Wipeout by the Fat Boys and the Beach Boys

#286: Wipeout by the Fat Boys and the Beach Boys

Peak Month: September 1987
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #12
YouTube.com: “Wipeout
Lyrics: “Wipeout

Brian Wilson was born in Inglewood, California, in 1942. In biographer Peter Ames Carlin’s book, Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, he relates that when Brian Wilson first heard George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” it had a huge emotional impact on him. As a youngster, Wilson learned to play a toy accordion and sang in children’s choirs. In his teens he started a group with his cousin, Mike Love and his brother, Carl. Mike was born in Los Angeles in 1941 and Carl was born in 1946 in Hawthorne, California. Brian Wilson named the group Carl and the Passions in order to convince his brother to join. They had a performance in the fall of 1960 at Hawthorne High School, where they attended. Their set included some songs by Dion and the Belmonts. Among the people in the audience was Al Jardine, another classmate. Jardine was born in Hawthorne in 1942. He was so impressed with the performance that he let the group know. Jardine would later be enlisted, along with Dennis Wilson to form the Pendletones in 1961. Dennis was born in Inglewood in 1944.

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Regret by New Order

#287: Regret by New Order

Peak Month: June-July 1993
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28
YouTube.com: “Regret
Lyrics: “Regret

Bernard Sumner was born in 1956 in Salford, Lancashire, England. In his youth he learned to play guitar, keyboards, synthesizer and melodica. After graduation from public school, he got work with Stop Frame as a television animator cartoonist. After Sumner and his childhood friend Peter Hook saw the Sex Pistols at a concert in Manchester, they decided to form the post-punk band Joy Division. Born Peter Woodhead in 1956 in Salford, he took his stepfather’s surname, Hook, after his mother remarried. Peter Hook learned to play bass guitar, guitar, melodica, electronic drums and synthesizer. Stephen Paul David Morris was born in 1957 in the market town of Macclesfield, 16 miles south of Manchester. He learned to play the drum from a young age. Over the years he added percussion, keyboards and synthesizer to his resume.

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She La by 54-40

#1150: She La by 54-40

Peak Month: September 1992
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #18
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “She La
Lyrics: “She La

54-40 is a band from Tsawwassen, British Columbia. Bass player Brad Merritt teamed up with guitarist and vocalist Neil Osbourne had met at South Delta High School in Tsawwassen in 1978. In 1981 they decided to form a band and asked drummer, Ian Franey, to join them. Neil Osbourne’s father had a position with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Consequently, the family moved as Osbourne’s dad got new postings variously from Regina, rural Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Edmonton and finally Tsawwassen. Ian Franey’s father was the director of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

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Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

#288: Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Peak Month: April 1971
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #48
YouTube.com: “Lucky Man
Lyrics: “Lucky Man

Keith Emerson was born in 1944 in Todmorden, in West Yorkshire, England. His pregnant mom had been evacuated from London during the war. As a two-year-old, Keith’s father taught him his first song on an Italian Scandali accordion. The song was “Now Is The Hour” by Bing Crosby. His father also played the piano, and by the age of seven it was agreed that Keith should take piano lessons, and not just plunk out tunes with one finger. In his teens, Emerson was bought a guitar for Christmas. He also learned to play the harmonica. He joined the Worthing Youth Swing Orchestra, playing jazz standards and new hits by Chris Barber, Dave Brubeck and Acker Bilk. In 1962, Keith Emerson founded a breakaway band from the Swing Orchestra called the Keith Emerson Trio. But, as a career as a musician was viewed as a pipe dream, Keith’s parents were delighted when he got a proper job out of high school at a local branch of the Lloyds Bank.

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Be My Baby by Andy Kim

#289: Be My Baby by Andy Kim

Peak Month: December 1970
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #2
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #17
YouTube.com: “Be My Baby
Lyrics: “Be My Baby

Andy Kim’s father came from Lebanon to Pennsylvania and finally settled in Montreal, where Kim was born in December 1946. Around the age of 15 Andrew Youakimm became fascinated with the music business in New York City. He’d travel from Montreal to the Big Apple by bus or train and try to figure out how to break into the music industry. He bought copies of Billboard Magazine, Cashbox Magazine and other trade papers to see which record companies had hits on the pop charts.

