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Every RPM Canadian Content #1 single discussion thread 1964-2000

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bunglejerry, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    It's Hard Work. Think I've spent 3 hours in the past 24, just doing 3 pages!
     
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  2. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    I found that LP about 15 years ago in a small store but eventually sold it in Halifax - don't have a turntable anymore...
     
  3. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    I think we used to say, "Faster Hewitt, Faster!"
     
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  4. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    Footnote - Jack Kerouac was of French Canadian ancestry, original name "Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac".
     
  5. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
  6. GodBlessTinyTim

    GodBlessTinyTim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It's an excellent set. Shane was a passionate, exciting performer. Completists beware, however: Numero opted to leave off her two earliest recordings made in 1960. Both tracks seem like demos with Shane sounding like she's trying to keep her voice down while singing over generic prefab R&B backing tracks. They can be heard here: "Slave for You Baby" b/w "Chickadee", by Jackie Shane
     
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  7. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    51. LOVIN' SOUND
    by IAN AND SYLVIA
    #1 for 1 week: June 10, 1967




    [​IMG]

    Isn't it wonderful that, as of October 2020 when I write this, Ian Tyson CM AOE is still alive at 87, and Sylvia Tyson CM is still with us at 80? I hope I'm not jinxing them by writing that, but given that they started their professional careers together in the 1950s, it's an impressive testament to the power of longevity.

    Ian Tyson, of Victoria, started singing professionally in 1956. He wound up in Toronto where, in 1959, he met Sylvia Fricker of Chatham. They started a professional relationship that developed into a personal one as well, as they were married from 1964 to 1975. Long before Gordon Lightfoot, long before the Paupers or the Band or Janis Joplin's band, Ian and Sylvia were the first Canadian act managed by Albert Grossman. Grossman signed them right around the time he assembled Peter, Paul and Mary, and got them signed to folk label Vanguard.

    By the time "Lovin' Sound" came out, Ian and Sylvia had already released six albums on Vanguard. A serious-minded label with little interest in chasing top-40 success, Vanguard put out only a small handful of singles on Ian and Sylvia. Otherwise, it was twelve inches or nothing. I don't know the circumstances under which Ian and Sylvia came to release two albums in 1967 on MGM Records before putting out one final Vanguard album in 1968 (after which they signed to Ampex, and then Columbia).

    Perhaps it was indeed the desire to make a commercial top-40 breakthrough. The Vanguard albums are all rather typical 60s folk, while Lovin' Sound features more electric instrumentation and pop, rock and blues stylings. A varied album, it features four songs composed by Ian (including this single), two composed by Sylvia, and one bearing both names as co-writers. In addition, two of Tim Hardin's most classic songs are covered, alongside a Bob Dylan number, a Johnny Cash song, and "Pilgrimage to Paradise", the b-side of the single, composed by guitarist David Rea, an interesting figure in the 60s folk world.

    "Lovin' Sound" is no rock song. The instrumentation is mainly acoustic. But it is sprightly and cheery and with a highly memorable melody. And, of course, it prominently features the one thing every Ian and Sylvia song spotlights: their amazing two-part harmony. It topped the RPM CanCon chart for only one week (the first song to do that since December 1966), but it remains one of Ian and Sylvia's best-known songs. It is, sadly, the only opportunity I'll have to talk about these two legends atop the CanCon charts.

    ON THE PAGES OF RPM: A few interesting things in this particular RPM, including a "review" of Sgt. Pepper by someone who has clearly never heard the album and so devotes the entire review to discussion of the album cover (making a point of mentioning the OPP badge). Elvira Capreese gets the front page to bellyache about the state of the Canadian music industry - what else is new? - with an interesting reference that "there is also a very strong element working toward a regulated 55% Canadian content on radio (as is in force on television)."

