Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Some Classic Canadian Punk Bands



Rob Brent ~ Guitarist with London, Ontario (later Toronto) punk band The Demics. The Demics recorded the classic song "New York City" on their fist ep "Talk's Cheap" in 1979 which became a surprise hit in Canada. They later rerecorded it on a subsequent album in 1980 getting an American release and becoming a mid-size hit there as well. By that time Brent had left and been replaced by Steve Koch as the Demics moved from London to Toronto. Following the usual turmoil the band soon broke up without any more releases. The DEmics may have been a one-hit-wonder but it was quite a hit; "New York City" is one of the most beloved songs of the Canadian early punk era and was chosen as the greatest Canadian single of all time by Chart Magazine in 1996 as first "Talk's Cheap" and later a full album were released.

THE DEMICS ~ "TALK'S CHEAP" (full ep);


THE DEMICS ~ "NEW YORK CITY";


Brian Goble ~ Bassist with The Skulls, one of Vancouver's first punk bands. After they broke up singer Joey Shithead went on to form DOA while Goble became singer and singer with The Subhumans. He would later rejoin DOA in the 1990's ~ 57;
THE SUBHUMANS "FUCK YOU";


THE SUBHUMANS ~ "TWO BIT WHORE";


DOA ~ "WORLD WAR 3";


JEFF DEPEW ~ Drummer for London Ontario punk band 63 Monroe. A band of the early eighties who scored a minor hit with a goofy run through of the Herman's Hermits song "Henry VIII". That wasn't really an accurate taste of the band's sound which was a much heavier and louder New York Dolls type of Glam-Trash Punk. 63 Monroe put out a few albums locally throughout the 80's but never left London. Various members also had a side band named Osterberg, which as you might assume started out as a Stooges cover band before later turning to originals. I actually booked them a few times in the 2000's and they were a rock solid live band. 63 Monroe also did a session at CIUT a few years back. A version of 63 Monroe, including Depew, was playing as late as a couple of weeks ago when they did a benefit for a Christmas Toy Drive in London.

63 MONROE ~ "HENRY VIII";


63 MONROE ~ "GIVE 'EM UP";

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Some more 1950's & 60's Figures Pass On



Ian McLagan, 69, English keyboardist with 1960's ultimate Mods; The Small Faces and later The Faces, later played with Chuck Berry, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Westerberg, Izzy Stradlin, Frank Black, Nikki Sudden, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Taylor Lucinda Williams and Billy Bragg ~ 69

THE SMALL FACES ~ "SHA-LA-LA-LA-LEE";


THE SMALL FACES ~ "HERE COME THE NICE";


THE SMALL FACES w/ PP ARNOLD ~ "TIN SOLDIER";


THE FACES ~ "MAYBE I'M AMAZED";


Alvin Stardust/Shane Fenton ~ British 1970's Glam Rocker best known for his over-the-top Gene Vincent look and hit's like "My Coo Ca Choo", the UK Singles Chart-topper "Jealous Mind", and "I Feel Like Buddy Holly". Previously known in the 1960's as Shane Fenton and The Fentones having hits with "I'm A Moody Guy" and "It's All Over Now" after the original Shane Fenton unexpectedly died. Stardust/Fenton's real name was Bernard Jewry ~ 72

SHANE FENTON & THE FENTONES w/ BILLY FURY ~ "MAGIC";


ALVIN STARDUST ~ "MY COO CA CHOO";


Dave Appell ~ Pianist and arranger for Cameo/Parkways records in the 1950's & 60's for Charlie Gracie, Dee Dee Sharp, The Orlons, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Dovells and John Zacherle as well as his one band The Applejacks, previously worked with swing bands including Jimmy Lunceford, Earl Fatha Hines, Benny Carter, later with Tony Orlando ~ 92

JIMMY LUNCEFORD ~


CHARLIE GRACIE ~ "BUTTERFLY";


CHARLIE GRACIE ~ "COOL BABY";


Rosetta Hightower ~ Singer with 1960's R&B vocal group The Orlons ("The Wah Watutsi") and backup group for Dee Dee Sharp ("Mashed Potato Time" and "Gravy (for My Mashed Potatoes") ~ 70

THE ORLONS ~ "WAH WATUTSI";


THE ORLONS ~ "SOUTH STREET";


DEE DEE SHARP ~ "MASHED POTATO TIME";


Jimmy Ruffin ~ R&B singer with Motown Records biggest hit was "What Becomes Of The broken Hearted" in 1967. Brother of Temptations singer David Ruffin and was briefly in The Temptations as well ~

