MIDEM January 26 – 29 Cannes France

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The international music community, from over 70 countries, came together in Cannes for four days of intense networking, deal-making, learning and concerts at Midem 2013.

For the core music industry attending Midem, one of the key discussion points from collecting agencies including France’s SACEM and Germany’s GEMA, to label executives such as Beggars Group founder, Martin Mills and internationally-renowned artist and musician Jean-Michel Jarre, was the on-going relationship between the music industry, the internet giants and ISPs. Other highlights of the event included keynote addresses from senior executives representing American Express, Samsung, Ford and Chinese classical pianist and cultural icon Lang Lang, discussions involving the music community and major brands such as MINI, Nike, Red Bull, Heineken and The Coca-Cola Company on how best to work together, the Midemlab start-ups and app developers competition, the expanded Midem Marketing Competition and a packed programme of Midem Festival concerts.

“Following the changes we introduced in 2012, this year we have again focused on bringing together the core music business with the key players operating in the tech field, as well as leading brands and advertising agencies and, of course, the artists who create the music that we listen to,” noted Midem Director, Bruno Crolot

Woody’s ESP and Alter Ego Delivers The Music

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Submitted by Bill Delingat

How many times have you been in a conversation and someone asked “Hey, whatever happened to…?” If you were talking about music and some of your favourite hitmakers of the past, chances are they are playing the Conference and Convention Circuit.

Corporate conventions have become a multi-million dollar yearly industry, serving the new business sessions, awards ceremonies, the medical/scientific and educational world with new product launches, exhibits, seminars and speaker forums. Major hotels offer full services to the inbound attendees and facilities such as the Metro Toronto Convention Centre offers millions of square feet of display area and state of the art ballrooms for these sessions and special events.

The guests are wined and dined at the closing Gala Dinner while the hosting company’s speakers take the podium. You never know at some of these events who will appear, it could be Gladys Knight and the Pips, Blue Rodeo or even Stevie Wonder who  has rocked the house at some of these private functions. Unless you were invited you wouldn’t even know the stars were in town. One person that does know and is a common figure often seen rushing from the green room, backstage, up to the sound board or waiting for a limousine to arrive is Elwood Saracuse, better known as Woody.

ESP, Elwood Saracuse Productions is one of the top producers of corporate and private events, supplying Canadian and International Headliners from music, comedy, specialty artists and even Circus acts.

Tommy James Earns Million-Air Awards for 22 Million-Plus Song Plays

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Rock legend and longstanding BMI member Tommy James was surprised at BMI's headquarters in New York City's World Trade Center to receive five BMI Million-Air Awards. The awards recognize James's iconic place in music’s history with more than 22 million combined radio performances of his hit songs "Draggin' the Line," "Crimson and Clover," "Crystal Blue Persuasion," "Mony Mony" and "Tighter, Tighter."

The music of Tommy James is heard continuously, every day in every country in the world; on the radio, television or a film soundtrack. To date, James has sold over 100 million and has been awarded 23 gold singles plus nine gold and platinum albums.

Tommy James’ songs had become pop culture classics and were being covered by everyone from punk rockers (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) to country icons (Dolly Parton). In 1987, Tiffany and Billy Idol’s versions of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ and ‘Mony Mony’ respectively battled for the top spot on the pop charts for a solid month each eventually hitting # 1; it would be the first time in music history that two cover versions of songs by the same songwriter went to # 1 back to back.

As of 2011, over 300 artists have recorded a ‘Tommy tune’, among them Prince, R.E.M., Tom Jones, Cher, and Concrete Blonde, as well as artists who have performed his songs in concert including Bruce Springsteen and Kelly Clarkson.

Celtic Woman Plays the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The enchanting Irish musical ensemble Celtic Woman is coming to Toronto’s Sony Centre For The Performing Arts on February 23 and 24, 2013 as part of their upcoming North American tour. The tour, which includes Canadian stops in Toronto, Montreal, Moncton and Halifax, follows on the heels of the group's sold-out Christmas Celebration tour.

Celtic Woman combines the talents of four gifted Irish women—vocalists Chloe Agnew, Lisa Lambe and Susan McFadden, and violinist Máiréad Nesbitt—whose dazzling performances combine the sounds and sensibility of Irish traditional music with memorable original compositions and contemporary pop standards. The members of Celtic Woman are excited to begin their 2013 tour, which boasts an electrifying new stage production and the return of such enduring fan favorites as "You Raise Me Up" and "Orinoco Flow."

Since its formation in 2004, Celtic Woman has emerged as both a spectacular commercial
success and a global cultural phenomenon. The group's uplifting mix of timeless tradition and contemporary craft has transcended national and cultural borders to touch the hearts of a devoted international fan base, who've embraced Celtic Woman's hugely successful Public Television specials and made their CDs and DVDs into multi-platinum best-sellers.

Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

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Submitted by Michael E. Williams

This is the story of the Preacher’s kids who created Soul Music. Bobby Womack‘s life has been filled with great musical achievements despite overwhelming sadness, pain and suffering including his 30 year battle with drugs and, most recently, Alzheimer’s. Even this has not stopped him from making a comeback at 68 years old. Q Magazine named Womack’s first solo album in 13 years, “The Bravest Man in the Universe”, Album of the Year in the UK. It was produced by Blur/Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn.

