Today marks New Zealand’s own Keith Urban’s 54th birthday. Born in New Zealand in 1967, he moved to Australia with his parents. He signed his first recording contract with EMI in Australia in 1990. He moved to Nashville in 1992. Between 1992 and his first American album in 1999, he played with many notables and recorded with his ban “The Ranch” in 1997. The rest is history. A great guitar player, he notes his influences as being Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.
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”.
Happy birthday to Mike McKenna, born on April 15th a few years ago. He has an extensive CV in Canadian music. A short list of bands he has been with over the years are listed here.
- Luke and The Apostles
- The Ugly Ducklings
- McKenna Mendelson Mainline
- Downchild Blues Band
- The Guess Who (After Burton Cummings left)
The track I have selected is from McKenna Mendelson Mainline’s debut album, “Stink”, released in 1969. The track is “One Way Ticket”. It holds up well.
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.
Today’s birthdays in Canada’s music scene are Melissa Auf der Maur, who has played in Tinker, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, Chelsea and The Hand Of Doom and a solo career turning 49 and Grimes (full name Claire Elise Boucher) turning 33. Grimes has 5 albums, 2 EP’s and 11 singles to her credit.
Hope you each has a great day.