MuchMusic Suffers Major Job Cuts Due to Financial Strain

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Bell Media had plans to axe up to 120 jobs in advertising and subscription TV Services. They have started the downsizing by cutting 91 employees from its in-house production division, with channels such as MuchMusic suffering substantial layoffs.

A notice of layoff from Bell Media’s director of Human Resources, Catherine Foti, appears to show at least 32 positions linked to MuchMusic being eliminated. The Channels M3 (formerly MuchMoreMusic) and MTV suffered substantial losses, while CTV, Space and E! were also affected. A spokesperson for Bell Media confirmed that 72 unionized and 19 non-unionized positions were eliminated on Wednesday. According to a bulletin from Unifor, the union representing many of the staff who were “declared surplus,” MuchMusic (now known as Much) has lost “almost all of their original programming.” Among the positions cut are a director, a floor director, three camera operators, a dozen associate producers and a senior technical director.

In an interview last month, Bell Media president Kevin Crull said MuchMusic has been hamstrung by the fact that it is forced “to air 12 hours of music videos as a condition of license,” and he is hoping for some “flexibility” in those conditions. “Kids do not watch music videos on television. You're not going to wait for somebody to program a music video when you have a million available on Vevo,” Mr. Crull said on June 5. “And so that has hurt the channel.”

Legendary Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dead at 70

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

John Dawson Winter III, the guitarist, songwriter and producer has passed away on July 16, 2014 at the age of 70.

Son of John and Edwina,Winter was born in Leland, Mississippi, but the family moved to Beaumont, Texas, while he was still an infant. Both Johnny and his younger brother Edgar were born with albinism. The pair began playing music before they went to school, Johnny initially trying the clarinet before switching to the ukulele and guitar while Edgar played keyboards. In 1959 the Winter Brothers, already known from local talent and TV shows, cut the singles School Day Blues and You Know I Love You for the Houston label Dart Records. In 1962 Johnny formed Johnny and the Jammers, with Edgar on keyboards. In the early 60s Johnny recorded numerous singles for such local labels as Frolic, Diamond and Goldband, and scored a local hit with Eternally, distributed by Atlantic. Between 1965 and 1967 he played regularly across the deep south with Black Plague (featuring Edgar) and his own band It and Them (also known as The Crystaliers). In 1966 Johnny hit the Billboard Hot 100 with a version of Harlem Shuffle, which he recorded with the Traits.

Stony Plain Records Reissues Tiger in Your Tank – Monkeyjunk

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Stony Plain Records announces a July 29 release date for Tiger in Your Tank, a reissue with two bonus tracks of the first album from multi-award winning Ottawa-based group, MonkeyJunk. Originally released in 2009 on the band’s own Beefy label imprint, Tiger in Your Tank went on to capture the blues world’s imagination, kick-starting the band’s international career and winning both the Blues Music Award as “Best Artist Debut” and the Canadian Indie Award for “Blues Album of the Year.”

The reissue version of Tiger in Your Tank has been remasteredand includes two new tracks especially recorded for it: “Lucky One” and “Pueblo,” both written by MonkeyJunk band members Steve Marriner, Tony D and Matt Sobb. MonkeyJunk is Canada’s most-acclaimed blues/roots music band and the trio tours regularly throughout Canada and at major festivals in North America and Europe.

Tiger in Your Tank follows last year’s critically-acclaimed CD, All Frequencies, and their 2011 label debut, To Behold, both of which garnered rave reviews and extensive radio airplay around the world. Comprised of Steve Marriner (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, baritone guitar), Tony D (lead guitar, background vocals) and Matt Sobb (drums, percussion, background vocals), MonkeyJunk plays a mix of swamp blues and funky roots rock ‘n’ roll. For the uninitiated, the band takes its name from a chance remark by legendary bluesman Son House: “I’m talkin’ ‘bout the blues. I ain’t talkin’ about monkey junk.”

