Events in Canadian Rock
For the month of
March 1, 1943 - Jerry Fisher of Blood, Sweat and Tears was born.
March 1, 1948 - Alan Thicke is born. This is a borderline call for a music calendar, as anyone who heard his albums will testify, but he has written hit songs for others. Thicke's best comedic line, ever, was "I'm from Timmins, Ontario, where Moosehead is more than a beer...it's part of one's sexual awakening."
March 1, 1965 - Peter Paul and Mary peaked in the Canadian top five with their version of Gordon Lightfoot's For Lovin' Me. Their recording made him one of the hot new songwriters of the era, and it didn't hurt that he was managed by their manager Alan Grossman in partnership with John Court.
March 1, 1969 - Steppenwolf entered the US charts with their take on the blues standard, Rock Me, almost unrecognizable in their arrangement but still credited to the original songwriters, which is something the Stones and Led Zeppelin didn't bother to do when they reinvented blues classics.
March 1, 1969 - Blood Sweat and Tears, featuring new lead singer David Clayton-Thomas, entered the US singles charts for the first time with the Motown remake, You've Made Me So Very Happy. The album, Blood Sweat and Tears 2, had three hit singles, each of which peaked at #2, although all three did make it to #1 in Canada. A similar situation happened with CCR who never had a #1 hit Stateside, but did manage to score five #2s.
March 2, 1985 - Bruce Cockburn peaked in the Canadian charts with his most incendiaries of all singles, If I Had a Rocket Launcher. Cockburn, since the beginning of his solo career, always addressed subjects that concerned him. This track, which was nothing less than a condemnation of the IMF and the military-industrial complex, had such power that it was immediately added to rock stations across the country, despite some concern, at the time, over the language.
March 3, 1966 - Canadian Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer formed Buffalo Springfield in Los Angeles. The group laid the groundwork for country rock, and several members later found success in Poco and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. When Buffalo Springfield started, it was the house band for the influential Los Angeles nightspot "Whiskey A Go Go". Stephen Stills's composition, "For What It's Worth," gave the band its biggest hit in 1967. Before Buffalo Springfield's third album was released in 1968, the group had broken up, partly because of disagreements between Stills and Neil Young.
March 3, 1967 - In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the Animals refuse to play a scheduled concert unless they are paid in advance. Over 3,000 youths in the audience riot; causing \$5,000 in damages.
March 3, 1969 - The Guess Who peaked in the Canadian top ten with These Eyes, which would become the breakthrough hit for the Burton Cummings led version of the band. The song has become a bit of a standard, with Jr. Walker and the All Stars covering it for the r'n'b charts that same year, and, more recently, Canadian rapper Maestro sampling it for his hit Stick to Your Vision.
March 3, 1973 - Bob McBride scored his first and biggest hit after leaving Lighthouse when Pretty City Lady peaked in the Canadian top 20. There has, likely, never been a story in our musical history so tragic, with McBride's life spiraling into extreme drug abuse that saw him do time in prison for breaking into pharmacies to support his habit. He died a few years ago, unable to get as clean as he needed to be.
March 3, 1973 - The Guess Who peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Follow Your Daughter Home a song inspired by calypso music, though the press and label reps of the day thought it was reggae, which one of them actually pronounced rejjay. Nevertheless, it had a good enough feel that it became another hit for the band.
March 3, 1979 - April Wine entered the US charts with another of their truly classic rockers. This one was titled Roller, and it would go on to become a top 40 pop hit south of the border.
March 3, 1979 - Nicollette Larson peaked in the Canadian top 5 with Lotta Love. She wasn't Canadian but the song's writer, Neil Young, was. Young had recorded the song himself, but it was tailor-made for someone with a sweeter voice to take to the charts.
March 3, 1979 - The Blues Brothers entered the US charts with their remake of Rubber Biscuit. The novelty song was the only hit by the comedic duo to feature Canadian Dan Aykroyd as lead vocalist.
March 4, 1970 - Janis Joplin is fined \$200 for using obscend language onstage in Tampa, Fla.
March 4, 1972 - The Guess Who entered the US charts with one of their lesser-known tunes, Heartbroken Bopper.
March 4, 1986 - Richard Manuel, the pianist for the rock group, the Band, was found hanged in the bathroom of his motel room in Winter Park, Florida. The 42-year-old Manuel, originally from Stratford, Ontario, had performed with other members of The Band in Winter Park the previous night. The Band evolved from a group taken to Ontario in 1958 by Ronnie Hawkins. As the Hawks, they worked with Hawkins during the early '60s. In 1965, the group moved to the US, where they became Bob Dylan's backing band. The Band released its first LP, "Music From the Big Pink," in 1968. They had a number of hit singles over the next eight years - among them, "The Weight," "Up on Crippl e Creek" and "Rag Mama Rag. The Band's farewell concert took place in November 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, with a host of rock stars in attendance. The event was captured on film as "The Last Waltz."
March 5 , 1982 - Comedian and Blues Brother John Belushi dies of drug overdose in the Chate au Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles. Belushi's vulgar, dangerous and physical sense of humor brought comedy closer to rock and roll than perhaps any other comedian ever had. John Belushi was 33 years old.
