Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bunglejerry, Aug 17, 2020.
Ah, that explains why there's a little street in Coquitlam/Maillardville called Lucille Starr.
I have a cd of The Canadian Sweethearts but it doesn't contain any of those three songs. Pity!
I believe I once had an LP of theirs, on the ARC label.
#3 - AS LONG AS I'M SURE OF YOU
by BOBBY CURTOLA
#1 for 3 weeks: July 20 and 27 and August 4*, 1964
Aaaand we're back to Bobby Curtola. They sure put out singles fast and furious back then. We will hear from Mr. Curtola a perhaps-excessive nine times over the next three years.
Whoever uploaded the video I've linked above filled it with lots of Curtola ephemera to give an impression of his stardom in Canada at the time - and of his lifelong promotional relationship with Coca-Cola. It's truly insane how much Curtola/Coca-Cola-related material is out there. It seems he recorded two huge jingles for them and did a lot of promo work for them down the years. In fact, apparently Curtola's first jingle for Coca-Cola was apparently the first-ever commercial jingle recorded in a rock-and-roll style. Whoopee.
OTHER CANCON ENTRIES: I also don't have much to say about this song (but watch out for that single-finger and out-of-tune piano solo!), so let's take a look at some of the other songs on the chart during the three weeks this song was at the top. Given how very obscure these songs are, a lot aren't even on Youtube.
"Larry" by the Allen Sisters, two sisters from Edmonton (apparently the first Canadian singers to record in the UK, if you can believe that) who would work in soul-influenced pop for a few years before becoming country music stalwarts,
Maury Logan with a cover of Ray Stevens' "Just One of Life's Little Tragedies", which doesn't seem to be on Youtube,
The curiously-titled "Jimmy, Johnny or Joe" by Lynda Lane, which doesn't seem to be on Youtube,
And, since so many of Canada's early stars had to slowly climb to the top, here are two 1964 sides by artists who didn't become internationally famous for years after this: David Clayton Thomas, future lead singer of Blood, Sweat and Tears, covering John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom",
And lastly, Andy Kim's second-ever single "Give Me Your Love", which doesn't seem to be on Youtube.
* There are multiple date anomalies throughout RPM's existence. August 4 is eight days after July 27, not seven. Who knows what happened there.
Sounds more like a damaged hammer on a couple of keys. I mean it doesn't have to be perfection, but give me a break. That just kills the record which is pretty good other than that solo which made me cringe.
Yeah, that's clearly wrong. Jackie Rae, for instance. Also Carroll Levis.
Many thanks to the OP for starting this thread. I just noticed it now, so I've got some catching up to do.
By my count Bobby Curtola had 28 songs that made the Top 40 of at least one of the CHUM chart or the RPM chart. For someone usually classified as a teen idol, "You're Not A Goody Goody" has some eyebrow raising lines, such as "You walk with your jeans just a little too tight" and "You don't always hug like a good girl should". The horn instrumental break is well done. The song appears (in mono) on the CD, Hitchhiker & Other Hits, on the Stardust label. Some have questioned the legality of at least some Stardust releases, but this one claims "All tracks licensed courtesy of Del-Fi Records Inc." There is a Bobby Curtola 2-CD compilation available from www.bobbycurtola.com, 25 Gold Records, that I also highly recommend, although this song is not on it. As others have already stated, Del-Fi issued some Bobby Curtola records in the US but I don't think they issued this one. (Wasn't Del-Fi founder Bob Keane Canadian?)
I was still in my mother's womb when Lucille Starr's "The French Song" was a hit, but the song was often played on oldies stations in the 70s and 80s. It's interesting that the Canadian Barry label says "By arr'mt with Almo International U.S.A.", which suggests that it was issued in the US first and then licensed by Barry. It was issued in the US on Almo 204 and reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was on the first RPM national chart (June 22, 1964) and peaked at #9 the following week. Is anyone aware of this song appearing on a legit CD? I have it on Jukebox Hits 1964 Vol. 1 in stereo, but I question the status of this CD. It does not even appear to be available on iTunes.
