Features

Donny Parenteau Rolls a 7!

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Story: Don Graham


Donny Parenteau, a Canadian singer/songwriter has broken the record for nominations at the Annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards scheduled for November 18, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario.  Parenteau, a Metis from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, is nominated for a staggering 7 awards at the annual awards show. The previous record was 5, held jointly by Shane Yellowbird and Parenteau himself.

Parenteau’s nominations include:
Best Album of the Year: To Whom It May Concern
Best Country Album of the Year: To Whom It May Concern
Best Producer / Engineer:Donny Parenteau & Harry Stinson – To Whom It May Concern
Best Single.: My Girl
Best Songwriter: My Girl
Best Male Artist
Best Music Video: My Girl

When I asked him which one would be the most rewarding to win he said, “I feel like I’ve already won, just by being nominated. By being nominated my work is being recognized. But I think Best Songwriter would be special.”


Special is a good word to describe Donny Parenteau. He spends a lot of time touring western Canada talking to young aboriginal people with motivational talks and is a living example of what these kids can make of themselves if they put their minds and backs into it.

The Best of the Songs, Movies and Artists of Halloween

Cover, Oct 28, 2011

Story: Sandy Graham

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

However, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English folk lore: "Certainly Samhain was a time for festive gatherings, and medieval Irish texts and later Irish, Welsh, and Scottish folklore use it as a setting for supernatural encounters, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times, or that pagan religious ceremonies were held.”

The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror movies we all have known through the decades, as well as the songs, videos and even artists that all bring out the ‘scary’ this time of year. Similar to Christmas, there are songs that get played on radio every Halloween. Here are Cashbox Canada’s Top Songs, Movies and Artists that come back year after year (just like Freddy Kruger!).

Thriller: Michael Jackson

Drake Jensen's Little Toy Trains set to leave the station

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Story: Sandy Graham

Canadian Country Recording artist Drake Jensen is getting ready to release his first Christmas single Little Toy Trains to radio worldwide.  Born and raised in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and now a resident of Ottawa, Ontario, Drake Jensen has a HUGE country heart!  He has aligned himself with Make-A-Wish Foundation in Canada with his first Christmas single. 

On Tuesday, November 4th, 2011 the Little Toy Trains campaign will commence with the release to radio and simultaneously, the single being available on iTunes. All proceeds are going to the Make-A-Wish Campaign in Canada.  Little Toy Trains was written by Roger Miller, and was hit for Glen Campbell.


Drake’s goal is to have 10,000 downloads on the single, as this is what it takes for a child with life threatening medical conditions to have a wish come true!  Along with downloads, Drake Jensen will take part in the Make-A-Wish event at The Shops at Don Mills in Toronto, Ontario on Thursday, November 17 (4:30 – 6:30pm). 

The Lamb Lies Down in Toronto

Cover, Oct 21, 2011

Story:Lenny Stoute

The year was 1993; Bill Clinton was the American president, a bomb went off at The World Trade Centre, Lorena Bobbit bobbed her hubby’s knob, the Toronto Blue Jays won its second World Series and The Late Show With David Letterman debuted. Also debuting that entertainment-packed year, a Montreal prog rock collective dedicated to the music of Genesis, calling themselves The Musical Box.

Named for a 1971 Genesis song about an old man reclaiming his youth, the Montreal outfit has since become one of rock music’s least likely success stories: a French-Canadian cover band playing progressive-rock epics to raving crowds across the globe.

The Musical Box came together in Montreal initally to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1973 album Selling England By The Pound

The original lineup was a seven-piece with a strong theatrical outlook, and plunged into using visual effects and costumes that were in the original Genesis shows of the 1970s. This kind of intimate meta connection to the original is a large part of what has placed The Musical Box apart from pretenders in the genre ever since.

The act was only meant to last a weekend; a group of Montreal prog-rockers doing  Selling England by the Pound at the Montreal Spectrum. Instead, it morphed into the longest one-of in rock history, becoming their ticket on a ride that has seen The Musical Box play to hundreds of thousands of  people around the world.

Original Diva Dionne Warwick set to debut new Album in Montreal

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Story:Sandy Graham


Five time Grammy Award winning Music Legend, Dionne Warwick celebrates 50 years in the music business since being discovered by Burt Bacharach & Hal David. She will celebrate with the release of her first album of contemporary jazz standards, from the great "American Songbook" titled "Only Trust Your Heart" released by MPCA Records (Sony/Red). The songs are gems from the treasured catalogue of two songwriters closely associated with Frank Sinatra – Sammy Cahn and Jack Wolf. Jack Wolf collaborated with Sinatra to pen the beautiful I'm A Fool To Want You and co-wrote Keep Me In Mind which was written with the songwriter most synonymous with Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach. One of Cahn's biggest fans was Frank Sinatra who recorded 89 of Cahn's songs, many of them more than once.  Cahn won 4 Oscars and was nominated 30 times. He wrote songs for 19 films and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Kill Matilda is back and armed with a new album I Want Revenge. Be very afeard.