March 5 , 1990 - Bob Regan died of cancer. Regan was a country singer and guitarist who hooked up in the 60s with a singer named Lucille Starr. Together, working under the name of the Canadian Sweethearts, they broke through with two major hits in the folk music days of the early 60s. Their version of Freight Train became the template for the song when other acts recorded the folk classic, and Lucille, who was, in fact French Canadian, scored big with Bob's arrangement of a song that was released under the title The French Song. Seems it was easier for the Anglo fans to pronounce than Quand Le Soleil Dit Bonjour a les Montagnes.
March 6 , 1971 - The Bells entered the US charts with Stay Awhile. The song would go on to become an American top ten record and their only hit of any significant size south of the border. The band would continue for many years in Canada and spawn the solo careers of both Frank Mills and singer Cliff Edwards who would move into the country charts as a solo act.
March 6 , 1982 - Chilliwack peaked in the Canadian top 20 with I Believe. The track was a long way from their improvisational beginnings on tracks like Rain-o, but the group had changed considerably as well with only Bill Henderson still on board.
March 6 , 1995 - Shania Twain entered the Canadian charts with a CD called The Woman In Me. Very very few suspected, at the time, that she was about to become the biggest selling country artist in history, and she did it all by adding fiddles to the basic Def Leppard sound.
March 7 , 1970 - The Poppy Family peak in the Canadian top ten with That's Where I Went Wrong. Susan Jacks, as was usually the case, took the lead vocal on this followup single to Which Way You Goin' Billy. It became their second Canadian top ten and went top 30 in the States following the top ten placing of its predecessor.
March 7 , 1981 - April Wine peaked in the Canadian top 30 with the power ballad Just Between You and Me. The song also became their first, and only, American top 30 hit, expanding them beyond the rock radio airplay they'd been depending on down there and putting them on top 40 stations across the country.
March 7 , 1988 - The Box peaked in the Canadian top 40 with Crying Out Loud For Love. Leader Jean-Marc Pisapia had previously been a member of Men Without Hats during their Safety Dance days, but wanted to write his own material and, in MWH, Ivan Doroschuk was the only writer, so the Box was formed. Initially, Sass Jordan was also part of this project before breaking away to, likewise, do her own thing.
March 8 , 1965 - Bobby Curtola peaked in the Canadian top ten with It's About Time. Not one of his better known songs, Curtola suffers, in a retrospective way, from not being around at a time when there were national charts to track an artist's success in this country, but earlier hits like Three Rows Over, Indian Giver and many more established him as the first Canadian-only superstar. He was able to tour from coast to coast in this country, and receive airplay everywhere in Canada, with minimal US success. This syndrome persists even today with bands like The Tragically Hip and The Tea Party.
March 8 , 1969 - The 5th Dimension entered the US charts with their medley of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, taken from the Broadway show Hair. The Canadian aspect of this is that the fellows who wrote the show, James Rado and Jerome Ragni, who were also its stars, turned to Canadian Galt MacDermott to write the music. Together, they created a catalogue of songs that saw half a dozen of the show's numbers chart by a variety of acts ranging from the aforementioned to Oliver (Good Morning Starshine), The Cowsills (Hair), and the Happenings (Where Do I Go/Be In).
March 9, 1944 - Canadian blues-rock singer and harmonica player King Biscuit Boy, whose real name is Richard Newell, was born in Hamilton. He released several LPs of his own in the 1970's, as well as appearing on recordings by Ronnie Hawkins, Crowbar, April Wine and the Electric Flag.
March 9, 1979 - Heart peaked in the lower reaches of the Canadian chart with the song Dog and Butterfly. By this time the group had already relocated to the United States, but certain songs, written before the move, still qualified as Canadian content.
March 9, 1985 - "Tears Are Not Enough" by Northern Lights, the Canadian record in aid of Ethiopian famine relief, was released. The song was written by Bryan Adams and his regular songwriting partner, Jim Vallance. Adams performed the tune at the Live Aid concert in July but a satellit e blackout ruined his appearance for TV viewers.
March 9, 1996 - David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat and Tears, John Kay of Steppenwolf, Denny Doherty of the Mamas and Papas, Zal Yanovsky of the Lovin' Spoonful and rock guitarist Dominic Troiano were inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame. At the same ceremony in Toronto, Ronnie Hawkins was honored with the Walt Grealis (GREE'-lis) Achievement Award for his contribution to the development of the Canadian music industry.
March 10, 1973 - Lighthouse peaked in the Canadian top 20 with You Girl. The song was their fifth of seven top 20 tracks, which leads to the question of just when this band will get their due and be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. And April Wine. And Chilliwack.
March 10, 1973 - Abraham's Children scored their biggest hit when Gypsy peaked in the Canadian top 10.
March 10, 1986 - One to One, an Ottawa duo consisting of Louise Remy and Leslie Howe, peaked in the Canadian top 20 with There Was a Time. They stuck around for some time, using another name on some later chart entrys, but Howe's biggest claim to fame came as the original producer of Alanis Morissette's first hits.
