Cover Story

The Beach Celtic Festival Celts Among Us

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Submitted by Don Graham

Every year at the beginning of September as summer is packing up its sunshine and long days The Beach Celtic Festival rolls into the green, lush Kew Gardens in east end Toronto. For the past ten years Celts from all over the area converge on this tiny community to flash their tartan and kilts and get in touch with the heritage they hold near and dear to their hearts.  All things Celtic, Scottish, Irish and Welsh, dominate the park on that weekend and this year will mark year number 11 for the event’s organizer Sandy Graham.

“I am amazed and humbled that we are here to celebrate our 11th Anniversary of The Beach Celtic Festival 2014. What started out as a one day celebration in honour of the passing of my Mum, Jemima Blackie Sutherland, has now turned into a tradition in the place I call home, The Beach.  An event like this would not be possible without thanking all the people who make it happen every year, and what should be known is this is all done from the heart and spirit of a team of volunteers who feel it is important to keep heritage and history alive. The Board of All Things Celtic donates countless hours to bring this event to life every September. Year after year, I count on family, friends and talent who tirelessly donate their time, efforts and devotion to this great event that has taken on a life of its own. Even my brother, Don, a country recording artist in his own right, gets talked into singing ‘Scottish’ every year!) Our regular vendors return year after year; I am proud to call them supporters and count on them to constantly appear in their regular spots, weaving their magic to make up the mosaic of the Celtic feeling.

Peter Foldy Nine Lives


Submitted by Sandy Graham

Peter Foldy truly has Nine Lives, if not more with many incarnations from pop singer, songwriter, producer, film maker, director, photographer amongst his many skills. Peter Foldy was born in Budapest, Hungary but soon fled from the then Communist regime with his parents and sister. The family immigrated to Sydney, Australia where Foldy attended high school and worked as an actor in television commercials. During this time he also forged a friendship with three young brothers who would later find worldwide success as The Bee Gees.

After a family move to Toronto, Foldy enrolled in film school at York University, formed a band and performed for many years across Canada and beyond, while experiencing success with various songs charting and Juno nominations throughout the 1970’s. Now residing in California, Foldy still maintains his loyalty to his Canadian roots and has never forgotten where he came from all those years ago.

Nine Lives, aptly titled, is all about that – his appreciation of all the many successes and ‘lives’ he has managed to live while creating music. “I am grateful to still be doing what I love. Music and songwriting have always been a major part of my soul, and this new album has been a wonderful experience to once again feel my songs come to life on a recording. I am thrilled and looking forward to this worldwide release and I am anxious for my fans, old and new, to have a chance to listen to it.’

Steve Boone: Hotter Than a Match Head

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Submitted by Don Graham

Do you believe in magic? Steve Boone does! The bass player for one the 60’s top bands, The Lovin’ Spoonful, has had enough magic in his life to make a believer out of him. Steve lived the dream of playing with a hugely successful rock band, their first 7 singles were top ten hits and  continues to perform with a revamped version of the Spoonful to this day. He also has lived life as a sailor, a studio manager and an author.

Carol Kaye From The Top

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Submitted by Don Graham

Carol Kaye, bass player, guitar player, teacher and recording session legend is not known to everyone. Fellow musicians know and admire her work, the general music loving public don’t know her but admire her work. The number of recordings she has played on is astonishing but numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s the number of monster hits she’s played on that is mind blowing.

From playing guitar on Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” to The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”, “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys.TV themes like “Mash (Suicide is Painless)", “Mission Impossible” to the infectious Bill Cosby Show theme “Kiss Me”, Carol Kaye has played on the soundtrack to a lot of our lives. Mine for sure. There’s too many to mention here so for a full list of the recordings and TV and movie themes she was part of go the and you can see how many played in the background as you lived YOUR life.

Set the Record as Sudbury Celebrates Music At The Big Nickel


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Big Nickel, one of Northern Ontario's most famous landmarks, is turning 50 this July. With the help of Dynamic Earth and Science North it is just one of the great outdoor events that is free to enjoy.  A big community party will be held at Dynamic Earth in celebration of the world’s largest coin turning fifty!  Participants will also have the chance to take part in a Guinness World Records attempt and help with the creation of a large-scale coin mosaic.  Work on the mosaic will take place over 4 days, beginning on Saturday, July 19th and ending on the Big Nickel Birthday July 22, 2014 when a Guinness World Records Adjudicator from New York will verify the record attempt. Join in on the party and help break a world record! There are wonderful summer festivals all throughout Ontario and this one in the Great North is sure to be one of the best.

Official Birthday Kick Off is from 1 – 3 pm and then the music goes all day.

Beaches International Jazz Festival Celebrates 26 Years of Community Goodwill

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Submitted by Bill King
Author of Bill King’s “In Concert!” Essays, Images and Interviews
Photo Credits: Bill King

Every season I’m asked, “So what’s new this year with Beaches Jazz?” My response, “Come and visit!”