Kill Matilda

Remember in college when everybody had those life-sized posters of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in her underwear and when you got drunk enough…oh wait. That’s another magazine.
But now that we have your attention, know who deserves it more? Left Coast zombie stompin’ slash’n’burners Kill Matilda. Buffy would have gotten down on her knees to have them on her side back in the day.


After scaring children and impressionable youth all over the nation on last year’s tour, the fearsome foursome actually managed to stay inside and refrain from killing things long enough to cut an album and now I Want Revenge.


Kill Matilda just can’t sit still. But since they’re on an ass-kicking mission to find revenge, who can really blame them?


Touring and moving around their native country relentlessly, Kill Matilda has called B.C., Quebec and Ontario home within the past year, making it exceptionally clear that they mean business. As the journey to kill Matilda continues, the title of the band’s first full-length album says it all: I Want Revenge.


Charged with the task of clearing the nation of a spreading zombie epidemic after a life or death encounter one fateful night, Kill Matilda is rising to the challenge of zombie management. Specially trained to combat these unruly creatures, Kill Matilda is armed with two incomparable, indestructible, advantageous tools: their bone-crushing music and front woman Dusty Exner’s famous cookies.

Recollections Of Gord Ward

Cover, Oct 14, 2011

By Sandy Graham


He didn’t have a hit record, he never made the charts, Gord Ward was not a household name. He played the ‘B’ rooms, did the bar circuit, sang some tunes and preached to whoever would listen about music, songs and artists he loved from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. All the local ‘hitmakers’ knew his name.


Call it nepotism, call it favoritism, call it respect or whatever you want to call it, but as the Editor and co-owner of Cashbox Canada, I decided to give Gord Ward the cover this week. A cover he would never get when he was alive, and sadly won’t get to see  now.  Gord Ward died on Friday, October 7, 2011, succumbing to the cancer he fought so bravely to beat. After a few years with this terrible disease, it finally got him. He was my friend.


Over 30 years ago, I created and owned Toronto’s first nostalgia nightclub, Route 66. We made a club work with a ‘saddle shoe’ string budget, and it was a huge success within its first few days of operation. At the height of disco, we offered music that came from another era, along with staff that danced, sang and dressed the part.


We also hired live music for the 5 nights of the week that we were open; rotating a few house bands like Dick and the Donuts, The Backbeats, Professor Piano and the Rockin’ Deltoids, The Frigidaires, The Bop Cats and Gord Ward and the Recollections. (Gord Ward and the Wardenaires at that time if my old rock ‘n’ roll memory serves me right.)

Justin Hines’ Days has come

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Story:Lenny Stoute

Justin Hines has such heavy cred as an activist and role model it’s easy to forget he’s also a working musician. Which is why he’s on the line from Massachusetts and pretty pumped. Current album, Days To Recall, marks his debut release in the US market, courtesy of the iconic Decca label (yes retro heads, they’re back) and dude’s on a promo tour working the album to radio. In the US media positive comparisons with Jason Mraz are popping up and that’s a good thing.


“I feel very honoured because Decca are very choosy about their artists and have a very solid reputation. They went to the trouble of coming up here (Toronto) to see me perform and I guess they liked what they saw. It’s just so amazing.


“ The radio tour is going really well. Many people are hearing me for the first time so it’s fresh. The songs are all very relatable and if there's a theme, it’s one of music as healer and that too is very relatable”.

Relatable is something Justin Hines knows loads about. This is the dude who turned a song, Say What You Will, into the launching pad for a campaign to help build schools and to further youth education in South Africa.

At the core of it all, the song’s very relatable lyrics, which inspired South African producer Bronwyn Nel, who felt Say What You Will would resonate profoundly with her community, to remix the song with the Seta/Siyaya Learner Choir and the Keynote Acapella Group.

MARK NAKAMURA – MAKING ENTERTAINMENT FOOTPRINTS


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Story:Jaimie Vernon



Located near the intersection of Donlands Road and O’Connor Drive in East York stands an old movie theatre that, set against the charming bakeries, beauty shops and convenience stores, remains a silent, dark blue sentinel. Well, at least on the outside. If you walk through the faded Art-Deco lobby and climb the staircase to the top of the building you’ll find, hidden in a penthouse suite, a modern music recording facility called Studio 92.



I’m here to interview the new owner of the studio, Mark Nakamura, and I’ve brought along a musician friend to eyeball the facility as a potential customer. We’re greeted at the door by former co-op student, now full time employee Brent MacMillan who immediately ushers us into the ‘live room’ where one would expect musical magic to happen. The room has a vaulted, soundproofed ceiling and the 24-foot hardwood floor is more than suitable for ballroom dancing – or half an orchestra.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Celebrating 14 Years !

Cover, Sept 30, 2011

By Bill Delingat


Most people, no matter where they are from have heard of and may have been one of the 10 million annual visitors to “the Hollywood Walk of Fame”; the  famous 15 blocks of more than 2,400 five-pointed stars embedded along Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The emblems symbolize five categories within the entertainment industry: motion pictures, broadcast television, music and audio recordings, broadcast radio and theatre /live performances.

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