March 10, 1996 - The Juno Awards were presented in Hamilton to one of the most star-studded lineups of talent ever, including Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Colin James, Art Bergmann, Blue Rodeo, Ashley MacIsaac, the Philosopher Kings, Colin Major and Prairie Oyster, among others.
March 11, 1961 - Bruce Watson, guitarist with the British rock band Big Country, was born in Timmins, Ontario.
March 11, 1970 - Crosby Stills Nash and Young release their Deja Vu album. It was the second album for the group but the first to feature our own Neil Young. Among the songs contributed by Neil to the release was Helpless, a reminiscence of his days in Northern Ontario. Young would be in and out of the group three or four times, if not more, over the subsequent 30 years.
March 11, 1972 - The Poppy Family peaked in the Canadian top ten with Good Friends. At this stage in their career, the output was prolific, and everything was a hit for the duo consisting of then husband and wife team, Terry and Susan Jacks. It was around this time that they also expanded to four pieces and hit the road.
March 11, 1996 - Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" was released. By the end of the year, the album had sold more than 18-million copies worldwide.
March 12, 1974 - Anne Murray, with the help of her new American manager Shep Gordon, who was also responsible at the time for Alice Cooper, performed before the elite of the music world at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. This was an attempt to have her recognised as a more vital performer to a broader audience than she had attracted with her singles up to that point. The night was most notable, however, for the eviction from the club of John Lennon and Harry Nilsson who, after posing for photos with Anne and Alice, proceeded to create a disturbance that included wearing tampons on their heads. The boys liked a drink now and again.
March 13, 1961 - Paul Anka entered the US charts with Tonight My Love Tonight. By this time his managers had convinced Paul that the rock and roll market was limited and he was moving more and more into the adult pop mainstream. The NFB film Lonely Boy shows a great dichotomy with Paul performing before screaming teen girls at a fall fair, and before the jewels and fur coat crowd at New York's Copacabana.
March 13, 1971 - The Guess Who's Hang On to Your Life with its echoing chorus faded itself straight into the Canadian top five where it peaked on this day. Probably all who were around at the time would sing along with this track with their own voices getting quieter on the "YOUR LIFE...Your Life...your life..." part.
March 13, 1971 - Ocean entered the US charts with the song that would make their career, Gene MacLellan's Put Your Hand in the Hand. The song had been previously recorded by Anne Murray but the London, Ontario band turned it into a funk-light gospel tune and, thanks to The Big 8 (CKLW) in Windsor, broke into the US charts and went on to score a top ten hit.
March 13, 1976 - BTO peaked in the Canadian top 30 with Take It Like a Man. Though not their most memorable hit, it was right in line with the hard driving songs that had become their trademark.
March 13, 1982 - Bryan Adams entered the US charts with Lonely Nights. Oddly enough, this early single never did chart in Canada, perhaps because he was already on the charts here with another track that appealed less to his American record company.
March 13, 1987 - Bryan Adams' "Heat of the Night" becomes the first commercially released cassette single, or cassingle, in the U.S.
March 13, 1996 - Mississippi lawmakers took away a commendation to Glen Ballard, who produced Alanis Morisseette's "Jagged Little Pill" LP. Some of the lawmakers were offended by the lyrics of "You Oughta Know."
March 13, 1997 - Joni Mitchell was reunited with Kilauren Gibb, the daughter she had given up for adoption 32 years earlier. The reu nion took place at Mitchell's Los Angeles home after both mother and daughter had searched for each other. Gibb said she knew she had found her mother after studying a picture of Mitchell on the singer's Internet web site.
March 14, 1966 - Ray Hutchinson peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Rose Marie. Ray had been a member of the Beau-Marks, an early success story in Canadian rock and roll, but had been working solo for a number of years while the others returned to day jobs. He performed as a solo in clubs throughout Ontario for years but never duplicated the success of this track.
March 14, 1966 - Bobby Curtola peaked in the Canadian top 5 with While I'm Away. Like his American teen idol counterparts, Bobby was having trouble competing with the new sounds out of Britain but with the help of RPM magazine, he continued to chart highly, though his radio and retail support was dwindling.
March 14, 1966 - Terry Black peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Rainbow. Black, at the earliest stage of his career, was managed by Vancouver dance party host Buddy Clyde, who took him to L.A. to record. He used the same musicians who backed everybody's records and the producer of his hits was most often Lou Adler who already had made his name with Johnny Rivers and was about to discover and record The Mamas and the Papas and found Ode Records which was the home of Carole King in the 70s.
March 14, 1981 - Rush entered the US charts with Limelight. The band made it to the top 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 but on the rock stations they were charting much higher, breaking, as many Canadian bands of the day did, out of Texas.
March 14, 1992 - About 40,000 people attend Farm Aid Five in Irving, Texas. The show is hosted by Willie Nelson and features performances by John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Paul Simon.
March 14, 1994 - Celine Dion peaked at #1 in the Canadian charts with her remake of Power of Love. Britain's Jennifer Rush had had a hit with it in the 80s, and it was a great record, but when Celine did her arrangement, she added the Power that was missing in the original through her very powerful voice, pounding her chest whenever necessary. It was at this time that she decided to take lessons in the Henglish language, the better to come across properly on American talk shows.
