We go back Down Under for station 2GB, who first took to the airwaves in August 1926 as the voice of the Theosophical Society. They were the flagship station of the Macquarie Radio Network, started in 1938. I’m not sure when their stint as a Top 40 station started or ended, but I can tell you they are now at 873 kHz and are a news-talk station, and that on this day in 1963, this was their Top 10.
- Kathy Kirby, “Dance On” Kathy was a British singer who bore a striking resemblance to Marilyn Monroe and was believed to be the highest-paid singer of her generation. This was her first single and it reached #11 in the UK. Her 1963 follow-up, a cover of Doris Day’s “Secret Love,” is her best-known song.
- Sheb Wooley, “Hootenanny Hoot” Rockabilly singer and character actor Sheb is best known for his 1958 single “Purple People Eater.” This doesn’t appear to have been released in the US and Canada, at least not as a single.
- The Singing Nun, “Dominique” I’ve featured this one a number of times, so you should know the story behind it. ‘Nuff said.
- The Delltones, “Hanging Five” The Delltones are an Australian rock ‘n’ roll band that’s been around since 1958, though I understand they’re now on hiatus. They lost their lead singer, Noel Widerberg, in a motorcycle accident in 1962, just before their single “Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands” reached the Australian charts. The flip side of this record was a cover of Jan & Dean’s “Surf City.”
- Johnny Devlin, “Stomp The Tumbarumba” Johnny is considered the “Australian Elvis Presley.” This is one of several records (the others were “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”) that featured The Bee Gees on background vocals. And no, I don’t know what a “tumbarumba” is; if there are any Australian readers, maybe you can provide a definition…
- The Crystals, “Then He Kissed Me” Written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector (who also produced the record), this reached #6 in the US and #2 in the UK.
- Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs, “Sugar Shack” I just did this one several weeks ago, so you remember the story of how The Fireballs were an instrumental group until Jimmy Gilmer joined them. This song eventually reached #1 in Australia.
- Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, “Do You Love Me?” The tremeloes were a British band that ultimately became part of the British Invasion. This reached #1 in the US and #19 in Australia, but it obviously did better in certain markets.
- Jimmy Little, “Royal Telephone” An Australian Aboriginal from Cummeragunja Mission, NSW, Jimmy Little reached #10 nationally in Australia with this.
- Gerry & The Pacemakers, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” Another band that would be instrumental (so to speak) in the British Invasion that was soon to sweep the US, Gerry Marsden and crew shared managers (Brian Epstein), producers (George Martin), origin (Liverpool), and sound (Merseybeat) with another group you might have heard of.
And that’s the Friday 5×2 for December 7, 2018.