history

Canada Day – Recommended Reading

It’s Canada’s 150th and Montreal 375th anniversary this year so I thought I’d recommend some of my favorite Canadian music history books:

– “Oh What A Feeling – The Next Generation” by Martin Melhuish

Originally released in conjunction with a four-CD compilation to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Juno Awards, “Oh What A Feeling – A Vital History of Canadian Music” featured a year by year chronological account of Canada’s music history as well as information on the Juno Awards from 1971 to 1996.

“The Next Generation” is an updated version that was released in 2014, with additional information relating to upcomming artists, notable births and deaths, Hall Of Fame inductees and Juno Award Winners. Available from Amazon.ca / Amazon.com / Chapters-Indigo

– “Music From Far and Wide” – by multiple authors

This official Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences book was released in 2010 to celebrate the Juno Award’s 40th Aniversary and provides an in-depth history of the organisation and creation of the Juno Awards, with a list of Juno Award winners up to 2010 as well as a listing of Board of Directors from 1975 to 2010.

This book can be found at some local book stores, at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

– “Is This Live?” by Christopher Ward

As the Nation’s music station, Much Music had been the epicenter for music in Canada from the mid-1980’s to mid-1990’s. And this book by VJ and songwriter Christopher Ward not only discusses the history of the station but makes notes of many events that occurred at the infamous 899 Queen Street West.

This is a must for Canadian fans of 80’s music. Available from Amazon.ca / Amazon.com / Chapters-Indigo

– “Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia” by Jaimie Vernon

Originally released as the “Encyclopedia of Canadian Rock Pop & Folk Music” in 2004 by Rick Jackson, this artist by artist account of Canadian music history has now become a multiple volume compilation, the first two listing artists alphabetically from “A Thru K” and “L thru Z“, respectively, and a recent celebration of the country’s “Vinyl Years“.

Published in 2011, the first two volumes include information on specific artists (brief history and discography) up to 2010 whilst the third volume concentrates on artists whose vinyl releases were popular up to 1996. All three volumes are available from Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

– “Top 40 Hits” / “Top Albums” by Nanda Lwin

These reference guides list the chart activity of domestic and international artists in Canada up to 1999 for singles and 2003 for albums. These are of course a must for people who are interested in Canadian music history and altough they are out of print, you can still find “Top 40 Hits” at Alibrisicon, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. And other chart information can be obtained from the RMP database on Library and Archives Canada and from a blog simply entitled “Canadian Music Blog“, which also contains a wealth of chart information including the best selling singles and albums by year and decade.

Tales From Much Music

From August 31st, 1984 to the late 1990’s, Much Music was truly Canada’s Music Station.

In its heyday this 24 hour television channel featured music videos from both major and independent labels, interviews with both popular and new artists, and live performances from multiple genres. And it introduced Canadians to both domestic and foreign performers and songwriters, causing the relatively new Canadian music industry to flourish and gain international notoriety.

Written by songwriter and former VJ Christopher Ward, “Is This Live ?” chronicles this network’s early history through excerpts of interviews with former Much Music staff members, on air personalities and popular recording artists from that period.

Christopher Ward had been one of the first VJs on Much Music and was a regular host on the channel until the late 80’s, occasionally hosting programs on the channel though-out the early 90’s, so i’d say this book qualifies as being the most definitive account of the stations early history.

As an avid watcher, I had always been curious about some of the finer details that were not included in the newspaper and magazine articles I had read on Much Music and Musique Plus’ history. And I believe this book pretty much covers it all, with a few extras about some of the station’s most popular Canadian music videos.

I highly recommend this book. And yes, it is available in hardcover and in digital format from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, chapters.indigo.ca and iTunes Canada.

Le Studio Campaign


click here to support the restoration of Le Studio

Oh What A Feeling–The Next Generation

Fans of Canadian music and Canadian History will love this book.

Oh What a Feeling: The Next Generation includes the vast majority of the information found in its 1997 predecessor, which listed the major events of the Canadian music industry chronologically from 1886 to 1995, and extends this history further to 2013.

Additional events from 1886-1995 were added to this version as well as birth and death information, a chronology of Canadian hit songs since 1900 and profiles of the members of the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame since 1978.

This book is available from Amazon.ca and Chapters/Indigo.

Ottawa Rocks !

A special exhibit celebrating Ottawa’s rock & roll history has been organised by the City of Ottawa Archives at the James Bartleman Centre.

Six decades worth of photographs and other memorabilia have been placed on display at 100 Tallwood Drive, which is located at the corner of Tallwood Drive and Woodroffe Ave, approximately half of a kilometer south of the Baseline Transitway station and Woodroffe Campus of Algonquin College.


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This exhibit will be open on weekdays from 9 am – 4 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am – 5 pm until December 31st, 2013 and events will occasionally be held at the James Bartleman Centre that are related to this exhibition.

One such event, “Music Mania!”, will occur on November 2nd, 2013 from 9am to 12 pm for children aged 10-14. 

During that particular event children will experiment with lyrics and will have an opportunity to design concert posters for their favourite bands.

Admittance to the exhibit is free but a course fee of $10 for residents or $12.50 for non-residence is required for “Music Mania!”, whose space is limited to 20. The code required to register for “Music Mania!” online or by phone at 613-580-2588 is 878960