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Popular Music: The Canadian Connection

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And there are these guys, who I consider the Canadian They Might Be Giants.

 

(Or perhaps They Might Be Giants are the American Barenaked Ladies.)

 

TMBG had released most of their best stuff before Barenaked Ladies first studio album, so your former assessment is closer to the truth.

 

My favorite Canadian band is Skinny Puppy, followed by Rush. The Guess Who and Brian Adams I also think of when I think of Canadian artists, although I'm not crazy about either.

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And there are these guys, who I consider the Canadian They Might Be Giants.

 

Thanks, JamesStewartFan. 

 

BNL is much loved in Canada. Since their very beginning - when they sang the words "this is me in grade 9" - they became instantly endeared to every student or ex-student anywhere in the country.

 

Here's a track from their album 'Everything to Everyone'.

 

 

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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.

 

 

Neil is just brilliant.  

 

I wonder if the car in the video is one of many he writes about in his autobiography.  

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The Old Apartment - official video

 

The first CD I ever bought of Barenaked Ladies was their amazing live compilation 'Rock Spectacle'. The version of 'The Old Apartment' on that, done live, is worth the price of the CD all by itself. It's still my favorite BNL song - a song that I relate to only too well - and the live version on 'Rock Spectacle' kicks *** - it's actually better than the studio version. Everyone I've played it for agrees.

 

Unfortunately, the Rock Spectacle version can't be found online - so I've been searching for a live version that comes as close as possible. Here's one - not as intense, but not bad.

 

 

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I also enjoy these guys and have seen them in concert. One of their best songs.

 

Was never much of a fan of this Calgary area country rock trio. So typical of the kind of Canadian outfits that proliferated in the early 70's. 

 

But I'm probably being unkind. Listening to their top half dozen releases after they reduced to a trio is kinda fun. 'Carry Me' was sorta good.

 

They did have one really big one:

 

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I like that song SIGN OF THE GYPSY QUEEN by April Wine.  Someone who played in April Wine from 1976-84 died a few days ago at age 67.  Can't recall the fella's name off the top of my head. 

 

     I bought the "Nature of the Beast" album which contains "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" and you can hear the song in the 1981 Canadian comedy 'GAS' when Helen Shaver is talking to Carl Marotte in the van. 

 

      Thorn/EMI video released a VHS tape in the early '80s of APRIL WINE in concert.  I snagged a used copy of the video several years ago.  

 

     Now I gotta go look up the guy's name . . .  It is bassist STEVE LANG who has passed on.

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I like that song SIGN OF THE GYPSY QUEEN by April Wine.

 

Ahhh, April Wine.

 

There's one song in particular - cheesy as it is - that played a profound part in one very beautiful chapter of my life. Summer 1977.

 

After years of spotty Toronto employment and a hippie-ish disposition, I'd begun work at a company in October '76 at the age of 26. One month later - November - in walked a new employee: a young woman of 20. She was a "farm girl" from North of Toronto.

 

It was in May of '77 that I asked her out. I'd just turned 27, she 21. Within a few weeks we were "going steady" - spending almost every night of the next summer months driving around, listening to tunes, drinking shakes; parking; necking. For me, it was rejuvenating - those high school type pursuits should have been behind me at that stage of life. But she wasn't long out of school and for her it was something she hadn't had before because of a troubled home life through high school.

 

And wouldn't you know, this hit song by April Wine played several times every evening on the car radio - the perfect backdrop for our "Happy Days" chapter in the summer of '77.

 

And yes, she did become my wife.

 

 

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Favourite Canadian-born artists:

 

Bobby Curtola: probably best known for songs like Hitchhiker, Fortune Teller, Aladdin, Don't You Sweetheart Me, Hand in Hand With You. I'm not sure if he wrote any of his own music. Sadly, he passed away last year.

 

Jack Scott: probably one of the most forgotten singer-songwriters out there. He's probably best known for My True Love, Leroy, The Way I Walk, Goodbye Baby, Oh Little One (all of which he wrote in the late 50s or early 60s). (By the way, the song The Way I Walk was recorded by a heavy-metal group called The Kramps (sp?) in the seventies.) I don't know why he isn't better remembered. He wrote so much good music (which I'm listening to right now, by the way) and he also recorded gospel music and did an entire album dedicated to Hank Williams.

