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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Feature: The Paupers at Monterey International Pop Festival

Paupers-Canadian-Sept67
It was 52 years ago today, June 18, that the Monterey International Pop Festival opened, kicking off 1967's Summer of Love with a star-studded lineup that included the first major American appearances by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Who, the first large-scale performance by Janis Joplin and the introduction of Otis Redding to a mass American audience. Others on the bill for the groundbreaking three-day festival were San Francisco's Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, the Mamas and the Papas, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Eric Burdon & the Animals and Simon  & Garfunkel. Monterey also marked the big U.S. debut of Canada's The Paupers, a band on the cusp of greatnes...
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New York: If you can make it there....

The Paupers in Central Park - photo by Linda Eastman
Canadian musicians have always flocked to New York, drawn like moths to the bright lights of the city that never sleeps. Dreams of a breakthrough in New York have inspired artists ever since Toronto vocal groups the Crew-Cuts, the Four Lads and the Diamonds all had success there, followed by Ottawa teenager Paul Anka, who ventured to the Big Apple in 1957 and scored a number one hit with "Diana," his lovestruck ode to a former babysitter. The steady stream continued during the folk boom. In November, 1965, Ian & Sylvia performed at New York's prestigious Philharmonic Hall while Gordon Lightfoot played a few days later just down Broadway Avenue at the Town Hall. Both folk acts became regu...
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Obituary: Paupers and Lighthouse drummer Skip Prokop

Skip-ArtUsherson Skip Prokop performs with Lighthouse at the Ontario Place Forum in 1972. Photo by Arthur Usherson.
Skip Prokop was one of Canada’s first major rock stars, a world-class drummer and talented songwriter who co-founded the groundbreaking jazz-rock band Lighthouse, which earned international acclaim in the 1970s. His death on August 30, after a long battle with heart disease, sparked an outpouring of tributes from the music world. Prokop got his start with the Paupers, an innovative Toronto rock quartet that took New York by storm in March 1967 and became the first Canadian band to land a U.S. album deal. He then recorded with Janis Joplin, performed with Cass Elliot and Carlos Santana and became greatly admired for his session work with Peter, Paul & Mary and Al Kooper and Mike...
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Liner Notes: The Paupers – Dig Deep 1966-1968

Liner Notes: The Paupers – Dig Deep 1966-1968
Canadians have a peculiar ability to downplay—or forget altogether—their artists’ achievements. “Cultural amnesia,” Margaret Atwood once called it. Canada’s first lady of letters could well have been referring to how the fabulous Paupers were (until now) relegated to the delete bins of Canadian music history. Atwood was giving her first poetry readings at Toronto’s Bohemian Embassy when The Paupers were establishing themselves as a legendary live act up the street, in Yorkville clubs like the El Patio and Boris’ Red Gas Room. The group went on to score radio hits such as “Simple Deed” and “If I Call You By Some Name.” But most significant—and forgotten—is the fact that in the months leading ...
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