Radio, Radio: Is It Dead Yet ?

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Submitted by Michael Williams

In the ever changing small world of Canadian radio, the dust has finally settled for a moment.

We can evaluate the changes.

Investigative journalism is gone with budgets, now is the time of the news cycle and catching up with a story, retractions and excuses. This fueled by citizen paparazzi, cell phones, Facebook and Twitter.

The big three (Bell, Rogers and Telus) are waging war to keep their long held spots, while consumers want relief... Therefore making the enemy of my enemy my friend (Verizon) for now at least.

As a consumer they have not done anything for me lately to respect their position in the market place or my life. I have had outrageous bills, poor service and B.S. from all three. So got not love there when they rip me off. I miss my DSS dish, no one in Canada has given me a comparable service just program stacking and reruns…if I see “School of Rock” one more time I will scream! The big three also play the Canadian card which means as little to Canadian consumers as American made means to Walmart or outsourcing means to Bell.

Speaking of Bell, who got special dispensation from the CRTC to own more than its fair share of radio stations in one marketplace. Bell seems to promise to do more for  the Canadian music industry than it can do for itself by implementing the Quebec Star System in the rest of Canada?

How does that work anyway?

Blues for Buddy Miles

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Submitted by Michael Williams

Buddy Miles was born George Miles in Omaha, Nebraska, on Sept 5th, 1947. His father was a bassist with Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Dexter Gordon and Duke Ellington.  Buddy was surrounded by music and musicians; he hit the road as a teenager.

In 1964 in Vancouver, Buddy Miles, who was backing up Ruby and the Romantics, met Jimi Hendrix who was backing the Isley Brothers. Later he played with The Delfonics, The Ink Spots and Wilson Pickett. In 1967, Buddy Miles was part of a band called TV Mama - an American RnB band playing at the Montreal’s Esquire Show Bar.  After the gig Buddy Miles hung out in Montreal for two weeks with Wally Rossunolo (aka Walter Rossi) jamming. Then Buddy Miles suggested Walter Rossi for Wilson Pickett’s new band which changed Walter Rossi’s life and music forever. Buddy Miles joined Michael Bloomfield in Electric Flag, the first rock soul blues horn band and blueprint for Blood, Sweat and Tears later formed by Al Kooper.  Buddy Miles then joined with Walter Rossi for his classic 1970 release “Them Changes”.

While Buddy Miles was on his death bed, Stevie Winwood and Eric Clapton paid tribute to him by performing “Them Changes" every night of their tour together. A call was made so he could hear it via cell phone.

Herb Alpert’s Whipped Cream Lady is Now 77

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Guys, the girl of your dreams in 1965 is now 77 years old.

Her name is Dolores Erickson and she has been living in Longview for around 36 years, after a career that included being an Eileen Ford model in New York.
We never knew her by name, just referred to her as the "Whipped Cream Lady" but we certainly knew her by the album cover of the 1965 Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' "Whipped Cream & Other Delights."

There she is, appearing to be naked but covered in what is supposed to be whipping cream looking right at YOU. By today’s standards it’s not even risqué but in the virtually pornless days of 1965 it was a hot topic. Whenever a list of the most memorable record covers is put together, that album is right at the top.

In later years, at concerts, Alpert would tell audiences, "Sorry, but I can't play the cover for you.".

From Cleveland to Celtic

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Submitted by Michael Williams
Image: Long John Baldry  Everything Stops for Tea

My experiences with Celtic music began back in elementary school in Cleveland, Ohio.  Every Saturday morning I would go to the “Supplementary Educational Centre”, a place that took our imaginations and dreams and expanded them.  As part of an urban renewal project in 1965, an old warehouse was turned into a center for education. It was there I joined the City Wide Choir. Our thing was ninth and tenth century music from Galicia, Spain, and Gregorian Chants from Spanish Inquisition.

Gregorian chants, a variety of plainsong named after Pope Gregory I (6th century A.D.), was used by  western Christianity. This music could be heard from Ireland, Spain and Scotland and all points in between. Its beauty was fuelled by the accapella voices.  In a church, the majesty of this sound echoed throughout the great church halls giving it a sonic quality rivalled only by an orchestra.

Today In Music History--25 Years Ago, Casey Kasem DOESN'T Say Goodbye!

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Submitted by Rob Durkee  Courtesy of

Twenty five years ago Tuesday (and Wednesday...August 6-7, 1998), thousands of "American Top 40" fans tuned in to hear Casey Kasem do what was believed to be his very last AT40 show. Shadoe Stevens would replace him at the mike the following week. Fans particularly wanted to hear how Casey would end the show, fully expecting him to say goodbye.

Only he didn't.  After promoting his TV show, Casey said, "Til then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

No farewell from Casey...but that was because it really WASN'T "farewell" for him. He would be back. The ABC network would actually PAY Casey to NOT count 'em down for the rest of 1988 and the first two weekends of 1989. But that's when Casey's contract with ABC expired...and on the weekend of January 21, 1989, Casey sounded like he'd never been away when he debuted with "Casey's Top 40" on the Westwood One radio network. He was just starting a then-unheard-of radio contract for a disc jockey....five years, $15 million.

Casey stayed with Westwood One for about nine years and one month. Then, around February, 1998, he abruptly left Westwood One in a contract dispute. Essentially, Casey was able to leave Westwood One because his shows (Casey's Top 40, Casey's Countdown, Casey's Hot 20) didn't generate $6 million in profit. On the weekend of March 28, 1988, the man who pioneered the art of counting 'em down for AT40 was reunited WITH "American Top 40" on the AM-FM Network.