 

The Beau-Marks: also an extremely underrated group (compared to, say, The Diamonds). I heard that they didn't exist as a group for very long, but they did write a handful of songs when they were together. To my knowledge, some of their best-known songs are Clap Your Hands, Billy Billy Went a-Walking, Classmate, The Tender Years, Fulfillment. They wrote all five songs, plus some others.

 

-----------------------------

 

Second place:

 

Paul Anka

 

The Diamonds

 

The Crew-Cuts

 

Gordon Lightfoot

 

Bryan Adams (probably the only post-1980 artist whom I can really stomach)

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The Beau-Marks: also an extremely underrated group (compared to, say, The Diamonds). I heard that they didn't exist as a group for very long, but they did write a handful of songs when they were together. To my knowledge, some of their best-known songs are Clap Your Hands, Billy Billy Went a-Walking, Classmate, The Tender Years, Fulfillment. They wrote all five songs, plus some others.

 

Beau-Marks biggest hit:

 

 

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Thanks for posting the song by The Beau-Marks! It's a wonderful song which I've loved since the late 90s, when I first heard it.

 

:)

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Thanks for posting the song by The Beau-Marks! It's a wonderful song which I've loved since the late 90s, when I first heard it.

 

You're welcome. Thanks for contributing some great names to the thread.

 

Jack Scott was from Windsor, Ontario - moved to the outskirts of Detroit at the age of ten. Here's his (probably) biggest hit:

 

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You're welcome. Thanks for contributing some great names to the thread.

 

Jack Scott was from Windsor, Ontario - moved to the outskirts of Detroit at the age of ten. 

 

Yup, Jack Scott has lived in the States most of his life, but his music still qualifies as Canadian content, because he was born here in Canada.

 

My True Love is probably his biggest hit. I first discovered it about 25 years ago on one of those "best hits of the 50s" tapes. In the late nineties, I used to listen to an oldies station a lot. All our stations are required to play a certain amount of Canadian content each day, and so they would play a lot of his music. That's when I realized that he isn't just a one-hit wonder. He had a number of hits. He wrote dozens of songs, too. He did a gospel music album and a Hank Williams cover album, but (to my knowledge) most of his other recordings are of music which he wrote himself. Why he isn't better remembered is beyond me.

 

Actually, he's quite well remembered for a song called Burning Bridges which apparently he didn't write. Someone once pointed out to me that there is another song called Burning Bridges which was written/recorded about 10 years later. They're two different songs with completely different beats/themes.

 

Back to that oldies station which I mentioned: I listened to that station a lot in the nineties before they became a sports station. I was annoyed at the change, but I had listened to them long enough to learn about Jack Scott's music.

 

I also learned about The Beau-Marks for the first time, all thanks to that station. They always played Clap Your Hands, Billy Billy Went a-Walking, and Classmate

 

Here I should mention that if it weren't for that radio station, I would probably never have discovered Bobby Curtola. My parents weren't fans of his. That station played quite a few of his early hits, like Three Rows Over, Destination Love, Hitchhiker, Don't You Sweetheart Me, Fortune Teller, Aladdin, etc. (A few of those songs were hits in the States as well, but seems to me that he's mostly known here in Canada.) Unfortunately, Bobby passed away last year. He was in his early seventies.

 

To my knowledge, Jack Scott is still touring. I've seen some youtube clips of his performing these past few years. I've come across a few recent clips of The Beau-Marks, too, but it seems that only one or two of them are still with us. Bobby Curtola was touring near the end of his life as well. In fact, when his partner was killed in a car accident (a few months before his death), he apparently didn't postpone a concert which he was scheduled to do a few days later. Amazing man. I wouldn't have had the energy nor the motivation.

 

Anyway, I was happy to provide others here with some info about these underrated singers!

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'Indian Giver' was another of Bobby's larger hits.

 

The President of Bobby's fan club was the lovely Linda Thomas. I worked with her (same company, anyway) for a number of years.

 

 

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I'm not a fan of the song Indian Giver. Not a favorite of mine.

 

So you must have known about Bobby Curtola for some time, then! Is he one of your faves? What about Jack Scott? What about The Beau-Marks? Have you been listening to them for years now? Just curious.

 

I also enjoy music by some other Canadian-born artists, like Paul Anka, The Diamonds, The Crew-Cuts, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot...and I'm probably forgetting some names here.

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So you must have known about Bobby Curtola for some time, then! Is he one of your faves? What about Jack Scott? What about The Beau-Marks? Have you been listening to them for years now? Just curious.

