This is
Vancouver Top 40 Radio


WELCOME. THIS SITE FEATURES THE HIT PARADE CHARTS OF VANCOUVER'S ROCK/POP ERA, FROM THE "TOP 40" RADIO STATIONS OF OUR CITY'S PAST. HERE YOU'LL ALSO DISCOVER AUDIO BITS INCLUDING JINGLES, MONTAGES, AND OTHER MEMORABILIA, ALL PART OF VANCOUVER RADIO HISTORY


Vancouver's Skyline Circa 1960


As the Rock & Roll craze began weaving its way into North American culture back in the year 1955, many radio stations across the continent began devoting their entire schedules to the new genre. It seemed every city had at least one station with a hit parade chart. The format today is referred to as "Top Forty" even though an individual station's chart was just as likely to have been a top fifty, sixty or thirty.

Vancouver was no exception. The charts put out by our radio stations reflected our regional tastes which did not always conform to those of the "national" charts such as Billboard and Cashbox.



Today's "oldies" stations may tell you how high a particular song charted on Billboard for any given year, but they say little, if anything, about how songs fared on Vancouver's own charts, which is what most listeners followed. Few of us in fact, had even heard of Billboard, and the DJs themselves seldom referred to it. We had the FABULOUS FORTY, the SENSATIONAL SIXTY, the FUNTASTIC FIFTY, the BOSS THIRTY. Remember these?






And what about the radio stations of the day? How many of you knew or remembered that CKWX was once a 24-hour rock 'n' roll powerhouse and the first to give Vancouver its own hit parade. Then came upstart C-FUN and later CKLG which eventually gained dominance. And who can forget the radio personalities, such as Red Robinson, "Big Daddy" Dave McCormick, Buddy Clyde, Frosty Forst and a host of others that followed. And who was the Late Daddy 'G'?. or "The Beard"? or "Jolly John" ? or "Mad Mel"? Was Jim Robson once a DJ? Norm Grohmann too? And what was the "New Sound Sweepstakes?"; "Battle of the New Sounds"?; "Party Line"? "Soundathon?" You'll find the answers deep within these pages.




Our music, perhaps due partly to Vancouver's unique geographic location, carried a touch of California, a touch of Canada, and a touch of Britain. The influence here was as much north-south as it was east-west and this is reflected in our surveys. Furthermore, our Pop/Rock stations were often playing and charting hit records months before they appeared on Billboard. Hit tunes like 1961's "Running Scared" by Roy Orbison peaked here on Apr. 15, but not until June 5 on Billboard. "Take Good Care of My Baby" by Bobby Vee charted #1 here on Aug. 12/61 but not until Oct. on Billboard. And Beatles hits were peaking here in Dec of 1963, nearly two months before the group's debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.







Many songs charted high in Vancouver that simply never made the Billboard chart, or were even heard of elsewhere on the continent. Our DJs didn't wait to see how a song fared elsewhere. If it was considered hit material it got played. Examples of number one hits that didn't chart elsewhere include "Shake Shake Sherry" by the Redwoods "Flying Blue Angels" by George Johnny & the Pilots and "Bonnie B" by the immortal Jerry Lee Lewis. Other tunes entering the top 10 include "Stormy" by Donnie Owens (#7); "Fallen Idol" by Ken Lyon (#2), "Queen of the Angels' by Deane Hawley (#9), "Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt" by the Shadows (#2), "The Great Snowman" by Bob Luman (#4), and the list could go on and on.





Posted on this site you will find a huge collection of information from the surveys of Vancouver's "Top 40" radio stations, namely CKWX, CFUN, and CKLG. These are not scans of the original surveys, but rather each survey has been diligently retyped, retaining the information found on the original.






Why embark on such a project? Because the information from these surveys seemed on the verge of becoming forever lost. Not even the original radio stations have their charts anymore. Now, thanks to collectors who were willing to photocopy their charts, most of the surveys have been found and are being meticulously typed out for posting here. (Click on "Surveys Wanted" to see where the gaps still lie.)

And so without further ado . . .


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1960 Olds and the Vancouver skyline in this digitally reconstructed image by Bruce Stewart. What station is that radio tuned into.? Click on the image for a larger view.




VANCOUVER TOP 40 RADIO  © 2005
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