JIMMY RUFFIN ~ "WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN HEARTED";


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Some 1960's & 70's Rockers

Paul Revere; Leader and keyboard player for Paul Revere and The Raiders, the first of the great Garage/Frat Rock bands to come out of the Pacific Northeast which would later include The Kingsmen, Sonics, Wailers and Frantics. Originally formed in Idaho as an instrumental band called The Downbeats by Revere (full name Paul Revere Dick) they changed their name and sound when Revere added singer Mark Lindsey. They would also adopt a flashy stage persona including dressing up in revolutionary war garb (forty years before the Tea Party, and less angry) and Revere's organ souped up to resemble the front of a Hot Rod Edsel. They would have hits with versions of "Louie Louie" (later also done by The Kingsmen and The Sonics), "Stepping Stone" (later covered by The Monkees, Sex Pistols and Minor Threat), "Just Like Me" and "Kicks", possibly the greatest anti-drug song ever.

PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "KICKS";
PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "LOUIE LOUIE";


PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "UPS AND DOWNS";


PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "THE GREAT AIRPLANE STRIKE";


Jack Bruce ~ Scottish Bassist, Singer and Harpist with 1960's classic power trio Cream ("Sunshine Of Your Love", "White Room", "I Feel Free", "Tales Of Brave Ulysses", "Crossroads", "Badge", "Strange Brew", although Cream is remembered as Eric Clapton's showcase most of the vocals and much of the songwriting was actually done by Bruce. He had previously played with The Graham Bond Organization, Alexis Korner, John Mayall and Manfred Mann. He would later play with Leslie West and Corky Laing from Mountain, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa, Mick Taylor, Carla Bley, Cozy Powell, Gary Moore, Robin Tower, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Rory Gallagher, The Golden Palominos, Bernie Worrell, Vernon Reid ~ 71

CREAM ~ "STRANGE BREW";


CREAM ~ "CROSSROADS"


CREAM ~ "SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE";


Bob Montgomery ~ Songwriter w Buddy Holly's first band, Bob & Buddy; wrote "Heartbeat" (later covered by The Knack), "Love's Made A Fool Of You" (covered by Bibby Fuller and Matchbox) and "Back In Baby's Arms" (done by Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris) and "Misty Blue" by Eddy Arnold ~ 77

BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS ~ "HEARTBEAT";


THE BOBBY FULLER 4 ~ "LOVE'S MADE A FOOL OF YOU";


THE KNACK ~ "HEARTBEAT";


MATCHBOX ~ "LOVE'S MADE A FOOL OF YOU";


John Holt ~ Jamaican singer for Ska band The Paragons and songwriter "The Tide Is High" (later covered by Blondie) ~ 67

THE PARAGONS ~ "TIDE IS HIGH";


BLONDIE ~ "TIDE IS HIGH";


Clive Jones ~ Sax and Flute player with 1960's British Psyche/Metal Band Black Widow ~ 67

BLACK WIDOW ~ "COME TO THE SABBAT";


BLACK WIDOW ~ "WAY TO POWER";


BLACK WIDOW ~ "IN ANCIENT DAYS";


Jake Hooker ~ Israeli-born American pop musician (Arrows), co-writer ("I Love Rock 'n' Roll") and producer ~ 61

THE ARROWS ~ "I LOVE ROCK & ROLL";


JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS ~ "I LOVE ROCK & ROLL";


RAPHAEL RAVENSCROFT ~ British sax player, best known for playing on Gerry Rafferty's 1978 hit "Baker Street" and Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" also Abba, Marvin Gaye, America, Maxine Nightingale,Daft Punk, Kim Carnes, Mike Oldfield, Chris Rea, Robert Plant, Brand X, Hazel O'Connor, and Bonnie Tyler. ~ 60

GERRY RAFFERTY ~ "BAKER STREET";


Acker Bilk ~ British 1950's & 60's Trad Jazz clarinet player ("Stranger On The Shore") ~ 85

ACKER BILK ~ "STRANGER ON THE SHORE";


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Some Jazz Figures Pass On

Gerald Wilson ~ American jazz trumpetist, band leader and arranger from the 1940's on. Played with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Julie London, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Clark Terry, Richard Grove Holmes, Joe Pass, Roy Ayers, Wynton Marsalis ~ 96

GERALD WILSON ~ "MILESTONES";


