Cover Story

Billy J White Damn Fool Thing To Do

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Submitted by Don Graham

Southern Ontario native Billy J White is living the dream. The 22 year old country singer, songwriter  and performer is set to release a  7 song CD titled ‘Damn Fool Thing To Do’ at The Boston Manor in his hometown of Burlington, Ontario.  This will be the second multi song release for the up and coming troubadour  and he is thrilled.  “ I’m really excited about this” the young singer said from his home, “We’ve released a couple of singles from this package and got pretty good reaction. “  He went on to say “We put out ‘Saturday Night’ and a real fun tune called ‘Keep Them Kisses Comin’.’There’s been a lot of learning and growing in the last few years, the process of creating this CD and then traveling across Canada solo on my Western Canadian Radio tour and some thought that  was indeed a “damn fool thing to do!”  I have had a great time writing, performing, meeting new fans and making new friends. Truth be told, I can’t wait to see everyone on my next tour.”

Thomas Wade We All Fall Down

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Submitted by Don Graham

In the early nineties, Thomas Wade was on a path that was sure to lead him to superstar status. He was the poster boy for CMT Canada’s videos with songs like “Zero To Sixty” and “Lying Here With You.” He was the total package, A-Number one, top of the heap, cream of the crop. He had the songs, the look, the charisma and screen presence to go all the way. He was the whole package. And he got there! Well, almost got there. He was well on his way when a cruel plot twist changed the story.

The kid from a musical family in Burford, Ontario spent a good part of the 80’s touring across Canada in various bands and in 1985 he signed  a management contract with Pride Music in Nashville, Tennessee, where he learned from some of the best in the business. There was hit songwriter Bill Shore, George Strait’s “In The Steal of the Night” and Grammy award winning producer, Byron Gallimore who gained fame with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. In the early 1990s he formed his band, Thomas Wade and Wayward, and auditioned for the Cindy Tanas acting studio. For the next few years he led a double life as a budding actor and a recording artist. This was the beginning years of CMT Canada and Thomas Wade was the perfect video artist. Again, the whole package. Little did he know that he would go from “zero to sixty” to “sixty to zero” in a short time.

Robbie Burns and The Canadian Celtic Connections


Submitted by Sandy Graham

Born on January 25th, 1759, in Alloway, Scotland, Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) "Auld Lang Syne" is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and "Scots Wha Hae" served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include "A Red, Red Rose"; "A Man's A Man for A' That"; "To a Louse"; "To a Mouse"; "The Battle of Sherramuir"; "Tam o' Shanter"; and "Ae Fond Kiss".  In today’s music business standards he would have at least two platinum albums and Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2.  Merchandise galore would be available for the tour.

Neil Young The Honour The Treaties Tour


Submitted by Don Graham
Cover: Photo Credit Pegi Young Background Artwork by Metis Artist Colleen Gray

“We made a deal with these people,” Neil Young said. “We are breaking our promise. We are killing these people. The blood of these people will be on modern Canada’s hands . . .” Neil Young kicked off his four-date “Honour the Treaties Tour” of Canada in Toronto with some harsh opinions about the expansion of oilsands development in northern Alberta, saying the Canadian Government is ignoring hard science because it’s “inconvenient.”

“To me, it’s a basic matter of integrity on the part of Canada. Canada is trading integrity for money,” said Young. “That’s what’s happening under the current leadership in Canada, which is a very poor imitation of the George Bush administration in the United States. It’s lagging behind on the world stage and it’s an embarrassment to Canadians. So, as a Canadian, I felt like I had a chance to do something by bringing this together.”

Phil Everly: Bye Bye Love

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Submitted by Don Graham

Phil Everly, the high harmony voice of the iconic Everly Brothers with older brother Don, has passed away at age 74. A little more than 2 weeks away from his 75th birthday, Everly succumbed after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was a longtime smoker.

The Everly Brothers harmony singing had a strong influence on rock groups of the 1960s. The Beatles, The Beach Boys  and Simon & Garfunkel developed their early singing styles by performing  Everly covers. The Bee Gees, the Hollies and other rock'n'roll groups were influenced by The Everly Brothers.

The brothers started working together as part of their father Ike Everly’s radio show on KMA and KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa, in the 1940s. Singing on the show gave the brothers their first exposure to the music industry. The family sang together and lived and traveled in the area singing as The Everly Family.