March 15, 1965 - The Big Town Boys peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Put You Down. Led by Tommy Graham, the group was affiliated with CHUM radio at the time, and actually recorded jock IDs based on their hit single, incorporating the names of the station's DJs, and then repeated it for top rated jocks across the country, winning them a great deal of support outside the Toronto market.
March 15, 1969 - The Cowsills entered the US charts with the title song from the musical Hair, co-written by Canadian Galt MacDermott. The oldest son of the family group, eventually moved to Canada where he formed both Blue Northern and the Blue Shadows. Richard Flohill once described the hard living Billy Cowsill as having a face like you'd find on a ring on Keith Richard's finger.
March 15, 1972 - Edward Bear were awarded gold in the United States for The Last Song, their biggest hit both internationally and here in Canada. By the time it caught on, the original trio had begun to fragment and, soon enough, became Larry Evoy's own trademark. Paul Weldon continued his work as a graphic artist, and Danny Marks left pop forever to become a blues and rock and roll jukebox, claiming to be able to play just about any song ever written in those forms.
March 15, 1975 - Bachman Turner Overdrive peaked in the Canadian top 5 with Roll On Down the Highway. One of their most popular songs, it featured Fred Turner's big gruff voice on vocals and was the number they used on stage during their chubby legged chorus line during concerts.
March 15, 1975 - Paul Anka was back on the charts after years of not being able to find a hit. His I Don't Like to Sleep Alone, which entered the US charts on this day, was the top ten followup to his #1 You're Having My Baby.
March 15, 1977 - The Band released Islands, their last LP with all five original members. It was a moody piece that spawned no hit singles yet remains one of the most comfortable of all their albums to sit down and listen to on a Sunday morning.
March 16, 1954 - Nancy Wilson of Heart was born.
March 16, 1957 - The Diamonds entered the US charts with what would become their signature single, Little Darlin'. They originally recorded it almost as a parody of rock and roll and doowop, but it went all the way to #2 on the charts and they stopped doing their versions of Three Coins in the Fountain very quickly, and joined package tours that put them on the road with the very black artists that were being ripped off by such as they.
March 16, 1968 - Tom Northcott entered the US charts with his cover of Nilsson's 1941. Tom was a great singer who led a rocking folk-based trio out of Vancouver, but recorded, mostly, other people's material. He was signed to Warner in the States and had the advantage of recording in L.A. under the most sophisticated of circumstances and his records reflected that.
March 16, 1968 - Steppenwolf peaked in the Canadian charts with Sookie Sookie. They were, at the time, one of the breakthrough bands at the new FM underground radio, thanks to songs like The Pusher, but this funky little hard edged r'n'b number also became their first chart entry, with Born to Be Wild right around the corner.
March 16, 1974 - Anne Murray peaked at #1 in Canada with her cover of Kenny Loggins' Love Song. Kenny had recorded it with his partner Jim Messina but it was overlooked as a single by them, and Anne immediately took advantage and added another big hit to her resume.
March 16, 1974 - Joni Mitchell entered the US charts with Help Me from her Court and Spark album. This was the period when Joni was at her commercial peak, not just here but in the States and the rest of the world.
March 16, 1987 - Triumph peaked in the Canadian top 30 with Just One Night. The power ballad was not typical of their style, but at the time they were breaking through in a big way south of the border and felt that a romantic song would take their US following through the roof. It was one of the few songs they recorded that they did not write, and it failed to even dent the US charts.
March 16, 1992 - Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson peaked at #2 in the Canadian charts with the theme from Beauty and the Beast.
March 17, 1973 - Ken Tobias peaked in the Canadian top ten on this day with I Just Want to Make Music. The singer songwriter had begun his career on Singalong Jubilee, the CBC's weekly show highlighting young east coast talent, which also gave us Anne Murray and Gene MacLellan, among many others. As a writer, he was covered by both Murray and the Bells before emerging on his own, scoring a number of hits in the early and mid-70s.
March 17, 1973 - Anne Murray covered Kenny Loggins' material successfully twice in her career. Earlier with Love Song, from 1976, but on this day in 1973 she scored a Canadian #1 with Danny's Song from the same writer. It was her second of five Canadian chart toppers and, just for the record, Snowbird wasn't one of them.
March 17, 1979 - Burton Cummings peaked in the Canadian top 20 with I Will Play a Rhapsody, marking his third top 20 single in what could and should have been a much longer solo career as a chartmaker.
March 17, 1986 - Anne Murray peaked in the Canadian top 20 on this day with the title track from her Now and Forever album. Forever would be how long before another big hit came her way too, though she came close at the end of the 90s with a Bryan Adams song written for her.
March 17, 1989 - Tom Cochrane and Red Rider performed the first of two shows with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The concerts were recorded and released later in the year as "The Symphony Sessions."
March 18, 1978 - Triumph peaked in the Canadian chart with their version of Rocky Mountain Way. The cover of Joe Walsh's 5-year old hit was, likely, a popular choice during concerts, but for radio stations that were already playing the original version by Walsh in their mix, which they felt was superior, Triumph's choice of a first single was not that good an idea. By the next track they were doing original material, and found that it was certainly good enough.
