FROM VANCOUVER'S LEADING RADIO STATIONS.
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.
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
"oldies" stations will often 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.
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"?; the "Ding Ho
Party Line"? "Soundathon?" Chances are you'll find the
answers deep within these pages.
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 never charted at
all on Billboard or were even heard of elsewhere on the
continent. This was largely because our DJs didn't wait to
see how a song was faring on other stations around the
continent. If a song was considered hit material it got
played. Examples of number one hits here, 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) and "Queen of the Angels' by
Deane Hawley (#9), and the list could go on and on.
on this site you will find a huge collection of information
from the surveys of Vancouver's "Top Forty" radio stations,
namely CKWX, CFUN, and CKLG. These are not replicas or scans
of the original surveys, but rather stylized retypes of the
information in the originals. Each survey has been
diligently retyped, retaining the information found on the
embark on such a project? Because it seemed that the
information from these surveys was on the verge of becoming
forever lost. Not even the original radio stations have them
anymore. Furthermore "oldies' stations in the Vancouver area
make little or no effort to acknowledge the existence of our
own hit parades from the past, instead referring to
"Billboard". Sites have sprouted up all over the web posting
surveys from radio stations all over North America. Even the
CHUM surveys from Toronto are on the web, and one web site
carrying them has the audacity to refer to them as "Canada's
Hit Parade", which they were not. I figured it was about
time to get Vancouver's surveys up there. But where to find
them? I discarded my own collection of surveys years ago, a
move I've been kicking myself for ever since.
But now 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...
night scene was a common postcard shot of Vancouver's
skyline, taken some time in the late 50s or early 60s,
looking across Coal Harbour from near the 9-o'clock gun in
Stanley Park. The four most prominent buildings include,
from left to right, the Marine Building, Hotel Vancouver,
Burrard Building, and the BC Electric Building (later BC
Hydro). Today these buildings are barely visible from this
vantage point, dwarfed or obscured by higher, more modern
The above night scene was a common postcard shot of Vancouver's skyline, taken some time in the late 50s or early 60s, looking across Coal Harbour from near the 9-o'clock gun in Stanley Park. The four most prominent buildings include, from left to right, the Marine Building, Hotel Vancouver, Burrard Building, and the BC Electric Building (later BC Hydro). Today these buildings are barely visible from this vantage point, dwarfed or obscured by higher, more modern towers.
C-FUN jingle, "This is Vancouver"
If the audio clip is causing your browser difficulty in loading this page then click here.