Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WALKING ON CANADA’S WALK OF FAME



The Walk of Fame ceremonies are coming up this Saturday October 18th in Toronto with the actual unveiling of the stars, the Awards gala and the Inductees Charity Ball all happening that day and night.  The gala will be hosted by “Beverly Hills 90210” actor Jason Priestly and will be broadcast on Global Television Friday December 19th at 8PM EST.  Canada’s Walk of Fame began in 1998 and annually honours individuals (and groups) for their achievements in various fields, including music, sports, film and television, literary, visual and performing arts, science, innovation, philanthropy and social justice.  Inductees must have been born in, or spent their creative or formative years in Canada.  A minimum of 10 successful years is required to qualify, as well as a recognized body of work that has had a significant influence on our cultural heritage.  This year, the honourees are:  Louise Arbour, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and an international lawyer; The Band; musician Jeff Healey; actors Rachael McAdams and Ryan Reynolds; and Olympic athlete Hayley Wickenheiser.  This week, all 5 questions will be about previous Walk of Fame inductees.  Maybe you could hum “O Canada” a couple of times while you take the quiz.    
          
QUESTIONS

1.  One of last years’ inductees is an actor who’s appeared in many internationally successfully movies, including Academy Award winning films “Titanic” and “Argo”, “Milk”, “Sleepless In Seattle” and ”Legally Blonde”.  He’s been nominated six times for an Emmy Award and 4 times for a Tony.  He’s had guest starring roles on “Frasier”, “Will and Grace”, “Nurse Jackie” and “Glee”.  He was also was a regular cast member on the TV series “Alias”.  You can see his face and you know who he is, BUT can you name him?
      
2.  In 1998, the first year of Canada’s Walk of Fame, several internationally successful musicians were inducted.  Anne Murray and Buffy Sainte-Marie were two of them.  The third, came from Orillia, Ontario and first found U.S. success by having his songs covered by the likes of Ian & Sylvia as well as Peter, Paul and Mary.  Some of his biggest hits include: “If You Could Read My Mind”, “Sundown” and “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”.  C’mon, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure this one out.  Who is this light footed minstrel?                    
                
3.  2003 saw the induction of this lovable comedic actor, originally from Scarborough, Ontario.  In the movies, he’s played The Cat In The Hat, Austin Powers, Doctor Evil and was the voice of a gigantic green ogre named Shrek.  Surely to heavens, you don’t need any more clues than that.  Who could this possibly be?   

4.  In 2010, inductees included actor Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”) and actor/ director Sarah Polley, along with author Farley Mowat, illusionist Doug Henning and singer Nelly Furtado.  The only other musician inductee that year became world famous when he became the lead singer for the New York jazz rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears.  Prior to BS&T, this performer had a strong career in Canada, with chart hits like “Boom Boom”, “Walk That Walk” and “Brainwashed”.  These days when he gives concerts, he prefers singing jazz.  Can you name him?
    
5.  Actors Catherine O’Hara, Gordon Pinsent and Jill Hennessy (“Law & Order”) along with Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower were four of the 2007 inductees into Canada’s Walk of Fame.  Another honouree that year was voted ‘Canada’s Most Trusted News Anchor’ by the readers of TV Guide 11 years in a row.  He was news anchor for CBC Television and CTV for many decades.  Currently, he can be seen on CTV’s “W5” program.  I trust that you can come up with the answer relatively easily.  Who is he?  Here’s a hint:  his last name is the same as a Canadian screwdriver. 

ANSWERS

1.  The correct answer is Victor Garber.  Prior to his acting career taking off, Garber was a member of the ‘60’s singing group, The Sugar Shoppe, who had a Top 20 hit in the Great White North in 1967 with the Bobby Gimby written centennial song, “Canada”.  The group appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV show as well as “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” before they broke up.  He played Jesus in the 1972 Toronto stage production of “Godspell”.  Garber, who was born in London, Ontario in 1949, took an on-line course in officiating weddings so he could marry his former co-stars Jennifer Garner (“Alias”) and Ben Affleck (“Argo”).  In “Argo”, he played Canadian Ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor and in “Titanic”, he was Thomas Andrews, the designer of the ill fated ship.  Most recently, he has a recurring role on the new TV series “The Flash”.    

