Peak Month: February 1960
12 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #12
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #52
YouTube.com: “(There’s A Little Song A-Singing) In My Heart

Carl Dobkins Jr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in January 1941. He was raised in a musical family. At the age of nine Carls’ mom and dad bought him a ukulele with a plastic Arthur Godfrey attachment that played chords by pushing buttons. He soon took off the attachment and learned over fifty hillbilly songs as a child. At the age of sixteen, young Carl made a demo of two songs he wrote with his backup group, The Seniors. In Cincinnati Gil Sheppard was a popular deejay. Friends in Carls’ neighborhood introduced him to Gil Sheppard. The deejay was taken with young Dobkins Jr. and his musical ability and the demo he had recorded. Sheppard offered to become his his manager. Carl Dobkins Jr. was promoted as “The Teenage Rage.” As a result of the buzz that happened as a result of his singing at dance parties and record hops, Carl was signed up with Fraternity Records in Cincinnati. His only release with Fraternity was his 1958 single “Take Hold of My Hand” b/w “That’s Why I’m Asking”.

Continue reading →

Everybody Knows Matilda by Duke Baxter

#171: Everybody Knows Matilda by Duke Baxter

Peak Month: September 1969
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
2 weeks Hit Bound
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #52
YouTube.com: “Everybody Knows Matilda
Lyrics: “Everybody Knows Matilda

Who was Duke Baxter? According to Rate Your Music, he was born in the UK, and moved to Canada in his early childhood. West Coast Fog writer, Erik Bluhm writes that Duke Baxter was a “Canadian, he was in L.A. by ’66 and working with the Rob Roys on their great “Do You Girl?” 45 for Accent… He’s also the guy behind a group called Revelation.” Bluhm contacted Duke Baxter (born James Blake), who remembers Revelation being a tight, inventive group. “We played some concerts at the Hollywood Palladium with the Seeds and the Grateful Dead; UC Irvine with Canned Heat and the Buffalo Springfield (January 26, 1967 at Campus Hall)… The band got signed with MGM Records and worked with the very successful TV theme producer Mike Post who was a protégé of Jimmy Bowen of the Dean Martin hit fame.”

Continue reading →

Livin' Thing by Electric Light Orchestra

#171: Livin’ Thing by Electric Light Orchestra

Peak Month: January 1977
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #13
YouTube.com: “Livin’ Thing”
Lyrics: “Livin’ Thing

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 →

The Waiting by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

#172: The Waiting by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Peak Month: July 1981
13 weeks on CFUN’s Vancouver Charts
Peak Position ~ #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #19
YouTube.com: “The Waiting
Lyrics: “The Waiting

Thomas Earl Petty was born in 1950 in Gainesville, Florida. His father was a traveling salesman, and his mom worked at a tax office. While still ten years old, Tom Petty met Elvis Presley on the film set for Follow That Dream. But it was seeing the Beatles on TV in February 1964, that gave Tom Petty his inspiration. He recalls, “The minute I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show—and it’s true of thousands of guys—there was the way out. There was the way to do it. You get your friends and you’re a self-contained unit. And you make the music. And it looked like so much fun. It was something I identified with. I had never been hugely into sports. … I had been a big fan of Elvis. But I really saw in the Beatles that here’s something I could do. I knew I could do it. It wasn’t long before there were groups springing up in garages all over the place.” He dropped out of high school at age 17 to play bass with his newly formed band.

Continue reading →

Are You Ready? by Pacific Gas & Electric

#172: Are You Ready? by Pacific Gas & Electric

Peak Month: July 1970
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #1
1 week Preview
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube.com: “Are You Ready?
Lyrics: “Are You Ready?”