March 18, 1978 - Dan Hill topped out at #1 on the Canadian charts with Sometimes When We Touch. Originally placed on the folk music circuit by his managers (Bernie Finkelstein and Burnie Fiedler), Dan developed a grass roots following fascinated by his songs and his barefoot boy in the big city approach. After this song he became pegged forever as a middle of the road performer, and continues to be a very successful songwriter and occasional recording artist to this day.
March 18, 1990 - Alannah Myles won three Juno Awards - most promising female vocalist and album and single of the year. Myles's "Black Velvet" was number one on the Billboard singles chart at the time. Her self-titled debut album became the best-selling debut ever for a Canadian pop artist.
March 19, 1990 - Lee Aaron, who would be first among all Canadian rock performers, were it not for her being listed after Aaron Space in the Maple Music directory (weird computer alphabeticising program I'd say), scored the biggest hit of her career when Hold On peaked in the Canadian top 5. Not your typical Lee single, her move to the middle of the road was an attempt to shed the Metal Queen image. She is now performing jazz music, and is about to tour throughout Ontario.
March 20, 1951 - Greg Godovitz, is born. In his life, which has been rather mundane, he discovered a need to recreate himself and chose the printed page where his fantasies became reality. He was a member of at least two bands who recorded, and we can blame Tom Williams for a large part of this. Williams thought, it can now be revealed, that Greg looked good in silk pants, but it can now be further revealed that, since the age of three, Godovitz has worn prosthetics.
March 20, 1968 - Eric Clapton and three members of the Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Mesina, are arrested in Los Angeles for "being at a place where it is suspected marijuana is being used." It's a misdemeanor for which Clapton will later be found innocent, the others paying small fines.
March 20, 1976 - The Band entered the US charts with Ophelia, a mix between their down home laconic style and some funky New Orleans horn charts. Though not a big hit, it remains one of their most satisfying singles.
March 20, 1995 - Colin James and Jeff Healey, two of Canada's most respected and successful blues based musicians, entered the Canadian charts on this day with CDs. James' Then Again, was a greatest hits compilation while Healey's Cover to Cover was a collection of some of his favourite songs by other artists, including While My Guitar Gently Weeps which went on to become a hit again in his hands.
March 20, 1997 - The Junos were presented in Hamilton to The Tragically Hip, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, The Killjoys, Terri Clark, The Rankins, Shania Twain, and Paul Brandt, among many others.
March 21, 1940 - Gary Buck is born. At one time, Buck was one of the biggest stars in Canadian country music in a day where there was little option but to travel to Nashville to record. He built a small studio in Kitchener and learned the art of production and has, since, been involved in many a first recording by some of today's best known names, and has remained active in the country music community including the establishment of a Canadian country music hall of fame.
March 21, 1970 - The Guess Who entered the American charts with the song that would make them superstars. American Woman, born out of a jam during a concert, was highly critical of the States, but still managed to cut through and become a major hit for them and their biggest hit of all south of the border.
March 21, 1970 - The Band peaked in the Canadian charts with Rag Mama Rag. There was a great reluctance at top 40 radio to incorporate their rootsy sound into the mix, but FM airplay and such little things as the cover of Time magazine helped a great deal.
March 21, 1970 - The Chairmen of the Board peaked in the Canadian top ten with Give Me Just a Little More Time. The Detroit group was fronted by General Johnson, originally of the Showmen (It Will Stand), but also included Hamilton's Harrison Kennedy in the lineup. The group was produced by Holland Dozier Holland for their Motown breakaway label, Invictus.
March 21, 1981 - Loverboy peaked in the Canadian top ten with Turn Me Loose. It was their second single, following The Kid Is Hot Tonight, and established the band instantly as one of the hottest in the country, though their own eyes, guided by managers Bruce Allen and Lou Blair, were set on the States where they became one of the biggest acts of the early 80s.
March 21, 1981 - Gino Vannelli entered the US charts with Living Inside Myself. It would go on to become the second of three US top ten hits for the Montreal performer. He now lives in Portland, Oregon, we hear, as does his original drummer Graham Lear and, reportedly, they are working together on new projects.
March 21, 1991 - The man who invented the electric guitar, Leo Fender, dies.
March 21, 1994 - After years of scuffling on the bar circuit as frontman for the Florida Razors, Tom Wilson pared the 7-piece down to four and called the new band Junkhouse. His third hit single, The Sky Is Falling, peaked in the Canadian top 30 on this day. Junkhouse fell victim of the club repeat factor, never becoming big enough to fill concert halls as a headliner, and, eventually, visiting the same clubs too often to maintain their devoted following. Tom is now a soloist and part of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a trio concerned with furthering the music of select Canadian songwriters includingn Willie P. Bennett.
March 22, 1934 - Canada's original outlaw country singer, Dick Damron, was born in Alberta. This one time bull rider used to augment his rodeo gigs with guitar playing and vice versa. At one time, in the 70s, Holland's most important music paper named him international artist of the year, and if you know Dick, you know he had a soft spot for Amsterdam for other reasons, too.
