Dan Aykroyd Guest Of Honour At St. Lawrence International Film Festival Opening Gala

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The St. Lawrence International Film Festival, taking place October 22-25, 2015, will kick off its inaugural Opening Gala with the 35thAnniversary screening of the American musical comedy classic “The Blues Brothers”featuring the film’s co-creator and star Dan Aykroyd as the Festival’s Honored Guest.

Mr. Aykroyd will introduce the film and participate in a Q &A. The Screening and reception, benefiting the RCMP Foundation, will be held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, QC on October 22, 2015 at 7 Pm. A red-carpet arrival at 6 Pm will precede the screening. To add to the festivities, Mr. Aykroyd is providing the Gala with his own award-winning Crystal Head Vodka.

“Dan Aykroyd’s contributions to film and television couldn’t be more in line with the boundary-smashing DNA of this festival,” remarked Festival Executive Director and Founder Adam Paul.

“We’ve chosen the theme ‘Beyond Borders’ to highlight the kind of unexpected and inspired body of work Mr. Aykroyd has demonstrated throughout his storied career. To have the opportunity to celebrate ‘The Blues Brothers’ anniversary is itself the perfect way to open this new event. To celebrate it with Mr. Aykroyd in attendance and as a benefit for the good work of the RCMP Foundation is a true honor for us.”

Steve’s Music Store Celebrates 50 Years with the Country Corner

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Submitted by Don Graham

This year, 2015, Steve’s Music Store celebrates 50 years of servicing musicians with everything from picks and strings and reeds to guitars, keyboards and P.A. systems.

In fact as Steve said “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” Steve Kirman opened his first store in Montreal on May 15, 1965, in a strip of pawn shops in a sketchy part of town. If my memory serves me right the Old Bowery Mission was kitty corner to the store. I bought my first “real” guitar at Steve’s, the year it opened. 1965. Alessia CohleAlessia CohleIt was a Gibson J45 and it sold for $275, case included. From then on I shopped exclusively at Steve’s, in fact I felt guilty if I bought anything at another music store, even on the road. Steve opened his Toronto store in 1977 and it too is a destination for musicians of all ages and genres.

And now 50 years later, Steve’s store (Steve passed away in 2012) is carrying on the tradition of being a musician friendly establishment hosting an event called Steve’s Country Corner, showcasing up and coming young country artists with live performances and a live radio feed on CIUT.

Made Them Lions The Road is Paved with Road Gold!

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Montreal band Made Them Lions (M.T.L.) is the latest indie act to earn CIMA’s Road Gold certification. The band accepted their Road Gold plaques in person at CIMA’s Annual General Meeting last week, and performed for the CIMA members, colleagues, and the broader music industry in attendance.
Road Gold is awarded to Canadian artists who have achieved a high-level of success on Canadian tours through the past twelve months. Recognizing how difficult it is to ‘make it’ on the road as a touring band in this country, Road Gold provides a new metric for success that paints a more complete picture of an artists’ career, dedication and drive.

The past twelve months have been quite a whirlwind for Made Them Lions. The band has completed two cross-Canadian tours in the past year, sharing the stage with acts like Hedley, Our Lady Peace and more! Beyond successful touring, Made Them Lions’ new single “Tidal Wave” is charting in the Top 5 of the Top Anglo Radio Chart in Quebec, while their music video for “Red Cups” maintained the #1 spot on MusiquePlus for several weeks.

“We are very excited to present the latest Road Gold certification to Made Them Lions,” says CIMA President Stuart Johnston. “They’re a fantastic example of a band on the rise, and they’ve done it the ‘hard’ way, through touring across Canada and building their fanbase ticket by ticket.”

Legendary Artist Billy Joe Royal Dies in His Sleep

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Four decades of an impressively resilient career, Billy Joe Royal’s soul-drenched voice was stilled on October 6, 2015, passing away in his sleep in his North Carolina home.