Bobby Womack grew up in my hometown Cleveland, Ohio, in 1944. He was a Preacher’s kid like his mentor and friend, Sam Cooke. They met on the Gospel Highway where rock n roll and soul were born. It was a circuit of churches, meeting halls, tents and fields that welcomed Black Gospel artists and worshippers. These gatherings would rock the Church walls with a sound that would later fill concert halls.

If you sang Gospel in the Church this was considered sanctioned and sanctified by the Church. The Church had stars like the Soul Stirrers, with featured singer Sam Cooke. Bobby Womack and his four brothers, the Womack Brothers, all sang and played guitar in Church, Bobby was a great guitarist and songwriter.

Cashbox Canada Christmas Message 2012

As the holiday season approaches, we at Cashbox Canada want to thank all the wonderful artists, press and publicity reps and industry folks who have supported us this year. As we all know, it is not an easy task to provide a weekly update of music and news, and we want to take the time to thank our wonderful gang here, Don, Gillian, Lenny, Ian, Michael and Chris, who make it happen every week despite all odds of deadlines looming.

While we are all stressed at the onset of presents to buy and people to see, it would be remiss to not acknowledge the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Those families will have no Merry Christmas, but only heartache with no answers to why this happened in the first place.

The amazing and beautiful thing I saw during this was how music always does play a part in life. Saturday Night Live opened with ‘Silent Night’ instead of a comedic ‘Live From New York’ intro. John McDermott asked an audience to sing for those children and a full house of strangers bonded together to make the rafters ring with their voices. People sang ‘Sleep in Heavenly Peace’ with a whole new meaning at this time. Artists always find a way to make music the healing answer.

So we ask, whether you are a believer or not, to take a moment to be grateful for what we have, and to pray for those who need our prayers during what can be a sad time for many people at Christmas time.

Kieran Strange Wishes Everyone A Merry Undead Christmas!


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

With the highly scrutinized end of the Mayan calendar (December 21st, 2012) fast approaching and referred to humorously as the upcoming “zombie apocalypse” by young adults and teenagers worldwide, UK born and Vancouver based pop-rock artist, Kieran Strange has released “Merry Undead Christmas” a single and music video combo that is sure to deliver a few laughs this holiday season.

“I read a story where a gentleman actually spent his life savings building a huge ark to escape the Mayan end of the world,” said Strange. “There's so much serious face when it comes to this subject, I couldn't help doing something satirical."

Toys Toys Toys Are Made to Love!

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Submitted by Don Graham

Toys!! Just saying the word can bring a smile to your face and a rush of childhood memories. Who doesn’t like toys? We talk about toys, we write about toys, we reminisce about toys and we SING about toys. This time of year seems like a great opportunity to write about the songs that talk about the toys of our lives. The earliest I can find of recorded songs would be Al Jolson’s 1916 song, “The Broken Doll.”

This being the Christmas season,we at CB Magazine Canada thought we’d explore the world of “songs about toys” and maybe get you thinking of some we may have left out. Plus with the news of the 2012 inductees to the Toy Hall of Fame (yes it exists) the timing seemed right. To date, 49 toys have made the cut to the HOF. They range from classics, like Play-Doh and Slinky, to the less obvious, like the stick and cardboard box. Longevity is a key criterion for getting into the 14-year-old hall.

And now on to the toy songs, the obvious and not so obvious.

Soca to Soul – Who Let the Dogs Out? – Anslem Douglas

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Submitted by Michael E. Williams

To say rock n roll is a vicious game is under statement when it comes to Anslem Douglas, composer of the biggest selling single of the last decade,” Who let the dogs out”. On the eve of his latest release, “Project A.D.”, we talk about his life in music and where it began.

MW: When did the music hit you, in Trinidad?
A.D.: Yes in Trinidad. I was in kindergarten and I was asked to sing a duet with a girl, “Under the blue bridge, under the sea”. When it was my turn I ran off stage.

MW: What was it about music that captured you?
AD: I remember from a little boy growing up I was exposed to local artists like Sparrow, Kitchner and Mighty Duke. So being exposed to so much different music I would always try to mimic them. I would tell my mom, “Look! I can sing just like the Mighty Sparrow” and I would slide across the varnished floor like James Brown. Those things stuck with me! My mother ran a school where she had a drama program. They put on concerts every summer. Most of my teenage life I spent singing, in church and on stage.

MW: When did you start to record?
AD: My first recording, “The Neighbor”, was with a band called Firefly. I wrote  the song. Shortly after that Kenny Phillip, a local producer, heard it and wanted me to voice a medley of Carnival hits of the day and that was really the beginning. From there I got a contact with the band Atlantik, the biggest band in Trinidad at the time.

The Sultry Sounds of Hot Spot and Donna Greenberg at Musideum

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Sometimes in the current environment of new releases, we forget that this business started with timeless songwriters who have managed to stand the test of time. That makes the work of Donna Greenberg so much more special, as she does remember, and performs these classics with her own flair and delivery. As a singer/songwriter herself, she feels the dynamics of a good song, and knows how to embrace it with her own style.

On Tuesday, December 18, Donna will be presenting the workings of her new cabaret style show at the unique venue, Musideum in Toronto, an eclectic musical instrument store turned entertainment venue at night by owner Don Quan.

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