    But what I'd like to speak about is the ad on the back cover. A sadly forgotten chapter in the construction of the Canadian music industry is the Canadian Talent Library, a non-profit organisation that, down the years, produced 268 albums of Canadian content that would otherwise have never been documented. For most of the 60s, CTL recordings were commercially unavailable recordings in stickered white covers that were released to radio stations who might be lacking Canadian content to play. But in 1967, somehow RCA Victor worked out a deal with CTL to allow for commercial releases of some of the items in their vaults. As advertised in RPM, RCA Victor launched the endeavour with eight albums: Mary Lou Collins' self-titled, A Musical Bouquet by the Al Baculis Singers, Bill Badgley at the Ports of Call, The Original Sounds of Ben McPeek, Lloyd Burry at the Organ, a self-titled by Jim McHarg's Metro Stompers, And I Love Her by Eddie Graf, and Bach and the Blues by Art Maiste. While the last of these is available in full on Youtube, these albums are all hopelessly obscure. Still, A for effort to RCA!
     
  8. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

     
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  9. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

     
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  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    The U.S. ish (K13686) had a bit more info' on the label . . .
    [​IMG]
    . . . the publisher, producer and production company. John Court and Groscourt Productions in the last two categories, M. Witmark & Sons in the first. (As you could guess, I have this.)

    This was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in New York, which Sylvia apparently hated as I recall from their Four Strong Winds bio by John Einarson. They also did the lacquer mastering.

    The picture sleeve, meanwhile . . .
    [​IMG]
    The B side's spelling, meanwhile, was a tad different . . .
    [​IMG]
    Ian in this period almost looked like a younger (and less debauched - but only by degrees) Serge Gainsbourg (if one saw pics of him with Jane Birkin - but we're getting a bit ahead in the timeline at this point).
     
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  11. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    One other thing: After the Lovin' Sound LP, turned out they owed Vanguard one more album, which they would deliver the next year (Nashville). After that, back to MGM for one last LP (Full Circle), then Ampex and finally Columbia. (Ironic, given that their custom division pressed for Vanguard for many years.)

    I practically grew up on a few of their early albums, by order of release: Four Strong Winds, Northern Journey, Early Morning Rain, and So Much For Dreaming.

    Given how some have confused them with the American '50's R&B duo Mickey & Sylvia, it should interest people that Ian & Sylvia, in 1971 (unreleased until a CD came out in the '90's), did their own, ahem, styling of "Love Is Strange":

    In a sense, this version is . . . strange. But having been familiar with their oeuvre, no confusion for me . . .
     
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  12. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

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  13. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #4, peaking at #3 the next week, spending two weeks at #40 on the big chart, is Willie & The Walkers with "Diamonds And Gold" b/w "Baby Do You Need Me".
    It isn't on Youtube, but this version from a reunion is. Just ignore the chatter from the jackasses in the audience:




    [​IMG]

    The band was from Edmonton, this was their first single. As was the case with other Edmonton acts, it was recorded at the Norman Petty Studios is Clovis, New Mexico. Two of the members (the Hardie brothers, or "Hardie boys") were born in Kelowna. Hey! Local boys! We'll hear more from the band later.
    The Rise and Fall of Willie & The Walkers - It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  14. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Peaking at #7 on June 17 are another group from Edmonton, the Preachers with "Hey Girl" b/w "Thoughts Of You". It would peak at #73 on the Top 100 the next week.
    The group was formed by Stu Mitchell, the former drummer of the Wes Dakus Rebels after that band imploded. Also in the band was Dennis Ferbey from James & The Bondsmen.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Neither song is on Youtube, we'll just have to make do with a description of it for the time being:
    THE PREACHERS - HEY, GIRL

    The band would only last six months, at some point Hans Stamer (or Staymer) and Gay Delorme were in the band. They would would both move to Vancouver and form a band called Django that would be popular with the hippie set there. Delorme would later write "The Rodeo Song". Stu Mitchell released a 45 that year (recorded in Clovis of course, with the Wes Dakus Rebels), "Acid"



    And here's someone's impersonation of Kermit The Frog singing "The Rodeo Song":
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajto_neUIQE
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  15. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The British Modbeats "Somebody Help Me" is a cover of a song that had been a #1 hit in the UK for The Spencer Davis Group in the spring of 1966 on Island Records. The success of The British Modbeats version appears to have persuaded the Stone label (which handled Island recordings in Canada at the time) to issue a 45 of The Spencer Davis Group version, which would reach #37 on the RPM 100 in August 1967, well over a year after its British success.

