Cover Story

Sheldon Kagan: 45 Years in Music and counting

Cover, Dec 16, 2011

Story: Michael E. Williams

Montreal has always been fertile ground for DJ’s, but Sheldon Kagan took it to the next level of business and entrepreneurship. As a testament to this I caught up with the 61 year old DJ/promoter/producer between gigs to talk about his forty-five years in the music business and his dreams for the future.

SK: I am in between parties. This is my 5th day straight of events.
MW: Sheldon when did the music hit you?
SK: I was 15 years old living with my parents in the Snowdon, Cote des Niege area, listening to radio and at that time there was a radio announcer named Dave Boxer on the air.

I was fascinated by him and the music he was playing. I spent all my free time, when not in school, listening to his radio shows Monday to Friday 7-11pm. I became infatuated. He had this contest to win records, shirts and tickets to meet the Beatles and Rolling Stones. I entered and, for all those years, I was the number one contest winner. Even all these years later I can tell you that the contest line number was 279 4568, 276-261.

Tonya Kennedy – Making All The Right Moves

Cover, Dec 09, 2011

Story: Don Graham


The journey of any recording artist is filled with potholes, pitfalls, dead ends, unmarked exits and dangerous turns. The secret to any successful journey is making wise choices and looking at Tonya Kennedy’s steadily rising career, you can see she’s making all the right moves. A native of Newfoundland, now living just north of Toronto in Barrie, Ontario, Tonya Kennedy is poised to take her rightful place in the fabric of the Canadian Country music scene.


Originally making a splash in the pop music market, Kennedy found her true calling in 2005. That was the year she was entered in a competition at KX96 Country Music Radio in Durham, Ontario and was awarded the title of KX96 Super Star Search winner. The grand prize was a chance to record and release a song to Canadian radio. This was the kick-start the dedicated young performer needed and things started falling into place.


In 2010 Tonya made her first video with a country version of rocker Bryan Adams song When You’re Gone.  Current single Fallin’ For You is doing very well at Canadian radio and as Kennedy explained; “ This song is probably the lightest of my current material.”
The new CD will be a little more cutting edge, showing her versatility. Kennedy was just recently approved by FACTOR to complete her next CD, a ten song effort, which the City of Barrie is also helping fund.

Garland Jeffreys - The Return of the King of In Between

Cover, Dec 1, 2011

Story: Michael Williams
 


According to Bernard Perusse (The Montreal Gazette) it was the 2nd coming of a legend whose time has come. The first surprise came in 1978 as Garland Jeffreys played the Montreal Forum and “Ghost Writer” became a CHOM-FM and Montreal classic album. Next the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2002 and again in 2004 with 50,000 people in the streets. Now in 2011 in support of a new CD,”The King of In Between”, he burned down Rubin Fogel’s Club Soda!
 But It took Garland Jeffreys to remind us what in we all know is true:
 “Hail Hail Rock n Roll” (Garland Jeffreys)   
Pockets of hate, rockets of love
It’s never too late, the change in the color of
The color of her, the color of him
It really doesn’t matter what skin you’re in
Big yellow taxicab passed me by
Stopped on the next corner to pick up a white guy
The color of you, the color of me
You can’t judge a man by looking at the marquee
Hail hail rock ‘n’ roll comes from r ‘n’ b and soul
Don’t leave me standing in the cold
I used to fake ‘I never grow old’
Hail hail rock ‘n’ roll, don’t leave me standing on the bleak
Don’t leave me stranded on the street
I see the light, I feel the heat

Michael Williams recently had the opportunity to speak with Garland Jeffreys:



It’s the 7th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show

Andy Kim Cashbox Cover Nov. 25.jpg

Story:Sandy Graham

The season is upon us, not just Christmas but the Andy Kim Christmas Show 2011. Now in it’s 7th year, this show has become a tradition in Toronto, and the man behind it all is none other than Andy Kim.

Andy Kim found fame in New York City at just 16 years old when he wrote “How'd We Ever Get This Way?” the first of nine Billboard Top 40 hits, including #1 songs “Rock Me Gently” and “Sugar, Sugar”, names as one of Billboard's ‘Greatest Songs of All Time.’ A true Canadian son, Andy has been awarded the country's top industry honor twice; the JUNO Award for outstanding achievements in the record industry, as well as the "Indie Award" for Favorite Solo Artist in 2005.

Over his epic career, Andy has sold over 30 million records, with songs covered by music history's greats, including Wilson Pickett, Tom Jones, Michelle Wright, Ike & Tina Turner, and Bob Marley and has even been said to influence 80’s metal band Def Leppard. He has recently performed and co-wrote songs with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and Ron Sexsmith.

Rock’n with Derringer in the Morning

Cover, Nov 18, 2011

Story: Bill Delingat


It was in the mid 80’s, when hair bands ruled and rock stations controlled the airwaves that a sportscaster and radio host from Q107 rolled up to the big east end night club for the international arm wrestling championships.


John Gallagher and John Derringer entered the main hall as celebrity hosts for the event and checked out the competition tables and the competitors.


It was Derringer who noticed the female division and a particular petite blonde from the East coast competing for the World Championship.


Derringer commented to Gallagher, “I bet I can take her, what about you?” “You’re the sports guy”. The two brazen jocks knew a lead in when they saw it and introduced themselves to the ladies’ team and the champ from Nova Scotia. That led of course to the idea of a friendly arm wrestle. When the lassie removed her jacket to expose a right arm that seemed that as if it belonged to Popeye, the boys decided to regroup and maybe even toss a coin to see who would jump in and ”Win one for the Gipper”.