Budweiser New Music Fest Barrie 2014

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Festival headliner Classified is set to perform live at Heritage Park on Saturday July 19th, with July Talk, One Bad Son, illScarlett, Indian Handcrafts, Peter Jackson and Golden Gate Graves as part of the Budweiser New Music Fest Barrie 2014, powered by Mady.

The 7th annual New Music Fest Barrie, will host over 40 live regional and national acts of various genres performing at multiple live music venues. Participating venues will each host three-four established and developing touring artists, collectively sharing multiple festival stages.  Festival venues include Heritage Park, The Fox, The Mansion Nightclub, Wild Wing Downtown, The British Arms & Sticky Fingers.

Limited Advance Tickets to the Saturday July 19th Headliner Concert featuring Classified, July Talk, One Bad Son, illScarlett and others are available at Tropical North Surf Shop downtown Barrie or online at   Interested attendees should note that last years’ headliner concert at Heritage Park had sold out and Classified’s last stop in Barrie (2013) had also sold out.

Festival Headliner Concert  
Artists: Classified, July Talk, One Bad Son, illScarlett, Indian Handcrafts, Peter Jackson and Golden Gate Graves.
Date: Saturday July 19, 2014
Event: All Ages/Licensed  
Venue: Heritage Park, Barrie, ON

Michael Williams Receives Harbourfront Legacy Award

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario presented Legacy Awards on June 27 & June 19, 2014 to artists for their outstanding contribution to music in Canada and around the world.

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Harbourfront Centre recognized individuals who embody the idea of Legacy. Harbourfront Centre presented Legacy Awards to two of the original members of the Sugarhill Gang, Wonder Mike & Master Gee, MuchMusic’s Michael Williams, Maestro Fresh Wes, saxophonist Jim Galloway and folk-hero Gordon Lightfoot.

On Friday June 27th, Michael Williams was given a Legacy Award at the Studio Theatre, a much deserved accolade for his devotion and love of music.

Michael Williams is a Canadian television personality who may be best known for his work as a VJ at MuchMusic from 1984 to 1993. Born in Cleveland, Ohio,Williams moved to Montreal in the 70's to attend the Communications Arts School at Loyola (now Concordia University). Williams was part of MuchMusic's core opening team of VJ's alongside J.D. (John) Roberts, Erica Ehm and Christopher Ward At MuchMusic, Williams hosted various shows including Soul in the City, RapCity, Electric Circus, Pepsi Power Hour and The NewMusic.

Pink Floyd’s First Album in 20 Years

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Rock legends Pink Floyd are releasing their first album in two decades years this fall.

David Gilmour, the band's guitarist and singer, says the band plans to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the band's last album, ‘The Division Bell’, with a deluxe re-issue and  also plans to release some new music.

Author Polly Samson, Gilmour’s wife made  the news public on her Twitter page last week saying  "Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called ‘The Endless River’. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright's swansong and very beautiful."  Rick Wright was Pink Floyd's keyboard player who died in 2008 of an undisclosed form of cancer at age 65.

Pink  Floyd touring  singer Durga McBroom-Hudson continued the leak on his  Facebook .page "The recording did start during the Division Bell sessions (and yes, it was the side project originally titled 'The Big Spliff' ‘that Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason spoke about. Which is why there are Richard Wright tracks on it. But David and Nick have gone in and done a lot more since then," she wrote last week. "It was originally to be a completely instrumental recording, but I came in last December and sang on a few tracks. David then expanded on my backing vocals and has done a lead on at least one of them."

btw-Starring Jane Bunnett, Emilia, Beautiful Nothing,Andria Simone, LIRA. The Jessica Stuart Few, Kathleen Edwards, Constantines

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Beautiful Nothing

Toronto-based Andria Simone & Those Guys are on a major roll. They closed out June with a trip to Cognac, France to pick up an award as winner of the Hennessy artistry talent quest. During the week in France they opened for major European star Ben L’Oncle Soul and Monophonique as well as two or three other concerts, where they appeared on the same bills as Robert Plant, Taj Mahal, Lily Allen, Hiromi, Steven Seagal and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne. Back in Toronto from Paris July 5 Andria and Those Guys will be met by two cars to drive them up to Jazz On The Mountain At Blue Mountain where they’ll open for The Commodores that evening.  July 9 finds the band in NYC to play the prestigious Rockwood Music Hall.

