Randy Lennox Appointed President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On August 25 2015 Bell Media President Mary Ann Turcke announced today the appointment of Randy Lennox to the newly created position of President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media, effective immediately.

A veteran entertainment executive with more than 25 years of industry experience, Lennox will oversee all of Bell Media’s English independent and in-house entertainment productions for conventional, specialty, pay television, and digital media, bringing the company’s production teams together under one leader. Lennox will also oversee all English and French radio and local television broadcasting and their associated digital assets. Reporting directly to Mary Ann Turcke, Lennox becomes a member of Bell Media’s Senior Leadership Team.

Randy Lennox is the leading executive in the Canadian music industry. While the business has endured a myriad of technological and marketplace challenges, he has consistently grown market share and revenue through talent acquisition and strategic alliances. As President and CEO of Universal Music, the country’s leading music company, he was responsible for more than 50% of domestic and international recording artists, who in total have won 178 JUNO Awards. Some of the Canadian talent he has signed or helped elevate to the international stage include Justin Bieber, Shania Twain, Drake, Hedley, Diana Krall, Nickelback, The Tenors, The Tragically Hip, as well as Canada’s newest breakout star, The Weeknd, among others.

Jeffrey Remedios Named President And Ceo Of Universal Music Canada

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On August 25th 2015 Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, announced today that Jeffrey Remedios has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Canada, effective September 21.

Remedios, co-founder of Arts & Crafts, Canada’s premiere independent music company, will succeed Randy Lennox, who has been appointed President of Entertainment Production and Broadcasting at Bell Media, Canada’s largest television, radio and digital media company.

“I want to thank Randy for transforming our Canadian company into the market leader both commercially and creatively,” Grainge said. “He will be missed at UMG, and I’m confident he will achieve great things in his new role. I congratulate Jeffrey on his appointment. We are fortunate to have found an executive with his creative instincts and proven entrepreneurial track record to lead Universal Music Canada.”

Lennox said, “It has been a pleasure working with Lucian and his executive team in building Universal Music Canada into the home for Canadian artists who have made an impact around the world. Jeffrey is a talented executive who represents continued great leadership at Universal Music Canada. This company has been my home for many years and I leave with the confidence that it’s in excellent hands, with a senior executive team who will lead the business into a bright future.”

James Barker Band Wins Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The James Barker band took top prize at the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase competition during this past weekend’s music festival. Eight finalists from across Ontario competed on the Front Porch Stage, Saturday, August 8, 2015.

The announcement took place on the main stage just prior to Florida Georgia Lines performance. The prize package includes opening for Thomas Rhett on the main stage, a release from Universal Music Canada, a week in Nashville, TN and a Gibson guitar.

“The guys had an amazing experience performing in front of such a massive audience. We are very grateful to our fans who voted for us online and to those who came out to watch us perform live at Boots and Hearts,” says James Barker.

In May the band was also selected to perform at the Country Music Association of Ontario New Faces Going Places Showcase with Michelle Wright held in Markham.

James Barker and his band are a very tight knit group of accomplished musicians from The City of Kawartha Lakes, who play consistently throughout Ontario at a host of bars, fairs, festivals and other reputable events.

His love of music started at age 4 with his first instrument – the fiddle. Playing at churches and fall fairs at such a young age made James comfortable on the stage and prompted his decision that this is where he is meant be. At age 12 James picked up the guitar and knew it held his future.

Memories of Panamania


Submitted by Lee Fraser
Photo: Quique Escamilla at Nathan Phillips Square Main Stage

The stages are torn down, the sound equipment returned and the banners rolled up.  Panamania inhabited our city for seven weeks and it was seven weeks we will never forget.  How often do you see Bay Street bankers and homeless people enjoying the same show?  Or complete strangers smiling and laughing together, helping each other with directions and recommendations.  That is what Panamania nurtured – a togetherness of all people, all walks of life, in a wonderful collective feeling of how great this city can be.  Word on the street is that Panamania was a huge success and made this a summer to remember for decades to come.  People will be reflecting on the summer of the PanAm Games in Toronto the way that people get nostalgic about Expo 67 in Montreal.

Canadian Indie Blue Sapphire Music Under New Ownership

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Othniel Jules

The full-service independent Canadian owned independent label, Blue Sapphire Music, founded in 2011 by Jeff Burns, has been sold to Montreal-based industry entrepreneurs, Othniel Jules, founder of up and coming social media entertainment website launching in 2016, and New York business executive Sase Persaud.

Othniel Jules is an American and Canadian entertainment executive entrepreneur, with an eclectic, out-of-this-world passion for music. As an accomplished musician, producer, songwriter, marketing specialist, TV producer and concert promoter of many years, Mr Jules has the experience, knowledge and understanding of what it takes – to develop an artist from the creative inception and early studio production, to the final headlining of a sold out world tour.

In the mid ‘90s, Mr Jules co-founded Nexworld Entertainment Group and the Future Stars Showcase – one of the biggest talent showcase in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) long before TV shows such as American Idol were introduced to the U.S market.

Bill Anderson and His Grammer Guitar - Together Again

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Submitted by Don Graham

In the mid ‘60’s Billy Grammer was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, was on radio and made television appearances, as well as working sessions in the studio. He dreamed of building the perfect flat top guitar, built to his specs and one that would have all the best features of his favorite acoustic guitars, and be made out of the finest woods he could find.