 

I also enjoy music by some other Canadian-born artists, like Paul Anka, The Diamonds, The Crew-Cuts, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot...and I'm probably forgetting some names here.

 

Yes, I've been aware of Bobby Curtola since hearing his first big hit - 'Fortune Teller' - in 1962 at the age of 12.

 

He had a nice voice - very pleasant vibrato. Unlike many rock fans, I have no problem with the teen idol phase of the early 60's. I enjoyed it at the time and still do.

 

The two songs I most remember from Jack Scott are 'Burning Bridges' and 'What in the World's Come Over You'. However, I can't say I'm a big fan - not a huge country music guy, me. I appreciate his contribution, though.

 

Same level of appreciation for The Diamonds. Like most, I love 'Little Darlin'', but this doo-wap covering band of the 50's is not an act I followed with a great deal of enthusiasm. As for the Beau-Marks, I never thought of them at all. 'Clap Your Hands' is one of those generic early 60's diddies that would frequently be used as the opening theme to teen music shows - dance party broadcasts and stuff like that.

 

Back around 1980 I had a buddy who tried to turn me on to Bryan Adams, with marginal success. He and his chick had discovered Adams live at a Toronto club and had enjoyed the show so much I was forced to listen to the 'Cuts Like a Knife' LP every time I went over to their place - and sometimes they'd bring it with them to our place too. I liked it ok, just not as much as them. There's a great guitar lick towards the end of 'Cuts Like a Knife'. For a long time the song I liked most from Adams was 'Summer of '69', which I sure did relate to.

 

But this is my favorite song by him:

 

 

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Yes, I've been aware of Bobby Curtola since hearing his first big hit - 'Fortune Teller' - in 1962 at the age of 12.

 

etc.

 

I've been a fan of the late 50s and early 60s music ever since I was a preteen. I suppose that a lot of rock fans prefer more modern rock, but I don't. Sure a lot of the singers back then were teens/young adults, but they were talented and the music was good.

 

I'm not much of a fan of modern country music (unlike a lot of people in my province), but I like some classic country music - mostly by Jack Scott, Johnny Tillotson, and Jerry Wallace. I don't care much for Hank Williams, but I like the recordings which Jack Scott and Johnny Tillotson did of his music. By the way, not all the music recorded by these singers would qualify as country. Both Scott and Tillotson recorded music which is definitely pop music.

 

Apparently Burning Bridges and What in the World's Come Over You were hits in their time. I read that Burning Bridges was used in two movies a couple of years ago.

 

Regarding The Diamonds: they are hit and miss with me. I adore some of their songs, which I cringe at others. I have never liked their song The Stroll, and yet it's probably one of their most famous songs. I've liked Little Darlin' ever since I heard it first about 25 years ago.

 

Kind of too bad that Clap Your Hands was used this way you described. People probably got tired of the song. This sort of thing happens too often - one song by certain artists will be overplayed, while a lot of their other stuff will be ignored. Then a lot of people will start to resent those artists because of their one overplayed song.

 

I got into Bryan Adams music in the early nineties when I was in high school and the song Everything I Do, I Do it For You was in style. I even bought the album Waking Up the Neighbors (or whatever it's called...can't even remember now). That was an unusual thing for me to do. Generally I don't bother with most post-1964 music, especially post-1980 music. But somehow the Bryan Adams music from the early nineties appealed to me.

 

As for Paul Anka, I have enjoyed some of his early work since I heard it on "best of the fifties" albums in the early nineties. I really like: Diana, You Are My Destiny, Lonely Boy, Put Your Head on My Shoulders, A Steel Guitar and a Glass of Wine, and some others.

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I'm not a fan of the song Indian Giver. Not a favorite of mine.

 

So you must have known about Bobby Curtola for some time, then! Is he one of your faves? What about Jack Scott? What about The Beau-Marks? Have you been listening to them for years now? Just curious.

 

I also enjoy music by some other Canadian-born artists, like Paul Anka, The Diamonds, The Crew-Cuts, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot...and I'm probably forgetting some names here.

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Lighthouse, France Joli, Rush, Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive

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I just realized that I haven't said anything about female artists. 

 

Usually I prefer male singers. I love a nice strong male voice, preferably deep.

 

There are a couple of songs by Pat Hervey which I like, and a few by Anne Murray.

 

I think that Anne Murray did a great job of the Everly Bros song Walk Right Back.

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