Sam the Record Man Sign Set to Light Up Toronto Once Again

Sam the Record Man Sign.jpg

Courtesy and credited to Sarah Murphy

Sam Sniderman's Yonge & Dundas record shop was a musical landmark for generations of Toronto music lovers, but since Sam the Record Man permanently closed its doors back in 2007, the fate of its iconic spinning neon sign has been up in the air — unfortunately, not literally, though. Now, after years of confusion (during which the sign has sat in storage), the massive lit-up pair of records is finally slated to be raised again by the end of this summer.

Ryerson University bought the building that housed Sam's back in 2008, removing the sign that used to tower over the downtown intersection and placing it into storage. The school was granted permission to demolish and rebuild on the property's site, provided it preserve the glowing sign, and a new student learning centre has since been erected where the store used to stand.

City council, meanwhile, voted to reinstall the sign a block away from the shop's former location, on the outside wall of 277 Victoria Street in Toronto.

Back in February, Ryerson announced that the sign had begun to undergo a refurbishing process, but failed to outline an estimated date of completion for the restoration.

Music journalist Nicholas Jennings has now told FYI Music News[via AUX], though, that that sign should be ready to rise again very soon.

Ontario's Country Music Industry Shines at the 2016 CMAO Awards‏

Host and artist Jason McCoy

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo credit: Grant Martin Photography
Photo at right: Host and artist Jason McCoy

The spotlight was on Ontario's thriving country music community last night as the Country Music Association of Ontario handed out the 4th Annual CMAO Awards. A standing-room-only crowd joined host Jason McCoy at the Flato Markham Theatre in Markham for an evening of accolades and performances by some of Ontario's best and brightest stars. Presented by Slaight Music, with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the award show recognized honorees in 14 categories spanning talent and industry.

Multiple winners included Jason Blaine and newcomers Cold Creek County who walked away with three awards apiece. Blaine shared his Songwriter of the Year win alongside Deric Ruttan for their penning of the single "Country Side" which also took the honours for Music Video of the Year. Among their wins, the Brighton, Ontario five-piece counted the inaugural and coveted Fans' Choice award, made possible by the Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Ontario Music Fund. For a full listing of all category winners, see below.

‘Beaches Got Talent’ Local Area Launches Community Contest with Top Notch Judges


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Beach Village BIA has announced the inaugural event The First Annual Music, Dance and All That Jazz that will also include a local talent show contest called ‘Beaches Got Talent’.

Scheduled for the afternoon time slot during the iconic music event Beaches Jazz Festival, the production team has asked that potential contestants submit their material in the form of a photo, bio, MP3 music sample and/or YouTube to apply for the pre-judging of the contest.

A musical jury will decide on the final contestants who will then move on to perform on Saturday July 23 at Ivan Forrest from 2-3 pm. The finalists will perform again on Sunday July 24, 2015, with a winner being chosen through a judging committee that includes MuchMusic VeeJay Michael Williams, vocal coach Donna Flynn, Producer Chris  Birkett, Cashbox Canada Music Magazine Journalist Pat Blythe and The Beach Village BIA Mascot Beach Buddy.  An exciting grand prize is a recording session with Juno Award Winner Brit Chris Birkett, Producer of Sinead O’Connor (Nothing Compares to You) and the legendary Buffy Ste. Marie.

There is also musical performances slated from Noon – 2 pm and 3 pm – 4 pm featuring local talent with a diversified programming to entertain all ages and cover many genres.

The grand prizes will include vocal coaching with Donna Flynn, a story here in Cashbox Canada and a recording session with producer Chris Birkett.

Guy Clark: Heartbroke

Guy Clark.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

The music world has lost another giant and a personal favourite of mine, singer/songwriter/luthier Guy Clark. Guy Clark was a songwriter’s songwriter, simple country chords and melodies but lyrics that escaped all labels except for damn fine. Guy Charles Clark a Texas native who migrated to Nashville in 1971 marched to his own drummer .