Back in the T.Dot, on July 19,it’s the main stage for the Beaches International Jazz Festival in Toronto’s East end. Come August 21 Andria Simone & Those Guys return to 3030 on Dundas Street West where they packed the room on their last show there, April 17. There won’t likely be many added summer dates , as the band have begun work on their as yet untitled sophomore album.

Alt-pop comers Beautiful Nothing will launch second single and video "Finer Things" any day now. The band is also set to play Festival of Friends in Hamilton on August 9th, with a string of live dates to follow.

Canada’s Billy Misener Loses Battle With Illness

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

After a long and brave fight, Bill Misener, beloved husband of Patti Jean (Seman-Colvin), passed away on June 26, 2014. The son of Roy and Marjorie (Marr) Misener, Bill was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

A multi-talented professional singer, composer, arranger, record producer and voice-over actor, Bill had five solo albums and numerous albums as part of the Laurie Bower Singers to his credit. He was a featured soloist and contributor to the prestigious "In the Dawning - A History of Canada" project.

His voice can be heard backing up Gordon Lightfoot, Alice Cooper, Ann Murray, Keith Hampshire, Christopher Plummer, Roger Whittaker and a host of others. Over 50 Misener compositions have been recorded and released around the world. As a voice-over actor, he is best known as the voice of Folgers Coffee from 1985-1998, and was featured on commercials for Norelco, L'Eggs, Red Lobster and Coca-Cola, among others.

Bill was deeply devoted to his Lakota Sioux family in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and to his Lakota Ogna, walking his road in a sacred manner and giving counsel and compassion to all those who came to him. Bill was blessed with many wonderful friends.

During his years in Warwick and Mt. Hope, Bill contributed his beautiful words, music and voice to many compositions honoring those for whom he felt enormous love and respect: "The Veteran's Waltz", "They Were Golden", "Raymond Hose Company", "As A Tree" and the album "Locally Grown".

Bobby Womack Soul Singer Legend Dead at 70

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack has passed away at the age of 70. Bobby Womack was born on March 4th, 1944 to Friendly Womack and Naomi Womack, and grew up in the Cleveland slums, so poor that the family would fish pig snouts out of the local supermarket's trash. "The neighborhood was so ghetto that we didn't bother the rats and they didn't bother us," he said. "They walked past and hollered, 'How you doin', man?'" He was the third of five sons: Bobby had to share a bed with his brothers, Friendly Jr., Curtis, Harry and Cecil.

An active recording artist since the early 1960s, when he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group the Valentinos and as Sam Cooke's backing guitarist, Womack's career spanned more than 50 years and spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country.

Roseanne Talking Cash to the House

Submitted by Don Graham

Roseanne Cash, the daughter of the legendary Man in Black Johnny Cash, did her family name proud last week. And although she does so consistently through her songs and recordings, this time she did it on a different kind of stage. Ms Cash was in Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress regarding the issue of illegal music downloading and music licensing.

The songstress, who is appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, shared her concerns along with the Americana Music Association’s executive director, Jed Hilly.
Cash issued a statement prior to the hearings saying “I am honored to have been asked by the Americana Music Association to represent musicians, songwriters and recording artists in these hearings. As a singer-songwriter who has been in the music business for 35 years, I look forward to sharing with Washington leaders some of the deep concerns all musicians share in the new digital economy. Creative people deserve fair compensation when their work is used by others.”

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