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A Song Of Joy by Miguel Rios

#290: A Song Of Joy by Miguel Rios

Peak Month: June 1970
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKVN chart
Peak Position #2
1 week Preview
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #14
YouTube.com: “A Song Of Joy
Lyrics: “A Song Of Joy

Miguel Ríos Campaña was born in Granada, Spain, in 1944. When he was 15-years-old, Ríos started work at a local bar. He became interested in rock and roll, and took part in a song contest at Cenicienta 60 radio station. He and his friends won a prize for singing “You Are My Destiny”, popularized by teen idol Paul Anka. In 1961, when he was sixteen, and months after his father had died, Miguel Ríos moved to Madrid. He recorded four songs and became known as Mike Ríos, the King of Twist.

As Mike Ríos he obtained some television popularity during the first half of the 1960s. In 1964 he resumed using his birth name – Miguel Ríos – which cost him the support of his group, Los Relámpagos (the Lightning). In the mid-60s Ríos was cast in the film Dos chicas locas, locas (Two Crazy Girls).

In 1967 he recorded “Vuelvo a Granada”, El Rio”, “Contra el cristal”, “El cartel”, and “Mira hacia ti”. “El Rio” became his first big hit in 1968. Then, in 1970 he recorded “Himno de la alegría” (Hymn of Joy). In English countries the song was titled “A Song Of Joy”, and Miguel Ríos recorded an English version of the single.

A Song Of Joy by Miguel Rios

“A Song Of Joy” was set to an extract of the last movement of the ninth symphony by Ludwig Van Beethoven. The same melody is used for the Christian hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. “A Song Of Joy” was released at the height of the popularity of symphonic rock. Other examples of symphonic rock in the late 60s and early 70s include “A Day In A Life” and “The Long And Winding Road” by the Beatles, “Nights In White Satin” by the Moody Blues, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and “Conquistador” by Procul Harum, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” by Paul McCartney, and others.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the German city of Bonn, by the Rhine River in 1770. Considered one of the great Classical composers, Beethover wrote nine symphonies, 17 string quartets, 11 concertos and many others works including overtures, chamber music for strings, pianos, piano sonatas, variations, as well as operas, and various choral works.  His Ninth Symphony is considered one of his finest compositions.

The lyrics to “A Song Of Joy” were cowritten by Waldo De Los Rios. Born Osvaldo Nicolás Ferraro Gutiérrez in 1934 in Buenos Aires, Waldo De los Rios moved to the United States in 1958 and to Spain in 1962. He was a composer, conductor and arranger. He is best-remembered for his ability to transform European classical music into pop music. This includes a 1971 update of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. De los Rios’ compositions were heard in the 1967 film Pampa Salvaje, for which he received a prestigious award from the Argentine Cinemagraphic Association.

Waldo De Los Rios’ record album, Mozart in the Seventies, was the result of his new arrangement of famous Mozart pieces in a contemporary style, with a large percussion section. Several tracks from it were used as theme tunes to BBC programmes of that era, including the theme to the BBC’s coverage of the Horse of the Year show. Waldo Do Los Rios also issued an album “Symphonies for the Seventies” which included Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 and other major composers including Dvořák’s New World. Sadly, he took his life by suicide in 1977 at the age of 43.

The lyrics to “A Song Of Joy” offer a vision of a world where peace shall come and “men shall love each other.” Part of the song is sung in Spanish, and tells of how people will listen for songs of happiness. And it tells how those who wait this new day of love and understanding will be joyful in anticipation.

“A Song Of Joy” climbed to #1 in Fort Lauderdale and St. Louis, #2 in Vancouver (BC), Ottawa (ON), Buffalo and Battle Creek (MI), #3 in Peace River (AB), Sioux Falls (SD), Lancaster (PA), and Tucson (AZ), #5 in Erie (PA), Flint (MI), Nashville and Detroit, #6 in Philadelphia, San Bernardino (CA), Victoria (BC), Columbus (OH), Oshkosh (WI), Albany (NY), and Allentown (PA), #7 in Phoenix, Abilene (TX), Tampa, Rochester (NY), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Wilkes-Barre (PA), Louisville (KY), San Francisco, and Easton (PA), #8 in Calgary (AB), Lincoln (NE), New York City, Denver, and New Haven (CT), #9 in Orlando, Milwaukee and Chicago, and #10 in Kansas City (MO) and Boston.

