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
A reimagining of Vancouver’s Theatre Row,
with Red Robinson and Wolfman Jack, in this
digital image by Bruce Stewart.
A more detailed description at the bottom of this
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
Bruce Stewart has reimagined Vancouver’s
Theatre Row on Granville Street, uniting
the old with the new in this digital
image. In it we see an older Red
Robinson offering a match to a young
Wolfman Jack. Red is driving a ’58
Buick (Red usually drove Fords).
Wolfman is driving a ’60 Pontiac
convertible with ’59 Cadillac ‘bullet’
tailights, an actual car restored by Ted
Forbes. The Granville Street image
is a mixture of the 'old' and 'new'
(vertical column lighting) and a few new
buildings, but predominately old places
(Aristocratic Restaurant, absence of
high-rise office buildings, etc.).
The girl in the back of Wolfman’s car is a
mystery girl, someone Bruce had a crush on
jingle, "This is Vancouver"
was written by Frosty Forst and Red Robinson