Can-Con 45 Of The Day - March 24

Can-Con 45 Of The Day - March 24

Postby radiofan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:05 pm

Today's Can-Con 45 is from 1961 ... Bobby Curtola and "Fortune Teller" ...

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - March 24

Postby jon » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:34 pm

On a whim, I checked and was surprised to learn that this was the only CanCon on the C-FUNtastic 50 of February 9th, 1962. It debuted, at #24, on the chart on that day, which was also the chart that I heard Dave McCormick counting down when I first began listening to CFUN.
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Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - March 24

Postby Richard Skelly » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:03 am

Not to speak ill of the dearly departed. But did Bobby Curtola really sell 2 1/2 million copies of Fortune Teller?

No less an authority than Billboard cited that figure in his June 2016 obituary. Yet Fortune Teller only made it to #41 on Billboard, peaking on June 23, 1962. Still, it did have a total 14-week run which means it probably did very well in certain American cities, but quite indifferently in many others. Super-generously, let’s spot Bobby 700,000 US sales and, say, 100,000 in Canada. According to Official Charts, Bobby never made it onto British surveys. Again, generously, estimate 200,000 worldwide sales...that’s still 1.5 million shy. Maybe sales of K-Tel and other compilation albums featuring Fortune Teller over the decades made up the difference. And perhaps his song downloaded and streamed like mad in the final few years of his life. Or not.

Through the early 1990s, sales inflation was probably an inescapable fact of the entire record business. Bobby recorded for Tartan in Canada and was distributed by Del Fi in the US and Decca’s London American imprint in the UK. Some labels, particularly Motown, sold vast numbers of discs yet never opened their books for industry certification of gold-record status. Digital point of sale monitoring has dramatically improved accuracy.

Safe to say, Fortune Teller was a hit, initially helped by Vancouver deejay Red Robinson who sent copies with his testimonial to KJR Seattle and other Pacific Northwest stations. Followup Aladdin charted briefly in the US and was one of many significant Curtola hits in Canada. Yet Bobby never made it to the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. That snub, along with the Hall continually overlooking artists such as The Poppy Family/Terry Jacks, Chilliwack/Collectors and Trooper was noticed this week by Winnipeg rock historian John Einarson. In advance of this weekend’s Junos in Vancouver, Einarson posted a complaint Friday on the Manitoba Music Museum site.

It’s not clear if the Hall can posthumously induct an artist. Curtola’s repertoire kept him in the biz almost until his final breath. Along the way: some entrepreneurial detours (e.g. pitching a Clamato-type beverage called Sea Czar) and an Order Of Canada invenstiture in 1998. He finished his career singing on the high seas with Princess Cruises.
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