Cover Story

The Rolling Stones and other Happenings - Fifty and Counting

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Submitted by Don Graham

The unsinkable, unstoppable, indefatigable Rolling Stones have named their latest tour 50  and Counting to commemorate a half century of making music together. The Stones and the Beatles didn’t really hit North America until the following year, 1964, or late December of 1963.,so what was the North American landscape like in 1963?

The Bobby’s were still ruling the charts, Darin, Rydell, Vinton, Curtola et al. Our first taste of what was to come from over the pond was a record made by Del Shannon in 1963 of a song called From ‘Me To You’ that he had picked up while touring England. The song was written by a then unknown songwriting team, John Lennon and Paul McCartney and would be included on the Beatles debut album. To be honest, when I heard the Beatles version I thought they were covering a Del Shannon song.

Life, Liberty and Music Meet Jeff Liberty

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Jeff Liberty has spent over 25 years in the music industry, wearing various hats as an artist, publicist, agent, writer, broadcaster, promoter and manager. He also is a proud father of five and a loving husband to his wife, Cynthia. None of these are easy accomplishments in a business known for its lack of loyalty and trust.

Colour Him Father – Colour Him Love

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

In the ‘50’s and the 60’s the way it worked was Mom stayed home and Dad went out to work – wherever that was because as kids we didn’t think much about that – he just appeared at the end of the day for dinner.

In the late 1960’s, thanks to the hippie lifestyles, it became cool to be a Dad, and it took two parents to raise the family. Although from a promotional point of view it was still a bit shaky to promote teen idols who had children. John Lennon had to hide his marriage to Cynthia, and very little was known of Julian. That was completely the polar opposite when he married Yoko and Sean was in the limelight all the time.

We had television to tell us how Dads acted; Leave it to Beaver’s Dad had all the answers to just about everything, Ricky had Ozzie, Harriet and his brother Gary to perform to every week, and Father Knows Best – well, he just did.

Johnny Cash adored his kids, Elvis was seen everywhere with Lisa Marie in his arms, Rod Stewart showed us you could be a Dad many times over, and Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons made a business out of having a family. Some Dads took advantage of that power like Joe Jackson and his brood of Jackson 5, while the Bieb has a Mom, in our opinion, is both Mom and Dad.

Four the Record

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

The name Cashbox Magazine has a tremendous history, starting from its first publication in July 1942. The original Cashbox Magazine was published until 1996, and then was revived in the United States, as an Internet-only magazine in 2006 with the consent and cooperation of the family of George Albert, the late president and publisher of the original edition. Under the guiding hand of musicologist and music industry entrepreneur Bruce Elrod, Cashbox Magazine in the US has re-established the brand, and in turn has also started the resurrection of Record World Magazine. The American way – go big or go home.

Forever 27

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Submitted by Don Graham

The latest show at the Queen West rock photography hub, The Analogue Gallery, is an exhibit featuring the “Forever 27 Club”. The exhibit is part of the Scotia Bank Contact Festival, showcasing members of the famous or infamous 27 Club, artists who died at that young age. Forever 27 runs until May 30, 2013 at the Analogue Gallery 673 Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario.

There are a fair number of tragic figures that belong to this group, spawning some questions. Coincidence? Trend? Myth?  Doesn’t much matter as the 'Forever 27 Club' has become more than a legend. As it turns out, some of music's most influential artists who were taken from us much too soon all passed on at the age 27. Is it a coincidence or a curse? We can’t deny the fact that a fair number of rock ‘n’ rollers have passed away at this tender age. It probably all started with blues legend Robert Johnson who sang of having a hellhound on his trail and allegedly made a deal with the devil; his soul in exchange for extrodanary guitar and songwriting skills. He died mysteriously in 1938 at the age of.....27.

Happy Mother’s Day In Mother Words


Submitted by Don Graham

Every year in May we get to honour the strongest people on the planet….mothers.  You will note that it’s Mother Earth, Mother Nature, the Motherlode,the Mothership and so on. Not to take anything away from fathers but most of us who had good fathers was because they had good wives, who happened to be our mothers.  This little story pretty well sums it up. A kid comes home and sees his mom and says, “Mom where’s my jacket?  Mom where’s the thing I left in the whaddayacallit  by the front door?  Mom do we have any milk left?”  Same kid comes home and sees just his dad;one question, “ Dad, where’s mom?” ‘Nuff said.

