Cover Story

Hugh’s Room Toronto On The Brink

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Submitted by Don Graham

One of the most iconic and loved listening rooms, Hugh’s Room in Toronto, has been on the brink of going under. But as long as there is hope people need to stop burying the body before it flatlines. At this writing, owner Richard Carson has NOT gone bankrupt as reported by some on social media, but has filed for insolvency. On January 8, Richard statement read: “To all our supporters – performers, audience, and staff – I am sincerely sorry to have to say that Hugh’s Room has reached a point of insolvency. More information will be available over the next few days as to how we can proceed from here, but at this time we are closing our doors until we can see what options are available to us.”

Richard opened Hugh’s Room in April 2001 and named it after his late brother Hugh.

With the late great Jesse Winchester as the first act to grace the stage. Since Jesse’s passing Bill McKettrick has organized a Jesse Winchester Tribute show there with one scheduled for this April. It’s still a large possibility as the room, although closed now, is working on a solution. On January 9, Hugh’s Room issued this statement, “We have received a tremendous amount of good will and support over the past few days and we’re working on finding ways where we may be able to garner that support. It certainly has given us some encouragement that we may be able to move forward and continue in the ways where many people – performers, audience, and staff – have been touched by the room over the past 17 years. It ain’t over folks!”

Living On In Our Hearts 2016

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Submitted by Don Graham

If anyone had told us at beginning of 2016 how many musical icons we would lose in the course of the year we’d be hard pressed to believe it. But it was a year like none I can remember for deaths in the musical community. By April it appeared to me that surely we couldn’t lose anymore. But the grim reaper kept coming. Some say it’s the age, that so many of the artists we grew up with were aging out, but that theory doesn’t hold water in all cases, there were some that were just too young to go.

The year started off in January with two giants of the industry passing within days of each other. The passing of mega star David Bowie was a shock and while we still reeling from that an even bigger shock hit us when Eagles co-founder and superstar Glenn Frey exited suddenly. Also in January rock pioneer with The Jefferson Airplane, Paul Katner left us. February started off on first of the month by claiming country crooner Jim Reeves and followed by taking country and early rock ‘n’ roll singer (Young Love) Sonny James. The month also took Lennie Baker, saxophonist for Sha Na Na. March saw country singer Joey Feek  succumb to her long public battle with cancer and Canadian legend Ray Griff who built a career for himself in Nashville passed away back in Canada. Frank Sinatra Junior joined his dad in the heavenly orchestra and one third of Emerson Lake and Palmer, Keith Emerson checked out. And the man responsible for the Beatles sound, Sir George Martin, left us.

Ken Tobias Soul Tune

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Submitted by Don Graham

Ken Tobias, Canadian music legend is at it again. He has just released a brand new single Soul Tune that ranks up there as one of his best to date. And that’s goin’ some cause Ken has had a slew of hits and made some great records.

His most famous song “Stay Awhile” was a monster hit for the Bells in the 70’s but Ken himself recorded a lot of hits on his own. His first album included the title track “Dream #2” and “ I Just Wanna Make Music” , both hits, and was recorded in L.A. featuring Hal Blaine on drums, Joe Osborneon on bass, Larry Carlton on guitar and Larry Knechtel on keyboards.

His second album recorded at George Martin’s Air Studio in London, England and yielded “Good To Be Alive in the Country”, “My My” and “Fly Me High”. These were followed by his first Attic record that featured “Every Bit Of Love”, “Run Away With Me”, “Lay Me Down Again”, “Give A Little Love” and “Lady Luck”. These hits were followed by “New York City” and “My Maria”.

Duran Duran with The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

In the years when artists released ‘albums’ their artwork was always their insignia. You knew when Santana had a new album, Grateful Dead always had their logo, The Rolling Stones ‘lips’.That artwork translated to their tour posters, t-shirts, tour jackets, merchandise. In today’s day and age, they call it branding. We just knew it as great artists and great music.

Andrew Golub, who I have come to know affectionately as ‘Durandy’ understands that magic, that marketing skill of posters and the band he chose to focus on is Duran Duran.

A chance email to Cashbox Canada about this beautiful keepsake hardcover book made me realize how the music business has no borders. Andrew Golub reached out to us to see if we would like to review his offering of reverence to this legendary band, Duran Duran.  Self published and self promoted, he was asking if we could do a short piece and offered to send a book to our office. After receiving the book and looking through the glorious history and collection, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind this story was worthy of a cover. (Please remember we only have 51 covers a year so we try to chose wisely.)

Andy Kim Christmas!

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Going into its 12th year of Music, Love and Charity, the Andy Kim Christmas has been gathering friends and fans together to celebrate the spirit and generosity of the musical community in Toronto with all proceeds going to charity. The concert event is the brainchild of music legend, and the evening’s host and performer, Andy Kim.

Andy Kim and his Christmas Show has now become as much a part of the Toronto traditions like the tree lighting ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square and The Bay Christmas windows.

In October 2015 Canadian Music Week inducted Andy Kim into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in honour of his achievements and longstanding career in the music industry.”Andy Kim’s contributions to the Canadian and international music community are truly remarkable in his almost 50 year career,”says CMW President Neill Dixon.

