Features

It’s the 7th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show

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Story:Sandy Graham

The season is upon us, not just Christmas but the Andy Kim Christmas Show 2011. Now in it’s 7th year, this show has become a tradition in Toronto, and the man behind it all is none other than Andy Kim.

Andy Kim found fame in New York City at just 16 years old when he wrote “How'd We Ever Get This Way?” the first of nine Billboard Top 40 hits, including #1 songs “Rock Me Gently” and “Sugar, Sugar”, names as one of Billboard's ‘Greatest Songs of All Time.’ A true Canadian son, Andy has been awarded the country's top industry honor twice; the JUNO Award for outstanding achievements in the record industry, as well as the "Indie Award" for Favorite Solo Artist in 2005.

Over his epic career, Andy has sold over 30 million records, with songs covered by music history's greats, including Wilson Pickett, Tom Jones, Michelle Wright, Ike & Tina Turner, and Bob Marley and has even been said to influence 80’s metal band Def Leppard. He has recently performed and co-wrote songs with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and Ron Sexsmith.

TOM JACKSON’S ON THE ROAD AGAIN. GIVE THANKS

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Story: Lenny Stoute


“Hello Lenny. It’s Tom Jackson”, says the warmest baritone currently wearing an Officer of the Order of Canada medal. It’s the week before Jackson’s annual Christmas national tour in support of the Canadian Association of Food Banks and he’s all enthusiastic as he talks about the prospect.


Jackson came up with his novel cross-country benefit tour 20 years ago and sadly, the needs and wants that pushed him to take action are still with us, in ever-growing Dickensian numbers. It’s a situation which engenders mixed feelings in the big man.


“ The good news is that since I’ve been doing this we’ve generated $200 million in cash and goods for a variety of food banks, community service agencies and disaster relief. The sad news is that there is still the need for me to keep doing this. "


“ What was started as a one-of has become my job and I couldn’t find another that suits me better. There will always be the gap between the haves and the have-nots. As humans, I feel it is all our jobs to work to narrow that gap. "


“ That’s what gets me up in the morning; knowing that whatever I have to do that day relates to being pro-active about narrowing the gap, So when you ask how much longer I intend on doing this, the answer is simply as long as there is breath in my body. It’s what I live and breathe. ”


He also sings, acts, writes songs and most recently the script for a play. All of the activities cross-pollinate each other and come to a kind of peak with the seasonal concerts.

Rock’n with Derringer in the Morning

Cover, Nov 18, 2011

Story: Bill Delingat


It was in the mid 80’s, when hair bands ruled and rock stations controlled the airwaves that a sportscaster and radio host from Q107 rolled up to the big east end night club for the international arm wrestling championships.


John Gallagher and John Derringer entered the main hall as celebrity hosts for the event and checked out the competition tables and the competitors.


It was Derringer who noticed the female division and a particular petite blonde from the East coast competing for the World Championship.


Derringer commented to Gallagher, “I bet I can take her, what about you?” “You’re the sports guy”. The two brazen jocks knew a lead in when they saw it and introduced themselves to the ladies’ team and the champ from Nova Scotia. That led of course to the idea of a friendly arm wrestle. When the lassie removed her jacket to expose a right arm that seemed that as if it belonged to Popeye, the boys decided to regroup and maybe even toss a coin to see who would jump in and ”Win one for the Gipper”.


I am silenced by code to say for certain which of our valiant heroes fell to the awesome power of that humongous right arm on what would be otherwise a petite East coater but we can say ‘That was one for the ladies”.


Now, some 30 years later and after a 9-year stint with Q107, Gallagher has moved on. Derringer who first joined Q107 in 1984 stayed with the station until 1993. He later returned in 2000,

“LEST WE FORGET”

Cover, Nov 11, 2011

Story: Darcy Grant

Through the first and second World Wars, the Korean conflict and Vietnam, great songs were written and recorded supporting our troops in their epic battles. All of these aided in the memory of the fated soldiers whose lives were lost in these wars. Now with the Middle East wars being fought, we are responsible for making sure the people of today’s world are reminded to remember those who have fought and died in the 21st century wars.

Fortunately, Canada’s songwriters have continued to write songs showing their appreciation and love for the current men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Some notable songs to check out, Terry Sumsion’s Highway of Heroes, Aaron Lines’ poignant Somebody’s Son, Dean Brody’s moving Brothers, Don Graham’s thought provoking Heart of a Hero, Julian Austin’s patriotic The Red and White, Terry Kelly’s A Pittance of Time and Jon Patterson’s emotive Hero, are shining examples.

Drake Jensen-When you Wish upon a Train

Cover, Nov 4, 2011

Story: Lenny Stoute

“Right now the most important thing to me is getting 10,000 hits”. Nope, it’s not a drug dealer doing inventory, a masochist looking to break into the Guinness Book of Records or a record promoter flogging a dead horse single. It’s country interpreter Drake Jensen laying down the bottom line for expectations of his current single Little Toy Trains.

Jensen’s the much buzzed about new vocal interpreter on the Country scene whose debut album On My Way To Finding You continues to enjoy airplay. The Ottawa valley crooner has made a big impression not only with the voice but also with a consuming sense of mission.

The mission? In two words, preaching love, in all its scintillating manifestations. Love as sword to cut through the negativity, love as shield against the naysayers, love as universal balm. It’s the subtext to the debut album’s title and bound to be the engine driving album number two.

The hard-hustling Jensen is currently at work on that much-anticipated follow-up but still found time and inspiration to switch on the Little Toy Trains project.

“I have always had a soft spot for kids. I was bullied as a child and it was a long time before I was able to quit hiding and be the person I always was".

The Bill King Trio Stax ‘em High with Five Aces

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Story: Sandy Graham


Every life has a soundtrack, and this offering by The Bill King Trio reminds us that music is the language of memory. Five Aces skillfully interprets Bill King’s musical memories of the rhythm and soul era of Motown and Stax Records and the old blues greats, while offering us eight of his own compositions.


Bill King reflects on the influences along his personal musical journey to this point in time. “It was the summer of 1963 when I learned my first lesson in the blues from piano giant Oscar Peterson. I’ll never forget that conversation with Oscar. I was seventeen.”


Bill King was influenced by Peterson and all the blues greats; Count Basie, Ellington, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Ma Rainey, B.B. King, with a touch of gospel thrown in by Mahalia Jackson.


As the years passed and King continued down the musical highway, he discovered Booker T. and the M.G.s, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Bobby (Blue) Bland, Travis Womack, Lonny Mack and the unforgettable Godfather of Soul, James Brown.  The track There It Is has pounding drums and bass that go to your soul, while the tasteful keys play the repetitious tune throughout.
 

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.

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