Billy Joe Royal got his big break when he was performing in Savannah, Georgia. His roommate, Joe South, asked him to record a demo of a song he’d written. Billy Joe did so well that he got a record deal with Columbia. With a string of hits in the pop world, he established himself with “Down In The Boondocks,” “I Knew You When” and “Cherry Hill Park”, establishing himself on the charts in the 1960’s.

Even as a kid, he knew music was central to his personality. Like many of his peers, he recognized that it could also be his source of income after he saw Elvis Presley—another guy who mixed, pop, country and R&B—on The Tommy Dorsey Show.  “When he made it so big,” Royal reflects, “all us Southern boys thought maybe we had a shot, too.” Elvis and Royal became friends when both played Las Vegas during the ‘70s.

After his initial success, he continued to make music signed to a number of smaller labels before finally settling in Nashville with Atlantic Records. In the 1980s he still saw success in the US Country chart, with songs like “Tell It Like It Is”and “Till I Can't Take It Anymore”.

Billy Joe Royal was honoured by the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1988, meaning he now sits alongside stars like Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Otis Reading and James Brown.

At press time no funeral plans have been announced yet.

Frankie Ford, who sang 'Sea Cruise,' Dies at Age 76

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Courtesy of Associated Press

Frankie Ford, a rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues singer whose 1959 hit "Sea Cruise" brought him international fame when he was 19, is dead at the age of 76.

Ford died Monday of natural causes, according to the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, coroner's office.
"He was a great guy. He had the best voice in rock and roll," said Mike Shepherd, a friend of Ford's and head of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, which inducted Ford in 2010.

In addition to "Sea Cruise," Billboard magazine's No. 14 overall and No. 11 in rhythm and blues in 1959, Ford's hits included "Roberta," ''Time after Time" and "You Talk Too Much." His version of "You Talk Too Much" aired while Joe Jones' recordings of the song were tied up in court. Jones' recording eventually reached No. 3, while none of Ford's after "Sea Cruise" made it higher than 72, the mark set by "Seventeen" in 1961.

Shepherd said Ford had been ill for some time, and had been unable to walk since he was hit by a car in Memphis several years ago.

Ford had sung since childhood. His adopted parents, Vincent and Anna Guzzo of Gretna, brought him to New York when he was five to perform on the "Ted Mack Amateur Hour." His stage name was suggested, in a nod to hot rods, by Ace Records owner Johnny Vincent, according to his biography on the hall of fame website.

Warner And Universal Win Anti-Piracy Order Against ‘Russia’s Facebook’

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Courtesy of Music Business Worldwide

Universal and Warner have scored a significant legal ruling against Russian site vKontakte (VK), following an 18-month battle in the courts. VK, the second largest social network in Europe, has become known as ‘Russia’s Facebook’.

Unlike Mark Zuckerberg’s creation, however, the majority of its 88m Russian users are understood to have used the site to illegally share copyrighted material. In fact, VK is now recognised as holding the biggest library of illegal online music in the world – even bigger than The Pirate Bay.

The major labels brought copyright infringement charges against VK in the Russian courts in April 2014.

Sony Music Entertainment settled with the platform in July – an agreement believed to be contingent on VK’s promise to begin monetising its content. That left WMG and UMG fighting in the courts.

The best result for both parties, MBW understands, would have been a damages order – forcing VK to cough up compensation for the mass piracy it has enabled since launching in 2006. “THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT DECISION FOR THE RUSSIAN MUSIC MARKET AND FOR MUSIC CREATORS IN RUSSIA.” Frances Moore, IFPI

The duo didn’t quite earn that ruling, but they came close: the Saint Petersburg & Leningradsky Region Arbitration Court ruled on Monday that VK will now have to legally deploy blocking technology to stop copyright-infringing uploads of the two majors’ catalogue.

Michael Burgess, Canadian Les Misérables star, Dead at 70

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Courtesy of CBC News

Michael Burgess died peacefully Monday, September 28, 2015 in a Toronto hospice, surrounded by his family, according to family friend Bruce Bowser. The 70-year-old musical theatre star had struggled with basal cell carcinoma for a number of years.

