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5 things you (probably) didn't know about music in Vancouver

A legendary country music star got her first break in south Vancouver
5-things-music
From top left, clockwise: Weekend Chime, Loretta Lynn with four of her children, the Village People in the YMCA music video, a poster advertising the Clash's show in Vancouver.

Vancouver is well known as a major hub in Canada's music scene, with international stars, critical darlings and up-and-comers all across the city.

The region has seen the likes of Michael Buble, Bryan Adams, Grimes and Carly Rae Jepsen all make their way onto stages worldwide, while locals like the New Pornographers, Dan Mangan and Snotty Nose Rez Kids make waves nationally.

With such a vibrant music scene, and as a major Canadian city, Vancouver's had its own weird music moments as well, and here are five things you probably didn't know about those.

1. YMCA was written in Vancouver

According to Victor Willis (the frontman and cop in the Village People), this was simply a case of the band touring through the area, and it just happened to be here where he wrote the lyrics, while producer Jacques Morali wrote the music.

2. Loretta Lynn got her break at an old Vancouver chicken coop

As the story goes, in South Vancouver, there was a chicken coop that was turned into a makeshift dancehall and jam space. According to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, in the late 50s it became a pillar for the region's country music scene.

As such it attracted a pair of producers who'd just moved to Vancouver from Toronto, looking for new talent. At the same time, Loretta Lynn was just finding her voice as a musician. She'd moved from Kentucky with her husband and was a mother of four living in the lumber town of Custer, Washington.

In 1959, she played the coop, on a night the producers, who'd just founded Zero Records, were in the building.

Together they turned Lynn's "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl" into a single and it got the attention of industry giant Decca in 1960, and from there Lynn's star took off.

3. Irish rockstar Bob Geldof was a music critic for the Georgia Straight and CBC children's show host

Born in Dublin in 1951, Geldof worked a variety of odd jobs before becoming a massive rockstar and activist.

Eventually he ended up in Vancouver, where he was a music journalist and editor for the Georgia Straight in the 1970s. While here he was added to the roster of hosts at CBC for the children's show Switchback, which aired Sunday mornings. It intercut segments like music videos and cartoons with local hosts and content.

4. There's a piece of public art downtown that plays two notes from a famous rock song written by a local band

Vancouver-based Loverboy may not be a band everyone remembers nowadays, but their iconic hit "Working for the Weekend" is one of the most recognizable Canadian rock songs of the 1980s.

So much so that local sound artist Brady Cranfield decided to turn just two notes of the song into a sort of alarm for the people of Vancouver.

The Weekend Chime is an installation near the art gallery that plays two notes from the chorus of the song, where singer Mike Reno sings "weekend."

The chime plays every Friday at 5 p.m.

5. Legendary punks The Clash played soccer against some locals

The Clash were one of the biggest bands in punk rock when it first arrived on the scene, and their 1979 album London Calling is one of the most critically acclaimed albums ever.

Just before they made it, they toured North America, and launched that tour at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom.

But before playing their gig they decided to take advantage of the city's mild climate (this was January 31) and played a game of footy against fans. They took to the pitch at McBride Park in Kitsilano even though it was a nearly frozen field.