2.  Gordon Lightfoot is the name we were looking for.  His full name is Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr.  Lightfoot was initially signed to the small Canadian record label Chateau, then with a new U.S. manager, moved up to United Artists records where he recorded several albums and had a number of Canadian chart hits, including two Top Ten’s, “Spin Spin” in 1966 and “Go Go Round” in ’67.  It wasn’t until 1970, when he signed with the WarnerReprise label that Lightfoot made the U.S. charts.  His first U.S. hit was “If You Could Read My Mind” which went to # 5 in 1971 and his only American # 1 was 1974’s “Sundown”.  Gordon, who has 17 JUNO Awards, was inducted into the JUNO Hall of Fame (aka The Canadian Music Hall of Fame) by no less a legend than Bob Dylan himself in 1986.  Lightfoot, who’s a Companion of the Order of Canada, was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (U.S.) in 2012.          
    
3.  You guessed it, it’s Mike Myers.  That crazy kid from Scarborough was all of 14 years old in 1977 when he appeared on CBC TV’s short lived children’s series “Range Ryder and The Calgary Kid”.  He went on to create characters for Much Music in the 1980’s, auditioned for and was accepted into Toronto’s Second City Touring Company in ‘82, which led to a stint with Second City Chicago, before being hired in 1989 for Saturday Night Live.  His hit movies have included “Wayne’s World”, “Wayne’s World II”, all three versions of the “Austin Powers” series (which he created), “54” and all 5 of the “Shrek” movies.  The year prior to his 2003 star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, Mike Myers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  His most recent project was to direct a documentary on the life of rock and roll manager Shep Gordon titled “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”.       
                  
4.  David Clayton Thomas is that man.  In and out of trouble for much of his youth, David learned to play guitar in Burwash, a youth penitentiary.  After his release, Ronnie Hawkins took him under his wing and not long after that, the former David Henry Thomsett changed his name to David Clayton-Thomas, had his own band, The Fabulous Shays (followed later by The Bossmen) and he was the toast of Toronto’s Yonge Street.  His debut album as singer with Blood, Sweat and Tears sold over 10 million albums, remained on Billboards’ Top 100 Album chart for 109 weeks and won five Grammy Awards.  BS&T was the first western rock band (OK, they were rock/jazz fusion) to tour behind the Iron Curtain, which they did so that David would be granted permanent residency status in the U.S.  David was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame In 1996 and has since returned to live back in Toronto. 

5.  Lloyd Robertson is the correct answer.  Lloyd began his broadcasting career in 1952 in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario (Justin Bieber is also from Stratford, but I’m not making any comments about him or his bodyguards will come after me).  Robertson joined CBC in 1965 and spent several years in Winnipeg and Ottawa before becoming the national news anchor from 1970 until ’76.  He joined CTV News that year.  Lloyd has been honoured by the Radio & Television News Directors Association with their Presidents Award (1993), he’s a three time Gemini Award winner as ‘Best Host, Anchor or Interviewer” (1992, ’94 and ’97).  The Canadian Association of Broadcasters inducted him into the CAB Hall of Fame in 1998, the same year he was awarded the Order of Canada.  Lloyd Robertson stepped down as anchor of the CTV National News in the summer of 2011, but continues today as a host on CTV’s weekly newsmagazine program “W5”.     

Thursday, October 9, 2014

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED



The passing of Paul Revere of Paul Revere and The Raiders on October 4th is another in a long line of rock and roll deaths that really do mark the end of an era.  If you’re a baby boomer, many of our musical heroes, or at least our musical favourites, have gone to that great recording studio in the sky.  This week, we’re honouring Paul Revere (his real name was Paul Revere Dick), who was born January 7, 1938 in Harvard, Nebraska. 
Paul Revere and The Raiders first hit Billboards’ Hot 100 chart in 1961 with the instrumental “Like Long Hair”.  In 1963, two groups from the Pacific North West United States released the song “Louie Louie”.  The Kingsmen had the hit, but Paul Revere and The Raiders had a much longer and more successful career.  They were signed to Columbia Records in 1965 around the same time as The Byrds.  Paul Revere had been in ill health for the past few years and officially retired from the band that carried his name this past July.  Paul Revere was 76 when he passed on.
      
