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Popular Music: The Canadian Connection

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I thought it would be nice to have a thread devoted to songs and videos related specifically to Canadians - be it solo artists, bands, song-writers, producers.

Who better to begin with than possibly the very first truly world-wide music superstar - certainly the first teen idol superstar - to be Canadian.

From 1957 - when he exploded unto American music charts with his first hit 'Diana" - to 1962, Paul Anka sold tens of millions of records and had the girls screaming for him everywhere he went. Quite a story. What a period for a young man to live through.

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Arguably the greatest Canadian singer/songwriter of all time is Gordon Lightfoot. He appeared in the mid 60's and released scores of amazing high quality singles and albums for the next two decades.

Here he is in an American television appearance in 1969.

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Arguably the greatest Canadian singer/songwriter of all time is Gordon Lightfoot. He appeared in the mid 60's and released scores of amazing high quality singles and albums for the next two decades.

 

 

 

Oh yes. And he's still performing...maybe at a slower pace than before, but he's still around, and still worth listening to. He was a talented and inventive song-writer. Many of his compositions have a slightly jazzy feel to them - the chord changes in the melodies - like the one you posted, "Softly".

 In a recent interview, he said he "never expected" his songs to be hits....except this one. Although just about all his tunes are good-to-great, you can see why this one would be so popular.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGp9Fde4vro

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Here's one of the great all-time Canadian ballads.

 

 

 

 Make Me do Anything You Want

 

When this tune first came out (1972), my friends and I speculated, based upon the song title, that it was a love paean to a dominatrix.

 

How did adolescent girls even know what a "dominatrix" was? Now that's worrying.

 

(good tune; makes me nostalgic for my early teen years every time I hear it. which isn't often.)

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Oh yes. And he's still performing...maybe at a slower pace than before, but he's still around, and still worth listening to. He was a talented and inventive song-writer. Many of his compositions have a slightly jazzy feel to them - the chord changes in the melodies - like the one you posted, "Softly".

 In a recent interview, he said he "never expected" his songs to be hits....except this one. Although just about all his tunes are good-to-great, you can see why this one would be so popular.

 

Lightfoot's done some revival tours in our area--My sister was a big fan in the 70's, and when she saw Lightfoot's anniversary-revival tour poster at the theater, I broke her up by imitating the SCTV sketch:

 

(Assume that an early Rick Moranis doing the dead-on Gordon voice)

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As much as I had enjoyed Lightfoot in the 60's - 'Black Day in July', 'Softly', Early Morning Rain', a cover of Dylan's 'Tom Thumb's Blues' - I was not at all prepared for the true greatness of this release from 1971.

The best song he had ever written - and would ever write - in my opinion. Blew my mind then, blows my mind still. One of the best songs I've ever heard.

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As much as I had enjoyed Lightfoot in the 60's - 'Black Day in July', 'Softly', Early Morning Rain', a cover of Dylan's 'Tom Thumb's Blues' - I was not at all prepared for the true greatness of this release from 1971.

 

The best song he had ever written - and would ever write - in my opinion. Blew my mind then, blows my mind still. One of the best songs I've ever heard.

 

 

 

Yes. "If You Could Read My Mind" has to one of the most heart-breaking songs ever about the end of a relationship. He absolutely captures, in a few simple poetic words, all its sadness and bewilderment. A song about grown-ups. And the melody is just as powerful and beautiful as the lyrics. An unforgettable song.

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I wanted to post Kim Stockwood's rendition of 'A Good Man' from her 'BonaVista' album - a nice song praising a step-father for once. But it's been taken down from YouTube.

 

So, here's another song from that album instead.

 

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I've never heard of Kim Stockwood. Never heard her music, either ( as far as I know.) I feel I should have - judging by those two tunes you posted, she's pretty talented. Makes me wonder how many other good Canadian artists have been kicking around for a while who I've never heard of.

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On 1/12/2017 at 1:01 PM, misswonderly3 said:

I've never heard of Kim Stockwood. Never heard her music, either ( as far as I know.) I feel I should have - judging by those two tunes you posted, she's pretty talented. Makes me wonder how many other good Canadian artists have been kicking around for a while who I've never heard of.

Your praise has inspired me to post one more by Kim.

Here's an ode to a free mind.

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Staying with talent from the Maritimes, here's Sloan - quite the callback to "beatle-esque" power pop.

 

 

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Staying with talent from the Maritimes, here's Sloan - quite the callback to "beatle-esque" power pop.

 

I remember Sloan. For some reason, thinking about Sloan reminds me of another band from around the same era - well actually, a few years earlier. This goofy but fun tune is from the mid-'80s. The singer is probably really experiencing some of those "getting old" problems he sings about when he was in his 20s...

 

 

 

By the way, db, this video made me nostalgic. Recognize any of those places from Toronto in the 80s?

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I have a 'The Pursuit of Happiness' album in my collection, missw.

 

It's called 'The Downward Road'. Interesting group at times.

 

Here's one of the better-known tracks from 'The Downward Road'.

 

 

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I wouldn't mind hearing a 1978 country song by the Canadian group "THE FAMILY BROWN".  It's called "Love Is A Contact Sport".  Know of a way to listen to that, darkblue?  I've got a few 45's from 'TFB', including their U.S. Top 40 hit  "But It's Cheatin'".  But I don't have "Love Is A Contact Sport".   

 

     ♦ I enjoyed the two Kim Stockwood songs I 'clicked' on to listen. 

 

     ♦ I know of a Canadian 'roots' singer named 'John Wort Hannam'.  I have a few of his albums on CD. 

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On 1/19/2017 at 6:16 AM, Mr. Gorman said:

I wouldn't mind hearing a 1978 country song by the Canadian group "THE FAMILY BROWN".  It's called "Love Is A Contact Sport".  Know of a way to listen to that, darkblue?  

I'm sorry, Mr. Gorman, but 'Love Is a Contact Sport' by The Family Brown does not appear to have been uploaded online. It also seems to have disappeared from sale as a single - probably long-sinced deleted as a pressing.

I'll try to keep an eye out for it. Maybe someday somebody will post it to YouTube or something.

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This thread has shown how little I know Canadian musicians.  Except Gordon Lightfoot.  And this fellow (long in the U.S., of course) who (whom?) I listen to almost every day:

 

 

 

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This thread has shown how little I know Canadian musicians.  Except Gordon Lightfoot.  And this fellow (long in the U.S., of course) who (whom?) I listen to almost every day:

 

Thanks for bringing Neil into the thread, GayD! He just might be the greatest Canadian songwriter of all time.

 

Here's Neil at the time of his 'Everybody is Rockin' album in the mid 80's.

 

 

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