Burgess played the role of Jean Valjean in more than 1,000 performances of Les Misérables at the historic Royal Alex and on tour across Canada during the 1980s. He also appeared in the production's 10th-anniversary concert at Royal Albert Hall in London. "Michael created the role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, which was one of the first international blockbusters to have its own production in Canada with a local cast, instead of a touring version. He was magnificent in the role and led the all-Canadian cast to great heights," theatre mogul David Mirvish, head of Mirvish Productions, said in a statement Monday night.

Burgess was "that kind of performer that could walk the line between opera and musical theatre and connect with an audience," Daphne Burt, manager of artistic planning with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, told CBC News on Tuesday."You look out at a darkened concert hall and you can't see faces, but it still felt like he was looking straight into people's eyes." The NAC in Ottawa has lowered its flag to half-mast to honour Burgess.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Announces the 2015 Inductees

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On September 29, 2015 Canada’s Walk of Fame, along with Shaw Media, announced the names of the 2015 inductees, bringing the total number inducted to date to 161. One of Canada’s premier actors and a newly announced inductee, Wendy Crewson, was present for the announcement at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Also announced this week, Jason Priestley will be returning to host the 2015 Canada’s Walk of Fame Broadcast Show.

The 2015 Canada’s Walk of Fame inductees include:
Michael Bublé, Musician
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, Hockey Broadcasters, Coach’s Corner
Wendy Crewson, Actor
Lorne Greene, Actor (Cineplex Legends Inductee)
Lawrence Hill, Author
Silken Laumann, Athlete

“Our mission at Canada’s Walk of Fame is simple – to celebrate Canadian excellence, and to inspire the next generation,” said Melanie Hurley, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame. “This year’s inductees truly represent this mission, and the legacy they are creating for Canada is something we should all be proud of.” Canada’s Walk of Fame is awarding Lorne Greene the 2015 Cineplex Legends Inductee, sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment, to honour the late Canadian actor’s long and respected career. Each year, the Cineplex Legends Inductee is given posthumously to a Canadian pioneer in film and television, music, sports, arts or innovation. Cineplex Entertainment is proud to sponsor the Legends Inductee and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Buffy Sainte-Marie wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: Buffy Sainte Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

On Monday, September 21, 2015 Buffy Sainte-Marie’s album Power in the Blood has won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, an award that celebrates the Canadian album with the most “artistic merit” each year without regard for genre, sales or label. The coveted award was presented at a gala in Toronto, and has a value of  $50,000.

Power in the Blood has Buffy Sainte-Marie showing her versatility recording songs of diversified genres from blues to rockabilly, and is considered to be the most activist generated album to win in Polaris history, featuring songs like The Uranium War and a version of UB40’s Sing Our Own Song, and Alabama 3’s Power in the Blood.

“Ever since the sixties I’ve been making diverse albums, and every single album has had big love songs, which has managed to support me, like Up Where We Belong,” she said in an interview Monday night. “That’s allowed me to remain an artist. But on every album there’s been songs that have some kind of social meaning to them. I don’t hold back form trying to craft a song that not only touches people but also might expand their horizons,” she continued, “and give them some support for sticking up for what needs to be protected in their own communities.”

BTW-Starring Taylor Knox, Alabama Shakes, Alejandra Ribera, Fergus Hambleton, Whitney Rose, Chris Staig, Sin City Boys

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Taylor Knox

This one has been some time coming. Taylor Knox has contributed to the performances of some of Canada's most well respected artists. Everyone from Rich Aucoin to Jason Collett has invited Knox and his multi-instrumental talents to the studio or stage. Now he steps out from the shadows with debut EP Lines and will celebrate the release with a very special show April 23 at The Horseshoe Tavern. As would be expected of a dude who's a thang in the music community, praise for the product's been coming from all corners. Most frequent factors cited are the crunchy guitars, smooth harmonies, and tales of tragic young love currently in power pop vogue. That said, in six brisk tracks clocking in close on the three minute mark, Knox shows a winning hand with a meld of the familiar and the unique. Expect the gig at the 'Shoe to be stuffed with musos.

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