Joe Sample ~ American jazz pianist/composer with Fusion bands The Modern Jazz Sextet and The Crusaders, also played with Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, The Supremes, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, B. B. King, Joe Cocker, Minnie Riperton and Anita Baker., and songwriter ("One Day I'll Fly Away", "Street Life") ~ 75

THE CRUSADERS ON DON KIRSHNER'S ROCK CONCERT;


Kenny Wheeler ~ Canadian Jazz trumpet player and band leader from the 1960's on w/ Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett, Derek Bailey, Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz, John Dankworth ~ 84 KENNY WHEELER GROUP ~ "EVERYBODY'S SONG BUT MY OWN";


Milton Cardona ~ Puerto Rican Jazz conga jazz player ~ 69

Jackie Cain ~ Vocalist with 1950's Jazz/Pop vocal duo Jackie and Roy ~ 86

JACKIE AND ROY ~ "THE WORD"

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Cosimo Matassa and Bob Crewe

This past week two important songwriters, producers and record label owners of the 1950's and sixties died.

FATS DOMINO ~ "AIN'T THAT A SHAME";


Comsimo Matassa was a New Orleans record producer who started his own J&M Studios in the back of his family's food market in 1945 while he was only eighteen, moving to a larger Cosimo Studios a decade later. His timing was impeccable as he became a force in the New Orleans R&B sound producing classic hit records by Little Richard, Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Lee Dorsey, Dr John and Jimmy Clanton. Cosimo's records were noted for their focus on boogie-woogie rythms, barrelhouse piano and a horn section dubbed The New Orleans sound. Unlike other producers of the era such as Sam Phillips of Sun Records, Ahmet Ertegan and Jerry Wexler of Atlantic, Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton of Stax, George Goldner of Red Bird or the Chess Brothers, Matassa stuck with production and running his studio rather than starting his own label. The hits dried up in the sixties and Matassa retired from the music business in the 1980's to run his family's Matassa Market. British rocker Dave Edmunds would have a bigger hit version of Smiley Lewis's classic "I Hear You Knockin" in 1970. Matassa would be inducted into both the Rock & Roll and Blues Halls Of Fame and be awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy Award. He was 88.

LITTLE RICHARD ~ "LONG TALL SALLY";


DAVE EDMUNDS ~ "I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN";


If Cosimo Matassa was similar to other second generation immigrant record producers of the early rock era such as Ahmet Ertegan and Jerry Wexler, Sid Nathan and The Chess Brothers, Bob Crewe was an all-American hustler. The New Jersey born Crewe was blond, blue-eyed, and boyish, looking more like a teen idol than a record mogul and that's what he originally tried to be. Actually he originally started out as an artist and studied at the Parson School of Design in New York but he got the music bug and served in World War Two as a big band singer in the USO while still twenty. After the war he attempted a solo singing career with notable lack of success, eventually he decided to try his hand at songwriting and production teaming up with pianist Frank Slay. The always cocky Crewe managed to sweet talk Benny Goodman's bother into giving them the front money to start a record label on the basis of a four song demo and scored an immediate R&B hit with "Silhouettes" by a black Doo-Wop group called the Rays in 1957 which was quickly covered by the white Toronto group The Diamonds becoming and even bigger crossover hit. This success got Crewe and Slay a gig with Swan Records where they scored hits with Freddy Cannon. Crewe and Slay continued to work as hired guns for other labels with hits with Ben E King, Dee Dee Sharp and Lesley Gore.

THE FOUR SEASONS ~ "WALK LIKE A MAN";


Crewe really made his fortune when he once again started another label, Topix Records, to recorded a young and unsigned act, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with whom he scored a series of massive hits in the early sixties including "Big Girls Don't Cry" "Sherry" and "Walk Like A Man". Crewe got to see Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons get a second life through the hit Broadway musical and movie "Jersey Boys".

THE FOUR SEASONS ~ "BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY";


In 1965 Crewe started up yet another label with DynoVoice Records. This time it would not be one shot label built to quickly promote a single artist or song but rather a real business with a real roster of stars. Girl Group The Toys were Crewe's answer to Phil Spector and his lush "Wall Of Sound", they scored hits with the elaborate "Lover's Concerto" and "Can't Get Enough Of You Baby" which was later covered by garage rockers ? & The Mysterions.

THE TOYS ~ "LOVERS CONCERTO";


Aside I could resist adding; I once did an interview with ? wherein he insisted that he had actually wrote that song in spite of the undeniable fact that the Toys version was clearly recorded first. Then again ? also claimed he was regularly contacted by UFO's so whatever.

