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
Red Robinson 1937 - 2023 You will be missed
but you're still
very much alive in these pages.
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.
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
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
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
The C-FUN jingle,
"This is Vancouver"
was written by Frosty Forst and Red Robinson