I am silenced by code to say for certain which of our valiant heroes fell to the awesome power of that humongous right arm on what would be otherwise a petite East coater but we can say ‘That was one for the ladies”.


Now, some 30 years later and after a 9-year stint with Q107, Gallagher has moved on. Derringer who first joined Q107 in 1984 stayed with the station until 1993. He later returned in 2000,

“LEST WE FORGET”

Cover, Nov 11, 2011

Story: Darcy Grant

Through the first and second World Wars, the Korean conflict and Vietnam, great songs were written and recorded supporting our troops in their epic battles. All of these aided in the memory of the fated soldiers whose lives were lost in these wars. Now with the Middle East wars being fought, we are responsible for making sure the people of today’s world are reminded to remember those who have fought and died in the 21st century wars.

Fortunately, Canada’s songwriters have continued to write songs showing their appreciation and love for the current men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Some notable songs to check out, Terry Sumsion’s Highway of Heroes, Aaron Lines’ poignant Somebody’s Son, Dean Brody’s moving Brothers, Don Graham’s thought provoking Heart of a Hero, Julian Austin’s patriotic The Red and White, Terry Kelly’s A Pittance of Time and Jon Patterson’s emotive Hero, are shining examples.

Drake Jensen-When you Wish upon a Train

Cover, Nov 4, 2011

Story: Lenny Stoute

“Right now the most important thing to me is getting 10,000 hits”. Nope, it’s not a drug dealer doing inventory, a masochist looking to break into the Guinness Book of Records or a record promoter flogging a dead horse single. It’s country interpreter Drake Jensen laying down the bottom line for expectations of his current single Little Toy Trains.

Jensen’s the much buzzed about new vocal interpreter on the Country scene whose debut album On My Way To Finding You continues to enjoy airplay. The Ottawa valley crooner has made a big impression not only with the voice but also with a consuming sense of mission.

The mission? In two words, preaching love, in all its scintillating manifestations. Love as sword to cut through the negativity, love as shield against the naysayers, love as universal balm. It’s the subtext to the debut album’s title and bound to be the engine driving album number two.

The hard-hustling Jensen is currently at work on that much-anticipated follow-up but still found time and inspiration to switch on the Little Toy Trains project.

“I have always had a soft spot for kids. I was bullied as a child and it was a long time before I was able to quit hiding and be the person I always was".

The Best of the Songs, Movies and Artists of Halloween

Cover, Oct 28, 2011

Story: Sandy Graham

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

However, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English folk lore: "Certainly Samhain was a time for festive gatherings, and medieval Irish texts and later Irish, Welsh, and Scottish folklore use it as a setting for supernatural encounters, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times, or that pagan religious ceremonies were held.”

The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror movies we all have known through the decades, as well as the songs, videos and even artists that all bring out the ‘scary’ this time of year. Similar to Christmas, there are songs that get played on radio every Halloween. Here are Cashbox Canada’s Top Songs, Movies and Artists that come back year after year (just like Freddy Kruger!).

Thriller: Michael Jackson

The Lamb Lies Down in Toronto

Cover, Oct 21, 2011

Story:Lenny Stoute

The year was 1993; Bill Clinton was the American president, a bomb went off at The World Trade Centre, Lorena Bobbit bobbed her hubby’s knob, the Toronto Blue Jays won its second World Series and The Late Show With David Letterman debuted. Also debuting that entertainment-packed year, a Montreal prog rock collective dedicated to the music of Genesis, calling themselves The Musical Box.

Named for a 1971 Genesis song about an old man reclaiming his youth, the Montreal outfit has since become one of rock music’s least likely success stories: a French-Canadian cover band playing progressive-rock epics to raving crowds across the globe.

The Musical Box came together in Montreal initally to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1973 album Selling England By The Pound

The original lineup was a seven-piece with a strong theatrical outlook, and plunged into using visual effects and costumes that were in the original Genesis shows of the 1970s. This kind of intimate meta connection to the original is a large part of what has placed The Musical Box apart from pretenders in the genre ever since.

The act was only meant to last a weekend; a group of Montreal prog-rockers doing  Selling England by the Pound at the Montreal Spectrum. Instead, it morphed into the longest one-of in rock history, becoming their ticket on a ride that has seen The Musical Box play to hundreds of thousands of  people around the world.

Recollections Of Gord Ward

Cover, Oct 14, 2011

By Sandy Graham


He didn’t have a hit record, he never made the charts, Gord Ward was not a household name. He played the ‘B’ rooms, did the bar circuit, sang some tunes and preached to whoever would listen about music, songs and artists he loved from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. All the local ‘hitmakers’ knew his name.


Call it nepotism, call it favoritism, call it respect or whatever you want to call it, but as the Editor and co-owner of Cashbox Canada, I decided to give Gord Ward the cover this week. A cover he would never get when he was alive, and sadly won’t get to see  now.  Gord Ward died on Friday, October 7, 2011, succumbing to the cancer he fought so bravely to beat. After a few years with this terrible disease, it finally got him. He was my friend.


Over 30 years ago, I created and owned Toronto’s first nostalgia nightclub, Route 66. We made a club work with a ‘saddle shoe’ string budget, and it was a huge success within its first few days of operation. At the height of disco, we offered music that came from another era, along with staff that danced, sang and dressed the part.


We also hired live music for the 5 nights of the week that we were open; rotating a few house bands like Dick and the Donuts, The Backbeats, Professor Piano and the Rockin’ Deltoids, The Frigidaires, The Bop Cats and Gord Ward and the Recollections. (Gord Ward and the Wardenaires at that time if my old rock ‘n’ roll memory serves me right.)

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