Probably the best-known of Clark's numerous great works is "Desperados Waiting For a Train," made  popular by Jerry Jeff Walker in the 1970s and The Highwaymen in the 1980s. The song showcased Clark's narrative gifts, telling about an old man's life as seen through the eyes of his young companion.

Clark was born in Monahans, Texas where his grandmother ran a boarding house, and moved to Rockport on the Gulf Coast, where his father had his own law practice.
He worked summers in Rockport at the shipyard and didn’t start playing guitar until he was well into his teens. Clark moved to Houston in the 1960s, working various jobs during the day, including a time as art director for a couple of local T.V. stations..

At night he hit the coffeehouse/folk scene that was populated with folks like Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury.

Clark hadn't made a record but his songs caught the ear of Jerry Jeff Walker, another singer-songwriter who would soon become one of Clark's earliest supporters.

Carleton launches Music Matters


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Carleton’s Health Sciences Prof. Renate Ysseldyk and students Noah Latchem, Anita Sengupta and Angela Paric have been studying the health benefits of Music Matters, an innovative music program pairing individuals living with dementia, their caregivers, and local musicians.

Music Matters began with a collaboration involving Ysseldyk, Jesse Stewart, associate professor of music, and Tracy Luciani, president of Artswell. For eight weeks at Elizabeth Bruyère Hospital, several individuals living with dementia and their caregivers from across Ottawa gathered to make music, reminiscence about the past and connect with others.

The program has evolved into much more than anyone had expected. Old friends were reunited, memories were recounted, poetry and songs were composed and impromptu dance solos blossomed. Participants even put on a showcase of their work at the National Arts Centre.

Music-making is increasingly recognized as a cognitively demanding process that is beneficial to brain function, one that could be particularly useful in slowing cognitive decline among healthy older individuals, as well as those with age-related diseases such as dementia. The social element inherent in making music as a group also fosters emotional regulation, social connectedness and improved health.

For more information contact:
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University

Sing! The Vocal Arts Festival Returns May 4 to 5 2016


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Vocal music will take centre stage at SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, taking place for an expanded 12-day run from May 4 to 15, 2016. More than 30 performances and workshops will take place at venues across downtown Toronto, including the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and The Distillery Historic District. Tickets are on sale now at

Now in its fifth year, SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival showcases the best Canadian and international vocal talent. The festival will feature the last Toronto touring show by Canadian a cappella legends The Nylons, who will be performing at SING! as part of a farewell tour wrapping up more than 35 years of performances around the world. Other headliners include Naturally 7, masters of a distinctive a cappella sound known as “vocal play”, and O Canada: Our Nation’s Greatest Hits, hosted by Canada’s funniest couple, Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath and featuring Latin-inspired jazz artist Amanda Martinez, Dave Matheson from the satirical pop band, Moxy Fruvous and the Toronto Northern Lights barbershop All-Stars.

Festival performers span a wide range of genres and cultural influences, including pop, rock, jazz, classical, barbershop, world, gospel, folk, live looping, beat boxing and more. Canada’s premier a cappella festival educates as well as entertains, with industry veterans leading vocal workshops and mentoring sessions for singers of all ages and levels of experience.

JUNOS 2016

The Weeknd performs at the Juno Awards Credit Jeff McIntosh Canadian Press.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo at right: The Weeknd performs at the Juno Awards
Credit Jeff McIntosh Canadian Press

The Juno Awards of 2016, honouring Canadian music achievements, were presented in Calgary the weekend of 2–3 April 2016. The ceremonies were held at the Scotiabank Saddledome, and televised on CTV.

The primary ceremony hosts were musician Jann Arden and athlete and television personality Jon Montgomery. It included performances by Bryan Adams, Dean Brody, Alessia Cara, Dear Rouge, Coleman Hell, Scott Helman, Shawn Hook, Lights, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and Whitehorse.

Burton CummingsBurton CummingsBurton Cummings is the 2016 inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. His band, The Guess Who, was inducted in 1987. Rosalie Trombley, former music director for CKLW radio, was presented with this year's Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. Arcade Fire is the recipient of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for their contributions to various non-profit organizations.

