Recommended Reading
General Canadian History
Released in conjunction with a four CD compilation to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Juno Awards, "Oh What A Feeling" features a year by year chronological account of Canada's music history as well as information on the Juno Awards from 1971 to 1996. Though lacking specific information like the day and month associated to an event, this book is still an excellent historical reference ; A great addition to the recent "Oh What A Feeling II" compilation. This book is available from Music Books Plus and Amazon.
If general biographical information is more to your linking, then you'll enjoy "The Encyclopedia of Canadian Rock, Pop and Folk Music" by Rick Jackson (author of the "Encyclopedia of Canadian Country Music"). A more recent version of this book can be found online at Canoe but I always like to have a hard copy. A great gift for the Canadian music fan. A new revised version will be available soon from Music Books Plus and
Last but not least are "Top 40 Hits: The Essential Charts Guide" and "Top Albums: The Essential Charts Guide" by chart researcher Nanda Lwyn. If it was in the singles charts in Canada from 1975 to 1999 or in the album charts in Canada from 1977 to 2002 then it is likely listed in this book, by artist, date and peak chart position. Every radio station, pop music historian and biographer should have these books. Both books are available from Music Books Plus or .
A hometown favorite, Alanis Morissette has been one of my favorite Canadian songwriters and female vocalists since her beginnings as a pop artist. Back when I was the first person to write a discography (videography) for her for the net (for the now defunct site for cult children’s program “You Can’t Do That On Television”), I was quite surprised when I heard she had signed to Madonna’s new label for such a large advance ; $10 million dollars - An amount rarely given to a Canadian pop artist at the time. But history speaks for itself ; From a pop tot on local television variety program “Homegrown Café” and target for “green slime” to her multiple Diamond certifications and Juno Award wins, “Alanis Morissette: A Biography” by Paul Cantin has it all. This book is available from
Celine Dion - My Story” by Georges-Hébert Germain & Celine Dion is another noteworthy biography. From her childhood in Charlemagne, through her françophone pop career in Quebec and Europe to one of the most recognizable names in the world, this book details her life and career, further than the previous authorized biography by the same author that was published in 1997, and includes personal revelations related to her “retirement” and the unfortunate incident of her husband’s cancer. Being mostly a fan of her french material, I of course prefer the original french version of this and the previous biography, "Ma Vie, Mon Rêve" and "Celine", but the english versions are available from in Hardcover & Paperback.
Music Industry
If you are in a band or want a job in the music industry, the first book I believe you should purchase is The Indie Band Bible by Moist guitarist Mark Makoway. Filling the void left by the lack of a more recent “Some Straight Talk About The Music Business” by Canadian author Mona Coxson, this excellent book contains vital information for independent bands and more. Definitely recommended, even for those who are just curious about the music industry in Canada.
Music , Money & Success” is as described, “The Insider’s Guide To The Music Industry”. A more intermediate guide to the industry, this book by industry experts Jeffrey and Todd Barbec explains the inner workings of this industry in a more in-depth manner than The Indie Band Bible , yet in a comprehensive, laymen’s manner. Though not Canadian, it contains general information that can be used by Canadians, especially those who wish to market their talents to the States. The 2006 paperback version was just recently released at and
And finally, for those looking for connections in the industry, I would recommend “Music Directory Canada, Ninth Edition”. An incredible source of information, this affordable book contains contact information for most of Canada’s labels (both major and indie), distributors, publishers, radio stations (both commercial and campus), venues (including some clubs), associations, etc. This book would be a great addition to the aforementioned guides to the industry, accompanied by "The Indie Bible", an international contact guide by Canadian author David Wimble that includes several essential internet contacts and various articles by top industry experts.
BTW, a quick reference to music industry terminology is available : "The Dictionary of Music Business Terms” is an excellent reference guide for those just starting in the industry. This book is available from and
Paroles De Plamondon is a compilation of lyrics from my favorite lyricist, Luc Plamondon. This Canadian Music Hall Of Fame inductee is responsible for over 500 francophone compositions, many of which were international hits for Celine Dion, Martine St-Clair, Catherine Lara, Diane Tell, Bruno Pelletier, Diane Dufresne, Garou, Marie Denise Pelletier and the countless other stars that performed in his theatrical colaborations (Starmania, La Legende De Jimmy, Notre Dame De Paris). This book is available from and

The Indie Bible, 8th Edition
Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide
Top Albums
The Indie Band Bible
Music, Money and Success - Fifth Edition