The most compelling reason I love planning a good portion of the music side of Beaches Jazz is the opportunity to address our local community of artists. We are so unlike most music festivals that have ticketed acts. We understand serving our community means an open door to all. There are hundreds of thousands who can’t afford a Lady GaGa, a Tony Bennett, a Michael Buble but they can savor for free the fresh faces and talent that engage this community year round and a few acts beyond our borders that give big bang for the buck. So if you’re expecting Willie Nelson or Wynton Marsalis, you won’t find them here. In fact, just one of those acts would account for our entire budget.

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is that unique moment in the summer when we pause for two weeks and experience that much needed vacation within the perimeter of the East End Beach area. A TTC ride with family gets you to one of Toronto’s most exquisite regions. The nights on the street are a time of social gathering – food, music and a long stroll through humanity. They come to dance, they laugh they participate in the big spirit of a city just on the cusp of being the most desirable place to live on planet earth.

Born in the U.S.A !

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Submitted by Don Graham

There is a long list of Canadian born musical superstars who moved south of the border once they attained their stardom. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, David Foster, Michael Bublé, and Burton Cummings to name a few. The list is too long to publish. The list coming the other way, from the U.S.A. to Canada,  isn’t as long but is impressive nonetheless.

The first that comes to mind is Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins. The Hawk was born in Arkansas, just two days after Elvis was born but migrated north to Canada. On the advice of the great Conway Twitty, Hawkins began touring Canada in 1958 with his  first gig at the Golden Rail Tavern in Hamilton, Ontario.  Hamilton was where Conway Twitty wrote his signature song ‘It’s Only Make Believe’ backstage between shows. The Hawk was an instant success and he decided to move to Canada. In 1964, he became a permanent resident, eventually making Peterborough, Ontario his home.

October 4, 2002 was declared "Ronnie Hawkins Day" by the City of Toronto and marked his induction into Canada's Walk of Fame in recognition of his lifetime contribution to music.  Hawkins was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame at the Canadian Music Industry Awards on March 4, 2004. His pioneering contribution to the genre has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Sounds of Summer



Music is part of everything in life, we get married with a special song, there are break-up songs (and certainly make-up songs), we choose music for Christmas, funerals, and all other special occasions. Summer conjures up the best in Canadians, who suffer through long winters just to have three months of sunshine. Classics like  In the Summertime, (Mungo Jerry) Here Comes the Sun, (Beatles) Sunny Days, (Lighthouse) Sunshine Superman (Donovan) all get rotation once again when the thermometer rises.
We asked the Cashbox journalists  to write about one song that brings back summer memories for them and why. Surprising choices!

Sandy by Bruce Springsteen
An angst-earpiece of midsummer bittersweet teenage longings with Da Boss at his most poetic and evocative. Dude was never to hit the lyrical heights he reached here with lines like: “Sandy, the waitress under the boardwalk lost her desire for me/ I spoke with her last night she said she won’t set herself on fire for me anymore.”

Ooooh yeaah, can’t you just feel the throbbing teenage heat?

The summer feeling this song takes me back to is that all-consuming sense that anything is possible when you hit the streets or the boardwalk with your buds at the beginning of a warm summer night and you’re seventeen years old.

Julian Taylor He’s Never Gonna Give it Up

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

The sparkling and soulful leadoff single on Julian Taylor’s excellent Tech Noir album is  titled ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’ While on the obvious level it’s about skin-to-skin love, it also refers to Taylor’s hardworking, never give up approach to his career. The twin engines driving this are the urge for success and the desire to make music both pleasurable and positive. On the phone from his East Side digs, Taylor is happy that aspect of the music’s getting noticed.

“At the core it’s an album made for people who want to feel good, feel uplifted. That’s the feedback I’m getting from a wide age range of people and I’m glad it’s appealing to a wide spectrum of listeners. It’s satisfying because we were building a new sound for Tech Noir and didn’t know how it would be received.

“It wasn’t all smooth sailing. When we went into the studio, we weren’t even sure we could capture what we had on the demos. It wasn’t until about four days into the sessions that we began to get the feeling we were nailing it.”

George Strait The Cowboy Rides Away in Style

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Submitted by Don Graham

George Strait, the King of the cowboys in country music, has completed the final concert of his final tour in style. Strait drew a record crowd of 105,000 fans at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium. The number exceeded the stadium's official capacity by 5,000 and broke the previous record of 87,500 set by The Rolling Stones at The Louisiana Superdome in 1981.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to be here tonight. It's just been on my mind since we started this tour two years ago, and finally it's here tonight," Strait said. "We broke a record for the most people, ever. Really? Why wouldn't we, huh?"  After the show Strait said “I knew it would be kind of emotional but I was still a little surprised to feel it that strongly, The first three or four shows in 2013 were the toughest, but every night it was in the back of my mind to take it all in, because I probably wouldn’t ever come back there again. It made me want to put on the best show we’ve ever done there. I hope we did that. I feel like we did.”

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