Radio, Radio with Andrew Forsyth From CHOM to Now

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Submitted by Michael Williams
Photo: Andrew Forstyth CHOM 1975

With Radio, Radio, I hope to keep an active a conversation going about radio - a look at where it has been and where it is (or could be) going....

This week I spoke with another Montrealer, former CHOM FM DJ turned radio consultant, Andrew Forsyth. Who better to interview about radio’s glorious past, present, future and the Quebec

Star system? Andrew & I met through a few of my  favorite broadcasters, Geoff Sterling and Doug and Mary Kirk of Durham Radio Inc.

MW: What was the beginning of Chom Fm with Geoff Sterling like?
AF: I was at CHOM FM in the mid-70’s so several incarnations of CHOM FM had already happened. I was in the ripple with Les Sole, Peggy Colston-Weir, Bob Beauchamp and Serge Plaisance, just after Earl Jive (a Hudson Quebec neighbour who I worked with at CFCF) and Terry McElligott among others.  I recall hearing the launch of what was to become CHOM FM with Doug Pringle in 1968. It was truly free form – free spirited not only musically but personality-wise as well; a sharp contrast to the Top 40 on AM at CFOX and CKGM. To name a few, Reiner Schwartz, Dave Marsden, Angus Mackay, Andre Rheaume, Dave Patrick…there were many announcers (ring masters) who made listening to the radio a new experience. You got on the train and you didn’t know where it would stop. I knew Geoff best when I went out to start up OZ-FM – the son of CHOM FM – in Newfoundland. That is a story unto itself.

SCARS You Can't See But Numbers You Can See

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Submitted By Cashbox Canada
Photo Credit Jonathan Edwards

In our June 21st, 2013 issue, Don Graham reported from Nashville on the anti bullying song they had written for openly gay country OUTlaw Drake Jensen and the video release at the Music City Hard Rock Café.

As a follow up we would like to update you all on the video and its progress. In under a month of exposure the video has amassed an astonishing 200,000 views on YouTube. Graham, who co-wrote the song with Zita DaSilva, had this to say “As songwriters we really just want to have our songs recorded and have some people hear them and if we’re lucky the song will mean something to someone and speak to them. When Zita and I wrote ‘Scars’ we hoped a few people who were bullied, or did the bullying, would hear it and maybe shine a light on the issue. When OUTlaw country singer Drake Jensen and recorded it we had a chance to reach an audience we wouldn’t normally reach. Now at almost 200,000 views in under a month we are proud that the message is being heard! Powerful video by Drake and his team” DaSilva commented “I agree with what Don said and I remember when we were writing this that we both said that if we can touch even one person with this message, our job was successful. Now at 200,000 views we are thrilled at the result. Great job by Team Drake.”

On Canada Day - What is Canada to Me?

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Submitted by Michael Williams

Canada is a place where a misunderstood black kid from Ohio can find commonalities with people across the country.  Enough commonalities to want to make Canada my home.

I have had the privilege of travelling coast to coast in Canada. I’ve driven through the Rockies. I was adopted by the Pointed Sticks, my blood brothers, in Vancouver. While in Saskatchewan I saw the Northern Lights.  I discovered French Canada through music and partied until the dawn’s early light at the Limelight in Montreal. I have been ‘’screeched in’’ (a ceremony involving a shot of 40 proof rum, a short recitation and the kissing of a cod) several times in Newfoundland. My girlfriend, who is from NL, is amazed with how many CFA’s (Come From Aways) take part in this tradition and that I would chose to do it twice! My first radio boss was a Newfoundlander - the exceptionally eccentric mad genius, true gentleman and father of Captain Canada comics, Geoff Sterling.

Every place I have been in this country, Canadians, new and old, have always welcomed me into their homes. Even before Much Music, I often got invited home for dinner or a party in my honour which, I later realized, was just a good excuse to party. These were some of the best of times.

THE IMF’s Live with Bernard Fowler & Stevie Salas

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Submitted by Michael Williams

On a hot summer’s night in downtown Toronto “The IMF’s”, did an early show at the Tattoo Rock Parlour. In attendance people that I have not seen for ages came out from the Much Music days, all the real music lovers were there. It was the night after the Stones last Toronto show and Mick Jagger’s daughter, Georgia even came by to enjoy the best show I have seen in years, “The IMF’s”.

Before and after the show I talked to two of the most exciting men in music.

MW: who gave you the name “The IMF’s”?
BF: Stevie Salas and Bernard Fowler are the The IMF’s. We used to be Nicklebag until a Canadian band came along with a similar name - Nickleback - so we needed to change the name. I was on tour with the Rolling Stones, moving around a lot all over the map, and saw a newspaper that said "IMF -International Monetary Fund.”  I pointed to Keith and said "That's us. We're some international mother fuckers." Then I did a gig at the Mint for a while - Big Beat Sunday with Angus Thomas, Alvino Bennett, Ivan Neville, and some other cats. I brought the name to the band around that time because we needed a new name.

Southbound - The Cooper Brothers

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‘Southbound’  The Cooper Brothers
Submitted by Cashbox Canada

On June 6, 2013, the homegrown Canadian southern-rock band, The Cooper Brothers, proved they still had the drawing power, by filling The Ukranian Hall with over 400 fans, there to celebrate the release of their latest CD, 'Southbound'. The boys held their audience with great music and stage banter, with a comment that included a heartfelt thanks to their mom, described as being 'the original Producer of the Cooper Brothers.' 

Delivering favourite tunes from the past, and offering the newest soon to be hits from the CD, it was obvious their live performance could back up the studio sounds. It was a stellar performance, and the audience got the chance to experience the new CD first hand.

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