March 22, 1965 - The Guess Who score their first Canadian #1 record, long before Burton Cummings joined the band when Chad Allen and the Reflections (aka-The Guess Who) peak with Shakin' All Over. The song was from British act Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, whose guitarist, Mick Green, imitated so ably by Randy Bachman, is now Paul McCartney's lead player.
March 22, 1965 - Wes Dakus and the Rebels peaked in the Canadian top ten with a track called Hobo. Dakus became a successful studio owner in Edmonton, working hand in hand with Barry Allen.
March 22, 1965 - Coincidentally, Barry Allen peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Easy Come Easy Go. Allen, backed by Dakus on this track, went on to become a member of Painter and Hammersmith before returning to his hometown to run the studio with Dakus.
March 22, 1968 - The Band recorded one of their all time classics in Woodstock, New York. Chest Fever was introduced by a Garth Hudson jam on an organ amplified to make it sound rather churchy, and as great as the song, itself, is, it is much less without the organ intro.
March 22, 1975 - Bond peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Dancin' On a Saturday Night. One of the first rock bands signed to Columbia Records from this country at the time, they soon discovered that the CBS team didn't know what to do with a domestic rock act, and faded from sight rather quickly.
March 22, 1975 - Murray McLauchlan peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Do You Dream of Being Somebody. His label, True North, did know what to do when it came to artist development. Interestingly, they were distributed by Columbia at the time, and the parent label could have learned a lot from Bernie Finkelstein and his team.
March 22, 1980 - True North's primary act was always Bruce Cockburn. He released the first record on the label, and had developed a strong following, despite being unable to chart on top 40 like Murray McLauchlan did. Nevertheless, his first big hit was Wondering Where the Lions Are which entered the US charts on this day, and was the song done as a duet by Jann Arden and Terri Clark on the recent Juno telecast.
March 22, 1985 - Bruce Springsteen showed up at Neil Young's last Australian show in Sydney, and played Stephen Stills's guitar part on "Down By the River."
March 22, 1993 - Snow, aka Darrin O'Brien, peaked at #1 in the Canadian charts with Informer. It would go on to duplicate its Canadian success south of the border, but just when things were going well, Snow went to jail for assault. He recently scored another Canadian #1 with Everybody Wants to Be Like You from his current album.
March 23, 1968 - The Irish Rovers, a band of Irish immigrants then centred in Calgary, picked up on a Shel Silverstein children's tune called The Unicorn and entered the US charts on this day. It would go on to become a super hit, and be their main calling card for the next decade and a half until Wasn't That A Party extended their shelf life. The group got into the bar business and named their chain of pubs, The Unicorn.
March 23, 1974 - Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks extended beyond the North American market and entered the UK charts on this day. It would go on to become the biggest selling non-Christmas single of all time, and would hold that title for well over a decade.
March 23, 1975 - San Francisco's Kezar Stadium is the site for a Bill Graham-run benefit show called SNACK (Students Need Athletics, Culture and Kicks). The show features the Tower of Power, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Joan Baez, Graham Central Station, Neil Young and special guest Bob Dylan. It's to raise money for the San Francisco school system which recently canceled most sports and after-h our activites because of a \$3-million budget deficit. Almost \$200,00 is raised, but it's really not needed because the day before the event, an announcement is made that through a financial adjustment \$2.1 million has been "found."
March 23, 1987 - Kim Mitchell put his tongue in his cheek and came up with a country song called Easy to Tame which peaked in the Canadian top 30 on this day. Someday, a country singer is going to pick up on this song, record a straight version, and experience a hit record.
March 23, 1992 - Sass Jordan, who debuted a couple of years earlier with a disco styled record, had relocated to California and put together a band featuring former Rod Stewart sidemen and, even, the guitarist who replaced Joe Perry in Aerosmith, and became a rocker. The result, Make You a Believer, peaked in the Canadian top 20 on this day.
March 24, 1969 - Aretha Franklin peaked in the Canadian top 20 with her version of The Weight. Though, in Canada, the Band's own version received more airplay, this still did quite well at the top 40 radio of the day, and served as an introduction at that format to the guitar work of Duane Allman, who played slide on the track.
March 24, 1972 - Donny Osmond was awarded a gold record for Puppy Love on this day. He wasn't and isn't Canadian, but the song is, having been written and originally recorded by Paul Anka more than a decade earlier.
March 24, 1973 - Alice Cooper peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Hello Hurray. Again, the artist is not Canadian, but the song is, having been written by folkie Rolf Kempf who was, at the time, a regular on the Ontario coffeehouse circuit.
March 24, 1986 - Loverboy peaked on the Canadian charts with the power ballad This Could Be the Night. It went on to become a US top ten, but, here in Canada, we were already losing interest in the band though they remained, and still remain, a top draw south of the border.
March 24, 1990 - "Black Velvet," taken from the self-titled debut album by Toronto rocker Alannah Myles, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.
March 25, 1966 - Jeff Healey was born in Toronto.
