Former Lou Reed, Foreigner And Downchild Keyboardist Michael Fonfara Passes on at 74

Fri Jan 15, 2021

Internationally renowned Canadian keyboard player, Michael Fonfara has died in a Toronto hospital on January 8, 2021, due to complications from his two-year battle with cancer. He was 74.

Born in Stevensville, ON, Canada in 1946, the former Lou Reed keyboardist/bandleader appeared on nine of Reed's albums between 1974 and 2005, including his highest charting US album (#10) Sally Can't Dance on RCA, as well as Rock and Roll Heart, Street Hassle, The Bells (which Fonfara executive produced) and Growing Up In Public that was co-written and co-produced by Fonfara for Clive Davis' Arista Records in 1980.

A supremely talented musician, Fonfara loved many different styles of music, performing on British-American Rock band Foreigner's iconic album 4, produced by Mutt Lange, including their Top 5 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Urgent". He also recorded with The Everly Brothers, Rough Trade, Rhinoceros, Electric Flag and was a current and 30-year plus member of Canadian blues legends Downchild, who are perhaps best known as the inspiration for Hollywood stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's hit film The Blues Brothers, until his untimely death.

Entertainment Music Group (EMG) Opens New Branch Division in British Columbia, Canada

Fri Jan 15, 2021

The Toronto-based, globally active music industry company has opened a new division of the diversified group and will be headed up by Jo-Anne Beharrell as Executive Director, a title she is currently holding for the Ontario-based offices.

Entertainment Music Group (EMG) has a history of over 14 years connecting with global partners when it originally launched at MIDEM in 2007, with the mandate of working with Canadian and International artists to further collaborate companies with the belief that music has no borders.

With the new expansion, Entertainment Music Group (EMG) will continue to focus on artist direction and create strategies on a short term basis but will now be launching different initiatives that will include special event creation and production, promotional and branding campaigns, import/export opportunities, grant writing as well as access to global experts who will be available for advice and consultation.

Linus Entertainment Acquires Borealis Records Catalog

Fri Jan 08, 2021

The Acclaimed Canadian folk label achieved success with Stan Rogers, Le Vent Du Nord, La Bottine Souriante, Michael Jerome Browne, Ron Hynes, The Fugitives, & Oliver Schroer among many others.

After 25 years of proudly putting out some of the best Canadian folk and roots music, the principles of Borealis Records - Grit Laskin and Bill Garrett - have announced that as of January 1, 2021 the Borealis catalogue will shift to the management of Linus Entertainment, a leading Canadian rights management company whose portfolio of labels includes True North Records, Stony Plain Records, The Children’s Group, and Solid Gold Records.

In a joint statement, Laskin and Garrett said of the transition, “We have partnered with Linus Entertainment for some 13 years in distribution and they have been our partners in the best sense.”

Cashbox Radio Welcomes Scott Walker as DJ Host with his Show Musical Milestones

Fri Jan 08, 2021

Cashbox Radio is excited to welcome iconic radio host Scott Walker to our team and his show Musical Milestones debuts debuts Saturday, January 16 @3-4pm EST and Sunday, January 17 @7-8pm EST.

“I have been building a database of musical anniversaries for about 25 years. I’m up to about 5,000 entries. The first show on Cashbox Radio will include the newest addition to the database: a story of two college friends who helped each other overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles that led to a #1 hit song”.

Scott Walker began sharing the stories behind the music on CBC Radio in the mid-90s. Along with his work as a CBC network news anchor, Scott has been a deejay in several cities across Canada, playing formats from the Big Bands to the Top 40. As an actor, he has appeared on stages across Canada in productions ranging from Shakespeare to Steinbeck to Sondheim. As a singer, he has recorded with many of the biggest names in Canadian jazz. He is the narrator of the Youtube classic, Spiders on Drugs [more than 50 million hits]. And he is the Executive Director of CSARN, the voice of Canada’s senior professional artists.

Country Star Misty Morgan Has Passed Away

Fri Jan 08, 2021

Misty Morgan of Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan fames has passed away at age 75 after a courageous battle with cancer. The was duo best known for their mega hit Tennessee Birdwalk which went to Number One on the country charts and  No. 23 on the pop charts. This was followed by another novelty hit in "Humphrey the Camel", at No. 5 country and No. 78 pop.

Tennessee Birdwalk was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group at the 13th Grammy Awards but lost to Johnny Cash and June Carter for ‘If I Were A Carpenter’.

