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Grammy Winners of 2018

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on January 28, 2018. The CBS network broadcast the show live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was the first time since 2003 that the ceremony was held outside Los Angeles (where the Staples Center had been the home of the Grammys since 2004). James Corden returned as host.

The ceremony recognizes the best recordings, compositions and artists of the eligibility year, which ran from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. The nominations were announced on November 28, 2017.
And the winners are…..

The Beat Escape – Life is Short The Answer’s Long

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Long before they were a band, Montreal duo, The Beat Escape, took a small first step towards a longer journey at a university video class. “We made a short oddball work; a video piece that followed two characters through a psychedelic waking dream,” say Beat escapists, Addy Weitzman and Patrick A Boivin, of their founding collaboration. Many other projects and outside collaborations later, the duo have crafted a debut album their younger selves would be proud of: released through Last Gang/Bella Union on April 27th, the sublimely immersive Life Is Short the Answer’s Long plays like a waking dream of near-psychedelic electronic pop, moving to its own beat in the push-pull of forward motion and submerged reflection.

That sense of propulsion ushers opener, Sign of Age, into rising view, its sparse drums, hypnotic sequence and melancholic chords resembling house music as reimagined by Angelo Badalamenti. The enveloping mood holds as Moon in Aquarius unfurls like a night-time road ahead, ghosted by narcotic harmonies. Limestone Alps lingers meditatively, hymnal vocals reverberating; Where Water Ends and More Dreams, meanwhile, navigate the porous boundary-lines between krautrock, Factory Records and obscure minimal wave records of the 80s.

Hugh Masekela South African Jazz Pioneer Who Fought the Evil of Apartheid

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Story Credit: Robin Denselow The Guardian
Hugh Maskela Guardian 2011 Photo Credit Sarah Lee

Hugh Masekela, who has died aged 78, was one of the world’s finest and most distinctive horn players, whose performing on trumpet and flugelhorn mixed jazz with South African styles and music from across the African continent and diaspora. Exiled from his country for 30 years, he was also a powerful singer and songwriter and an angry political voice, using his music and live performances to attack the apartheid regime that had banished him from homeland.

Even when he had returned to the country of his birth under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, after having lived and worked in the US and in Botswana, Masekela continued to comment fearlessly on political events in South Africa and around the world, enjoying his status as an international celebrity, playing for presidents and royalty and concert audiences, and often collaborating with other musical greats.

MDM Recordings Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

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Celebrating 10 years, MDM Recordings Inc. is pleased to announce it is scaling up its recorded music operations internationally with dedicated distribution and partner services globally for the first time.The development comes via an innovative partnership with leading edge technology centric company FUGA, that specializes in building smart industry-predictive solutions and offers a variety of services to some of the world’s leading independent labels.

Additionally, MDM is happy to enter into an inventive partnership with Zooby Media’s Adria DeLaune, who will represent the label and its robust roster in Nashville.

Mike Denney said, “In an ever-changing musical landscape in which we proudly celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year, we recognize more than ever before that it has become an industry without borders. It is both exciting and crucial for us to partner with those that are forward-thinking and results driven in order to grow and strengthen our business globally. We are thrilled to be working with Adria at Zooby Media in Nashville as well as the exemplary team at FUGA and look forward to building a strong recordings business for the MDM label and its artist roster around the world.”

Sony Centre Announces Foreigner 40th Anniversary Tour with Toronto Date

Kelly Hansen of Foreigner Photo Credit S. Schweiger

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With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is marking their milestone 40th anniversary with the 40thAnniversary Tour stopping in the SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS on THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2018 with special guests and Canadian legends Chilliwack. Universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world, Foreigner’s formidable musical arsenal continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” and the worldwide #1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” Foreigner continues to rock the charts almost 40 years into the game.

Founded in 1976, Foreigner’s debut album produced the hits “Feels Like The First Time,” “Cold As Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.”  The album Double Vision followed, as did a string of hits like “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”  Those songs helped give Foreigner’s next album, 4, its impressive run at #1 on the Billboard chart.  At the zenith of 80’s sound, Foreigner’s fifth album, Agent Provocateur, gave the world the incredible #1 global hit,” I Want To Know What Love Is.”  This musical milestone followed the record-breaking song “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”

Don’t miss your chance to see one of the world’s most important rock and roll bands!

Edwin Hawkins When Jesus Comes Oh Happy Day!

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

In 1960’s, when music had become immersed in drug related songs (Magic Carpet Ride, Itchycoo Park, Kicks, Inna Gadda Da Vida) Edwin Hawkins hit the charts with ‘Oh Happy Day’. An unlikely hit  for 1969.

“Oh Happy Day” paved the way for seismic changes in gospel music. An exuberant paean to the spiritually cleansing powers of Jesus.  It was a hymn written in the mid-18th century, but it was Edwin Hawkins  who popularized it and turned it into a global standard.

The song became a hit in 1969, credited to the Edwin Hawkins Singers, and reached No 2 in the UK and No 1 in France and Germany, as well as No 4 on the US’s Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold more than a million copies in two months, and would eventually sell 7m internationally.

