Sunday, January 31, 2010


A Canadian band from Vancouver, BC. They were mainly active from 1977 to 1984.

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot was born in 1938 in Orillia, Ontario. He is a Canadian singer and songwriter who has achieved international success in folk, country, and popular music.

Gordon Lightfoot's music career has spanned more than 40 years, producing more than 200 recordings. He helped define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s, influencing many major recording artists. He is a true international star, a Canadian treasure and believe it or not, one of my favorite singers. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2003 and is still touring and recording .

Sunday, January 17, 2010



I can't stand these guys, so I'm not going to write anything about them. Because they are Canadian, I have to acknowledge the fact. But that's as far as it goes. If I post this now, it saves me from doing it later. This is the only song I can tolerate.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let's hear it for the girls...Amanda and Alanis

Amanda Marshall is a Toronto born singer. She studied music extensively during her childhood, including at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. While performing in Toronto she met Jeff Healey who was taken with her powerful voice, and he took her on tour with him. In 1991, Amanda was offered a record deal with Columbia Records, but chose to wait a few years to release her debut album. Then, in 1995 she signed with Epic Records and released her debut album "Amanda Marshall" which was a major success in Canada. It generated lots of airplay and had six singles. She has since released 2 more albums and 3 greatest hits compilations. As of 2009, she is back in the studio planning for a new album release in 2010 along with a tour. She is one of my favourite singers and she has such a huge powerhouse voice. She is one very talented lady, and I'm proud to say she is Canadian.

I have to admit, at the outset, I wasn't much of a fan of Alanis Morissette. I couldn't stand her screeching vocals, and the angst filled lyrics. But, over the course of time, I have begun to appreciate her music, and even like many of her songs now. Alanis was born in Ottawa, Ontario and released her debut album in 1991, featuring songs she co-written with the producer. The first single, "Too Hot" reached top 20 status and following singles reached the top 40. Morissette's popularity, style of music and appearance, particularly that of her hair, led her to become known as the Debbie Gibson of Canada, and comparisons to contemporary singer, Tiffany, were also made. In 1993, Alanis began making trips to Los Angeles, to find different producers and musicians to work with. She recorded "Jagged Little Pill" and the album was only expected to sell well enough to make a follow up album. But the situation quickly changed when "You Oughta Know" started getting massive airplay.
In a Rolling Stone interview she revealed that she was going to spend 2006 working on a memoir. She said of her book, "it will be all the wisdom I've accrued in the thirty-one years of my life . A lot about relationships, fame, travel, body-image issues, spirit — with a lot of self-deprecating humor peppered throughout, 'cause I just can't help it". As of May 2008, Morissette was halfway through writing this memoir that will focus on women's issues. It will have chapters on sexuality, beauty, relationships and work and was partially inspired by young women who regularly come up to her and tell her their stories of personal pain.
All of her successes since "Jagged Little Pill" are too numerous to go into here, but she is a unique singer and individual and I quite enjoy her music now that I have "matured". Here is a great video of her performing "Eight Easy Steps". She sure knows how to Rock!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jeff Healey

What can I say about Jeff Healey that hasn't been already written? A monstrous talent, Jeff was born in Toronto in 1966 and he lost his vision when he was an infant to retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. The eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. Jeff began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. When he was 17, he formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece band which primarily played bar-band cover tunes. His first album, was called "See The Light", was spawned the single "Angel Eyes" and "Confidence Man". Jeff, and the Jeff Healey Band also had a major role in the Patrick Swayze movie "Roadhouse". By the year 2000, Jeff had grown weary of the rock world and decided to turn his talents toward his real love, jazz. He performed with his new band, The Jazz Wizards often playing the trumpet. He also hosted his own radio program on CBC radio called My Kind of Jazz, and often featured records from his over 30,000 piece record collection. Over the years, Jeff toured with and sat in with many legendary stars such as Eric Clapton, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others.
In March 2008, Jeff died of cancer in Toronto. His death came a month before the release of his new album, Mess of Blues, his first rock/blues album in 6 years, and just weeks before his birthday on March 26. He was 41 years old. I miss his music very much, and his death was a huge loss for the music world. RIP Jeff. These videos are some of my favourites.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Foot in Coldwater

A Foot in Coldwater is a Canadian rock band initially composed of Alex Machin (vocals), Bob Horne (keyboard), Paul Naumann (guitar), Danny Taylor (drums), and Hughie Leggat (bass and vocals). It is best known for the song "(Make Me Do) Anything You Want" which was a Canadian hit single in 1972 and again in 1975. They were formed in Toronto in 1971.The band's first album, A Foot in Coldwater, was released in 1972 with their first single "(Make Me Do) Anything You Want" reaching top 25 in the Canadian charts. In 1973, they released their second album The Second Foot in Coldwater which included moderately successful singles "(Isn’t Love Unkind) In My Life" (#34) and "Love is Coming" (#27). In 1974, the band released a third album, All Around Us, which included a shorter version of "(Make Me Do) Anything You Want" which again made the Canadian singles chart.

The band released one more single, "Midnight Lady" before their record company filed for bankruptcy in 1975, leaving them without a label. Horne left the group and the remaining members recorded a single, "Breaking Through" for Anthem in 1977, but it was not a success and the group disbanded. They reformed in 1988 for a series of short tours, and the Canadian band "Helix" later covered "Make Me Do Anything You Want" also scoring with a hit.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Diamonds

The Diamonds were a Canadian quartet of the 1950s and early 1960s who rose to fame performing mostly cover versions of songs by black musicians. The original members were: Dave Somerville - Lead, Ted Kowalski - Tenor, Phil Levitt - Baritone, and Bill Reed - Bass. In 1953, Dave Somerville was working as a sound engineer at CBC studios in Toronto. One of the shows he produced was called "Pick the Stars" which was a local talent show. He noticed four men rehearsing for the show in the hallway, and being impressed with them, offered to be their manger. Their big break came with an audition in Cleveland, Ohio. The Diamonds were signed to a recording contract with Mercury Records, who at that time, along with other record companies, were signing white artists to cover recordings of black artists for the purpose of expanding their listening audience. At this time, black artists were not played on white radio stations. The Diamonds’ first recording for Mercury was "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," a cover of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers’s version, which reached #12 in the U.S.
The Diamonds' biggest hits were 1957's "Little Darlin'" and 1958's "The Stroll" which was written for them following an idea by Dick Clark to create a new dance. The group disbanded in 1961, and then reunited in various forms over the years with different members and lead singers. The original members reunited in 2000 for a PBS television special, and original member Bill Reed died in 2004.