QUESTIONS

1.  Although Paul Revere and The Raiders charted 24 songs on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart, they only ever had one # 1 hit.  Was it:  a. “Kicks”  b. “Indian Reservation”             c. “Good Thing”                                
      
2.  The duo who wrote several of Paul Revere and The Raiders hits, including “Kicks” and “Hungry” also wrote many successful songs for other artists, including The Crystals, The Animals, Jay & The Americans and The Vogues.  Who was this songwriting team?  Was it:    a. Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil  b. Carole King & Gerry Goffin  c.  Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich                 
                
3.  Mark Lindsay was the lead singer for Paul Revere and The Raiders.  He also had a successful solo career for a time.  What was the name of his only Top Ten hit?  Was it:                 a. “Manitoba”  b.  “Colorado”  c. “Arizona”       

4.  Dick Clark produced a daily weekday afternoon ABC network TV show that featured Paul Revere and The Raiders as the house band.  What was the name of this TV series?  Was it: a. Shindig  b. Where The Action Is  c. It’s Happening  
    
5.  One former member of Paul Revere and The Raiders went on to have a very successful career in country music.  Who was he?  Was it:  a. Mark Lindsay  b. Phil Volk  c. Freddy Weller                                               

ANSWERS

1.  The correct answer is b. “Indian Reservation” which was # 1 for the week of July 24, 1971.  Interestingly, “Indian Reservation” toppled Carole King’s double sided hit, “It’s Too Late”/”I Feel The Earth Move” from the top spot and “Indian Reservation” was then replaced the following week (July 31, 1971) by James Taylor’s # 1 “You’ve Got A Friend”, written by Carole King.  Both “Kicks” in 1966 and “Good Thing” in ’67 climbed to # 4 on the Hot 100.  The only other two Paul Revere and The Raiders Top Ten hits were “Hungry” (# 6 in 1966) and “Him or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” (# 5 in 1967). 

2.  Both “Kicks” and “Hungry” were written by a. Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil.   Their other hits include “Uptown”, recorded by The Crystals, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”, recorded by The Animals, “Magic Town”, recorded by The Vogues and “Only In America” (recorded by Jay and The Americans)”.  Barry Mann had previously had a Top Ten hit of his own in 1961 with “Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)”.  With Larry Kolber, Barry Mann co-wrote “I Love How You Love Me”, a # 5 hit for The Paris Sisters in 1961, which was revived by Bobby Vinton in 1968 where it again climbed into the Top Ten, reaching # 9.          
    
3.  Mark Lindsay’s only solo Top Ten hit was c. “Arizona” in 1970.   
                  
4.  OK, that’s a bit of a trick question.  The correct answers are b. Where The Action Is as well as c. It’s Happening, so either one is accepted.  Both TV shows were produced by Dick Clark Productions and both featured Paul Revere and The Raiders as the house band.  “Where The Action Is” was originally planned as a summer series, but proved so successful that it continued into the fall TV season, where it followed the vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows”.  Ironically, Paul Revere and The Raiders did NOT have a hit with the theme song to “Where The Action Is”.  That distinction went to Freddy Cannon, who took “Action” to # 13 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart in September of 1965.  Besides “Where The Action Is” and “It’s Happening”, Paul Revere and The Raiders also starred in Dick Clark’s “Happening ‘68” TV series as well.