March 25, 1967 - Opportunity by The Mandala peaked in the Canadian charts, not cracking the top 40. This most influential of early Canadian bands was fronted, at the time, by George Olliver, and, later by Roy Kenner, but most of the musicians focussed on guitarist Domenic Troiano and drummer Whitey Glann. Their blue-eyed soul crusade was the sound of Toronto at the time, and they were among the first Canadian bands to tour nationally.
March 25, 1967 - The Guess Who peaked in the Canadian top 20 with a song called His Girl. This was just another of the endless stream of lightweight pop they put out in the aftermath of Shakin' All Over but they were only a year away from changing their fortunes entirely.
March 25, 1970 - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's first and only studio album, "Deja Vu" goes gold. The LP yielded hit singles in "Woodstock" and "Teach Your Children."
March 25, 1971 - Tom Jones was awarded a gold record for his recording of She's a Lady. Like Puppy Love, She's a Lady was a Paul Anka composition.
March 25, 1972 - After being off the charts for a long time, while others scored hits with his songs, Paul Anka re-entered the charts south of the border with Jubilation. This was the beginning of his comeback as a performer, and reflected his growing interest in rhythm and blues, having a churchy sound that reflected its title.
March 25, 1972 - April Wine entered the US charts with You Could Have Been a Lady. This marked their US chart debut, and the song actually made it to the top 40 there, but it would be years before they would duplicate the success, setting a template for many other Canadian superstar bands who were able to make a living in this country without US success.
March 25, 1995 - Bryan Adams peaked in the US top 20 with Somebody. By this time Bryan had become an international superstar, and was actually concentrating more on his international following than his domestic fans.
March 25, 1995 - Strange Advance peaked in the Canadian top 30 with We Run. The Vancouver band reflected the burgeoning electronica style of many British acts and this song is a classic that will be around forever. Unfortunately, internationally, they fell short of their Canadian success.
March 25, 1995 - The Tragically Hip, at the invitation of fellow Kingston native Day Aykroyd, who was guest hosting Saturday Night Live, made their US television debut on this day. The event coincided with that year's Canadian Music Week, and the MCA (now Universal) suite was packed with people watching the appearance on the one television in the room.
March 25, 1996 - Bryan Adams made his Oscar telecast debut singing Everything I Do (I Do It For You) from the Kevin Costner Robin Hood flick. It went on to become the biggest selling single of all time (White Christmas excepted), which is a feat that had happened before with Terry Jacks and has happened since, we understand, with Celine Dion's theme from Titanic. Some Canadians do very well, don't they?
March 26, 1993 - Alannah Myles cancelled a 25-city Canadian tour because of an undisclosed illness.
March 26, 1993 - Don Messer died on this day. The fiddle player from PEI led his band, the Islanders, through the 40s and 50s and on to television where he became a Canadian staple for many years. His show was one of the most popular music shows from coast to coast, though the music reflected, mostly, down east stylings. It was a bit of home for all those who had moved west, but for westerners it was also an ear opener to musical styles that still play an important part in Canadian country and popular music.
March 27, 1982 - Aldo Nova entered the US charts with his hit Fantasy. Nova had been part of the Montreal rock scene for some years and definitely took a run at stardom, though it was relatively short lived. These days, he makes a living as a writer and occasional recording artist, and has had a strong relationship with the boys from Bon Jovi, both in a writing and arranging role and in the studio.
March 27, 1989 - Sass Jordan scored her first hit with Tell Somebody. She had been a part of the Quebec scene for some time, working with both Men Without Hats and The Box, as well as her own group, but her first set was a collaboration with guitarist Bill Butler that never bothered to really improve on the home studio demos that had initiated the project. She debuted at the same time as Alannah Myles, and, witnessing her success, switched to hard rock for her next effort.
March 28, 1966 - The Guess Who peak in the Canadian top ten with one of their earlier hits, Believe Me. At this time, the band were preparing to make some changes, with Chad Allen about to leave the band to further his education and a 17-year old member of the Devrons learning all the parts so he could take over not only the lead singer's role but also Bob Aschley's keyboard parts. He was Burton Cummings and soon after joining, the group took up a TV residency on the Winnipeg version of Music Hop.
March 28, 1970 - The Poppy Family entered the US charts with the song that would become the group's biggest Stateside hit, Which Way You Goin' Billy.
March 28, 1970 - Crosby Stills Nash and Young entered the US charts with their version of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock. Joni never made it to Woodstock, but got the feel of it from the reports on radio and from the returning musicians which inspired her to write the song.
March 28, 1983 - Doug & the Slugs peaked in the Canadian top 30 with Who Knows How to Make Love Stay. Group leader Doug Bennett, a successful advertising man then and now, was always uncomfortable with the duties of being a pop star but kept cranking out great tracks throughout the 80s, and made a further mark for himself when he appeared in Vancouver, London and Edmonton as the lead in Norm Foster's Rock and Roll stage play.
March 28, 1985 - Hundreds of radio stations in the US and Canada simultaneously played "We Are the World," the fundraising song for African famine relief recorded by 45 superstar performers. The broadcast took place at 10:50 a.m. Eastern Time on Good Friday. Sales of the single, album, video and related merchan dise initially raised more than \$38-million US.
