Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bunglejerry, Aug 17, 2020.
Interestingly, NWM was the only Rush song that ever cracked the Billboard Top 40
The Beavers looked like they had the same barber.
#5 - COME HOME LITTLE GIRL
by BOBBY CURTOLA
#1 for 6 weeks: August 17, September 1, 8, 14, 21 and 28, 1964
1964 must have been a nerve-wracking year for teen idols in the English-speaking world. The attention of the world is being taken by new sounds, mostly from the UK but also from the USA as well. As an idol of a rapidly-disappearing era, what do you do? Stick with the old sounds and risk being seen as old news? Or adapt to the newer sounds and risk alienating your fanbase? The answer must not have been clear at all, and we can see Bobby Curtola having it both ways here: while the previous two singles I've linked have been game approximations of the Merseybeat sound, this third number one is an unabashed look backwards; frankly, it more or less sounds exactly like "Fortune Teller".
As I'll eventually run out of things to say about Mr Curtola, let me provide a quote from the invaluable website canadianbands.com to show just how very Canadian he was: "Aside from his music career, Curtola has also been a successful business entrepreneur throughout his career, stemming back to his pitching Coke products in the '60s. He's marketed a successful brand of Caesar cocktail, as well as a pyrogy company. He's also CEO of Home Farms Technologies, a Canadian-based company which is attempting to develop an environmentally friendly waste management system for hog waste."
ON THE PAGES OF RPM: The missed week in Curtola's chart run there (August 24) occurred because RPM took a week off to relaunch itself. From September 8 on, the "magazine" is actually printed and not mimeographed, is a whopping eight pages and not four, and now takes ads, which in this issue consist mostly of congratulations to "the New RPM". The Travellers are promoted as "a new folk sound from Columbia Records of Canada", The Beavers get a full page advertising their cover of "Chantilly Lace", and RCA Victor lauds itself as "THE ONLY CANADIAN RECORD COMPANY WITH COMPLETE FACILITIES FOR: Coast -to -Coast distribution, Manufacturing, Advertising and promotion, Recording."
I like the drums on "Come Home Little Girl", especially near the end of the song. Anyone have any idea who the drummer is? In spite of the fact that it was the #1 Canadian song in the country for six weeks, it never charted higher than #25. So it was only a relatively minor hit. It's on the CD 25 Gold Records that I've mentioned previously (in stereo). The song is also available on iTunes on the Bobby Curtola compilation, Don't Stop Dreaming Of Me, which appears to be a digital-only release. Even though a much older Bobby Curtola is pictured on the cover, they are the original versions.
The liner notes on the two Bobby Curtola CDs I have don't offer much information, but Curtola does say in one that most of his hits were recorded in RCA's Studio B in Nashville with engineer Bill Porter, who also helmed many Elvis Presley sessions in that studio. (Might the drummer be D.J. Fontana?) As Steve Hoffman has explained on this board, Porter prepared stereo mixes in such a way that when folded he would get the mono mix he wanted. So the mono mix of some or all of Bobby Curtola's hits may simply be folds of the stereo mixes.
It was during this song's chart run that RPM introduced a country chart, a 5-position chart on September 14, the first of nine consecutive weeks that a country chart would be published, with the exception of the October 19 issue. Like the main chart, both Canadian and non-Canadian acts appeared on the chart. After two weeks with no country chart, it reappeared on November 30 as a Cancon-only chart, with readers being asked if they wanted the Cancon-only chart to continue. After several weeks with no country chart, a Cancon-only country chart reappeared on December 21 as an (almost) weekly feature until November 11, 1967, when the country chart once again became open to non-Canadian acts, which would remain the case until the final RPM issue in 2000.
On the regular September 8, 1964, RPM chart, the #1 song was the "House Of The Rising Sun" by The Animals. The Canadian 45 was the full 4:26 version. Americans had to endure, on both the 45 and LP, a horrible, clumsy edit of the song running 3:00. The full version wasn't released in the US until the Best Of The Animals album came out in 1966.
Really? There was a Canadian band called the Beavers
Thanks for that. I wrote something about the country charts in a post due to appear sometime next week, but I think what I wrote was wrong and I'll rewrite it to reflect your more accurate information. Country is largely a mystery to me.
They were very busy. They even got recognized on our nickel.
#6 - UNLESS YOU CARE
by TERRY BLACK
#1 for 10 weeks: October 5, 12, 19 and 26, November 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and December 7, 1964
Watch the video above for a really delightful American Bandstand clip. Dick Clark is just so very wholesome - as is the fifteen-year-old boy from Vancouver he's introducing. This excellent song, which I well recall from the days that 1050 CHUM had an oldies format, was an all-American affair except for Black himself. The song was written and produced by Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan, better known for composing "Eve of Destruction" but also "Secret Agent Man" and "A Kind of Hush". The recording, meanwhile, featured pre-fame Leon Russell and Glen Campbell as session players.
Despite Dick Clark's claims of the song spreading west to east across the USA like wildfire, it only reached #99 on Billboard (Tollie put it out Stateside). It also got a Japanese release on Vee Jay. Black managed to pop his head into the public eye every decade or so thereafter, putting out a few singles with his wife Laurel Ward in the early 70s (one of which, "Goin' Down (On the Road to L.A.)", hit #57 on Billboard) and featuring in 1979 on the Meatballs soundtrack, of all places.