? & THE MYSTERIANS ~ "CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOU BABY";


Besides the Toys there were other lush Phil Specter wall-of-sound records from lesser known artists including Karyn Mann who's single "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" (which Crewe co-wrote) was not especially memorable until transplanted Anglo-American group The Walker Brother scored a massive hit with their even more lush version. Crewe even managed to finally score a moderate hit under his own name with a rather cheesy lounge instrumental called "Music To Watch Girls By" followed up with the theme from the Jane Fonda sci-fi movie "Barbarella".

THE WALKER BROTHERS ~ "THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE";


From the more straight ahead rock & roll side there was Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels who scored a series of classic soul-garage rockers like "Jenny Take A Ride" (which Crewe co-wrote), "Sock It to Me" (ditto), "Devil With A Blue Dress" and "Little Latin Lupe Lou". Another Detroit garage band was The Rationals with a blistering cover of The Kinks "I Need You".

MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS ~ "CC RIDER/JENNY TAKE A RIDE";


Crewe wound down DynoVoice in 1968 as it became tougher for indie record to compete with the majors. After taking some time off he was back in the 1970's with disco hits by Disco Tex and his Sexolettes and LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" (which he again co-wrote) and Frankie Valli. A near fatal car crash sent him into semi-retirement later in the decade. Crewe would return to his first love as an artist and sculpture and had his work praised by Andy Warhol. Crew died at age of 83

MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS ~ "SOCK IT TO ME";


THE RATIONALS ~ "LEAVING HERE" & "RESPECT";


Monday, 22 September 2014

Two CIUT Host/DJ's; Nik Beat and Reiner Schwartz

Two DJ's from CIUT died this past month. Reiner Schwartz was a fixture in the FM dial in Toronto from the time FM went on the air in the late sixties with CHUM FM. That's when CHUM FM was known for it's free-format mix of album long psychedelic tracks, free jazz, fusion and blues. Reiner later made his way to CFNY and became the last program director before they became "The Edge" and started sucking. He was coaxed out of retirement last year to come to CIUT where he hosted an open format show on Sunday afternoons. He was already in poor health and died of various complications. He was almost a parody of a classic FM DJ but in a good way; laidback, friendly, unpretentious and endlessly curious about music.

Nik Beat (real name Mike Beary) was a well known figure on the poetry and spoken word scene in Toronto, hosting "Howl" Tuesday nights on CIUT for twenty years. He championed local writers. poets, zinesters, spoken word artists and musicians who he had on his show over the years. He died suddenly of a stroke the night after doing his show and going to an after party with the Black Keys. He was 58.

I frankly barely knew him yet he when I got my show on CIUT in 2009 he was one of the first to send congrats. He will be missed on the scene. The show "Howl" will continue to air on CIUT Tuesdays with co-host Nancy Burris. Expect a tribute this week.

NIK BEAT AND LINDA MERCER LIVE ON CIUT 2009;

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Two Notable Celtic Folk Musicians

Jean Redpath was a Scottish folk singer who learned hundreds of traditional Scottish folk songs while studying Medieval Studies at The University of Edinburgh before moving to America in 1961 where she joined the folk scene and played with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Ramblin Jack Elliott, and Pete Seeger. She was quickly signed to Elektra Records and began recording albums in 1962. With her scholarly Redpath also became artist-in-residence at Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1972 until 1976 when she began a mammoth project to record the entire works of Robbie Burns set to music working with composer Serge Hovey. The project was proposed to run for twenty two volumes but was scrapped after seven volumes and 323 songs when Hovey died in 1989. Redpath continued to tour, record and lecture at Universities and was awarded an MBE for her work. She died of cancer at 77.

JEAN REDPATH ON PETE SEEGER'S 1960's TV SHOW;


JEAN REDPATH ~ "SONNY'S DREAM";


Buddy MacMaster was a master of Celtic fiddle music in Nova Scotia. He was actually born in Timmons, Ontario from a Gaelic speaking family who moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1928 when he was four. He learned tradtional Scottish fiddle playing and was a semi-professional musician by the time he was twelve although he got a full time job working on the railways until he retired in 1988. He played regularly on the CBC and was widely respected as a master fiddler and was even invited to Scotland to teach. He was also the father of well known fiddler Natalie MacMaster, together they opned for the White Stripes when they played in Nova Scotia in 2007. He died at 89.

BUDDY & NATALIE MACMASTER;