Monday, March 23, 2015

WHO REMEMBERS THE NUMBER ONE SONGS OF THE 1990’S



1990 was 25 years ago, but some of that music still sounds as fresh today as it did when it first came on the radio.  But how many # 1’s of the ‘90’s can you remember.  If you’re 25 or under, you might have a bit of a problem with this quiz, but everyone who grew up or throughout the 1990’s should zip right through it.  These # 1’s by the way could be either singles or albums, but all 5 questions are multiple choice anyway.  And we’re off and running...!
QUESTIONS

1.  Janet Jackson had an amazing year in 1990.  Four of her songs climbed into the North American Top Ten chart.  Two of them made it all the way to # 1.  “Black Cat” was one of those two # 1 hits.  Which of these Janet Jackson 1990 Top Ten hits also made it to # 1?  Was it: a. “Rhythm Nation”  b. “Escapade”  c. “Come Back To Me”   
     
2.  In 1994, Celine Dion’s hit “The Power of Love” was # 1 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart for 4 weeks.  “Bump N’ Grand” from R. Kelly also stayed at the top of the singles chart for 4 weeks.  But one # 1 song from ’94 staved off all comers for 14 consecutive weeks.  What song was it?  a. “The Sign” by Ace of Base  b. “All For Love” from Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting  c. “I Swear” by All-4-One          

3.  Talk about a massive hit…“Whitney Houston’s 1992/93 mega smash song, “I Will Always Love You” was # 1 on the North American singles chart for 14 straight weeks.  Five of those weeks were in November and December of ’92.  The other nine weeks were the first nine weeks of ’93.  The song was a show stopper in the Kevin Costner/ Whitney Houston film, “The Bodyguard”.  Who wrote “I Will Always Love You”?  Was it:               a. Country star Dolly Parton  b. Record producer David Foster  c. Hit songwriter Diane Warren   

4.  Alanis Morissette was just inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2015 JUNO Awards this month.  Back in October 1995, her debut American album “Jagged Little Pill” climbed to the top of the album chart for 12 weeks.  Only they weren’t consecutive weeks.  “Jagged Little Pill” was the # 1 album for two weeks in October ’95, then got bumped by Mariah Carey’s “Daydream” album.  “JLP” returned to # 1 for one week in February of ’96, with 2Pac’s “All Eyez On Me” replacing it.  It jumped back to # 1 for three more weeks in March of ’96 before being replaced by The Beatles’ “Anthology 2” for one week, then Alanis was back on top for an additional 3 weeks and was replaced by Rage Against The Machine’s ”Evil Empire” album.  So that’s 9 weeks in total so far.  “Jagged Little Pill” hung around the Top Ten for the next three and a half months until the week of August 24th, when it zoomed back to # 1 for its final 3 weeks.  What album finally ended Alanis Morissette’s 12 week run at # 1?  Was it:         a. “Home Again” from New Edition  b. “No Code” from Pearl Jam  c. “Falling Into You” from Celine Dion          

5.  1991 was the year that Bryan Adams had his biggest hit EVER!  “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” climbed to # 1 for the week of July 27th and stayed there for 7 weeks.  It was a song featured in what 1991 movie?  a. “The Fisher King”  b. “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”  c. “Father of The Bride”  
 ANSWERS

1.  b. Escapade was the other Janet Jackson hit to make it to # 1.  It survived at the top of the singles chart for three weeks in March 1990 and was knocked off by “Black Velvet” from sultry Canadian singer Alannah Myles.  Although “Rhythm Nation” made its chart debut in November of 1989, it eventually stalled at # 2 in early January of ’90.  “Come Back To Me” also only made it to # 2 in August that year.  “Black Cat” was # 1 for one week in October of ’90.  A 5th Janet Jackson song, “Love Will Never Do (without You)” first charted in the middle of November 1990, but didn’t reach # 1 until the week of January 19th, 1991.        
 
2.  The correct answer is c.I Swear” from All-4-One.  It was the groups ONLY # 1 hit single, although in 1995, the All-4-One single, “I Can Love You Like That” did climb to # 5.  From 1990 until 2002, Celine Dion had four # 1 hits with “The Power of Love” being her first.  That was followed in 1996 with “Because You Loved Me”.  1998 saw the amazing success of James Cameron’s epic, “Titanic” and Celine’s hit song from that movie, “My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)”.  “I’m Your Angel”, Celine’s duet with R. Kelly climbed into the top singles spot in early 1999.         