Chet Atkins, a family friend, was  an early supporter of The Everly Brothers and  even though he was affiliated with  RCA Records, he arranged a chance for the Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records in early 1956. Their first and only single for the label, "Keep A' Lovin' Me," was a flop, and they were quickly dropped from Columbia.

Tis the Season to be Grateful

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Christmas has always been my favourite time of year, my Mum was the best at keeping the holiday spirit and hopefully, now she has passed on, I can do the same for my children. Christmas at the Grahams was amazing and I still can close my eyes and be back there in my dreams. Montreal is a magical city at any time of year, but especially through the holidays, when the decorations are abundant and lovely.

My first child was born on Christmas Day, and he has been a blessing in my life and along with his little brother, they have been the best thing I have ever done in my life.

Cheryl Thibideau My Heart Still Remembers

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canadian singer songwriter Cheryl Thibideau has released a new album, and I mean ALBUM, Vinyl, 12 inch disc, full size jacket , easy to read  that  feels like old times when you hold it and when you hear it! (It’s  also available in CD format)

This is Cheryl’s follow up album to her 2011 release, ‘Paper Fire’, and is rooted in traditional country although the pop influence is evident particularly in a couple of song selections,  namely the Dave Clark Five ‘Because’ and P.F. Sloan’s ‘Unless You Care’.   “I always loved that song and decided that on this album I was going to include it. It’s written by P.F. Sloan but a Canadian Terry Black had a hit with it and in keeping with the Canadian theme of the record it fit really well.”  By Canadian theme, Cheryl  is referring partly to some of the songs on the album, including ‘Oh Canada / This Land is Your Land’ and a Buffy Saint Marie classic ‘Until It’s Time For You To Go’, which she does a masterful job on.  But the real Canadian influence is on two of the three duets featured.

John Lennon All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Chance

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Submitted by Don Graham

If nothing else, John Lennon was a passionate man. Everything he did, he did fully and totally committed. From his drive to get the Beatles to the top, his ardent and honest plea to “Give Peace a Chance” and his unfailing devotion to Yoko Ono, Lennon had it cranked to eleven.

During his “bed-in” in Montreal Quebec, Lennon was asked “Why are you doing this, staying in bed?” to which he replied “just trying to give peace a chance!”  He repeated that sentence several times in the next little while and decided to make it song and on June 1st, 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel  Suite 1742, in downtown Montreal a remote recording was arranged and history was made. John played his guitar in bed and Tommy Smothers joined in.  And guarding the microphone (" Don't let that thing jiggle") while Lennon sang was Montreal Gazette reporter Dave Bist.

Dave Bist and I went to Kensington Elementary School together and when I contacted him he generously agreed to let me use parts of his published story of the historic event! This is history folks, from a man who was there!

The 9th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show

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Cover Photo Credit: Kane Holding
Submitted by Sandy Graham

The generation before us created Christmas music that has survived the test of time – Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra all come back into rotation every year along with Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ and Bobby Helms’ ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.

Our generation has hits that now also get played every year, John Lennon’s ‘And So This Is Christmas’, Bryan Adams’ ‘Something About Christmas Time’, Paul McCartney’s ‘Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time’, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ and the epic Band Aid ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas amongst many others.

One very special Christmas tradition happens in Toronto, Ontario every year. The Andy Kim Christmas Show, an annual fundraiser that has artists donating their time and talent to aide a charity every year. Andy Kim is the famed singer/songwriter who is the driving force behind this yearly music event. ‘Year after year it amazes me how many artists contact us and want to perform for free. I am humbled by how much the music world wants to give to make it a successful fundraiser and I would love to say yes to them all but we only have one night to make the magic happen.’

November 22, 1963 The Day The Music Changed

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Submitted by Don Graham

November 22, 1963 marked a turning point in the history of the world and the history of music. The age of innocence was shot three times with a high powered rifle in Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas on that day and nothing was ever the same. Fifty years ago on that date United States  President  John Fitzgerald  Kennedy was assassinated, and the world realized life would never be the same. Along with the 50th anniversary of JFK's death comes the realization that Top 40 music changed beginning with that day.

People young and old loved Kennedy. Everyone was caught up in the whole Camelot story, America’s version of royalty, and life seemed carefree, idyllic and almost perfect, so the assassination hit very hard. This kind of thing happens in third world and other countries, NOT here in North America! Radio phone lines lit up all night long. It was all people could talk about. Nobody could understand why anyone would shoot JFK?  The wind had been knocked out of everyone and everything. Nothing made any sense.

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