Proudly Canadian

Proudly Canadian Roch Voisine

Roch Voisine.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada 

Joseph Armand Roch Voisine, OC ONB better known as Roch Voisine, (born 26 March 1963) is aCanadian singer-songwriter, actor, and radio and television host who lives in Montreal, Quebec and Paris, France. He writes and performs material in both Englishand French. He won the Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1994. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Proudly Canadian: Blackie and the Rodeo Kings

Blackie & The Rodeo Kings.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings originally formed in 1996 when Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson came together to record what was suppose to be a one- off tribute album to the great Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett.

At the time, all three members were deeply committed to burgeoning solo careers that they had no intentions of putting on hold, and had no plans to turn Blackie into an ongoing concern. Now twenty years later, 8 albums , one Juno award and several Juno nominations under their belts, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented bands in North America. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings remains one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures.

Proudly Canadian: The Tea Party

The Tea Party.jpg

Source: Wikipedia

The Tea Party is a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed "Moroccan roll" by the media. Active throughout the 1990s and up until 2005, the band re-formed in 2011. The Tea Party released eight albums on EMI Music Canada, selling 1.6 million records worldwide, and achieving a No. 1 Canadian single "Heaven Coming Down" in 1999.

The Tea Party toured Canada on twenty-one occasions and Australia on twelve. In November 2002, the band toured Canada with symphony orchestras reinterpreting a decade's worth of shared songwriting. Breaking up in 2005 due to creative differences, band members nevertheless re-united in 2011 to play several Canadian tour dates during the summer. The band decided to continue after the tour and has now re-formed. The band has since released a double live album, recorded on their 2012 tour of Australia. Video shot during this tour was released as a Live DVD/Blu-ray, "The Tea Party: Live From Australia" in 2013. The Tea Party has also been writing and recording new original material since Fall 2012, and their latest album, The Ocean at the End, was released in September 2014.

Proudly Canadian: Jack Scott

Jack Scott.png

Jack Scott (born Giovanni Domenico Scafone, Jr.), January 24, 1936, Windsor, Ontario, Canada is a Canadian American singer and songwriter. He was the first white rock and roll star to come out of Detroit, Michigan. He was inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011 and has been called "undeniably the greatest Canadian rock and roll singer of all time."

Scott spent his early childhood in Windsor, Ontario (Canada), across the river from Detroit, Michigan (United States). When he was 10, Scott's family moved to Hazel Park, a Detroit suburb. He grew up listening to hillbilly music and was taught to play the guitar by his Mother Laura. As a teenager, he pursued a singing career and recorded as 'Jack Scott.' At the age of 18, he formed the Southern Drifters. After leading the band for three years, he signed to ABC-Paramount Records as a solo artist in 1957.

After recording two good-selling local hits for ABC-Paramount in 1957, he switched to the Carlton record label and had a double-sided national hit in 1958 with "Leroy" (#11) / "My True Love" (#3). The record sold over one million copies, earning Scott his first gold record. Later in 1958, "With Your Love" (#28) reached the Top 40. In all, six of 12 songs on his first album became hit singles. On most of these tracks, he was backed up by the vocal group, the Chantones.

He served in the United States Army during most of 1959, just after "Goodbye Baby" (#8) made the Top Ten. 1959 also saw him chart with "The Way I Walk" (#35).

Proudly Canadian: Big Sugar

Big Sugar Photo Credit Michael Maxxis_0.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo Credit Michael Maxxis

Big Sugar are a Canadian blues, reggae rock band. They were active from 1991 to 2004 and again since April 2010, currently still performing.

Big Sugar officially formed in 1988 in Toronto, Ontario, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Gordie Johnson, bassist Terry Wilkins, and drummer Al Cross, though the three musicians had already played together for several years as a supporting band for Molly Johnson's jazz performances and as an informal jam band with members of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir. After Molly Johnson returned to rock music with Infidels, she helped her former bandmates to secure a record deal; their eponymous debut album was released in 1991 on Hypnotic Records.

Proudly Canadian: Goddo

GODDO Now.jpg

Story Credit: Jaimie Vernon/The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia 



Following a successful rock star lifestyle with Canadian Glam Rock outfit Fludd, bassist Greg Godovitz left the fold in frustration as the songwriting opportunities for him dwindled. Utilizing a team of musical cohorts from Fludd’s camp, he assembled an ad hoc studio act dubbed Goddo; and released a cover version of "Louie Louie" through A & M Records of Canada in 1975. To promote the song, which managed to stir up a bit of airplay nationally, Godovitz needed a working band to secure gigs, and a paycheck, in the Ontario bar scene. 

Enter former Brutus guitarist Gino Scarpelli and former Truck drummer Marty Morin in late 1975. The band made the rounds touring every dingy pub, dive, strip club and high school in Ontario and Quebec with occasional forays into the US and Western Canada as a means of perfecting their stage show and performance chops. There was also the matter of becoming a big act in a little pond. Soon they were the working-man’s power trio; a sonic three-man wrecking crew to be reckoned with through a steady diet of bar circuit gigs over the next two years before finally attracting the attention of Polydor Records who signed the group via a deal with independent production company Fat Cat Records. 