Jaymz Bee Turns 53

Jaymz Bee Photo Credit B. Beard Photography.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Jaymz Bee Photo Credit B. Beard Photography

As he does every year, Jaymz Bee turns the fact that he is aging into a week-long party with the biggest bash at Lula Lounge on his actual birthdate.

The evening begins at 7:30PM with some “Bee Tee Vee”. Jaymz will share videos that feature singers June Garber, Genevieve Marentette and the late, great Don Francks, among others.

8:30PM Robert Scott takes to the stage and with the help of singer Genevieve Marentette will host an hour of jazz with a few surprise guests.

By 10:00PM the weirdness begins…Sean “Balloonatic” Rooney and Clay Tyson will perform short sets, followed by Bee’s punk funk tribute to Ian Dury & The Blockheads called “Two Headed”. (Comedian Jef Farquharson is the other head.)

Jaymz Bee is a Toronto-based broadcaster, promoter, musician, entertainer and published author. Bee currently works at JAZZ.FM91 as a broadcaster, concert producer and jazz tour guide. His musical projects include pop ensemble Bonzai Suzuki, the punk funk band Two Headed and a spoken word project with Swiss electro-maestro Carlos Peron.

Well aside from the obvious birthday as reason enough there is the kindness, love of music and friends that oozes from every pore of Jaymz’ being.

Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West
Wednesday April 13th 2016
Doors 7PM. $20 adv. / $25 door
Advance tickets at
Info at

Don Francks (1932 – 2016) Hanging with the Jazz Don!

Don Francks.jpg

Submitted by Bill King

I used to bust Don’s chops and remind him – he danced with Fred Astaire. I’d play YouTube clips from Finian's Rainbow just to watch Francks dance and sing, “How Are Things in Glocca Morra,” then say – you can retire now – you were it; so hip and handsome and there you are in Panavision.

I met Francks in a waiting room at Mt. Sinai Hospital October 1972 – my partner Kristine was just steps and moments away from pushing big life outward - son Jesse. Francks was dressed in First Nation colors and sporting a big smile. We sat and chatted and began talking music. He was a jazz guy – be-bop hipster who spoke like a landlocked Greenpeace activist. Save the planet – save the children and play jazz flute.

I brought a notebook to record that very special moment. He asked to borrow it – removed a few colored felt pens and began drawing - then inscribed something about long-life and earth wishes for young Jesse. I was walking a fine line between hippie and indecision – never considering I’d crossed over, yet still looking the part and a bit suspect.

Through the years we’d occasionally cross paths – then late 1980’s Don called and tells me how much he likes the Jazz Report Magazine, at the time a jazz newsletter and could he contribute. He lent us photos from his hot jazz days, recalled bandstand episodes; addressed the record industry in not so complimentary words and sang the praises of the forgotten art of “hippterisim.”

UK Band Slydigs to Open for The Who in Canada

Slydigs Photo Credit Jack Slade Photography.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Slydigs Photo Credit: Jack Slade Photography

Breakout UK four-piece rock band SLYDIGS announce debut North American tour dates opening for THE WHO in Canada and the U.S. starting April 26th in Toronto, Ontario and finishing in San Diego,California.

On the heels of an already successful European tour with Vintage Trouble at the end of 2015, garnering accolades for their 5-track EP “Down with Mockery”, the band are ready to introduce American and Canadian audiences to their mixture of 60’s British invasion, 70’s punk and 90’s guitar driven Britpop.

SLYDIGS’ brand of bluesy/hook-laden rock is showcased via “Light the Fuse”, a hard driving rock song that features lead singer Dean Fairhurst’s authentic vocal delivery. The single is featured in ROCK BAND 4 and the EP was helmed by producer/engineer George Shilling (Blur, Oasis, The Soup Dragons).

The band’s momentum can be traced to the buzz surrounding their live shows and the sold out gigs withVintage Trouble. While on tour, they performed a full concert for acclaimed German TV show Rockpalast, along with an exclusive acoustic version of forthcoming track “Catch a Fading Light.” Slydigs also supported THE WHO on multiple shows in the UK, including the sold-out London O2 Arena dates and the 2015 Hyde Park anniversary concert.

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