Internationally, “A Song Of Joy” peaked at #1 in Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and West Germany. It also climbed to #3 in South Africa, #5 in New Zealand, and #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single sold over three million copies.

The artistic career of Rios came to a sudden stop when he was arrested by Francos’ police, and jailed for possession of  hashish shortly after his Rock y Amor (Rock and Love) concert. In the mid seventies he recorded three progressive rock albums, but they were not commercially successful.

In 1982 he released a double album titled Rock and Rios. It sold over 450,000 copies in Spain. The album was viewed as an expression of the new freedom in a post-Franco Spain. Between 1969 and 2018 Miguel Ríos released 30 albums.

While he has performed predominantly in Spain, Miguel Ríos has also traveled to the UK, Mexico, Chile and Venezuela to perform in concert. His most recent performances were in Madrid in 2019, prior to the global pandemic.

June 28, 2021
Ray McGinnis

Miguel Ríos,” Wikipedia.org.
Waldo Do Los Rios,” discogs.com.
Ludwig van Beethoven,” Biography.com.
Your Average Rock & Roll Radio Survey,” CKVN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, June 12, 1970.

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

Truganini by Midnight Oil

#1343: Truganini by Midnight Oil

Peak Month: June 1993
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Truganini
Lyrics: “Truganini

Peter Robert Garrett was born in 1953 in Sydney, Australia. He studied politics at the Australian National University, and later law at the University of New South Wales. According to the bands’ website, it was in 1975 that Garrett was asked to join a Sydney-based rock band called The Oils. In 1972 drummer and singer Rob Hirst, bass guitar player Andrew “Bear” James, and guitar player, keyboard player and vocalist Jim Moginie, began playing music together at school. Their band played mostly Beatles covers. Robert George Hirst was born in Camden, New South Wales, in 1955. James Moginie was born in 1956 in Kalamuda, Western Australia. In 1976 guitar player Martin Rotsey joined the band around the time they officially became Midnight Oil. Martin Rotsey was born in Sydney in the mid-50s.

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The Day The Rains Came by Jane Morgan

#291: The Day The Rains Came by Jane Morgan

Peak Month: Octcober 1958
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #4
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #21
YouTube.com: “The Day That The Rains Came
Lyrics: “The Day That The Rains Came

Florence Catherine Currier was born in 1924 in the suburbs of Boston. Her family moved to Florida when she was four-years-old. When she was five, Florence started taking voice lessons as well as piano. In the summertime, she was a child actor in theater productions at the Kennebunkport Playhouse in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Playhouse was founded by her brother. At the age of 17, in the summer of 1941, she was listed as the Treasurer of the Kennebunkport Playhouse. During her years at school, she competed in singing competitions with other students across Florida and the Southeast. Upon graduating from high school in Daytona Beach, she was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music in Manhattan. She had plans to become an opera singer, and studied opera at the school.

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Love Of My Life by the Everly Brothers

#292: Love Of My Life by the Everly Brothers

Peak Month: December 1958
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #40
YouTube.com: “Love Of My Life
Lyrics: “Love Of My Life

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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Live Is Life by Opus

#293: Live Is Life by Opus

Peak Month: January 1986
14 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #32
YouTube.com: “Live Is Life
Lyrics: “Live Is Life

Opus is a band from Graz, Austria. They formed in 1973. Members of the group consisted of bass guitarist and vocalist Peter Niklas Gruber (born in Graz in 1956), guitarist and vocalist Ewald “Sunny” Pfleger (born in 1955 in Ollersdorf im Burgenland), percussionist and backing vocalist Günter Timischl (born in 1948 in Fürstenfeld), keyboard player Kurt-Rene Plisnier (born in 1957 in Güssing), lead vocalist Herwig Rüdisser (born in 1956 in 1956 in Glödnitz, Carinthia), and drummer Günter Grasmuck (born in 1957 in Fürstenfeld).

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