Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

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

Music Feature: Beatlemania Toronto Style

Music Feature: Beatlemania Toronto Style
The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle-bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings, Ian & Sylvia, had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute the Beatles arrived, it was over – well and truly over.” The folk boom slowed, as every kid on the block rushed to form rock bands. Toronto’s music sc...
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Music Feature: Oscar Peterson's Jazz School

Music Feature: Oscar Peterson's Jazz School
Oscar Peterson is remembered as a gifted pianist who could play it all, from Chopin and Liszt to blues, stride, boogie and beyond. Peterson led his own jazz trios, performed with such legendary figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, who dubbed him “the man with four hands,” won eight Grammy Awards and Canada’s prestigious Glenn Gould Prize. Called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, he released over 200 recordings before his death in 2007, including his 1956 Stratford Festival recording, 1958’s  On the Town , recorded at Toronto’s Town Tavern, and 1962’s  Night Train , which featured a number of Ellington piec...
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Feature Article: Toronto's Silver Dollar club

Toronto City Council votes to preserve historic music venue The Silver Dollar is one of Toronto’s most historically significant music venues. Along with its important role as a blues bar for 16 years (1994-2010), it provided a regular showcase room for rock, jazz and bluegrass music.  The earliest known band to play there was Tommy Danton & the Echoes, a gold-lame-suited group fronted by a Sinatra-style crooner that performed a popular mix of jazz and rhythm 'n' blues. Danton and the Echoes (pictured below at right) had a long residency at the club, after it opened in 1958. In the ’70s, when the Dollar was a strip club, the house band included notable jazz players John T. Davis (B3 ...
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Feature Article: Toronto's El Mocambo to close

Historic Toronto music venue that has welcomed U2, Rolling Stones, Ramones to its stage has been sold once again, confirms co-owner Sam Grosso. By Sadiya Ansari Toronto Star Sep 17 2014 Sam Grosso, co-owner of El Mocambo, has confirmed that after over 65 years the legendary music venue — which has seen the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Ramones and U2 — will be closing its doors Nov. 6. “I would like not to sell it, but I don’t have the money to continue buying out certain investors,” said Grosso, who has owned the club for the past two years. The property has been conditionally sold, but Grosso would not comment on who the buyer is. As for what will stand at 464 Spadina Ave. after the sal...
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Liner Notes: Sattalites - The Best of Canadian Reggae

Rare is the band that survives the challenges of constant touring, recording and inevitable membership changes. Rarer still is the group that keeps improving, consistently honing its craft and polishing its sound. The Sattalites have achieved that remarkable feat over the course of 30 years, establishing themselves along the way as one of the world's premier reggae acts. Built on the foundational talents of Jo Jo Bennett and Fergus Hambleton, the Sattalites have forged a fresh, vital sound that blends stirring roots reggae with thrilling harmonic pop. This collection represents all sides of the Sattalite sound, from the bubbling joy of "Wild" to the horn-driven ride of "Sunroof." Two can mak...
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