Remembering Ritchie Valens

Last week we celebrated rock’n’roll pioneer Ricky Nelson, and this week I’m remembering another American rock legend gone too soon: Ritchie Valens. Today (5/13) would have been his 81st birthday. 17 year-old Richard Steven Valenzuela came here in November, 1958. In my column in The Vancouver Sun that week I wrote: “This week in the…

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Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” is #1

This week in 1963, Kyu Sakamoto‘s poignant Japanese-language ballad “Sukiyaki” is the #1 song on the C-FUNtastic Fifty for the second week in a row! The improbable success story of this song starts with my dear friend, the late Pat O’Day. Here’s the story Pat told on my final CISL show back in 2017: “I…

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Rick Nelson Part 3

We’ve been celebrating Ricky Nelson on what would have been his 82nd birthday Sunday. Here’s the icing on Rick’s cake: a rare photo from his 1958 PNE Forum appearance. That’s me interviewing Rick for my CKWX show. The tape was blank, but this recently restored image is a great reminder of his visit. Rick became…

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Rick Nelson Part 2

On what would have been Rick Nelson‘s 82nd birthday, we recall his first appearance here in the Spring of 1958 at the PNE Garden Auditorium. He was not well received. The late Jack Wasserman wrote in The Vancouver Sun: “When rock and roller Ricky Nelson finished his concert, a phalanx of bodyguards grabbed his arms…

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Rick Nelson Part 1

Rock’n’roll pioneer Rick Nelson would have celebrated his 82nd birthday today – May 8. This photo of Rick and me was taken in his car when I worked at KGW in Portland, OR in 1959. Notice the tape recorder. It was called a Mohawk, and like the haircut of the same name, it cut out…

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