Cover Story

John Winston Ono Lennon, (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

Cover, Dec 10, 2010

Thirty Years Later


Story:Bill Delingat


It is often said that special days in our lives are always remembered, from first love, to the birth of one’s children and then there are those days we wish we could forget but never will as we say “I know exactly where I was when that happened.”


This past Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of one of those sad days when the man who taught the band to play was gunned down at around 10:50 pm on December 8th 1980, as he and his wife Yoko returned to their New York apartment in the Dakotas. 


Lennon was shot four times in the back by a cowardly, delusional young man named Mark David Chapman at the entrance to the building. Lennon staggered up the five steps to the reception area and fell to the floor, scattering cassette recordings he had been carrying as the Concierge of the Dakota, Jay Hastings ran over to attempt to stop the profuse bleeding.


Andy Kim Celebrates Christmas with his 6th Annual Christmas Show

Cover Dec 3, 2010

The sting in the tale of early success is that from there on, the road is guaranteed to be rough and on a gradual down slope. Sorry Justin Beiber but keeping thinking of the money. Andy Kim was kind of a Justin Beiber figure in his day, a 16-year-old dreamer turned darkly handsome dude with a wicked knack for crafting nuggets of pop perfection. 

 

On the eve of his 6th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show, the man some folks call ‘Canada’s Neil Diamond’ talks about its genesis and being back in the spotlight once again.


“ In 2005, I hooked up with Ron Sexsmith to write a Christmas song"What Ever Happened To Christmas’. Out of that came the idea of the show and so The Andy Kim Christmas Show was born.” It was meant to be a one time thing when some friends would come up and play. Then I thought if it was going to be an event, it should be of benefit.  When I put it out to other people, the response was gratifying. The first to come on board were Sexsmith and the late, lamented Haydain Neale. With the help and encouragement of so many people, the show went on at the Mod Club in Toronto and that’s where it has lived ever since.”


ANDRÉ- PHILIPPE GAGNON Bringing His 401 Down the 401

Cover Nov 26, 2010

Story:Don Graham 

 

Quebec born impressionist André- Philippe Gagnon is bringing his 401 voices down the 401 to treat the province of Ontario to his extraordinary talent. His press release bills him as The Man of 400 Voices, so counting his own voice it brings the total number of voices to 401. Perfect for traveling down the 401 Highway from Quebec to Ontario.

 

When asked how he started doing impressions Gagnon explains, ” As babies we start speaking by imitating the sounds we hear around us and then at a certain age we outgrow that habit. I never did outgrow it!”  He goes on to say “My idol, as a kid, was Mel Blanc who did Bugs Bunny and all those great cartoon voices. I started by doing Tweety Bird and when I did it my brother praised me instead of punching me. That’s when I knew I was on to something!” A shy kid who didn’t enjoy speaking in public, Gagnon found his talent to be a great ice breaker and it put him at ease in those awkward  situations. 

 

In 1985 Gagnon got a break by performing at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival where he recreated, with uncanny accuracy, every voice on the famous Michael Jackson penned, We Are the World song that had been recorded by USA for Africa.


JOSE FELICIANO: Still Lighting The Fire

Cover Nov 19, 2010

By Don Graham

Often credited with opening la puerta for Latin American singers in North America, Jose Feliciano is still filling rooms with people and great music, four decades later. Jose literally burst onto the scene with his soulful, latinesque version of The Doors mega hit ‘Light  My Fire’. This song got the attention of radio, finally settling at number three on the U.S. pop charts.

When I spoke to Jose from his home in sunny Florida he gave this insight into the recording of  ‘Light My Fire’, “I had been performing the song in coffee houses and when it came time to record my producer Rick Jarrard said I should record ‘Light My Fire’.  I scoffed at the idea saying it’s already a hit by The Doors so what’s the point. Rick said Jose please oblige me, which I did and the rest is history. The song was actually the B side of the single ‘California Dreaming’. Then one day a disc jockey in Seattle flipped it over and ‘Light My Fire’ took off.  “Speaking of  that  record” , Jose added,  “I just saw online that they picked the Top Ten covers of rock tunes and I was #1 with California Dreaming!”

Colin Hunter-Timeless and True

Cover Nov 12, 2010

 Story: Sandy Graham

 

Timeless might be the title of the CD, but it is what truly describes Colin Hunter. His effortless way of performing, soft spoken way of telling you of his passion for singing and thoughtful way of looking at his life. Born in Bombay, India, when Cashbox asked how he ended up in Canada, Hunter explains, “I went to the UK for my parents because my Dad had a heart attack and the family needed another wage earner.

 

“I immigrated to Canada firstly because my brother had preceded me and liked it, secondly because there was a absolutely stunning lady residing in the apartment building he lived in (I later married and am still married to her). Lastly, I had reached a senior level at British Airways and did not see any future advancement that would or could stimulate my dreams. My parents stayed in the UK.  It really sounds like a song title!” 

