Cover Story

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.

CMA Awards 2013

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Submitted by Don Graham

The new face of country music has an obsession with beer, trucks and party ‘til you drop themes, and make sure you do it on a country back road, with pickup trucks, copious amounts of beer , girls in their “Daisy Dukes”  and live for the moment. WOO HOO!!  Fans of traditional country music, story songs of love and songs from the heart have, for the last little while, bemoaned the loss of their genre and fear their music would become a distant memory. Just when they thought maybe country music was in a death spiral a bright light of hope comes shining through. George Strait, the cowboy’s cowboy, the embodiment of pure country music wins the 2013 Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year honours!!  It is one of the most coveted honours in the genre.

George Strait won his third Entertainer of the Year Award and his first since 1990 against country music's current hit makers, and no one seemed disappointed. Blake Shelton — one of five performers with a leading two victories — was excited to lose to the 61-year-old whose popularity defies his age.

Simple Songs of Freedom - Lest We Forget

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

“Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere that we the people don’t want a war…” (Simple Song of Freedom written by Bobby Darin)

War is an organized conflict that is carried out by different countries against each other as a way of resolving differences.  It is usually characterized by extreme violence, and economic destruction and multiple deaths. The way it is carried out is called warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace. War has been waged from the beginning of time and continues to this day, and every year on November the 11th, we here in Canada honour the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the rights and liberties of their homeland and its people. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 o’clock a minute of silence is observed across the country and a well-deserved respect is paid to armed forces past and present, dead, alive and wounded.

Today we will attempt to put into words the effect war has had on music and music on war. Music is a powerful medium and the power of the songs on the psyche of the world cannot be denied.

Lou Reed 1942-2013

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Submitted by Cashbox Magazine

Lou Reed, rock pioneer singer/songwriter and guitarist, has passed away in Long Island, New York at age 71. The cause of death had not been released at press time but Reed did undergo a liver transplant in May of this year.

In the late sixties Reed was part of the band The Velvet Underground formed by  Reed and John Cale. who would also go on to find success as a solo artist.
Although experiencing very minimal commercial success while together, the band is often recognized by critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. In a 1982 interview Brian Eno made the  statement that while the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."

The band caught the attention of Andy Warhol who managed them and made them the house band at his studio, the Factory.. The provocative and unfiltered lyrics of some of the band's songs gave their music an irreverent feel and suited the Warholian crowd to a tee.

Their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (which featured German singer Nico, with whom the band collaborated), was named the 13th Greatest Album of All Time and the "most prophetic rock album ever made" by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2003.In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the band No. 19 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, by Patti Smith.

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