Proudly (Francophone) Canadian: Luc Plamondon

Luc Plamondon.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Controversial as it has been for decades, the ‘great divide’ between Quebec and Canada still continues to this day, but music has no borders. Although a well-known passionate Francophone, Luc Plamondon has accepted awards from Canadian institutions, so this week we honour Proudly Canadian by also including Francophone to our title.
Luc Plamondon, OC, CQ (born 2 March 1942 in Saint-Raymond, Quebec) is a French Canadian lyricist, well-known in the Francophone Quebecois market.

Plamondon has written for many artists, notably the Québécois singers Bruno Pelletier, Diane Dufresne, Robert Charlebois, Céline Dion, Ginette Reno, Fabienne Thibeault, Martine St. Clair, and Garou, as well as the French singers Julien Clerc, Nicole Croisille and Johnny Hallyday. He is the co-author of a number of musicals. The two most successful are Starmania (music composed by Michel Berger) and Notre-Dame de Paris (music composed byRiccardo Cocciante). Also of note is Cindy: Cendrillon 2000.

He was inspired to write a hymn in Huguette Gaulin Bergeron’s honour, after her self-immolation. The hymn, entitled "Hymne à la beauté du monde", has since been sung by numerous famous French-Canadian artists such as Diane Dufresne, Isabelle Boulay, Garou, and Éric Lapointe.

Proudly Canadian: BTO

Bachman Turner Overdrive.png

Bachman–Turner Overdrive is a Canadian rock group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that had a series of hit albums and singles in the 1970s, selling over 7 million albums in that decade alone. Their 1970s catalogue included five Top 40 albums and six US Top 40 singles (ten in Canada). The band has sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide, and has fans affectionately known as "gearheads" (derived from the band's gear-shaped logo). Many of their songs, including "Let It Ride", "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", "Takin' Care of Business", "Hey You" and "Roll On Down the Highway", still receive play on classic-rock stations.

After the band went into a hiatus in 2005, Randy Bachman andFred Turner reunited in 2009 to tour and collaborate on a new album. In 2010, they played the halftime show at the Grey Cup inEdmonton, AB and continue to tour as of summer 2014.

On March 29, 2014, the classic Not Fragile line-up reunited for the first time since 1991 to mark Bachman–Turner Overdrive's induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and participated in performing in a tribute version of "Takin' Care of Business".

Proudly Canadian: Ron Nigrini

Ron Nigrini.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Ron Nigrini started playing as a teenager in 1965 with a duo called The Coachmen from Toronto. Two years later, Ron was a member of Dan’s Heard. In 1970, Nigrini went solo, touring the coffee house circuit through the American Midwest,Texas, Mexico, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

In 1972, back in Canada, he wrote commercials for TV and radio with Michael Hasek, a singer on A&M Records.  In 1974, Nigrini signed a contract with Attic Records and recorded his first single,  Letters.

Two years later, he recorded his own version of the Oscar-winning song,  I’m Easy, from the movie Nashville.

Catching up with Alexander Mair he had this to say, “Ron was the first artist signed to Attic. He's so laid back that his nickname is "Flash". We were fortunate to find the right song for him with I'm Easy, and had a Canadian hit with it. RCA released it in the US, but the songwriter's version had already charted. Ron is a wonderful guy, and a joy to spend time with...”

Alexander Mair was President and Tom Williams was Vice President and the person who discovered Ron Nigrini.  Al and Tom and I  partners and cofounded Attic.

Proudly Canadian: Shirley Matthews

Shirley Matthews.jpg

Shirley Matthews was a Canadian pop singer born in Harrow, Ontario.

Matthews sang in a church choir and at high school dances prior to embarking on a career in music. She worked in a Bell Telephone office while singing nights at the age of 19 at the Club Bluenote in Toronto, Ontario.

Discovered by an associate of Bob Crewe (who managed the Four Seasons) Matthews went to New York to sign her record deal in New York.

Her debut single, "Big Town Boy", was a major hit in Canada in 1964, selling over a million copies. She won the RPM Gold Leaf Award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1964.Later singles failed to duplicate the success of "Big Town Boy”.

“Big Town Boy” debuted on 1050 Chum in Toronto on December 2/1963 on the same day as “She Loves You” by the Beatles.

In 1967, she married, taking the name Shirley Vedder, and quit the music industry, eventually becoming the CEO of a chain of racquetball and sports fitness clubs.  

On January 8, 2013 Shirley died in Toronto, Ontario.

Singles:
Big Town Boy    1964
Private Property 1964
He Makes Me Feel So Pretty 1964
Stop the Clock 1965

Big Town Boy Shirley Matthews

Syndicate content