Charles E. Allen was born in 1942. He learned to play drums, but by the time he joined Pacific Gas & Electric, he became the lead vocalist. Glenn Schwartz, born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1940, was the lead guitarist. Schwartz had previously been with the James Gang, and then when he was drafted into the United States Army, he went AWOL and moved to California. Tom Marshall was on rhythm guitar, and Brent Block on bass guitar. Frank Cook became the band’s drummer. Born in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, in 1942, Cook started drumming in his mid-teens. He was tutored by Murray Spivack, the sound designer for the 1933 film King Kong. Cook went on to play drums with jazz musicians: trumpeter Chet Baker, bassist Charlie Hayden and pianist Elmo Hope. Cook also collaborated with Shirley Ellis and Dodie Grey. He went on to become the first drummer for Canned Heat, and subsequently for Bluesberry Jam. Cook met Charlie Allen in Blueberry Jam. In 1967, Pacific Gas & Electric formed and in 1968 they released their debut album Get It On. The album included a recording of the African-American spiritual “Wade In The Water”. The single made the Top Ten in Honolulu. Another track, “The Hunter”, became a Top Ten hit in Melbourne, Australia, in 1969.

Continue reading →

A Life Of Illusion by Joe Walsh

#173: A Life Of Illusion by Joe Walsh

Peak Month: August 1981
13 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #2
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #34
YouTube.com: “A Life Of Illusion
Lyrics: “A Life Of Illusion

Joe Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1947. He got a guitar at age ten in 1957. When he heard the Ventures “Walk Don’t Run” in 1960, he dreamed of a life as a musician. He was part of several groups in the Sixties. One of these, The Measles, were a band of Kent State University students. Two tracks on the Ohio Express’ 1967 Beg Borrow and Steal album, “I Find I Think Of You” and “And It’s True” (both featuring Joe Walsh vocals) were actually recorded by the Measles, led by Walsh. He studied English and music at Kent State College in Ohio. Walsh was present when the Kent State massacre happened in 1970. In 2012, Walsh said “Being at the shootings really affected me profoundly. I decided that maybe I don’t need a degree that bad.”

Continue reading →

Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft by the Carpenters

#174: Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft by the Carpenters

Peak Month: November 1977
17 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #101
YouTube.com: “Calling Occupants
Lyrics: “Calling Occupants

Richard Lynn Carpenter was born in 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and music arranger, who formed half of the sibling duo the Carpenters, alongside his younger sister Karen. He had numerous roles in the Carpenters including record producer, arranger, pianist, keyboardist, lyricist, and composer, as well as joining with Karen on harmony vocals. He learned to play musical instruments at an early age and was considered a child prodigy. Karen Carpenter was born in 1950, also in New Haven. She enjoyed dancing and by age four was enrolled in tap dancing and ballet classes. The family moved in June 1963 to suburban Los Angeles. At the age of 19, in 1965, Richard Carpenter created the Richard Carpenter Trio with sister Karen and friend Wes Jacobs. Richard played the piano, Karen played the drums, and Wes played the tuba and bass. In 1966 the Richard Carpenter Trio played “Iced Tea” and “The Girl from Ipanema” at the Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Bands. They recorded three songs with RCA in 1967. But their sound was too dissonant with the prevailing psychedelic pop-rock sound in the Summer of Love.

Continue reading →

I'm Down by the Beatles

#175: I’m Down by the Beatles

Peak Month: July-August 1965
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #101
YouTube.com: “I’m Down
Lyrics: “I’m Down

Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool in 1942. He attended the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys and met fellow classmates  George Harrison on a school bus. When Paul was 14 his mom died from a blockage in one of her blood vessels. In his early teens McCartney learned to play trumpet, guitar and piano. He was left-handed and restrung the strings to make it work. In 1957, Paul met John Lennon and in October he was invited to join John’s skiffle band, The Quarrymen, which Lennon had founded in 1956. After Paul joined the group his suggested that his friend, George Harrison, join the group. Harrison became one of the Quarrymen in early 1958, though he was still only 14. Other original members of the Quarrymen, Len Garry, Rod Davis, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton left the band when their set changed from skiffle to rock ‘n roll. John Duff Lowe, a friend of Paul’s from the Liverpool Institute, who had joined the Quarrymen in early 1958 left the band at the end of school. This left Lennon, McCartney and Harrison as remaining trio. On July 15, 1958, John Lennon’s mother died in an automobile accident.

Continue reading →

Sign Up For Our Newsletter