Skip to main content

Posts

Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel The pair were very close friends in high school and actually had a bit of a hit song in 1957 but their career didn’t really go anywhere at that point. Not ones to quit on music they persevered and eventually got a contract with Columbia Records in 1963 and produced the Album “Wednesday Morning 3 a.m.”.   Recorded in March 1964, the album was released on October 19. The music did not sell enough to convince Columbia Records to keep Simon and Garfunkel, so they went their separate ways. Still working in the industry, the duo split up but stayed in touch. As there are few businesses stranger than the world of recorded music, fate would have other plans. Paul Simon moved to England and recorded The Paul Simon Songbook, a U.K.-only album. Art Garfunkel joined him in the summer of 1965 and they played a few gigs. Meanwhile an ironic twist was developing as the song titled “The Sound of Silence” (from Wednesday Morning 3 a.m.) was getting airplay from a late-

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) It’s difficult to talk about someone like Johnny Cash and not repeat what many have already read, heard or seen. So please forgive some of my personal stories as it relates to Johnny Cash. I never had the opportunity to see the man himself play live, though I’ve heard his music for most of my life. My father was a fan, so it was not unusual to hear his records, or my Dad pluck one of his songs on his steel guitar or on an old organ we had for awhile. And unfortunately for me, the gene pool of talent for playing an instrument ran out after my two older brothers, leaving me to finally give up after several failed attempts. At least 132 of Cash’s original songs have been covered and a master of cover songs himself,   he recorded nearly 400. I will start with my favorite original song. “ Big River ”  written by Johnny Cash, recorded November 1957, released  as Johnny Cash and the Tennessee

Homelessness

Homelessness “ Another Day inParadise ” written and performed by Phil Collins (1989) Covered over 50 times. Brandy & Ray J - "Another Day In Paradise (Remix), 2001,  Marianne Pentha -The Voice Norway 2012 I actually didn’t listen to this song closely enough when it came out to recognize it was about homelessness. In fact I think most people have a literal image with this song of an idyllic beach house with a hammock and mojitos. I was reminded about homelessness and musicians recently while researching the blog on Shania Twain. I have had the good fortune not to worry about having a home and I hope I never do. This however is not the case for many, not just here in my hometown of London, Ontario but likely in your hometown or the closest major urban centre-anywhere in the world. Countries considered ‘rich’ with social services and social financial assistance have a problem with homelessness, so most certainly, countries that struggle economically fair far w

Dock Boggs and ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’

Dock Boggs Moran Lee "Dock" Boggs (February 7, 1898 – February 7, 1971), was a banjo player and singer, his style is considered a unique combination of Appalachian folk music and African-American blues. Growing up his influences include an African American itinerant musician named ‘Go Lightning’ and another banjo player named Homer Crawford. His playing method was an “up pick style”, Mike Seeger said he’d seen no other recorded artist use this way of playing. Two of his recordings from the 1920s, "Sugar Baby" and "Country Blues" have been quite influential to many folk singers. As with many of these artists during the depression, work was hard to find. He soon returned to coal mining and a few other jobs over the years. The aforementioned Mike Seeger (half brother to Pete Seeger) a singer, musician and folklorist tracked Dock down in 1963 and encouraged him start to play again, he spent the next several years recording and playing the folk music

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! Here is the last post focused solely on Canadian artists. In future I will ramble around with various artists and theme’s and if anyone has a particular interest I’d be happy to consider it, some may have noticed   I’ve added a song or artist for you already. Sarah Ann McLachlan She was born January 28, 1968, adopted shortly after birth she grew up in Halifax. She played ukulele at age four and growing up studied at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts and learned classical guitar, piano and voice. Her accomplishments and awards are many including; three Grammy’s and 11 other nominations, ten Juno’s and “Angel” topped Billboard for the award in 1999. “ Angel ” written by Sarah McLachlan released on the album Surfacing in 1997, covered more than 80 times and versions in French, Spanish and German. The song speaks for itself and is one of those endearing pieces that will last a very very long time. Sarah with the great Carlos Santana

k.d. lang, Tegan and Sara and Ron Sexsmith

Ron (Ronald) Eldon Sexsmith Born, 8 January 1964 (age 54), St. Catharines, Ontario. (Vocals, guitar, piano) Ron has not had some of the huge commercial success (he may have liked) shared by many other Canadian artists, but I think he has made a decent living. He has received accolades from other musicians who appreciate his work including Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Chris Martin, Elton John, Ray Davies, Steve Earle, Bob Rock, and Sheryl Crow. At least 35 of his songs have been covered and I’ve enjoyed his music for some years now, though his melancholy sound I find is best in smaller doses. “ Secret Heart ” written by Ron Sexsmith (1995) and cover at least 10 times Rod Stewart (1998), Feist in 2004 and my favourite version of this song, Trevor Exeter  with a great Youtube cover (2016) Ron Sexsmith (Feat. Chris Martin)  “ Gold In Them Hills ” (2004), cover by Katie Melua in 2012 Tegan and Sara   are identical twins born September 19, 1980,