 

“Additionally, an interesting fact is I landed in Toronto on July 26 1970 and 35 years later on July 26 2005 I recorded my first CD "Come Fly With Me" to coincide with the launch of Sunwing Airlines in Nov 2005” Hunter says in his own subtle way.  

Between The Crosses Row on Row

Cover Nov 5, 2010

Story: Don Graham 


 


Setting aside the U.S. Civil War and WW 1, each of which had their share of songs that told the story of their generations, it wasn’t until WW 11 and the popularity of the old tube radio, that the music of the war reached the masses in great numbers. By 1940 over 95% of households in the northeast section of the U.S. and about 50% of homes in the south, all had radios.


 


Some of the music from WW 11 was obvious in its content and some were songs that expressed the sentiment of the day in such a way that they became classic love songs decades after the war was over. The obvious ones were the likes of Spike Jones’ “In the Furher’s Face” and Johnny Mercer’s “G.I. Blues” and The Andrew Sisters “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. 


 


Conjure up any of those three songs and in your minds eye you will see people dressed in forties style clothing, crisply pressed army dress and a vivid impression of the Sisters Andrew in their WAC uniforms rhythmically snapping their fingers and swaying as they sing “the boogie woogie bugle boy of company B.”


 

Songstress Sings For Polar Awareness

Cover Oct 29, 2010

Canadian Musical Artist First to Perform at the North Pole To Help Raise Awareness of the Ecological Impact of the Melting Polar Ice Caps.

Story: Bill Delingat

 

Parvati, a Canadian musical artist and yoga instructor, took a courageous journey to the North Pole. Parvati’s mission was to bring awareness of the urgent ecological effect of melting polar ice caps.

 

Charged with purity of heart, clear intention, and the willingness to serve, Parvati has become the first artist to ever perform this far North. There, she offered her songs to help raise awareness of just how quickly the ice caps are disappearing and the powerful impact this is having on the entire planet. 

 

Born in Montreal and now living in Toronto, Parvati is an internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, performer and producer of electronic dance pop. Her music celebrates the gift of life and debut album and multimedia show, ‘Yoga in the Nightclub’, has had people from Toronto to Berlin shaking to its catchy and uplifting rhythms. After a summer of increased signs of environmental distress, Parvati decided to postpone her Canadian tour to trek to the North Pole. She says she simply cannot turn away from the effects the climate change is having.

 

Parvati Q&A

Parvati 2

Canadians may not be able to claim having been the first person on the North Pole as the first man to reach the North Pole was an engineer in the American navy called Robert Edwin Peary, who reached the pole on April 6 1909 along with his employee Matthew Henson.

The claim that Robert Peary was the first to reach The North Pole is still hotly disputed.

How ever we can be proud that the first performance on the North Pole was a Canadian and Cashbox had the opportunity to ask a few questions about that amazing experience with Parvati, now residing in Toronto.

CB: Your performance with “Yoga in the Nightclub” is very unique with the merging of Nature, Yoga and Electro beat music. It is very European in a way. Do you think your early youth in Montréal would have had an impact on your spirit and direction of music that you took?

 

MICHELLE WRIGHT’S STUFF

Cover Oct 22, 2010

Facebook spoke, Michelle Wright listened and now she’s back on the road with a reissue of her ‘lost’ debut album, Do Right By Me


Story: Lenny Stoute


Belleville, ON. 

 

Inspiration, of both the positive and horrific varieties, can come from the most unexpected of sources. Country singer Michele Wright’s just rolled into Belleville for the next gig on her Do Right By Me Tour and the vibe in town’s got her a little sideways. For this is day two of the sentencing hearing for Col. Russell Williams, the sex killer whose deviant behaviour put on display in the courthouse was making strong men hurl. 

Dan Hill – Getting Back On The Long Road?

Cover Oct 15, 2010

Story: Lenny Stoute


Little by little, it seems that Canadian icon and trailblazing singer/songwriter Dan Hill is heading back on that long road again. He stepped out recently by adding author to his list of accomplishments with ‘I Am My Father’s Son : A Memoir Of Love And  Forgiveness’ The recounting of his early years and his father/son relationship wasn’t that much of a stretch for a man who’s spun million selling tales for a living. As well, writing runs in the family, brother Lawrence Hill recently charting with his acclaimed novel, ‘The Book of Negroes.’


Next, Hill found humself thrust into dealing with the death of lifelong pal and fellow songwriter Paul Quarrington. The two had on occasion performed as a folk duo, billed as Quarrington/Hill. The pair's final collaboration, a song about death called "Are You Ready", was completed just ten days before Quarrington's passing in early 2010, and will be featured in an upcoming TV documentary, Paul Quarrington: Life in Music

 

Now, as the stately oaks of his Beach neighborhood turn golden with autumn’s first kiss and after nearly a decade of focusing his efforts backstage, Dan Hill is back in the spotlight. He’s stepping back in with Intimate, his first album with new material since 1996’s ‘I’m Doing Fine’. 

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