Tuesday, May 13, 2014


This coming long weekend, known as the ‘Victoria Day Weekend’ in most of Canada, celebrates Britain’s Queen Victoria.  It’s also referred to as the ‘May 2-4 weekend’, although it doesn’t always fall on the 24th of May.  So just for fun (because there certainly isn’t any profit in it), our quiz this time is about hit songs or groups that have ‘royal’ connections.  Either their name has a ‘royal’ connotation or the song title has ‘royal’ in it.  Example:  Aretha Franklin is referred to as the ‘Queen of Soul’.  Elvis Presley was the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, etc. so of course, none of the questions will be about them.  
All of the songs and/or the artists in question went to # 1.  The years range from 1967 to 2013.  Keep a stiff upper lip old chap, take your best ‘royal’ shot and have a happy ‘Vicky’ weekend those of who celebrate such things.  

1.  This teenaged singer/songwriter from New Zealand had her # 1 ‘royalty’ song win two Grammy Awards this past March.  One was for ‘Song of the Year’.  The other for ‘Best Pop Solo Performance’.  Her mother is a prize winning poet.  In the tradition of Cher or Madonna, this performer also uses only one name.  Do you know what it is?                
2.  In 1980, this ‘royal’ British group hit the # 1 spot on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart for the
first time.  They had initially charted in 1975 and eventually charted 29 hits of varying degrees.  Two of their songs made it to # 1.  Mike Myers (the actor, not the movie’s masked murderer) helped take one of this groups’ songs to # 2 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart for the second time in 1992.  Can you name this ‘killer’ group?                                    
3.  This group first made the singles chart in 1966 with a song about a beloved cartoon character versus one of World War I’s German flying ace.  The following year, they recorded a song about the same duo at Christmas.  It went straight to the top of the Christmas charts.  Can you ‘snoop’ around your brain and come up with the name of this ‘royal’ group?                          

4.  She’s a multi Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter - the most successful female songwriter of all time.  Some of the hits she wrote or co-wrote were recorded by Aretha Franklin, The Shirelles, James Taylor, Bobby Vee, The Monkees, Little Eva and The Beatles.  In 1971, her solo album ”Tapestry” was # 1 for 15 weeks from June 19th until September 25th.  She’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Who the heck is this ‘queen’ of the record charts?        
5.  It was 20 years ago this year that this singer/songwriter hit # 1 on Billboards’ Hot 100 singles chart.  In fact, that year, he did it twice.  He’s a colourful performer who prefers purple.  He famously had a few problems with his record company, Warner Bros.  So much so, that he insisted they not call him by his name and that he be known only by a symbol.  He also wrote several hits that other artists made successful, including “Manic Monday”, a # 2 hit for The Bangles in 1986 and “Nothing Compares 2 U”, a # 1 smash for Sinead O’Connor in 1990.  On his own, he charted over 50 single hits and that includes 5 # 1’s.  Do you know his artists’ name?  Don’t ‘go crazy’ trying to figure it out though.                     


1.  New Zealander Lorde won her two Grammy Award this year for her song “Royals”.  Her real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor but she says she chose her stage name Lorde because of her fascination with royalty and aristocracy.  She says she though Lord was too masculine so she added the ‘e’ at the end and became Lorde.  She was first signed to Universal Music at the age of 13, but didn’t hit big time success with “Royals” until she was 17.  She’s the first solo artist from New Zealand to have a # 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.     

2.  Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon were Queen.  Their first chart hit was 1975’s “Killer Queen” which got to # 12.  That was followed by “Bohemian Rhapsody” (the first time around) which went to # 9.  Several more chart hits followed, but nothing made it to the top spot until February 23rd, 1980 when “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” climbed to # 1.  That song fought off all comers for 4 weeks until Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)” replaced it.  Queens’ “Another One Bites The Dust” also went to # 1 for 3 weeks in October of ‘80.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” had a comeback in 1992 thanks to the movie “Wayne’s World”.  This time around, it climbed to # 2.  Lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991 at the age of 45.  The members of Queen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.  As well, the current hit play, “We Will Rock You” is built around the songs of Queen.  
3.  In 1967, The Royal Guardsmen took their hit “Snoopy’s Christmas” straight to # 1 on the Christmas singles chart.  The previous year, “Snoopy Vs The Red Baron’ had climbed all the way to # 2 on Billboards’ Hot 100, but it was kept out of the # 1 spot by The Monkees “I’m A Believer”.   
4.  1971 was the year singer/songwriter Carole King first hit # 1 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart as a solo performer with her song “It’s Too Late” from her album “Tapestry”.  Carole wrote (or co-wrote with her then husband Gerry Goffin), 118 hits that charted on Billboards’ Hot 100, including “You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin), “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (The Monkees), “Loco-Motion” (Little Eva/Grand Funk), “Up On The Roof” (The Drifters) and “Chains” (The Cookies/The Beatles).  She’s won 4 Grammy Awards (plus a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Grammy Trustees Award), has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and, along with former husband Gerry Goffin, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.  The duo had previously been inducted (in 1987) into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  While in high school, Carole briefly dated fellow student (and later hit maker) Neil Sedaka.  She’s also guest starred in such television shows as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “The Tracy Ullman Show” and most recently, “The Gilmore Girls”.                    
5.  Prince is the award winning name we were looking for.  Real name: Prince Rogers Nelson.  Prince has sold over a hundred million records around the world.  He first charted in 1978, but the song, “Soft And Wet” only managed to make it to # 92 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart.  He first cracked the Top Ten in ’83 with “Little Red Corvette” (# 6), then did it again a few months later with “Delirious” (# 8).  His five # 1 hits are: “When Doves Cry” (1984), “Let’s Go Crazy” (1984), “Kiss” (1986), “Batdance” (1989) and “1991’s “Cream”.  Prince always produces himself and has a state-of-the-art recording studio complex in Minneapolis he calls Paisley Park.                      

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