Proudly Canadian

Proudly Canadian: Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts are a Canadian rock band, based out of Vancouver that formed in 1980. The band's name was taken from the title of Lou Reed's 1983 album.

Bentall's first group was Brandon Wolf, a pseudonym he also used, which formed in 1979 with the original line-up consisting of: Bentall (lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Doug McFetridge (guitar), Kevin Swain (bass) and Derek Morrison (drums) and which later changed to: Brad Kilburn (bass), Wilf Froese (keyboards) and Jack Guppy (drums). With songs written by Bentall and long-time childhood friend and songwriting partner Gary Fraser, as well as McFetridge and Swain, they self-released "Excerpt from the Montmartre Letters, a 4-track 45 rpm EP in 1979. This record was followed by "Not Guilty, a 5-track EP released in 1980 on A&M Records, that had modest success in Western Canada. In 1982, Brandon Wolf recorded and released Losing Control, a 13-song LP, on their own label, Possible Worlds Records.

Proudly Canadian: Gino Vannelli

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Gino Vannelli grew up in a family headed by his cabaret-singing father, Russ and a ‘keen-eared’ mother, Delia. Instinctively drawn to jazz, drummers in particular, such as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, Ed Thigpen and Elvin Jones, as a child Vannelli studied drums and music theory for five years. Gino’s first foray into pop music came one afternoon as a group of young drummers stood in line, waiting to take turns to audition for a Montreal East group called The Cobras. The rite of passage involved playing a tune called ‘Wipeout’ by The Ventures. Having never heard the song before, Gino made sure he waited to the very last, studying the parts every aspiring drummer played (or was trying to play.) That afternoon, Gino came home a little later than usual from school, but as the official drummer for The Cobras. A year later, with his brother Joe holding down the keyboard chair, Vannelli headed up the Motown-influenced Jacksonville 5 (note, this is five years before the Jackson 5 recorded their first record). Along the way, there were guitar and piano lessons. The urge to compose words and music followed not long after. At fourteen, Gino began his official singing career when the singer in the band fortuitously couldn’t make the high water mark in a then popular tune by a gritty Welshman, Tom Jones, called ‘It’s Not Unusual’.

Proudly Canadian: Murray McLauchlan

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

There are many names that are so identifiable with Canadian treasures and Murray McLauchlan sits firmly in that list of our musical peers.

Murray McLauchlan was actually born in Renfrewshire, Scotland and when he was just five years old. At the tender age of 17 he started playing in the famous Yorkville area of Toronto, known for discovering so many talents in the coffee houses of the 1960’s era. McLauchlan had actually attended Central Tech before deciding that music was to be his life.

After playing at major music festivals, such as The Philadelphia Folk Festival, where he appeared alongside Jim Croce and John Prine, and Mariposa where he gave up half of his concert time so Joni Mitchell could play, he began to attract wider attention on the club circuit, playing such well known rooms as The Riverboat in Toronto, The Bitter End in New York, The Main Point in Philadelphia, and the famous Earl of Old Town in Chicago.

Before McLauchlan had actually recorded an album of his own, his “Child’s Song” was already well known after being recorded by American folk star Tom Rush. Live versions of his song “Honky Red” were performed by Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Bobby Neuwirth. He received early song cuts by country music star George Hamilton IV.

Proudly Canadian Matt Minglewood

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Matt Minglewood Band are a musical hybrid, a four member band with one foot steeped in the musical roots of blues and country and the other knee-deep in rock. Matt Minglewood himself has long been known as a musical shape-shifter and the band are masters of improv and genre bending. Their constant touring and high octane live show has earned them the well-deserved reputation of 'down to earth bearers of good will and good times'. Their diversity and broad audience appeal has made them a fave on the Canadian touring circuit.

Matt grew up in North Sydney, Nova Scotia in a large and loving extended family of twelve. At an early age he remembers sitting on grandfather Batherson’s knee listening to him, completely enthralled by his fiddle playing as he bounced him up and down. At the tender age of four he sang in front of his first audience, singing a couple of Gaelic songs and the writing was on the wall. At the age of six he started fiddle lessons, moved on to the piano at eight and by his teens was in love with the guitar.

Proudly Canadian: Honeymoon Suite

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Honeymoon Suite is a Canadian hard rock band formed in 1981 in Niagara Falls. The band's name was a nod to the fact that Niagara Falls is the unofficial honeymoon capital.

The band was originally formed in 1981 by lead vocalist and guitarist Johnnie Dee (of Niagara Falls, Ontario), Keyboardist Brad Bent (of Toronto, Ontario), and original drummer Mike Lengyell, formerly with The Diodes. By 1983, the line-up changed, with Dee (the only original remaining member) now on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, along with new recruits Derry Grehan on lead guitar and Dave Bettson drums. Grehan became the band's primary songwriter, and penned "New Girl Now," which won them an unsigned band contest put on by Toronto radio station Q107.

Various keyboard players and bassists came and left during this time, but on the strength of "New Girl Now," WEA Canada signed the band to the label. Ray Coburn was added as a permanent new member on keyboards as the sessions got underway for the group's debut LP, but the band still had no bass player, so bassist Brian Brackstone was recruited as a session player. Brackstone played on the entire album; bassist Gary Lalonde (formerly with Rose and Toronto) was added to the line-up after the album was completed, and appeared in the album's group photos and played with the band live.

Proudly Canadian: Christopher Ward

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Christopher William Ward is a Canadian singer/songwriter and broadcaster,who along with Steve Anthony, JD Roberts, Michael Williams and Erica Ehm were among the first video jockeys in 1984 on Canada's music video network, MuchMusic.

