Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting – Ralph Murphy Releases New Book

Ralph Murphy

By Don Graham


The reason I was asked to review this book is that as a songwriter I would have a perspective on its contents unique to the Cashbox Canada staff. There are course countless books on songwriting but most of them state the obvious and at the end of the day nothing really is gained from reading them. I had a feeling from knowing Ralph Murphy, mostly by reputation and track record, no pun intended, but also having met him through my longtime publisher Brian Chater that this would be an important book to read and digest. That coupled with some of the great testimonials from established songwriters like Paul Williams and Donnie Schlitz and a  direction from Canadian songsmith Randy Bachman to “read it, learn it and burn it!” furthered intrigued me. Randy’s suggestion of course was a compliment of the highest degree, meaning once you read this ALL the secrets to writing a hit will be revealed so keep it to yourself!!! I wonder if that’s why the cover features the title in flames??


As Ralph states at the beginning of the book this isn’t to teach HOW to write songs because most likely if you’re reading it you already are a song writer. This is more aimed at how to hone your craft and the “do’s and don’ts “as seen through the eyes of a seasoned professional songwriter/publisher/ music professional.



Drake t the Juno Awards

Photo and Story Courtesy of CARAS


 HOT ON FIRE! ARCADE FIRE NABS FOUR JUNO AWARD WINS -Neil Young honoured with Allan Waters Humanitarian Award- -Bryan Adams welcomes Shania Twain to Canadian Music Hall of Fame- Toronto, ON (March 27, 2011) – A royal procession of Canadian music stars took to the stage for Canada’s biggest night in music, THE 2011 JUNO AWARDS. CTV’s special two-and-a-half hour anniversary broadcast of the Awards blew the roof off the Air Canada Centre with power-packed performances, tributes to 40 years of the JUNO Awards, and eight winning categories announced. THE 2011 JUNO AWARDS is now available on demand at 



OMDC Photo Credit Natasha Slinko

By Sandy Graham

Photo Credit Natasha Slinko


There has been a really cool commercial on television this last year featuring the likes of icons like Molly Johnson, Tomi Swick, Alex J Robinson, Justin Hines, The Arkells and Toya Alexis singing There’s No Place Like This – Ontario.


It seems this is true to fact with this year’s nominees for the 40th Juno Awards Celebrations. According to OMDC data, 78 Ontario-based acts and companies collectively have earned 103 Juno nominations this year, and 56 of the acts are affiliated with independent, Ontario-owned or controlled record labels, publishers, and managers.


Emphasizing the importance of the music industry to the province’s new millennial economic strategy, Tourism & Culture Minister Michael Chan stated that “Ontario’s music industry is a pillar of our rapidly growing entertainment and cultural sectors, contributing over $20 billion annually to our province’s economy.”



Jevon Rudder Releases New Single – “Oh Yeah” in Canada and the U.S.

Jevon Rudder Photo by Taffi Rosen

by Natasha Slinko


Great news as Jevon Rudder is scheduled to release his song “Oh Yeah” on Thursday March 17th, 2011, directly after Canadian Music Week.  “Oh Yeah” is an upbeat song that will get you up on your feet dancing to lyrics that tell the tale about a girl  ‘with take me home eyes` and who has ‘one hand on the jukebox and the other in the air’ and ‘she goes wild every time, she hears Tim McGraw, she wears daisy dukes and cowboy boots and dances on the bar’.  And trust me you`ll have one hand up in the air singing `Oh Yeah`.

This is a song of celebration and the independent woman that is out to have a good time and will not apologize to anyone for having her cake and eating it too, all the while having a good time in the process. It seems fitting that this song is being release just a week after the 100th Anniversary of International Women`s Day on March 8th that is celebrated globally. May all women know that they have the choice of this freedom to dance and yell  “Oh Yeah” .

Born in Toronto Ontario, the city of multi-culturism and multi-music, Rudder`s style is influenced by various genres outside of country, such as rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues and reggae, but through his album The Good, The Bad & The Lucky, Rudder shows us that he is the embodiment of country. 

Shelley Siegel – A Canadian Success Story Not To Be Forgotten

Mushroom 1

by Sandy Graham


It was 1975, and I was Music Director of the radio station in Montreal known as CJFM – FM 96, owned and operated by Standard Broadcasting at the time. We were # 2. CHOM-FM our big competition was # 1. 


It was a different era; first off I was a female in the Music Director chair; and thanks to Rosalie Tremblay at CKLW in Windsor showing that a woman could be in radio, it was a chance I was given to show the ‘big boys’ a girl could do the job. 


In the ‘day of the dinosaurs’, we had what was called ‘Record Day’, usually on a Wednesday, when all the promo record guys would line up outside my office, and wait for their chance to pitch their new product. It was what would be considered an archaic way to do things nowadays, but I sometimes wonder if the current email, WAV, MP3 tracking system really works; back then the promo person got to stand there as you put the new tune on a turntable, and they got the chance to dance around and get you excited about their latest passion. It was also an opportunity to receive a WHOLE album, and maybe find another gem on there that wasn’t the single release. Cover art was just as important as the product, not to mention liner notes that told of who played, produced and backed the product. 


Toronto jazz-pop innovators The Jessica Stuart Few launch debut video ‘Kid Dream!