Maddie Logan: Here She Comes

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Submitted by Don Graham

From Southern Cal to middle Tennessee, Maddie Logan has made the pilgrimage that so many have made before her. The young singer/ songwriter realized that her love of country music and desire to be an active part of that scene could only be achieved by moving to the heart of the industry; Nashville, Tennessee. But she was still so young to make that move on her own. Enter a dedicated mom and dad who saw her potential and acted on it.

“I started singing probably at the age of 4 or 5 years old and writing my own little songs. My mom says while other little kids made drawings and paintings, I would come a sing them a song I made up,” Maddie said from her home just outside of Nashville.

When she was 13 years old the family decided to make the move to Nashville to help Maddie realize her dream.” My parents are so supportive of me and my career and their belief in me is huge part of what makes me determined to make this happen.

Her influences include Dolly Parton” a remarkable woman aswell as a great singer and songwriter and smart business woman” and her all time favorite Brad Paisley. I love Brad Paisley. I love the songs he writes, intelligent country and his stage presence. If I had to pick a dream act to open for it would be Brad Paisley.” And her dream duet partner ? “Brad Paisley.”

Leonard Cohen It’s Closing Time

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Submitted by Don Graham

“I’m ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable”. Leonard Cohen said these words not long ago. The iconic singer/songwriter whose work spanned nearly 50 years, died last week at the age of 82. Leonard Cohen's record label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer's Facebook page with the following statement.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will be held at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief."

From some perspectives it could argued that  death has  been a part of  Cohen’s writing since he began creating  poetry but perhaps more present lately as he aged.  It was probably brought more to the forefront when Cohen’s living musical contemporaries, the ones who planted the seeds for modern rock and folk music, started passing on in numbers.  Elvis Presley, who was born a year after Cohen, died young in 1977 and  earlier this year, so too did Presley’s longtime guitarist Scotty Moore. David Bowie, who released his debut the same year Cohen did, also died this year.

In July, Marianne Ihlen, who was Cohen’s lover and muse when they lived in Greece in the  60s died  at the age of 81.  She of course was the Marianne in “So Long, Marianne,”

Before she passed away, Cohen sent her a letter that  was read to her on her deathbed.

Lest We Forget

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Submitted by Don Graham

When we heard the words “lest we forget” years ago it really meant “we’re not going to forget”. How could we? There were reminders of the wars everywhere, veterans, freedoms we gained and kept because of our brave defenders and peace, glorious, hard earned peace. But honestly times have changed. For this generation born in the 90’s there hasn’t really been world peace. From the Gulf War of the 90’s, 9/11 and the continuing terrorist threats, it’s a volatile world we live in. With the passage of time there are fewer veterans still living to remind us of the past and fewer stories being told of the brave men and women who gave their lives for us.

War is a terrible thing. It is an organized conflict that is carried out by different countries against each other as a way of resolving differences.  It is usually characterized by extreme violence, and economic destruction and multiple deaths. The way it is carried out is called warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace. War has been waged from the beginning of time and continues to this day, and every year on November the 11th, we here in Canada honour the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the rights and liberties of their homeland and its people. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 o’clock a moment of silence, often two minutes is observed across the country and a well-deserved respect is paid to armed forces past and present, dead, alive and wounded.

Bobby Vee 1943-2016

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Submitted Courtesy of Rob Durkee
Cashbox Magazine USA

There’s one very special plaque on display in my Mediabase 24/7 office. It was awarded to me April 7, 1989 to commemorate my final day as an on-air DJ. It was given to me at a send-off party that evening. It was a gold record with my signoff slogan as the title: “I Know It’s Only Rock And Roll—But I Like It.” The artist on that gold record was my airname, “Rockin’ Robin Scott.” Underneath, in a beautifully engraved box, it said “From Your Friends at WAYY Radio and Bobby Vee.” Bobby couldn’t make it that night but his thoughtfulness and popularity as one of the upper midwest’s most revered singers for many years has never been forgotten by me.

That’s why it’s so very difficult for me to report that Robert Velline, a/k/a Bobby Vee, died Monday (October 24, 2016) at the age of 73. He’d been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in recent years.

Bobby Vee got his big break as a fill-in singer in the wake of the tragic “Day The Music Died” plane crash of February 3, 1959, that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and the pilot, Roger Peterson. Bobby performed with his two-week old band, the Shadows, at the Moorhead (Minnesota) National Armory, not far from his hometown of Fargo, North Dakota. That big break was the first chapter of a career that landed him over 40 hits, mostly in the 60’s.

Bob Dylan The Rhymes They Are A-Changin’

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Submitted by Don Graham

In 1965, at the height of his appointment as the voice of a generation, Bob Dylan was asked if he thought of himself primarily as a singer or a poet. He replied, “Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know?”

And now 51 years later, he has been given the highest possible accolade in literature, the Nobel Prize.He is the first American to win the prize in more than twenty years . Novelist Toni Morrison last won in 1993.

Dylan was given the award "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize.

According to the Swedish Academy, "He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition, and he is a wonderful sampler - a very original sampler. For 54 years now he has been at it and reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity." Which is so true for although he is revered for his “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” epics he is also responsible for the more modern “To Make You Feel My Love” and “Wagon Wheel”.

Dylan has won Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S. Now to add to his honors Dylan has captured the Nobel Prize.

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