News

Loreena McKennitt Inducted into Hall of Fame

WCMAs 2009 wraps in Brandon, Manitoba

By Karen Bliss

BRANDON, MB – “Here’s to the music and here’s to the muse,” said Loreena McKennitt upon accepting her induction into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Sunday night (Sept. 20), at Centennial Auditorium as part of the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards in Brandon, MB.

The world music singer-harpist-pianist, whose recordings have sold more than 14 million albums worldwide, said she attributed her success to a “collective effort.” The native of Morden, MB, long based in Stratford, ON., was also the keynote interview the day before at the WCMA Industry Awards brunch with noted publicist Richard Flohil.

MARY TRAVERS

Mary Travers

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

One-third of the hugely popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has passed away.

The band's publicist, Heather Lylis, says Travers died at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut on Wednesday September 16, 2009.  Travers was 72 and had battled leukemia for several years. Travers joined forces with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey in the early 1960s.The trio mingled their music with liberal politics, both onstage and off. Their version of "If I Had a Hammer" became an anthem for racial equality. Other hits included "Lemon Tree," "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Puff (The Magic Dragon.)".

LARRY KNECHTEL DEAD AT 69

On Thursday, August 20th 2009, Larry Knechtel passed away at the age of 69, the result of an apparent undetermined illness.  Apart from being a brilliant musician, Larry was loved by many for his character – honest, humble, hard-working, and charismatic.  He was a loving and devoted father and husband.  Larry preferred a simple rural lifestyle and valued the quality of life.  Those close to him knew Larry as a student of western lore and history, an outdoorsman, a farmer, and a good neighbor. 

CHUCK AZZARELLO – RADIO WHIZ KID – GONE AT AGE 60

Chuck Azzarello

AUGUST 28, 2009

It is with heavy hearts we inform you that Chuck Azzarello has passed away. Chuck Azzarello was one of “us” – a radio industry guy who helped mold the way sounds would develop in Canada. It is not often we write from a personal point of view but this one is close to the heart and Chuck Azzarello deserves the accolades.

Azzarello had a colourful  career, and those who worked closely with him knew he could be passionate and aggressive in what he wanted the station to become once he had figured out the critical path.

JOHN CARTER

John Carter

AUGUST 25, 2009

Neil Young - There's Something Happening

Neil Young

by Sandy Graham

“When I was young and on my own” (lyrics from "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" - "After the Goldrush")

Neil (Percival) Young was born in Toronto on November 12, 1945.Young first became interested in music in 1958 when his father, renowned sports columnist Scott Young, bought him a ukulele for Christmas. Later, when his parents separated, Neil moved to Winnipeg with his mother where he became interested in learning to play the banjo and eventually the guitar. At Kelvin High in the early 1960s he played in a group called The Squires. In the fall of 1962, Young dropped out of school to write songs and play music as a full-time career.

Les Paul, June 19 1915 - August 13 2009

Les Paul

AUGUST 14, 2009

Legendary guitarist Les Paul (born Lester William Polfuss) passed away in White Plains, New York at the age of 94.

John 'Marmaduke" Dawson - New Riders of the Purple Sage

John "Marmaduke" Dawson, who formed the New Riders of the Purple Sage with Jerry Garcia in 1969 and passed away on Wednesday after a long bout with stomach cancer. He was 64. The original New Riders of the Purple Sage consisted of Dawson, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and David Nelson. Garcia player pedal steel guitar.

After opening for the Dead in 1969 and 1970, Buddy Cage, Dave Tolbert and Spencer Dryden gradually replaced the Dead members, and NRPS took off on their own. Their self-titled debut with the sagauro cactus on the cover is among the greatest country-rock albums ever. All ten songs - from "I Don't Know You" to "Louisiana Lady" - are classics.

New Riders of the Purple Sage were part of the successful years of Americana music during the 1970's.

Rockabilly Pioneer Billy Lee Riley Dead at 75

Billy Lee Riley

His Recordings of “Flying Saucers Rock and Roll” and “Red Hot” Helped Define the Genre

AUGUST 6, 2009

By Calvin Gilbert

Rockabilly pioneer Billy Lee Riley, a key figure at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., died Sunday (Aug. 2) in Jonesboro, Ark., at age 75 following a lengthy illness. He’s best known for his 1957 single, “Flying Saucers Rock and Roll,” and its follow-up “Red Hot.”

Although Riley never attained the mainstream success achieved by several of his contemporaries at Sam Phillips’ legendary record label, he was a major at Sun alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and others.

Gary Charles Quinn (1954-2009)

Gary Quinn

JULY 29, 2009

Peacefully in Toronto on April 15 2009. Dear son of Audrey & Austin Quinn, formally of Liverpool, England.

Gary will be sadly missed by his family & friends.

Rock on Gary !

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