Jessica Stuart

Fit to groove through the bounds of all parameters, Jessica Stuart embodies the essence of pop and jazz, creating a dynamic sound, merging outstanding creativity with traditional roots.  With two national tours behind her and a lifetime of musical inspiration, Jessica’s unique cultural experiences and the coast-to-coast positive response she generates marks her influence as a Canadian artist with a sound of her own.


Raised in Vancouver by musical parents, Jessica spent time exploring a number of the world’s continents, most significantly living in Nagano, Japan. It was there that she took interest in and learned to play the ‘koto’ (A traditional Japanese harp-like instrument with thirteen strings), which is featured in a number of the compositions on her newly released album.

With innovative and catchy songs, The Jessica Stuart Few consists of Jessica (vocals, guitar, koto), Dan Fortin (bass) and Nico Dann (drums), bringing their signature blend to life with a creative, alluring and soulful sound. Together since 2007, they channel the modern sounds of Stereolab with allusions to the energy of Joni Mitchell, creating an array of enchanting melodies that become their own.

Chestnut Tree Productions - The Little Tree That Grew

Chesnut Tree

Story:Don Graham


About twenty five years ago on his property in the Laurentian Mountains, just north of Montreal, veteran big band musician Frank Hill planted a tiny chestnut tree, telling his son, Canadian guitar legend Bill Hill, that it probably wouldn’t last very long. All these years later, Frank Hill has gone to his great reward and the little chestnut tree is still flourishing. When Bill Hill and partner/son Andrew Hill were looking for a name for their music production company CHESTNUT TREE PRODUCTIONS was a natural choice, incorporating three generations of musical Hills into the fabric of the venture. 


A bit of history here will bring this unique story into focus. Frank Hill was a saxophone player and bandleader in Montreal, son Bill was a young guitarist, trying hard to learn his instrument. Dad offered son a job playing guitar in his band and so began young Bill’s baptism by fire. Bill then, while still in high school got a gig playing with Dave Nicholls and The Coins in a local nightclub. The only stipulation his parents gave the high school student was that it couldn’t interfere with his education. If he missed ONE day of school because of the band he was finished playing with them. Consequently there were many mornings when a red eyed sleepy young man struggled out of bed and made his way to school, never missing a day. Unfortunately the gig ended anyway when the group had to travel and Bill had to stay at home to study.

Toronto based music company creates website for worldwide socially conscious music

Just Songs Logo

Just Songs “Songs for Just Causes” is a Toronto based music company that is creating compilation good cause CDs for charitable use and has created a website showcasing some of the music in their catalogue. 


The website presents socially conscious music from all over the world and allows the listeners and visitors an opportunity to download a specific song, with the proceeds being donated to a charity of the artist’s choice.  


For those that do utilize retail download scenarios like iTunes it’s a great way to get some new music while at the same time donate to a good cause and support musical artists from across the world who believe in giving a little give back.


Songs themes range from War and Peace, Violence and Chaos to Inspirational and Environmental. There are songs addressing Women’s Issues, Political Perspectives as well as Commerce and Greed.


Musical genres range from melodic pop/rock songs to the avant-garde. There are Hip-Hop tracks, R&B tunes, World Beat rhythms and ambient-electronic dance tracks. There are folk songs and heavy hard rockers. There are songs that will make you laugh and songs that will make you cry. All in all there is something for every taste. 


Canadian Country Artist John McLeod charting worldwide, to perform at the South Australian Music Festival.

John McLeod

Story: Bill Delingat 


He was a driller, oilman, bush pilot, and businessman.  His work experience took him to all corners of the globe, and he’s now going to the far ends of the earth again but this time following the true passion of his life, his music.

He’s slated to perform at the South Australian Country Music Festival to be held in South Australia this June 2011.


 John McLeod is a Northern Canadian Metis Indian from the Ojibwa tribe. Born in The Pas, Manitoba. McLeod now resides in the wilds of Palm Springs, California. He went to California to thaw, and pursue his music, after having had a triple bypass in 2006.  

McLeod found the warmth of the sun and the desert mountains a perfect mix for his heritage and spirituality.  He dedicated himself to writing, and singing about his life experiences and thus “Moving On “was born.  

This second chance at life gave McLeod the opportunity to tell his story through song and music, to share with others that “you are never too old to pursue your dreams “and he truly appreciates the respect his music is getting. 

Jevon Rudder- The Singing Soldier With A Country State Of Mind

Jevon Rudder

Story:Lenny Stoute


Some folks are born to the hard road and some seek it out as a soul-building experience. Then there are the ones like Jevon Rudder, who, for better or worse, have it both ways.

 First, try being a black Country singer. Now try being a black Country singer from Scarborough in Toronto. Now try black Country singer from Scarborough enlisted in the army and proud to wear his uniform. 

Can you say walking target for ignorant yobbos? 

“I’ve been called a baby killer, a waste of space. One guy in Tim Horton’s even told me I should get out of Iraq. Where the Canadian army has never been. But for every one of those there have been other people that offered to buy me a coffee and expressed their gratitude.” notes the soft-spoken Rudder.


This rain of bullshit and bad mouth might have embittered many another man; what kept Rudder on the good foot was his family, his music and his belief in doing the right thing for his country. 


One day in 2004, Jevon Rudder walked out of a high paying job consisting largely of strategy meetings that would morph into bitching sessions by a bunch of overpaid trough-feeders. Educated, idealistic and accustomed to sticking up for those ideals, he promptly went down to a recruitment centre and enlisted in the reserves.

Syndicate content