    "Somebody Help Me" was written by The Spencer Davis Group's Island labelmate Jackie Edwards, whose "Come Back Girl" was on the RPM 100 at the same time as the Spencer Davis Group's version of "Somebody Help Me". For some reason, "Come Back Girl" is on the second volume of the unauthorized Only In Canada series. I am not aware of any reason to believe that Jackie Edwards was Canadian.

    The British Modbeats' version of "Somebody Help Me" is on the third volume of the authorized Made In Canada series, making it, to the best of my knowledge, the only appearance of a British Modbeats song on a legit CD. There has been an unauthorized CD release of the Mod Is...The British Modbeats album, which does not sound all that good. I suspect it is the source of the Youtube clip. I have taken the liberty of uploading the better sounding audio from the Made In Canada series.

     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  16. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada

    Here's the original studio version of Willie & The Walkers' "Diamonds And Gold". Because this is another Nor-Va-Jak master, it's another upload I had to disguise. The reason that there don't seem to be any Willie & The Walkers recordings on Youtube is likely because Nor-Va-Jak had them taken down.





    SuperOldies/Nor-Va-Jak has issued a Willie & The Walkers compilation on which "Diamonds And Gold" appears in stereo. (The above clip's audio is not from this CD):

    SuperOldies.com - Willie & The Walkers - Norman Petty Masters (download) (download)
     
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  17. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Continuing the Edmonton theme, here's Barry Allen with "I Know (You Don't Want Me No More)" b/w "Got Me Feelin' Bad". It would not scale the heights "Armful Of Teddy Bears" did, peaking on June 17 at #8 and #68. And continuing another theme, neither side is on Youtube. It would be his last single for Capitol. He then fronted the band Southbound Freeway, but got the urge to fly his freak flag high and moved to Montreal to form Purple Haze. They released covers of "I Don't Live Today" and "Ticket To Ride" in late 1968.



    He then released a 45 on Apex "I Don't Know What I'll Do" then on to the Barry label for a cover of Buddy Holly's "Well All Right". He would make the charts again after moving to yet another label.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I feel like our story so far has a hero and a villain. Our hero is Bill Anderson. And our villain...

    And yet both are interested in the same thing: securing their copyrights. The world is a funny place.
     
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  19. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At # 15 on June 17 (#85 on the big chart), is the return of the Willows (former backing singers for Shirley Matthews) with "Snow Song" b/w "Outside The City". I dealt with their first single here:Every RPM Canadian Content #1 single discussion thread 1964-2000
    Once again produced by Tom Wilson in New York, "Snow Song" would be written by future Anne Murray producer Brian Ahern. That's not on Youtube, but the B-side is:



    This would be the group's last recording. Rhonda Silver would release a solo LP in 1970, then join up with the Dr. Music gang. She would also sing "The Land Is Strong", the theme song of the 1972 Liberal Party campaign.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Stephanie Taylor would also release her debut album in 1970, I Don't Know Where I Stand on the CBC Radio Canada label (arranged by Dr. Music's Doug Riley). It goes for big $$$$ and can be heard here:
    Taylor, Stephanie - "I Don't Know Where I Stand"
    She also worked with Hagood Hardy's Montage, the Sycamore Street Singers and the Laurie Bowers Singers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The third Willow, Diane Miller, would join the cast of the Toronto edition of CBC-TV's Music Hop, I can find no evidence of any recordings, except this:
    Various - Gentle In The Wind

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, the Wes Dakus "The Hoochi Coochi Coo" upload has had 53 views, which has no doubt cost Nor-Va-Jak millions in lost revenue. (Curiously, their 'Content Copyright - Please Remove' comment is no longer there.)
     
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  21. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    I had, may even still have, that After Four LP too. Interesting to learn about 'Teak Wood'... I wondered if the Willapus Wallapus was a real group. Very goofy semi-straight cover of See Emily Play on that LP. Wish I could see the CTV show it was promoting. I've assumed the four ladies shown on the sleeve were it's hosts.
     