Ward began his music career in the late 1970s while attending Trent University in Peterborough Ontario. While at Trent, Ward founded his own campus radio station (with Stohn) and he later went on to host his own all-night radio station on Peterborough’s CKPT. He almost graduated but left to travel around the world with his friend and co-writer Stephen Stohn.
In 1975, Christopher Ward signed a recording deal with Warner Brothers and enjoyed a brief solo career with songs such as Lost in a Love Song in 1976, Once in a Long Time in 1977 and Maybe Your Heart (Will Be Broken) in 1978.

Some of Ward's early television appearances began in 1978 on the CBC children's series Catch Up, as leader of the show's band. He also played a minor role as a musician in an episode of The Kids of Degrassi Street alongside Alannah Myles in 1984, a relationship that would be instrumental in his songwriting career.

Proudly Canadian: The Bells

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The story of the The Bells plays out like a who’s who in the beginning of the Canadian music scene. The Bells were a Canadian rock band formed in 1965 in Montreal, Quebec, originally starting out as The Five Bells. The Five Bells first hit in late 1968 was "Moody Manitoba Morning", written by Winnipeg Singer/Songwriter Rick Neufeld, who later be a recording artist in his own right, signed to the Astra Label by the legendary Bob Hahn. (father of industry icon Kathy Hahn). In 1970 after shortening their name their next hit was "Fly Little White Dove Fly", which became a Top 10 hit in Canada. Piano player Frank Mills joined The Bells for a short period from 1970 to 1971, after which he pursued a successful solo career, the highlight of which was the #3 1979 U.S. hit single "Music Box Dancer". Mills was replaced by piano player Dennis Will who remained with the band through to the end. Charlie Clark also joined the band in 1970 as a guitarist and vocalist.

Proudly Canadian: Shirely Eikhard

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Submitted By Cashbox Canada

Shirley Rose Eikhard was born in Sackville, New Brunswick and her mother, June Eikhard, was a noted Atlantic Canadian fiddler, making music an integral part of her life.
At the tender age of 13, while living in Oshawa, Ontario she successfully auditioned for the New Songwriters' Workshop at the 1969 Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto. In 1971, when she was only 15 years old, her song "It Takes Time" was recorded by Anne Murray recorded her song "It Takes Time" and became a hit in Canada. Eikhard released her debut album the following year.
As a recording artist, Eikhard’s style encompasses pop, jazz and shades of rhythm and blues. Shirley is a veteran musician who plays various instruments; guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion, chromatic harmonica and sax. Over the past decade, she has added dobro, banjo and mandolin to the mix.

Writer of the Grammy-Award winning, "Something To Talk About", as well as a two-time Juno Award and multi-BMI Award winner, Shirley Eikhard is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, publisher and record producer and has travelled the world both as a performer and writer, having written well over 500 songs to date. ‘Something To Talk About’ was a turning point in so many ways and paved the way for Shirley in so many ways.

Proudly Canadian: Chilliwack


Submitted by Sandy Graham

Chilliwack were a Canadian rock band that had their heyday during the 1970s and 1980s. They are perhaps best remembered for their five biggest songs "My Girl (Gone Gone Gone)", "I Believe", "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Fly At Night" and "Lonesome Mary". The band's lineup has changed numerous times, though Bill Henderson has constantly remained a fixture, and Chilliwack continue to tour across Canada.

The band initially formed as the Classics (1964) in Vancouver, British Columbia, but later changed the name to The Collectors (1966). Their psychedelic self-titled debut album yielded the minor hit "Lydia Purple".[3] Their second album was based on the musical score written by the band for a stage play by Canadian playwright George Ryga, Grass and Wild Strawberries.

Chilliwack effectively began with the departure of vocalist Howie Vickers from the Collectors in 1969; however, the band didn't change their name until 1970, to Chilliwack, a Salish term meaning "going back up" and the name of a city east of Vancouver in the Fraser River valley. With lead guitarist Bill Henderson now providing most of the vocals and doing most of the composing, the band released several records that were moderately successful in Canada. Hit singles in Canada included "Lonesome Mary", "Crazy Talk" and "Fly at Night". The album track "Rain-o", a blues-based composition that appeared in different versions on the Chilliwack debut album and the later Dreams, Dreams, Dreams, was a well-known concert favourite.

Proudly Canadian: Trooper


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

It goes like this: millions of records, a couple dozen hits, a Juno Award (Canada's Grammy) for Band of the Year and ongoing sold-out shows across Canada. Universal Music acknowledges them as "one of Canada's top five selling bands of all time" and the Vancouver Sun has called them "Canadian rock heroes of the first order ... the best performing band in Canada".

In 2009, Peter Assaff of The Northern Light hailed Trooper's Ra McGuire and Brian Smith as "the Canadian version of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards" and Joel Rubinoff of The Record wrote, " ... this frolicking, rollicking showcase for McGuire's soaring pop melodies and whimsical wordplay is arguably one of the biggest Canadian bands of all time."
Then, as now, what makes Trooper what they are -  great performances and great pop songwriting.

Trooper's ten studio albums have earned multiple gold and platinum awards and their 6 X Platinum greatest hits, Hot Shots, continues to be one of Universal Music Canada's best selling catalog CDs and one of the country's most enduring party soundtracks. In celebration of the band's 35th anniversary, a totally updated and re-mastered collection - "Hits From 10 Albums" - was released, featuring songs spanning the entirety of their recording career. John Kereiff, writing in Gonzo Magazine, dubbed the collection "THE summer album of 2010."

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