By early 1965, Grammer guitars were showing up in stores for public consumption and selling for $395 retail. That was a fairly high price, I bought a brand new Gibson J50 in 1965 for $275, with a case, to give you point of reference.

In the 1960’s Bill Anderson was the proud owner of a Billy Grammer guitar, a flat top six string. The Grammer really stood out and on  the country music shows on television back in the late 60's, you would see Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, and many of the Hee Haw gang playing a Grammer guitar. Even Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones had one. Webb Pierce had a maple blue burst with his name inlayed on the fret board. Roy Acuff, Lester Flatt, Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, the list reads on and on. A lot of Country Music stars were playing the Grammer guitar. And so was Whispering Bill Anderson who has experienced all the fame that has come with being a country music icon for the past 50 years, but for most of that time he's been without one of his prized guitars.” I haven’t seen that guitar since probably 1965. I didn’t even remember what happened to it. I may have lent it to a museum? I don’t remember.”

Lynn Anderson Heading To Her Rose Garden

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Submitted by Don Graham

Country legend, Lynn Anderson, has passed away in Nashville Tennessee less than two months shy of her 68th birthday.

The Grammy-winning performer, whose 1970 single, "Rose Garden," was a country and pop hit worldwide, died after suffering a heart attack. Anderson had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia after returning from a trip to Italy.

She was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota on September 26th, 1947, to songwriters Casey and Liz Anderson. Liz Anderson was a recording artist and a songwriter, whose best known for writing  Merle Haggard's "I Am a Lonesome Fugitive" and "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers.

Anderson's first single was released in 1966, when she was just 19 years old.It was a duet with Jerry Lane titled “For Better or for Worse.” Although it failed to chart, her next single “Ride, Ride, Ride”, made it onto  the country charts, and the follow-up “If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)”, written by her mother, made it into the Top 5.

Anderson was a regular on the popular Lawrence Welk Show in the late ‘60s, which gave her exposure to a national audience. It was said that Lynn Anderson helped  broaden  the boundaries of country music because there wasn't a lot of country music to be found on network television at that time.

Lynn married record producer and songwriter Glenn Sutton in 1968 and he produced a few of her hit songs as well as writing several including“You're My Man” and “Keep Me In Mind.” The couple would divorce in 1977.

Stony Plain Records Signs Colin Linden & Will Release His Latest CD, Rich in Love, on September 25

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces the signing of acclaimed eight-time Juno Award-winning singer/guitarist Colin Linden and the September 25 release date for his latest CD, Rich in Love. The new CD marks a return to the same label that released Colin’s first studio album, The Immortals, in 1986, and also represents his first new studio recording since From the Water in 2009. Colin Linden’s last album was a live recording released in 2011. To stream an exclusive preview of the song, “No More Cheap Wine,” click here:

Sporting a beautiful cover designed by Jim Sherraden of Nashville’s famed Hatch Show Print, Rich in Love was produced, recorded and performed by Colin Linden (guitars, vocals, ukuleles and mandolins) and his band, affectionately known as The Rotting Matadors: John Dymond on bass and Gary Craig on drums. Special guests include multiple Blues Music Award-winner and six-time Grammy nominee Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, legendary keyboardist Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan), Amy Helm (Levon Helm, Ollabelle) on harmony vocals and organist Tim Lauer (Rodney Crowell, Keb’ Mo’, Allison Moorer, Lady Antebellum).

Bobbi Kristina Brown Daughter of Whitney Houston Gone at 22

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of late music legend Whitney Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown passed away on July 26, 2015 at the age of 22. She had been recently been in the Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, where her family gathered to say their last goodbyes.

"She is finally at peace in the arms of God," the Houston family said in statement to ET. "We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months."

Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive in her bathtub of apparent drug related issues on January 31, 2015, eerily in similar circumstances to her mother Whitney Houston. She was taken to North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, Georgia, where she was put on a ventilator to assist her breathing. Later the decision was made to induce a medical coma at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital.

On June 24, nearly two months later, she was moved to a rehabilitation center, where she remained until June 24 until she was move to the Peachtree Christian Hospice.
"Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s condition has continued to deteriorate," Pat Houston gave a statement that day. "We thank everyone for their support and prayers. She is in God's hands now."

Sinners Choir

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Submitted by Lee Fraser

Three men, three generations, three different vocal styles. The comfortable rhythm draws you in, the lyrics intrigue you and the interaction keeps you hooked.

Sinners Choir is the trio formed by Terry Wilkins, Adam Warner and Adam Beer-Colacino, each with their own fascinating story, each with their own mélange of gigs and bands.  Somehow, the stars aligned and these three talented gentleman have turned what was practically a hobby into a sought after act. Playing together just for fun between gigs and taking it easy from months on the road turned into a long-running residency at the Cameron, and now a sultry, summer show at The Rex, Saturdays from noon to 3 pm.

So who are these Sinners? Terry Wilkins landed in Canada a few decades ago and thanks to his contributions to bands like Big Sugar and Rough Trade, he is the only member of the Choir with his own Wikipedia page.  One of the kindest men you could ever meet, Terry has been playing bass all his life, evident in the ease with which he moves from genre to genre and the sheer pleasure on his face while playing. Adam Warner matches Terry’s expertise playing drums, having played with the likes of Jill Barber and Royal Wood.  He creates a full sound with a stripped down kit, transitioning from full out rock to subtle beats and nuances.  The youngster in the group, Adam Beer-Colacino, a native Torontonian, has become a bluesy rock guitarist in demand with several local bands.

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