5.  c. Freddy Weller is the correct answer.  Weller joined Paul Revere and The Raiders in 1969 replacing Drake Levin.  Freddy’s biggest country hits are: “Games People Play” (the Joe South song).  It climbed to # 2 in 1969.  “The Promised Land” and “Indian Lake” both reached # 3 on the country charts in 1971.  Another hit for Weller in ’71 was “Another Night of Love”, which got to # 5.  Weller’s last Top Ten hit on the country singles chart was his 1973 cover of the Chuck Berry rocker “Too Much Monkey Business”.  That one got to # 8.  Freddy continued to have minor hits well into the 1980’s.  Freddy also co-wrote (with Tommy Roe), Roe’s 1970 Top Ten hit “Jam Up And Jelly Tight”.        

Thursday, September 25, 2014

HIP HIP HURRAY … FOR SHANIA TWAIN TODAY!



International singing superstar Shania Twain (born right here in Canada), recently donated four hundred thousand dollars from her charitable foundation to the Sir Winston Churchill public school in Brampton for an enrichment program for kids at risk.  The program, which is in partnership with the Peel District School Board, will see $100,000. a year for four years go to free tutoring, healthy snacks and recreational activities.  The school had had several tragedies in the past year, including one ten year old child who died in a housefire and a Grade 4 student who was shot in his home.  So to salute Shania’s generosity, all five questions this time out are all about her.  During her career, Shania has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and is ranked as the 10th best selling artist (according to Nielsen Soundscan sales records).  Shania will be performing in Las Vegas starting on October 8th.
  
QUESTIONS

1.  This should be easy for any Shania fan.  What is her real name (aka her birth name)?  
      
2.  Shania and her former husband ‘Mutt’ Lange, created many musical masterpieces together before their divorce.  What is Mutt’s real name? (His last name really is Lange).                     
                
3.  What 1998 Shania Twain # 2 hit are the following lyrics taken from?  “Looks like we made it.  Look how far we’ve come, my baby.  We mighta took the long way.  We knew we’d get there someday.”                

4.  In which one of her songs does Shania mention Brad Pitt, Elvis, Captain Kirk, John Wayne and Tarzan?  Is it:  a. Any Man Of Mine  b. That Don’t Impress Me Much  c. I’m Gonna Getcha Good!  
    
5.  Shania Twain has won many awards.  How many JUNO awards does Shania have?  Is it:            
a. Six  b. Nine  c. Twelve  

ANSWERS

1.  Shania Twain’s real name is Eilleen Regina Edwards.  She was born in Windsor, Ontario to Sharon and Clarence Edwards.  Her parents divorced when Eilleen was two.  Her mother moved to Timmins and later married Jerry Twain, who adoped Eilleen and her two sisters, Carrie Ann and Jill.  After signing with Mercury Records in Nashville in the early 1990’s, she dropped the name Eilleen and became Shania Twain.                              

2.  Mutt’s real name is Robert John Lange.  His writing and production credits on albums usually reads: Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange.  ‘Mutt’ was born in Zambia, South Africa on November 11th, 1948.  Besides Shania, ‘Mutt’ has produced million selling albums for AC/DC, Def Leppard, The Boomtown Rats, Bryan Adams, Foreigner, Maroon 5 and Nickelback among many others.  ‘Mutt’ and Shania were married from 1993 until 2010.
    
3.  It’s “You’re Still The One”, a # 2 hit (for 9 weeks) in the spring of 1998.  It was Shania’s highest charting single.  Her other two Top Ten songs that charted on Billboards’ Hot 100 are: “From This Moment On” (# 4 in 1998) and “That Don’t Impress Me Much” (# 7 in ’99).    
                  
4.  The correct answer is b. “That Don’t Impress Me Much”.  In the middle of the song, Shania sings “Okay, so you’re Brad Pitt.  That don’t impress me much.”  Later on, she sings, “Okay so what do you think, you’re Elvis or something.  That don’t impress me much.”  On the fade out of the song, Shania says: “You’re Tarzan.  Captain Kirk maybe.  John Wayne.  Whatever!”

5.  That would be c. Twelve.  Shania has won 187 awards so far, including those 12 JUNO’s, plus 5 Grammy Awards, 27 BMI Songwriters awards and many others.  She also has a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.