3.  If you answered a. Dolly Parton give yourself a pat on the back (but don’t hurt yourself).
Dolly had released “I Will Always Love You” in June of 1974.  It was the second single from Dolly’s album, “Jolene”.  Dolly says she wrote it for her former singing partner and mentor, Porter Wagoner.  Interestingly, the song went to # 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Hot  Country Songs chart TWICE…once in June of ’74 and again in October of 1982.  Dolly was the first person to have a # 1 record twice with the same song as a singer and three times as a songwriter (including Whitney Houston’s version).  Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” was # 1 for 14 consecutive weeks from November 18th until the week of February 27th 1993 and won the Grammy Award for ‘Record of the Year’ in 1993.  Whitney won the Grammy for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female”.

4.  If you guessed b. “No Code” from Pearl Jam, then you are absolutely correct.  The week of September 7th, 1996 was “Jagged Little Pill’s final stay at # 1.  “No Code” remained # 1 for the next two weeks and was replaced by New Edition’s “Home Again” for one week, then for the week of October 5th 1995, Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” album commanded the top spot on the North American album chart.  Billboard Magazine ranked “Jagged Little Pill” as the # 1 best selling pop album of the 1990’s.  “Jagged Little Pill” won the Grammy Award for ‘Album of the Year’ in 1996, which made then 21 year-old Alanis Morissette the youngest artist in history to win that award.  She held that record for 14 years until 20 year- old Taylor Swift won ‘Album of The Year’ for “Fearless”.  “Jagged Little Pill” also won the Grammy for ‘Best Rock Album’, Alanis took home the Grammy statue for ‘Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female’ for “You Oughta Know”, which also won for ‘Best Rock Song’.         
         
5.  b. “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” is the movie that “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” was featured in.  It was co-written by Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange (Shania Twain’s ex-husband).  Kamen did the score for the movie and ‘Mutt’ Lange was producing an album with Bryan Adams in London, England at the time.  The song went to # 1 in 19 countries and sold over 15 million copies.  Composer Kamen died in 2003 after having scored dozens of motion pictures including “Die Hard 1, 2” and “Die Hard With A Vengeance”, “Lethal Weapon 1,2, 3 & 4”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Don Juan DeMarco” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

JUNO, JUNO...WHO WON A JUNO?



The annual JUNO Awards were this past Sunday.  Former child TV star Alanis Morissette was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.  The number one selling Canadian artist in 2014, Bobby Bazini performed, along with Hedley, Sam Roberts Band, Lights and deadmau5.  Ruish received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award and their manager, Ray Danniels was honoured with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement JUNO.
So you may know who won this year’ JUNO’s, but let’s see how well you know your JUNO  history.  Oh don’t look so worried, see, the deal is...I give you 5 questions!  You supply 5 answers!  Easy, peasy, nice and breezy.  Let’s get to ‘er then, eh?
 
QUESTIONS

1.  Which Canadian superstar has more JUNO Award wins – Celine Dion or Bryan Adams? 
     
2.  Legendary singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 1986 JUNO’s.  Which equally legendary musician inducted Gordon?  Was it:  a. Anne Murray  b. Bob Dylan  c. Leonard Cohen          

3.  This year’s JUNO Fan Choice Award went to Michael Buble.  Which Canadian group or performer won the JUNO Fan Choice Award for the last four consecutive years?  Is it:
a. Justin Bieber  b. Nickelback  c. Drake        

4.  In the 2015 ‘Album of the Year’ JUNO category, Leonard Cohen won for his album, “Popular Problems”.  What JUNO Award did Leonard Cohen win in 2013?  Was it:             a. ‘Best Video’  b. ‘Best Pop Album’  c. ‘Artist of the Year’    

5.  The 2015 JUNO for ‘Single of the Year’ went to Magic for their song “Rude”.  For the 1996 JUNO Awards, the nominees for ‘Single of the Year’ were: “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain, “O Siem” by Susan Aglukark, “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” from Bryan Adams, “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette and “Insensitive” by Jann Arden.  Who won the ‘Single of the Year’ JUNO that year?