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  22. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    52. THE WAY I FEEL
    by GORDON LIGHTFOOT
    #1 for 3 weeks: June 17 and 24, and July 1, 1967




    [​IMG]
    Well, somebody had to be at number one on July 1, 1967. And it just so happened to be... "She'd Rather Be With Me" by the Turtles! A bit difficult to read any nationalistic intent in that particular hit, but additionally the CanCon Centennial Number One is no Bobby Gimby either although if you buy the album...).

    The title track to Lightfoot's second United Artists album, "The Way I Feel" is a curiosity, a fine enough song presented in a highly strange arrangement that swathes Gord's lead vocals and overdubbed harmony vocals in reverb and ducks them in the mix beneath a pedal steel and some mysterious percussion. It's an atmospheric song, not rich in melody but attention-grabbing all the same.

    Strangely similar to what happened with Simon and Garfunkel, "The Way I Feel" appeared in an acoustic version on Lightfoot's début before being electrified and serving as the title track of the sophomore album. Quite why this was done, I have no idea. The version on Lightfoot! is worth hearing, the relative lack of artifice allowing the composition's strengths to shine through though perhaps ending up less distinctive than the remake.

    The remainder of the sophomore album is impressive as well, with "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" appearing alongside "Go Go Round" and "Home from the Forest", which I'll be speaking about soon enough, though not this version. Lightfoot is the sole composer of every track on the album.

    ON THE PAGES OF RPM: In the Centennial Edition, there is a new column from professional self-back-patter Stan Klees titled after a recent Byrds single:

    "SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK & ROLL STAR?" As you watch television, listen to the radio and records, and read fan magazines, it all looks so easy. You learn to play a guitar and you make a record and it's a HIT, and you make a great deal of money. That's the way smart publicists write up the overnight success of most stars, but what they fail to tell you, is exactly what this series of articles will be about. Few hits and few stars happen overnight and the very very few that do, are the ones you'll hear about most.

    In the past three years I have produced approximately 150 singles. About 50% of these were never listed on the RPM"Canadian Hits" chart (The only national survey of Canadian hit action). Approximately 25% did not get above number 11, and only 10% ever got into the top 5, and approximately 5% (8 out of 150) were number 1 records in Canada. Many were released in the U.S. but only ONE got half way up the Cashbox and Billboard charts ("My Girl Sloopy" by Little Caesar and The Consuls). So you see it is not very easy to have a hit whether you are a producer or an artist.

    As bad as the Canadian figures look, let's look at the odds in the USA. There are approximately 1000 labels in the U.S. Almost 100 records are released each week (singles). About 8% of these ever enter the national trade charts, 3% are by NEW artists, and my estimate of a new group or artist having a top ten record in the U.S. are about 1 in 200. Therefore the odds indicate that you have to make 200 records to have a number 1 single. Most of the positions on the charts are taken up by established artists who have had hit after hit. The odds against a NEW artist are very high.

    So before you go out and buy a guitar, or start taking singing lessons, you might just follow this series of articles to see what else is against you. In the weeks to come, I will talk about making records, personal management, contracts, bookings, getting a record played on radio, unions, songwriting and publishing, promotion and many other important facets of the music industry that you should be aware of before you choose music as your career. If you have any questions regarding the music business, write to me at the the address below and we will attempt to answer them in this column.

    I prefer The Manual by the KLF, but we'll see what Stan has to say.
     
  23. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    HATE the remake. Sounds like Gord is fronting a garage band
     
  24. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Lightfoot's own comments about "The Way I Feel" (from the notes to the Songwriter set, on which Lightfoot chose to include the original recording):

    [​IMG]

    The second version of "The Way I Feel" was the only song from the album recorded in New York, with the balance recorded in Nashville. This may explain why this version of "The Way I Feel" has never been issued in stereo.

    "The Way I Feel" peaked at #36 on the main RPM 100 chart. From June 24 until September 23, 1967, there would not be a single Canadian song in the Top 30 of the main chart. That's the entire summer of the centennial year!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  25. GodBlessTinyTim

    GodBlessTinyTim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Fascinating, I never knew Canada had a custom record pressing service back then. Looking at the list of releases, it seems even our man Mr. Curtola took advantage of it after the hits dried up. Unfortunately there are no hidden garage/psych gems to be found amidst the sea of crooners and accordionists.

    Canadian Talent Library Complete Discography | History of Canadian Broadcasting
     
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