June 20, 2014 we did a feature story on Jack and Misty and would like to offer it to you today as a tribute to a beautiful and talented artist.

God Speed Misty, you will be missed.

cashboxcanada.ca/features-music/jack-and-misty-still-doing-tennessee-birdwalk/1643

Harmonium Goes GOLD In Canada in Less Than 3 Weeks of New Album Release

Fri Dec 25, 2020

Released on December 3, the instrumental album Harmonium symphonique - Histoires sans paroles has just been certified gold record by Music Canada, a recognition that underscores the 40,000 copies sold. This result is all the more remarkable since the album is offered on a single platform, the Oziko store.

Histoires sans paroles, the first symphonic project from the world of Harmonium, brings together the complete works of the group adapted by Simon Leclerc and performed by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) under his direction. Totaling more than 140 minutes of music, Histoires sans paroles is a co-direction by Serge Fiori and Simon Leclerc, under the artistic direction of Nicolas Lemieux, president of GSI Musique. 

The double album is available exclusively at www.harmoniumsymphonique.com, in digital version or in two-CD or four-vinyl boxes (available as of February 2021), accompanied by a booklet illustrated with photos taken during the recording at the Maison symphonique.

Chad Stuart Passes On

Fri Dec 25, 2020

Chad Stuart, one half of the British Invasion duo Chad and Jeremy , passed away from pneumonia on December 20, 2020 just 10.days after his 79th birthday on December 10th.

The duo was a part of the British Wave of the 60s that included Gerry and The Pacemakers, Freddie and the Dreamers, The Searchers, The Tremeloes and their counterparts Peter and Gordon. All of these of course came storming through the door kicked wide open by The Beatles Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde were best known for such ’60s hits as “Yesterday’s Gone,” “A Summer Song” and “Willow Weep for Me.”

Watch “Summer Song” Chad and Jeremy here:

LyricFind Partners with Wixen Music Publishing, Inc.

Fri Dec 18, 2020

LyricFind, the world’s leader in lyric licensing solutions, is pleased to announce its worldwide partnership with Wixen Music Publishing, Inc., which represents over 2,000 songwriters and artists. Under the terms of this new global licensing agreement, Wixen’s catalog of lyrics will be made available to LyricFind customers.

“This agreement marks a milestone for LyricFind,” said Darryl Ballantyne, LyricFind co-founder and CEO. “We look forward to our new partnership with Randall, Sharon, and Andrew Wixen and their team at Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. and to helping them generate new revenue from licensed lyrics.”

LyricFind, the world leader in licensed lyrics solutions and data, has agreed to a partnership with music publishing giant Wixen Publishing. LyricFind will be the licensing partner for the over 2,000 artists/songwriters under the Wixen banner, which includes heavyweights such as Tom Petty and Rage Against the Machine.

The partnership will bring a much-needed revenue stream to Wixen’s roster, as the legal licensing of lyrics provides financial support and ensures that the Wixen roster’s lyrics are properly accounted for in the digital realm.

Mike Carr Releases Second Installment of Rock My World Canada: Canadian Blues Reference & Collectors Guide

Fri Dec 11, 2020

Author, archivist, and self-starting music historian Mike Carr continues his journey to document the impassioned works of Canadian musicians with this, the second release in his ongoing series — Rock My World Canada: Canadian Blues Reference & Collectors Guide — available now!

Featuring over 700+ artists and nearly 2,800 album covers, the book promises coverage of the likes of Kevin Mark, Jack DeKeyzer, Monkeyjunk, Ann Vriend, and more. Newly minted additions to the format include lists of blues festivals, societies, and record labels; there’s also an autograph page.

“It’s all about the music,” Carr considers. “I started this project as my personal commitment to help support Canadian musicians. No matter what genre you favour, we have a vast amount of talent in this country. The goal is for readers to discover something new.

“Just like a song can trigger certain memories, I found album covers could do the same,” he continues, marvelling. “I remember when I was younger, I could hardly contain my excitement when, after purchasing a new album, I could admire the artwork, review the liner notes, and check out the band credits.