ANSWERS

1.  Bit of a trick question there.  Both Bryan and Celine have won 20 JUNO Awards.  Bryan has been nominated 59 times, while Celine has 70 nominations.  Keep trying Bryan, you can still catch up.
 
2.  It was b. Bob Dylan who inducted Gordon Lightfoot.  Dylan received a standing ovation from the audience at the Harbor Castle Weston in Toronto.  After being introduced by Anne Murray, Dylan spent a lot of time staring at the wall of monitors behind him on stage.  Gordon Lightfoot has won 16 JUNO Awards in his career so far.         

3.  It’s a. Justin Bieber who just turned 21 on March 1st.  Nickelback won the JUNO Fan Choice Award in 2004 and 2009.  Drake has never won a JUNO Fan Choice Award. Sorry Drake, but he’s OK as he has 6 other JUNO statues to keep him warm in the winter.   

4.  If you guessed c. ‘Artist of the Year’, you are correct.  Also in 2013, Leonard won a JUNO as ‘Songwriter of the Year’. 
         
5.  This years’ inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame is the same person who won ‘Single of the Year’ in 1996.  It’s Alanis Morissette.  Her song was “You Oughta Know”.  The following year, Alanis won the ‘Single of the Year’ JUNO Award again.  This time, it was for her song “Ironic”.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

THEY SAID WHAT?



Rock and roll has been around since the 1950’s and eventually achieved legitimacy to the point that The Beatles success inspired an entire generation of kids to pick up a guitar, but that never stopped critics from trying to tear it down...or for that matter, for rock stars to become too full of themselves.  Our quiz this time is to see if you can tell who made a specific statement about music, or life, or rock and roll. 
Well ‘it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go cat go...”

QUESTIONS

1.  Who said this:  “Rock and roll is sung, and written for the most part, by cretinous goons, and by means of its almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd – in plain fact, dirty – lyrics, it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent”?
Was it a. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen  b. Richard Nixon  c. Frank Sinatra     

2.  What early Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee made the following statement: “I never considered myself part of rock’n’roll.  I didn’t believe that I was among the forerunners of the music and I’ve never given myself a lick of credit for either inventing it or having anything to do with its birth.”? Was it:  Chuck Berry  b. Ray Charles  c. Bill Haley        

3.  Which musical superstar who first hit the charts in the 1970’s as the lead singer of a British group, before successfully going solo a few years later said this: “When you’re as rich as I am, you don’t have to be political.”?  Was it: a. Sting (The Police)  b. Freddie Mercury (Queen) c. Rod Stewart (The Faces)   

4.  The following statement was made by a member of one of the most successful musical groups in history: “People have come to us and said, ‘Do you realize how much power you have now?  You could change the world with some of the things you say’.  And I say to them, ‘Leave me alone’.  Power is fleeting.  So is ego.  Politicians have no idea how to save the world, so why should pop stars?”  Is it: a. Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones  b. Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees  c. Glenn Frey of The Eagles    

5.  Which Canadian born singer/songwriter made this statement: “If some people had their way, they’d just want me to weep and suffer for them for the rest of my life, because people live vicariously through their artists.”  Is it:  a. Sarah Mclachlan               b.  Diana Krall  c. Joni Mitchell      
ANSWERS

1.  That would be c. Frank Sinatra who, on July 2nd, 1966, knocked The Beatles “Paperback Writer” from the # 1 spot on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart with his song “Strangers In The Night”.  Frank’s # 1 ride only lasted one week as The Beatles got their revenge and returned to the top of the singles charts the following week (July 9th).  In April of 1967, Frank and daughter Nancy’s duet “Something Stupid” replaced The Turtles “Happy Together” at # 1.  That song hung onto the top spot for 4 consecutive weeks and was finally knocked off the week of May 13, 1967 by The Supremes “The Happening”.  So, start spreading the news, that was Frank’s last # 1.
 
