Cover Story

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

Lou Reed Cover

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.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees 2014


Submitted by Don Graham

It’s that time of year again. Battle lines are drawn, sides are picked, and controversy is set in motion. And opinions and loyalties smack together like crashing cymbals! Nope, not the Super Bowl. It’s time to announce the nominees for the 2014 Induction into the hallowed Hall, the Hall of Fame, Rock ‘n’ Roll style.

Every year when the nominees are announced there is a hue and a cry from fans of those not nominated and fist pumping joy from those fans of nominees who are in the running.

The Hall of Fame had a strange beginning being formed in 1983 while the building itself wasn’t completed until 1995. One of the Foundation’s many functions is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. The Foundation’s nominating committee selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes - and more than 50 percent of the vote - are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.

Frank D’Angelo Being Frank

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Submitted by Don Graham

Frank D’Angelo: singer, songwriter,TV host, actor, producer, director, restauranteur, chef, businessman, and I’m sure I’m missing a couple of activities, is an energetic, resourceful and talented  man. Sitting across from him at a table in his restaurant, Mamma D’s, I am struck by the focus in his eyes and his attention to detail. The consummate host, even for a meeting where he is the one being interviewed, he made sure the mood was right for an in depth conversation about his life so far and his current projects. The food was incredible and the background music was Frank’s recordings, played at a low level, until something came on that we needed to hear ,then it was cranked. And man did this stuff sound good. Frank D’Angelo is a talented singer, with a Motown influence and a touch of the great Bill Withers finding its way into Frank’s music. Frank D’Angelo is also an excellent songwriter.

When asked how and when he got interested in music Frank said, “I was always into music, loved it. I guess at about 16 years old I had to make a choice between hockey and music so I got a band together and starting touring and recording. We were a good band, played to packed houses but I got tired of the road and decided to shelve it for a while and get into business.”

The Musical Box-Selling England by The Pound in Toronto

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

‘Selling England By the Pound’ was the fifth studio album from prog rock pioneers Genesis. It was released on 12 October 1973 to an England in the grip of a recession with widespread unemployment and street gangs nightly brawling in violent turf wars. (‘The Battle Of Epping Forest’).

Forty years later, as England struggles with a sagging economy and ongoing social unrest, this Genesis classic remains as relevant as ever.

Now hailed as a masterpiece of prog rock, it followed the Foxtrot album and reached a new commercial high for the band, peaking at #3 in the UK, where it remained on the charts for 21 weeks. It also marked a major breakthrough in critical acceptance on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2012, the album ranked seventh in Rolling Stone's "Readers' Poll: Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time". It was also included in IGN’s list of "10 Classic Prog Rock Albums" in 2008. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" was Genesis' first single to receive any sort of chart action, hitting No.21 in the UK in April 1974.

The Many Minds of Gowan

Cashbox Canada GOWAN

Main Photo Credit: Ash Newell Photography
Secondary Photo Credit: Richard Beland
Submitted by Sandy Graham

Lawrence, Larry, Gowan, Styx vocalist/band member – all the same person, all talented in so many ways. The first thing you notice when talking to Gowan is he has an incredible wit about him. Fast on his feet in not just his stage moves but the way his brain thinks. The other thing is how he knows the difference between Larry; the family man, singer/songwriter, the Glaswegian/Scarborough east end guy as opposed to GOWAN the product -  the artist who came about in the 80’s with ‘Strange Animal’ and ‘A Criminal Mind’. A man who is comfortable in his own ever-evolving skin or as his song says finally ‘Dancing On My Own Ground’.

Born in Scotland, Lawrence Gowan was one of the diaspora who came to Canada with his family in the ‘50’s. With his typical Celt humour he quips “Without my consent, as a child I was brought to the tropic of Canada and settled among the unparalleled beauty of Scarborough. My marks in high-school were of a caliber that left me no option but to pursue the occupation of rock star.”

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