OTHER CANCON ENTRIES: The "Chart Action Across Canada" chart is, as of November 9, now a top ten. "Las Vegas Scene" by Wes Dakus is at number two, "(He Makes Me) Feel So Pretty" by Shirley Matthews is at #3, "Nickel Piece of Candy" by the Winmen is #4, and rounding out the top five is "Big Hoss Man" by Larry Lee (which RPM reports is only being programmed in Smiths Falls, Oshawa, Kitchener and Belleville). Each of the three that Youtube has uploads of is quite good and well worth a listen (those active links in this paragraph lead to Youtube). The Shirley Matthews song, in particular, has a wonderful Spectoresque sound to it produced by the legendary Bob Crewe... apparently, her recording career lasted a total of four singles, which is a crying shame.
Wow, been an avid music lover since the late 60's and I'm Canadian but never heard of RPM Magazine.
Must have been an eastern thing.
My first time hearing this. It's a product of its era but I like it. The guitar work reminds me of the Byrds.
It was based in Toronto, but it definitely wasn't an eastern thing, in content anyway. There's constant talk about the Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg scenes among others. Probably about half of the stations contributing to RPM are from Manitoba and points further west.
I had been meaning to share the resources that I've been using in one of the main postings, but I'll provide the links here so that you can see the magazine for yourself:
RPM: Canadian Music Weekly 1964 to 2000
RPM Magazine: Browse Issues | 33 & 45 Records & Art
RPM - Library and Archives Canada
Obviously there is a lot to say about the Canadian government's hands-on approach to Canadian culture - that contrasts to the extreme with the laissez-faire approach in the USA - but in lieu of starting that conversation, let me just point out that the third link there is actually posted on a government website.
Terry Black released an LP called The Black Plague, the back cover featuring a bunch of unintentionally hilarious puns about the album's title from Canada's top DJs:
It was re-released in 1965 with his latest hit "Only 16" and a couple of other songs added:
His family moved down to L.A., a rumoured film part as the younger brother in an Elvis Presley film never came to fruition. By 1969 he was in Toronto, his musical career going in an, let's say, interesting direction:
The German cover:
He was also on the soundtrack of Ivan Reitman's first film, Foxy Lady, in 1971:
The soundtrack could be considered a sort of proto-Dr. Music LP, with Doug Riley running the show. Black and Laurel Ward were also in the group by this time.
More from American Bandstand, the flip side to "Unless You Care":
Probably his rarest record is "Wishing Star" form 1967, written by Sandy Salisbury and produced by Curt Boettcher.
What a great thread.
An education for most. Us northern border folks may or may not have heard these records. Hell most folks around here don't even recognize the independent Canadian record labels.
Not to say Wikipedia is a more reliable source than you (because I doubt it is), but they suggest those two albums came out in the opposite order (which makes a good deal of light-to-darkness sense). In either case, I love the title and conceit of The Black Plague. It's way edgier than 1965 teen idols tended to be - and very unlike the other album cover. If you came across that while crate-digging, I think you'd take it for some Nuggets-syle protopunk garage band.
Yeah, that Wiki entry was always a bit screwy. I just found The Black Plague mentioned in the April 19, 1965 issue of RPM. "Only 16" wouldn't be released until August, "Poor Little Fool" until November. Two of the songs removed for the re-issue were "Dry Bones" and "Sinner Man", which was his first single (and actually his rarest single).
I would like to thank you for the time and effort of putting this thread together. I’m from Toronto, but not familiar with music from this period and it’s very interesting to learn. Cheers
I'm a bit confused by the "Produced In Canada By ARC Sound Limited" on the label. I take it that they don't mean that Sloan, Barri, Russell, Campbell et al come to Canada for the recording, but that the physical record was manufactured in Canada. Sloan and Barri were staff producers at Dunhill (a label co-founded by Lou Adler whose releases were issued in Canada on RCA), but Dunhill didn't issue its first record until the spring of 1965 (by Shelley Fabares, Adler's then wife). So it looks like Dunhill initially was just a production company.
Although some songs that were #1 Cancon songs were only minor hits, "Unless You Care" was a smash. It spent two weeks at #2 on the RPM chart. Both of those weeks it was the only Canadian song on the chart. The Only 16/Poor Little Fool album has been issued on CD by Unidisc (mostly mono; some songs sound lightly rechanneled to me). The CD has all of Terry Black's 1960s Top 40 hits except "Rainbow".
Of the "other Cancon entries" mentioned by the OP, two made the regular RPM chart. "Las Vegas Scene" reached #23; it is on the second volume of Wes Dakus recordings issued by Superoldies that I've previously mentioned. "Nickel Piece Of Candy" by The Winmen reached #36. I have a 45 but have no idea how to upload it to Youtube. (I'll try to learn how when I can find some time. The lawn can go mow itself.)
It appears that different chart methodologies were used for the regular chart and the Chart Action Across Canada (Cancon) chart, with the former having a much higher turnover rate. The last week that "Unless You Care" was listed on the forty-position regular chart was the November 23 issue. The Cancon chart still showed it at #1 on November 30 even though it had fallen off the regular chart and three Cancon songs were on the regular chart (the Wes Dakus and Winmen songs as well as "So Many Other Boys" by The Esquires). Until the chart became a 100-position chart in 1966, the turnover rate was so extreme that there could be as many as fifteen debuts among the forty songs. There were even weeks that the previous week's #1 song would fall completely off the chart.
A terrific Cancon hit from this time nobody has mentioned yet is Lucille Starr's "Jolie Jacqueline", which reached #24 but was never the top Cancon song.
Backward Glances: The Winmen - Lake Country Museum & Archives
I remember my local library having copies.
Okay, I've uploaded it to Youtube. Let's see if I did this right.
Terry's parents were not thrilled with the LA lifestyle.
As noted earlier, had this semi-hit later on... you may have forgotten it all these years later...
Oh yes, the Kama Sutra label...
Separate names with a comma.