2.  If you picked b. Ray Charles, you would be correct.  Throughout his career, Ray sang everything, rock’n’roll, blues, R&B and country.  He charted 77 songs on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart and just as many of their R&B chart.  Ray had three # 1 hits, “Georgia On My Mind” in 1960, ‘61’s “Hit The Road Jack” and 1962’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You”.  Ray Charles was one of the first inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, 1986.  In April of 1979, Ray’s version of “Georgia On My Mind” was proclaimed the official state song by the Georgia legislature.  Ray Charles passed away on June 10, 2004 at the age of 73.     

3.  a. Sting said it.  Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, was the lead singer of The Police, with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.  The Police first hit the North American singles chart in 1979 with “Roxanne”.  Their only # 1 was 1983’s “Every Breath You Take”.  Stings’ first solo hit came in 1985 with “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free” which climbed to # 3.  Stings’ only solo # 1 was “All For Love” (from the motion picture “The Three Musketeers”) in 1994, which was a collaboration with Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams.    
         
4.  The correct answer is b. Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees.  The brothers Gibb have sold more than 200 million albums during their career and had three straight # 1 albums in a row starting with the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever” in 1978, which was the # 1 album for 24 weeks.  That was followed by “Spirits Having Flown” in ’79, then in 1980 with “Bee Gees Greatest”.  They also charted nine # 1 hit singles, starting with “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” in 1971 and ending with “Love You Inside And Out” in ’79.  The Bee Gees entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.  Barry Gibb is the last remaining Gibb brother.  Andy died in March 1988 (he was only 30), Maurice died in January 2003 at the age of 53 and Robin passed away at age 62 in May 2012.            

5.  It was c. Joni Mitchell who made that statement.  Mitchell was born in Alberta and raised in Saskatchewan.  She was writing poetry in school and started out as a folk singer, playing clubs in Western Canada and then Toronto before moving to Los Angeles where she was signed by Reprise Records (the same label as Neil Young, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin).  At Reprise, Joni recorded such influential albums as “Clouds”, “Ladies of the Canyon” and “Blue”.  “Joni later moved over to Asylum Records where her success grew with albums such as “Court And Spark”, “Miles of Aisles” and “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”.  Joni was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1981 and although she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, she did not attend the ceremony.  Joni received a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the Grammy Awards in 2002 for being “one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era.”          

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...A CANADIAN?



Throughout Hollywood’s rich history, only slightly more than a handful of Canadians have won Academy Awards.  The National Film Board has won a bunch of times for their marvellous documentaries, but our quiz this time is about Canadians (most of whom no longer live in the Great White North) who’ve taken home an Oscar statue.
Mary Pickford (who’s real name is Gladys Louise Smith and whose home stood on what is now the Hospital For Sick Children on University Avenue in Toronto) won the Academy Award in 1928/19 for her work in the motion picture “Coquette”.  The award ceremony was held in April of 1930.  That same year, in November, Montreal born Norma Shearer, won the ‘Best Actress In A Leading Role’ Oscar for her work in the film “The Divorcee”.  The Oscars and Canada have a long tradition.  It’s not just a very large tradition.
So wrap yourself up in the Canadian flag (which incidentally is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) and have a great time with this quiz, eh?

QUESTIONS

1.  This Hollywood character actor was born in Toronto on April 5, 1883 (which would mean that he’s definitely passed on).  He made his Broadway debut in 1924 and in 1929 moved to Hollywood where he worked on movies such as “The Virginian” with Gary Cooper (1929), the title role in “Abraham Lincoln” (1930), “The Devil and Daniel Webster” (1941) and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” with Jimmy Cagney.  The motion picture that won Walter his Oscar in 1948, co-starred Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt and was about the adventures of three men searching for gold in the hills of Mexico.  This movie was directed by Walter’s son John.  His last name is the same as a major Texas city (although it’s spelled slightly differently).  Who is he?   

2.  His role of Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” may be this Oscar winning actor’s most famous role in a motion picture, although many fans still remember him as Klingon General Chang in 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”.  He won the Oscar in 2011 for a movie that also starred Ewan McGregor.  He was born in Toronto, but spent a lot of time in England, which may account for his slight British accent.  He’s equally at home on the big screen or as a guest star on a television series.  His daughter, Amanda is also an actress.  His last name is the same as the professional craftsman that you’d call if your sink or toilet didn’t work.  Can you name this Academy Award winning actor?         