I'm a bit puzzled why in the July 13, 1964, issue, on the Canadian-only "Coast To Coast" chart "The French Song" is listed at #1 and Bobby Curtola's "As Long As I'm Sure Of You" at #2, while on the full chart "As Long As I'm Sure Of You" was #13 and "The French Song" was #14.
"As Long As I'm Sure Of You" was not one of Bobby Curtola's better singles. Was that piano part played by one of those Youtube cats? The song also appears in mono on Hitchhiker & Other Hits and is not on 25 Gold Records. The song peaked on the national RPM chart at #11. On the August 4, 1964, chart, it was (at #25) the only Cancon song on the forty-position chart. I don't believe a US single was issued.
Of the "other Cancon entries" mentioned by the OP in post #28, only "Larry" made the full national chart. On the label the artist name is misspelled "Allen" instead of "Allan". It peaked at #23 on the national chart and was issued in the US with the same label and number. It appears (in mono) on the UK multi-artist compilation CD, What Does A Girl Do?, credited to 'The Allen Sisters'. It also appears on the first volume of the Only In Canada series (credited to "The Allan Sisters"), which is of highly questionable legality. Like almost every song in this series, it is mastered from vinyl.
Yeah, me too. Born in '65. It will likely be a few more years before I start to recognize the songs and will be able to participate. Hope the thread remains strong until then.
Great idea @bunglejerry
Although I was not a huge fan, it was noted around here that Bobby Curtola lived his last years in this part of Eastern Canada.
'It just hurt him so badly': Friend says Bobby Curtola died with broken heart
#4 - SIDE WINDER
by WES DAKUS
#1 for 1 week: August 11, 1964
64 views. As of my posting this entry, this video has 64 views on Youtube and, as far as I can tell, there are no other uploads of this song - a song that, for one week in 1964, was the most-played Canadian song on Canadian radio. That's the level of obscurity we're dealing with in the 1960s Canadian music scene.
Wes Dakus was from Edmonton and seems to be credited with starting the instrumental rockabilly scene there - which, I guess, is a feat in itself. Though this single is credited solely to him, it appears that he generally was credited as frontman for "Wes Dakus and the Rebels", an instrumental combo that seems to play rockabilly or surf-styled instrumentals. If the Pulp Fiction soundtrack is your thing, check these guys out. They might be right up your alley.
It seems that "Side Winder" was actually the b-side of another track called "Pedro's Pad", both composed by the combo's guitarist Morris James. The ostensible a-side isn't on Youtube at all.
Note from the single label pictured above that this song was produced by Norman Petty - most famous for his association with Buddy Holly. The Wikipedia page for Petty actually observes the following: "Petty produced a number of Canadian recording artists, including Wes Dakus and the Rebels, Barry Allen, Gainsborough Gallery, and the Happy Feeling, all whom (sic) had chart success in their homeland." I had noticed in the early days of RPM a few references to Canadian stars going down to recording studios in "Los Angeles or Clovis, New Mexico" - as if the later was some sort of entertainment Mecca.
OTHER RPM CHARTS: During Lucille Starr's reign atop the CanCon chart, RPM launched its nationwide Top 40 chart, compiled from local Top 40 lists coast-to-coast. On this particular week in August, Jan & Dean's "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" was at number one. "Rag Doll" by the Four Seasons was at number two. Previously unknown to me inside the top ten were the beautiful "You Don't Know How Glad I Am" by Nancy Wilson and "I Wanna Love Him So Bad" by the Jelly Beans. There are 5 Beatles songs among the 40. "Side Winder" doesn't show up on the Top 40 at all.
I used to have few charts from local stations (Bookmark sized lists of the top 40 that local stations sometimes produced.) If I come across one I'll post its contents here.
