A busy week for birthdays, so let’s get started. We have so many that we will split things up into 2 posts. I will try and do a second post tomorrow, personal stuff takes precedence.
First up is Andre Gagnon, a pianist, composer and actor who turned 79 on August 1. Born the youngest of 19 children in Saint-Pacome, Quebec, he began composing music at the age of 6. He released his first album in 1974. Among his many accomplishments, he has received Juno Awards for Instrumental Artist Of The Year in 1974 and in 1995. He has released over 40 albums in his career, an incredible catalogue of work. Out of extensive library, I chose “Wow” to showcase and celebrate his birthday.
Second up is Tim Bachman, born August 1, 1951. Have a great day Tim. Tim is a vocalist and guitar player, best known as a member of Brave Belt and Bachman Turner Overdrive. He was a founding member of BTO, which featured, and how cool is this, his brothers Randy and Robbie and Fred Turner. The band went on to sell 30 million records worldwide. He left the band in 1974 and rejoined in 1984 for a reunion tour. To help celebrate, please enjoy my favourite BTO tune, “Blue Collar”.
Garth Hudson celebrated his birthday on August 2. He was born in 1937 and is best known as the keyboardist and sometimes sax player for the immortal group “The Band”. He and Robbie Robertson are the only surviving members of this influential and groundbreaking troupe. His awards are deserving. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Juno Hall Of Fame in Canada, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and is part of Canada’s Walk of Fame. Amazing musical pedigree. Again, a personal favourite, “The Weight”.
We have two birthdays to make note of this week. First a Canadian institution, Geddy Lee (Gary Lee Weinrib), the lead vocalist, bass player and keyboardist for one of Canada’s greatest bands, Rush. He celebrated his 68th birthday on July 29th. He initially joined Rush in 1968, and they began the trek to superstardom. The band is now the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, having been inducted in 2013. The song I have chosen is Tom Sawyer, one of their finest, and a great showcase for one of the finest voices in rock. Happy birthday Geddy.
The second celebration is for Paul Anka, a Canadian treasure and pioneer. Born on July 30, 1941, Paul is turning 80. An early international star, with hits like, “Put Your Head On My Shoulder”, “(You’re) Having My Baby” and many, many more. In addition to performing, he is also an accomplished songwriter. Among the songs he has written are, the Tonight Show Theme, the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s big hit “My Way” and “She’s A Lady”, a Tom Jones signature song. He also co-wrote “This Is It” along with Michael Jackson. Please enjoy another of his major hits “Diana” and wish him happy birthday.
And we are back. Today’s MapleList group is Malajube, our first Francophone member, number 942. Canada is officially a bilingual country, French and English. The province of Quebec is the centre of Canada’s Francophone culture.
Malajube was formed in the early 2000’s in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Their first album was released in 2004 and received instant rave reviews and became staples of the Quebec radio scene. The album is titled “Le Compte complet” and is worthy of a listen.
Prior to going on hiatus, the band consisted of: Julien Mineau– Vocals, lyrics and guitar Francis Mineau – Drums Mathieu Cournoyer – Bass Thomas Augustin – Keyboards and vocals
On the awards front, the band was short-listed for the 2006 and 2009 Polaris Music Award and has garnered 3 Felix Awards, the Quebec Music Awards.
I have chosen a live version of a very catchy alternative tune, “Montreal -40°C”. Enjoy, great song.
March 29th saw 2 birthdays. First a big happy birthday to Terry Jacks who turned 75. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Terry is most noted for his monster hit, “Concrete Sea”. He also had a major international hit as a member of the Poppy Family with the tune “Which Way You Goin’ Billy’.
Our second birthday wishes go out to Sue Foley, a fine blues guitarist and singer/songwriter. She was born in Ottawa, Ontario 53 years ago. A prolific artist, she has released 15 albums since her debut in 1992. The attached video is an excellent introduction to her work, if you are not acquainted.