3.  The director of the biggest movie of 1996 was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario in 1954 and moved to Hollywood in 1971.  He’s a writer/producer/director and inventor.  Some of the movies he’s directed are: “Aliens”, “The Terminator”, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, “The Abyss” and “Avatar”.  He’s won three Academy Awards, all for the same movie about a ship on its maiden voyage in 1912 that hits an iceberg and sinks.  What’s this famous Canadian’s name?                     

4.  This politically aware Quebec born director has been nominated for an Academy award three times.  He won the ‘Best Foreign Film’ Oscar in 2004 for “The Barbarian Invasions”.  Who is he?  Is it: a. Denis Villeneuve  b. Denys Arcand  c. Philippe Falardeau   

5.  This Canadian born actress, who moved to New Zealand at an early age, was the youngest ever (age 11) Academy Award winner in 1994.  The movie she won for was “The Prize”.  It was her first film.  She co-starred in the “X-Men” movie series as well as the TV series “True Blood”.  Who is this delightful actress?     
 
ANSWERS

1.  It was Walter Huston, writer/director John Huston’s father and Anjelica Huston’s granddad who won the ‘Best Actor In A Supporting Role’ Academy Award in 1948 for “The Treasure of The Sierra Madre” with Humphrey Bogart.  Walter had been nominated in the same category in 1943 for “Yankee Doodle Dandy” with Jimmy Cagney.  He also won a Golden Globe in ‘48 for “The Treasure of The Sierra Madre”, which was directed by his son John Huston, who won two Oscar’s that year for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Writer, Screenplay’, thus making Walter and John the first father/son combination to win Academy Awards in the same year.  Walter’s granddaughter Anjelica, won her Academy Award in 1986 for the film “Prizzi’s Honor“, which was also directed by her father John.  Walter Huston’s final film was “The Furies” with Wendell Corey and Barbara Stanwyck in 1950.  He died on April 7th that year.
    
2.  Christopher Plummer won the 2011 Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for the movie “Beginners”.  I’m not sure this is a distinction, but Mr. Plummer was the oldest actor to ever win an Academy Award (at least to date, we’re all getting up there after all).  He’s the great grandson of Canadian Prime Minister John Abbott, who served from 1891 to 1892.  Christopher has three movies scheduled for release in 2015, “Danny Collins”, “Pixies” (voice only) and “Remember”.   

3.  James Cameron, was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario in 1954.  He’s created an amazing body of work in Hollywood with such films as “Aliens”, “Avatar” and “The Terminator”, but it was as Director of “Titanic” that he won the Oscar in 1998.  In total that March night “Titanic” won 11 Oscar statues.  Cameron is currently working on “Avatar 2, 3 and 4” due out in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.  Two untitled “Terminator” movies were recently announced.  The first is scheduled for 2017.  Not sure if James is writing, producing or directing or all three.  Will Arnold be back?  Stay tuned! 
         
4.  The correct answer is b. Denys Arcand.  Denys studied history at the Universite de Montreal.  He worked for the National Film Board (NFB) for many years.  A feature length NFB documentary on the textile industry was so controversial that it was withdrawn from circulation by the NFB.  His films had been nominated for Academy Awards twice before, once in 1987 for “The Decline of The American Empire” (which also won the prestigious Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival) and again in 1990 for “Jesus of Montreal”, which won 10 Genie Awards in Canada as well as the Jury prize at Cannes.  Denys is a Companion of the Order of Canada as well as a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.    

5.  In 1994, Anna Pacquin took home the Oscar Statue as ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for the 1993 movie “The Piano”.  Anna was born in Winnipeg on July 24th (my birthday as well) 1982.  Her father is Canadian born and raised, her mother was originally from New Zealand, which is where the family moved when Anna was 4 years old.  Anna is famous around the world for playing mutant superheroine Rogue in the “X-Men” series of films.  In 2008, she was cast as waitress Sookie Stackhouse in the TV series “True Blood” (although she shot the pilot in 2007).  On the set, Anna met (and later married) her “True Blood” co-star (and now husband), Stephen Moyer.  The couple has two children