Fans of Motown or soul singers such as Sam Cooke or Aretha Franklin could identify with the sound immediately, but instead of pop lyrics, Oh Happy Day was an unabashed celebration of religious faith. In 1970 it won a Grammy award for best soul gospel performance. Also that year the Four Seasons covered it on their album Half and Half, and it would be recorded by Glen Campbell, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Franklin and Mavis Staples, not to mention Robson and Jerome, and Susan Boyle. George Harrison cited it as an inspiration for his hit My Sweet Lord.

Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries Gone at 46

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Story Credit: Associated Press

Dolores O'Riordan, whose urgent, powerful voice helped make Irish rock band The Cranberries a global success in the 1990s, died suddenly on January 15, 2018, at a London hotel. She was 46.

The singer's publicist, Lindsey Holmes, confirmed she died in London, where she was recording,"No further details are available at this time," Holmes said, adding that the singer's family was "devastated" by the news. London's Metropolitan Police force said officers were called just after 9 a.m. Monday to a hotel where a woman in her 40s was found dead. The police force said the death was being treated as "unexplained."To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians, and the performing arts, her death will be a big loss," Higgins said in a statement.

O'Riordan was born on Sept. 6, 1971, in Ballybricken, southwest Ireland. In 1990, she answered an ad from a local band in nearby Limerick city — then called The Cranberry Saw Us — that was looking for a lead singer.

A name change and a confluence of factors turned The Cranberries into international stars. Their guitar-based sound had an alternative-rock edge at a time when grunge was storming the music scene.The band's songs — on which O'Riordan was chief lyricist and co-songwriter — had a Celtic-infused tunefulness. And in O'Riordan they had a charismatic lead singer with a distinctively powerful voice.

Heavy play on MTV for their debut single "Dream" and the singles that followed helped bring the group to the attention of a mass audience.

Corus Radio Launches New Late-Night National Talk Show

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Beginning Monday, January 22, 2018, The Shift with Drex will hit the airwaves on talk radio stations across Canada.

Hosted by Justin "Drex" Wilcomes, this late-night program will offer a fresh take on the day's biggest headlines and the untold stories that matter to listeners. Packed full of interviews with newsmakers, columnists and celebrities. The Shift with Drex will be a go-to source for late night banter and lively debate with content driven by its audience. From listener calls to comments online, Drex will interact with audiences every night, to get them involved in the conversation.

"It’s stories, it’s opinion, it’s culture, it’s irreverent and it’s Canadian," said Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President, Global News and Corus Radio. "The Shift with Drex will tap into the common humour, pride and honesty that pulls our country together."

“I’m looking forward to a fun ride ahead hosting a show where the phone lines are always open," said Wilcomes, Host of The Shift with Drex. “My goal is to challenge the status-quo by delivering a program that's both entertaining and thought-provoking."

Blues Hall of Fame Member John Mayall’s Trio Unleashes New Three for the Road

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Blues Hall of Famer/“Godfather of British Blues” John Mayall will release an album of live recordings titled Three for the Road on February 23 via the Forty Below Records label. Produced by John Mayall and Forty Below Records president Eric Corne, the new album was recorded live in Dresden and Stuttgart, Germany, in March of 2017. The nine tracks on Three for the Road include fan and personal song favorites played by his trio: John Mayall (vocals, keyboard, and harmonica), Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums).

“I hope the fans will enjoy the fireworks that the three of us came up with during a subsequent tour of Europe last year,” Mayall says. “We opted for recording in East Germany purely as a convenience and availability of a recording company. They specialize in live recordings and I must say they captured the energy that took place onstage. The songs come from my extensive library of material composed by some of my favorite blues players. Naturally, my playing is featured quite a lot more than usual in this format, and I hope listeners will enjoy the performances that capture a new chapter in my live shows.” John Mayall has been utilizing the current trio format for over a year. Long-time followers of the legendary British blues master know to expect the unexpected from Mayall, who always likes to keep his sound fresh, both in terms of musical ideas and in the band members he’s utilized throughout his 50-plus year career.

Artist Manager and Music Business Consultant Janice Starodub Passes Away

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(Courtesy of Anya Wilson Promotion & Publicity)

The Manitoba country music industry has suffered the devastating loss of artist manager Janice Starodub on New Year’s Eve at the age of 49. Janice Anne Starodub passed away peacefully at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre surrounded by her family, husband Phil and three children, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Janice began her career as a teacher whose creativity led her to songwriting, which in turn took her to Nashville, where networking introduced her to connections within the publishing community. It was also the place where she discovered where she fit in with the music industry. Her teaching experience, can-do attitude, and patience made her an ideal fit to fill the much-needed role of advising and developing young artists, initiating imaging and media training sessions, working on grants and arranging successful songwriting trips and showcases in LA, Nashville, and domestically.

Janice formed her company JanSTAR Entertainment in November 2011 and worked alongside renowned-Manitoban songwriter, manager and producer, Chris Burke Gaffney. She also worked as a day-to-day manager for Bryce Pallister, a young singer/songwriter on Mike Denney’s MDM Recordings Inc. label.

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