MICAH BARNES Co-Hosts & Headlines LOFT CS’ 30th Annual Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert

Sat Dec 05, 2020

Thursday, December 10th
Pre-recorded from Koerner Hall — 7:30 - 8:30pm EST
Tickets

New Meaning to the Name: Jazz Master Micah Barnes Set to Co-Host & Headline
LOFT Community Services’ 30th Annual Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert — Virtual for 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing new meaning to Ontario-based LOFT Community Services’ annual Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert. The long-standing charity is set to mark its 30th season with a virtually streamed offering this Thursday, December 10th at 7:30pm EST.

Given the fast spread of COVID-19 through the province, LOFT has decided to move the concert online to focus on everyone’s safety and to bring a much needed holiday cheer to people’s homes.

There will be both familiar and new faces lighting up screens to delight audiences at home in the name of an outstanding cause: JUNO Award-nominated and chart-topping jazz master Micah Barnes is set to both co-host, headline, and serve as Artistic Director for the hour-long event.

Cashbox Radio December Top 20 Pick Hits

Fri Dec 04, 2020

Well we made it to December, and here is the last Top 20 Pick Hit Chart of the Year for 2020. Although we may be glad to see an end to this year the good part about artists being stuck at home is many of them were smart enough to use the time to release new product and some of it is brilliant.

Here is our latest take on the Top 20 Cashbox Pick Hit Chart – with our usual mandate in place putting iconic artists on with indie artists – something we are very proud of doing right here at Cashbox Radio.

A little history of where the name Cashbox came from - the name of Cashbox Magazine (originally two words – Cash Box) was named after the actual ‘cash box’ inside the jukeboxes of America. When customers put their money in and played for example - A1, the money dropped down into a specific spot in the cash box and this is how the original Cash Box Charts were derived from collecting that information.

BRIAN BANKS & ERICA EHM Team Up For New Children’s Series, Outta The Books

Fri Nov 20, 2020

Composer/musician/producer Brian Banks & Canadian author/playwright/journalist Erica Ehm (MuchMusic!) team up for new children’s multi-platform digital series, ‘Outta The Books’.

Each award-winning in their own right, American composer and producer Brian Banks and Canadian author, playwright and ex-MuchMusic VJ Erica Ehm have harnessed the power of music and story with the release of a new children’s series, Outta The Books — including Chapter 1: “A Wicked Competition”.

Check it out here:
Outta The Books: Chapter 1 - A Wicked Competition

Reimagining classic fairy tales in a modern, meaningful way, Outta The Books creates a fun and fresh musical take on long-loved fables by showcasing storylines from some unexpected characters — the “extras,” if you will.

And the winners are…CMA Awards 2020

Fri Nov 13, 2020

The 54th annual Country Music Association Awards were presented on Wednesday, country music's biggest prize. Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker hosted the show from the Music City Center in Nashville.

Miranda Lambert led nominations going into the event with seven, followed by Luke Combs with six. The show also featured performances by Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber, Keith Urban and Ashley McBryde. The coveted Album of the Year award went to Luke Combs and Entertainer of the Year was awarded to Eric Church.

Here is the complete list of winners.

New Artist of the Year
Jimmie Allen
Ingrid Andress
Gabby Barrett
Carly Pearce
MORGAN WALLEN *WINNER

Album of the Year
"Heartache Medication" -- Jon Pardi
"Never Will" -- Ashley McBryde
"Old Dominion" -- Old Dominion
"WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET" -- LUKE COMBS *WINNER
"Wildcard" -- Miranda Lambert

Cashbox Radio Top 20 Pick Hit Chart for November 2020

Fri Nov 06, 2020

As many of you know, I started my career in music, radio and retail, I was truly blessed to be one of the very first female Music Directors in Canadian history and I still thank the people in the business who had the foresight to see past the fact I was a woman, and was a person who was passionate about music.

That passion for music has never left me and heading into our 14th year of owning and operating Cashbox Canada, a magazine inspired by the legendary Cashbox Magazine, we are now working hard to bring back radio to where it used to be with our latest venture, Cashbox Radio.

A little history of where the name Cashbox came from - the name of Cashbox Magazine (originally two words – Cash Box) was named after the actual ‘cash box’ inside the jukeboxes of America. When customers put their money in and played for example - A1, the money dropped down into a specific spot in the cash box and this is how the original Cash Box Charts were derived from collecting that information.

Sonny Greenwich Biography “Of Stars and Strings” by Mark Miller

Fri Oct 30, 2020

Mark Miller celebrated Jazz photographer and writer just released a new book on my favorite guitarist Sonny Greenwich - “Of Stars and Strings”.