March 28, 1988 - Some hotshot Canadian producer got an idea one night while watching television and seeing the Club Med ad. He immediately called a session, created a group called Sway, and, on this day, peaked in the Canadian top ten with Hands Up.
March 28, 1988 - Blue Rodeo peaked in the Canadian top 40 with Day After Day. This group, which pioneered alt-country in this nation, has always benefitted from the yin and yang of its two leaders and songwriters, Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy. Jim gives Greg's song a more commercial feel, and Greg keeps Jim's pop sensibilities within the hip perview of what Blue Rodeo represents to their fans.
March 28, 1994 - Roch Voisine peaked in the Canadian top 30 with Lost Without You. Quietly, Voisine has become over the years the most dependable of all our pop stars. He always charts, he always sells out his tours, and he still enjoys the benefit of being unencumbered by the fandom that would occur had he broken through in the States. Not that he isn't known internationally, as he tours France and other french speaking territories regularly.
March 29, 1929 - The beginning of a very long career in the electronic media began on this day when Don Messer and his Islanders performed their very first radio program. Eventually, he would hook up with the CBC both on radio and television and become an icon coast to coast.
March 29, 1944 - Canadian singer and songwriter Terry Jacks was born in Winnipeg. With his wife Susan, Jacks formed the Poppy Family in Vancouver in 1968. Their biggest hit was "Which Way You Goin' Billy," which sold two-million copies and won two Juno Awards in 1969. The Poppy Family broke up in 1973 because the couple's marriage was ending - and because Terry Jacks was reluctant to tour. Terry began a solo career, and in 1973 his recording of "Seasons in the Sun," an English version of a Jacques Brel song, sold 10-million copies worldwide. "Seasons in the Sun" also brought Jacks three Juno awards.
March 29, 1965 - Jack London peaked in the Canadian top 20 with I'll Be the Boy. London was the front man for a band called the Sparrows who would, soon enough, leave him and change their name first to Sparrow and then to Steppenwolf behind new lead singer Joachim Krauledat (John Kay).
March 29, 1965 - Ronnie Hawkins peaked in the Canadian top ten with his cover of Ersel Hickey's Bluebirds Over the Mountain.
March 29, 1969 - Frank Sinatra entered the US charts on this day with My Way. The song, originally a hit in France, was given a new set of lyrics by Canada's Paul Anka, and it became Sinatra's biggest hit ever and his signature song.
March 29, 1975 - Gordon Lightfoot entered the US charts with Rainy Day People. It was the hottest period of his career, when he was as big south of the border as he had been for years in this country.
March 29, 1975 - Valdy peaked in the Canadian top 30 with his version of David Bradstreet's Renaissance. The recording led to David getting his own contract with A&M Records.
March 29, 1989 - In 1989, the New Zealand/Australian pop combo Crowded House played a unique concert in Calgary. The group performed for 80 people in the basement of Grant Harvey's home. Harvey, a 23-year-old film student, won the concert when his four-minute, $87 video production was judged the best of hundreds entered from across Canada in a MuchMusic contest. The video music channel had asked contestants what their house would look like if Crowded House came over.
March 30, 1968 - Celine Dion is born in Charlemagne, Quebec.
March 30, 1968 - The Irish Rovers, just days after entering the US charts with The Unicorn, peaked in the Canadian top five with the same song.
March 30, 1974 - Paul Anka peaked in the Canadian top 20 with Let Me Get to Know You. His career at this point in the mid-70s was back in full stride, and during this time he had a number of top ten hits to add to his total accumulated originally in the 50s and early 60s.
March 30, 1974 - Southcote peaked in the Canadian top 20 with She. Led by Beau David, and featuring such stalwarts as Doug Varty, Beau also led the band Studebaker Hawk.
March 30, 1986 - Toronto-based quartet The Nylons won the best singer award at the 15th annual Tokyo Music Festival. The group, made up of Claude Morrison, Marc Connors, Arnold Robinson and Paul Cooper, received prize money of about $7,800.
March 30, 1995 - Producer Paul Rothchild, renowned for his work with the Doors, Janis Joplin and other icons of the 1960's, died in Hollywood, California of lung cancer. He was 59. Rothchild produced the Doors' six studio albums, Joplin's "Pearl" (with the Full Tilt Boogie Band), as well as albums by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Love. In later years, he worked with Bonnie Raitt and produced the soundtracks to Bette Midler's "The Rose" and Oliver Stone's "The Doors."
March 31, 1967 - Gordon Lightfoot gave the first in what was to become an annual series of concerts at Massey Hall in Toronto. One of his three concerts there in 1969 was released as the LP "Sunday Concert."
March 31, 1979 - Nicolette Larson entered the US charts with her cover of Jesse Winchester's Rhumba Girl. Neither she nor Jesse are Canadian by birth but Jesse, of course, left his native Memphis for Canada during the Viet Nam war, and Nicolette had hits with her version of this song and Neil Young's Lotta Love making her semi-Canadian, at least.
March 31, 1986 - Honeymoon Suite's Feel it Again peaks in the Canadian top 20. This was the first single from their second album, and helped to establish them as one of the most popular and successful Canadian bands of the time, just days after they won a Juno for Group of the Year.