And the effect of mothers in the entertainment field is huge as well. When Elvis Presley, the future King of  Rock ‘n’ Roll walked into Sam Phillip’s Sun Records in Memphis,Tennessee it was to make a record for his mom. The kid recorded ‘My Happiness’ and caught the attention of Phillip’s secretary. The rest, of course, is history.

Gordon Lightfoot’s mom in Orillia recognized Lightfoot's musical talent and schooled him into a successful child performer. His first public tune was "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral" (an Irish lullaby) in grade four, which was broadcast over his school's public address system on a parents' day event.

Jamie Stever No One’s Stronger Than A Mother

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Submitted by Don Graham

Ontario singer/ songwriter Jamie Stever isn’t content to just write songs and make records without having a purpose to his craft.  “I’ve been writing songs, seriously, for about twelve years now and consider it a craft and something I work very hard at perfecting. I like to have my songs make a difference in someone’s life.”  And so when he had finished his self- penned  “No One’s  Stronger Than A Mother”  he thought this is a song that needs a charitable partner . “ I started looking around for a cause to partner with on this song and ran into  a few obstacles, mostly the charities wanting me to give them money or such. When I hit upon Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) I knew this was the perfect marriage. They wanted to know what they could do to help make this work.”

Stax To The Max Returns to Memphis


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

For the third year in row, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is taking it to the streets with its STAX TO THE MAX, all-day, outdoor, FREE music and arts festival. This year’s event, billed as Arts Memphis Presents Stax to the Max, takes place Saturday, April 27th, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Stax Records, an American record label started in Memphis, Tennessee,was founded in 1957 as Satellite Records and the name Stax Records was adopted in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings. While Stax is renowned for its output of African-American music, the label was founded by two white business people, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton  STewart/AXton = Stax) and featured several popular ethnically-integrated bands, including the label's house band, Booker T. & the M.G.'s. One of the biggest stars signed to Stax was Otis Redding, who had the major hit ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a museum located in Memphis, Tennessee, at 926 McLemore Avenue, the former location of Stax Records. It is operated by Soulsville USA, which also operates the adjacent Stax Music Academy.

Bill King: Sharps, Flats and a Camera Lens

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Submitted by Don Graham

Bill King, a native of Indiana, a resident of Toronto and a Citizen of the World  is an artist in every sense of the word. An accomplished pianist and record producer, King also adds photographer to his repertoire.

Bill has been playing piano since he was a child and has fond memories of his grandmother’s house in Indiana where there was an upright piano and she would play spiritual music. At thirteen years old his father decided it was time for Bill to take some piano lessons.  At 17 years old he sent a tape of the trio he had with his brother to The Advanced School of Contemporary Music,  Oscar Peterson’s school in Toronto Canada,  and was awarded a scholarship. He  returned to Indiana and discovered rock  ‘n’  roll music.  “I got interested in rock and roll cause I was interested in the production of the music and also the rhythm that was going on. There was something changing rhythmically that I was interested in.”

When single acts would come to town Bill would be hired to “lift” the songs and arrangements from the records and teach the songs to the band so they could back up the stars. The Dick Clark Caravan of Stars proved a great training ground for the young and eager to learn musician.  Living close to the Kentucky border enabled Bill to listen to a radio station out of Louisville at night and this was his introduction to the black music of the day.

The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Announces Inaugural Award Nominees


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Photo Credits: Robin Leblanc

The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) held a press conference in Toronto on April 9, 2013 to announce the nominees for the Inaugural CMAO Award Show to be held on May 27 2013 at the prestigious Markham Theatre(Markham,Ontario). This is the first for this Association, which was formed over four years ago by veteran music industry folks, who believed there was so much country music talent in Ontario, that they needed their own association.

The eligibility for a nominee was:
1. For a group or duo at least 50% of the members must meet the Ontario residency requirement.
2. Must be a business that is operating in the province of Ontario.
3. To be considered an Ontario resident by the CMAO, the artist must have been born in the province of Ontario; OR maintained a permanent resident in the province of Ontario for a period of two consecutive years.
4. Artists have one recording that was commercially released between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2012.

The category eligibilities was:
This Award is based upon individual performance, either on record or in person within the eligibility period. One Award is presented to the Artist. The artist must meet the residency eligibility criteria and have a commercially released recording that was released between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2012.

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