Just yesterday I was listening to recent cd of some old Del Shannon. Apparently the flip side of one edition of Runaway was an instro called The Snake. Makes a good partner to Sidewinder
I have a couple of those cds, and since one has the Allen Sisters, must give it a listen.
I remembered that How Glad I Am song but didn't acquire it until much much later.
the glory days were cut off in the 1970s... apparently....
Shawn Nagy, a Canadian now living in the US, in collaboration with Norman Petty's widow, has produced three volumes of Wes Dakus's Clovis recordings. All have outstanding sound. I don't see them currently listed for sale on either Nagy's website (www.superoldies.com) or the Norman Petty site (www.norvajakmusic.com), so it unfortunately appears these discs are out of print.
As the OP states, even though "Side Winder" was listed by RPM as the #1 Canadian recording in the country in their August 11, 1964, issue, it never made the forty-position national chart. (Three other Wes Dakus recordings eventually would.) In fact, it would not be until the September 8 issue that a Canadian would appear on the 'regular' RPM chart.
I am up for this thread. I'm not familiar with the tracks post so far but that will change once we get to the 70s.
Drummer for Wes Dakus and the Rebels was Stu Mitchell. In 1967 they would release this:
Back to Bobby Curtola, here's a couple of pictures of him backed by Chad Allan & The Reflections, circa 1964
Something tells me when we get to 1968-69 is when things become more interesting in terms of what I recall.
My only memories of Bobby Curtola are a tv commercial for a greatest hits collection that ran endlessly back in the early 70's and asking my mother who the heck Bobby Curtola was. She said he was a teen idol that a lot of her friends had a crush on back in the day.
Oh I'm already loving this! Not Canadian myself - I live on the other side of the world - but I am deeply Fascinated by Canadian music. So far that's mostly included folk and mostly stuff from Quebec (with exceptions of course).
But I'm excited to expand my scope and read about and listen to lots of Canadian music!
I was an active radio listener at age nine during the time covered by this thread thus far. I remember a few Bobby Curtola songs (notably Three Rows Over and Move Over) from those days, but not either of the #1s listed herein. I know The French Song by Lucille Starr but I've never heard of Wes Dakus.
The thing is at this time the Canadian charts were being dominated by the US and England. As noted earlier the number one Cancon record actually fell outside the top 40. This would change with the Canadian Content broadcast law in the 70s which identifies Canadian studio, artist, songwriter and such with a mandate to give precedence to Canadian artists and productions. So Wes Dacus was recorded in the US so that leg is out. On the other hand there was a cover of the Lennon McCartney song It's For You by the group Springwell in 71. It was recorded in Toronto and even today is a Canadian oldie, but the group was from Allen Park Michigan. When that got out it knocked TWO legs out.
Fascinating! I just looked it up, and it's the only time I've ever seen the MAPL logo with just the "P" quadrant filled in. So to get a bit ahead of ourselves, the MAPL system as it existed from 1972 to 1991 said that a song needed to fill two of the four criteria (Artist is Canadian, Music composed by a Canadian, Lyrics written by a Canadian, Produced in a Canadian studio or recorded live in a Canadian venue) in order to qualify as Canadian and fill government-mandated radio station quotas. But there was an exception for songs recorded before 1972: they only needed to fulfil one of the four criteria. That's why the Springwell 45 bothers with the logo at all: hundreds of foreign artists have recorded albums in Vancouver or Morin Heights, but those albums don't use the MAPL logo at all unless a Canadian also co-wrote the song (viz. Aerosmith). Still, that Springwell song would, bizarre as it seems, qualify as CanCon. I've never heard it before just now. It's pretty good.
Here's what the #2 song by a Canadian artist was that week: "Chantilly Lace" by The Beavers (from Nova Scotia)
They would soon change their hairstyles, put on kilts and change their name to The Great Scots.
I'd forgotten that detail (name change). The Light Hurts My Eyes.
"Me, the Big Beaver speaking" !
Separate names with a comma.