I first heard Sonny Greenwich in Loyola University at Radio Loyola in Montreal, on a Radio Canada International recording entitled “Sun Song”: The Music of Sonny Greenwich.

I was hooked by the unbridled beauty. Sonny Greenwich’s, 1994 release, “Hymn to the Earth”,  is my favorite record so far because it takes me to a beautifully spiritual place of  John Coltrane “ A love Supreme”,  Pharaoh Saunders “ Healing Song”,  “The Creator has a master plan” or Santana “Welcome “.All these artist touch you on a higher plane or attempt to take you there…

I immediately called Mark Miller for the book and to ask three questions.

CMAOntario Awards Show 2020

Fri Oct 23, 2020

Photo Credits: Fiona@Studio22Photography

The Country Music Association of Ontario held its 8th Annual Awards Show, despite the lockdown and restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in a safe and responsible way. Billed as the First Live Drive In Country Awards Show the event was held on October 4, 2020 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, London Ontario and despite a little rain early in the day, it was a music and entertainment filled event showcasing the incredible talent in Ontario Country Music.

Presented by Slaight Music, with support from Ontario Creates, the CMAOntario Awards acknowledge the talent and achievements of Ontario’s country music industry across 17 categories.

Hosted by the ever entertaining Jason McCoy and  featuring the amazing Western Swing Authority as host band  and Hall of Famer Wendell Ferguson.

Included were performances by Tim Hicks, James Barker Band, The Reklaws, Jade Eagleson, The Abrams, Eric Ethridge and Kalsey Kulyk, Genevieve Fisher, Kelsi Mayne, Les Rats De Swompe, Nicole Rayy and Ryan Langdon.

Dave Woods In The Country at The Moonshine Café

Fri Oct 16, 2020

Dave Woods has become an integral part of the country music scene in Canada in general and Ontario specifically over the last decade. From his podcast interviews to live stream shows to live events, Dave has provided both indie artists and major label acts a platform to get their music heard.  Dave’s passion for country music and live music is matched only by restaurant and performance venue owner John Marlatt of The Moonshine Café in Oakville, Ontario.

So when you combine the two, Dave with his live shows and John with the venue, it’s a perfect musical marriage. When Dave decide he wanted to feature singer/songwriters in the Nashville style of “in the round” or this case “in the row” he chose the name Stories Songs and Six Strings for the show and picked The Moonshine Café as the ideal location.

Iconic Legend Passes on - Helen Reddy Gone at 78

Thu Oct 01, 2020

Helen Reddy whose star shone brightly in the 1970s due largely to iconic feminist anthem “I Am Woman” has died at 78.

Reddy's children Traci and Jordan announced that the singer/actor died in Los Angeles, California with the following statement:

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles. She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”

Alt.Folkster Kylie Fox Pens Letter to a Friend Journeying into Motherhood in New Single, “Avocado”

Fri Sep 11, 2020

Alt-folk Canadiana artist Kylie Fox celebrates the launch of her newest single “Avocado,” a heartfelt, tongue-in-cheek letter-in-song to her friend (and first time mothers everywhere).

Watch and listen to “Avocado” here:

 

 

“There is a trend in millennial pregnancies where the process is tracked through an app that describes the mother’s weekly progress,” Fox explains of the song’s context and inspiration. “Usually the videos make an effort to compare the size of the fetus to that of a fruit or vegetable.

“I was lucky enough to catch the screening of the 16-week video which told us that my friend’s child was about the size of an avocado,” she continues. “This song is a letter to a mom-to-be facing the uncertainties and excitements of expecting a first child.”

Lucille Starr: A New Starr in the Sky Tonight

Fri Sep 11, 2020

Canada has lost one of its earliest singing stars Lucille Starr, singer, songwriter who earned her place in music history with for her 1964 hit single, "Quand Le Soleil Dit Bonjour Aux Montagnes" ("The French Song.")

She was born Lucille Savoie in St. Boniface, Manitoba, but was raised in Port Coquitlam in the  Francophone community of Maillardville, British Columbia. She adopted the stage name Lucille Starr and joined a  local group called Les Hirondelles. Using the stage name, Lucille Starr. She became part of a duo Bob and Louise who between 1958 and 1963 released several 45's mostly covers of  songs of everyone from Perry Como to Connie Francis. They had minor success on the North American West Coast and in 1963 they were signed by A&M Records recording as "The Canadian Sweethearts."