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie Born, February 20, 1941 (age 77), Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. I was a little reluctant to include Buffy in the series of Canadian Artists being covered due to the fact that she has spent little if any time actually living in Canada. She apparently identifies with being Canadian but was adopted by an American couple at just a few months old and raised in Massachusetts. She had a son and raised him in Hawaii and as far as I can tell still lives there at age 77.   She has certainly been well recognized in Canada for her many achievements, she really is a remarkable person, but I will stick with the music here. If she identifies with Canada (she is a dual American and Canadian citizen) I guess that gives me licence to blog about her here. So apart from her obvious vocal talents she plays guitar, mouthbow, piano, ukulele, autoharp, harmonica and some percussion instruments. She has written some epic songs. “ Up Where We Belong ”, writ

Rush & Arcade Fire

Rush At 34 songs having been covered and some only once and just a few more than five times it seems to be very low number of covers. Also, a bit odd to me anyway that a band (now retired) that lasted for 40 years and had such a solid fan base doesn’t get covered more often.   However, in a recent conversation with my best friend who self declares himself as a "Rush Tourist” he felt their unique sound is something not easily duplicated, and I tend to agree. Further to that the lyrical structure of the songs virtually all written by the drummer Neil Peart are complex and perhaps don’t lend themselves to replication, not to mention the composition and masterful playing as well.  So while not the most covered, n ever-the-less I would be remiss in not making mention of this iconic (Canadian) rock band. The line-up that would guide them through a long and sometimes arduous career spanning 40 years would include just three members, the above mentioned and the last ad

Shania Twain

Shania Twain Born; Eilleen Regina Edwards, August 28, 1965 (age 52), Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Most of you will know a bit of her story I’m sure, she grew up and in Timmins, Ontario and from an early age worked very hard at her singing, guitar and songwriting. She was not an overnight success but when it came it has put her into a class with very few others. Given the title of “Queen of Country Pop” because we seem to really like to label people, she has had over 100 million in record sales making her second only to Taylor Swift for a female in the Country genre and who knows, had she come on the scene when social media and streaming were popular how much better she would have done. She is the 25 th best selling artist of all time (US sales) so trying to pin down what to talk about is difficult and she’s had so many #1 hits; 13 in Canada, 7 in the US and one of the most successful crossover (Country) artists showing up on the pop charts in Canada, US and around the wo

Bryan Adams, The Band

More Canadian Artists being covered It’s a lengthy list for me to make my way through the rest of it but over the next few blogs I will highlight a few more covered songs written or originally performed by Canadians. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams, Written by; Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen, Robert John "Mutt" Lange. You likely know this song was written for and featured in the (1991) film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. To say this song was a mega hit is a bit of an understatement, it peaked at number one on every documented music chart in the world. It broke the record for most consecutive weeks at number one in the UK and was the song of the year in Canada for 1991. An Article by Henry Yates July 27, 2016 tells the story about this song. https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-story-behind-the-song-bryan-adams-everything-i-do-i-do-it-for-you Released in June 1991, here is Bryan Adams in 1992 (covered 68 times).

Celine Dion

Celine Dion ...continuing the Canadian artists being covered theme “ My Heart Will Go On ” (Love Theme from 'Titanic') by Celine Dion Written (lyrics) by Will Jennings , here are some highlights of songs he has written or co-written; Steve Winwood:   "Higher Love" (#1, nominated for Grammy Award for Song of the Year 1987) Eric Clapton: "Tears in Heaven" (#2, nominated for a Golden Globe award, 1993 Grammy for Song of the Year, 1993 Ivor Novello award from British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors) Barry Manilow: "Looks Like We Made It" (#1) Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes: "Up Where We Belong" (#1, American Academy Award, British Academy Award, Winner Tokyo Song Festival) Whitney Houston: "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (#1) Tim McGraw: "Please Remember Me" (#1 Country) The other writer (composer) is the late James Horner and here is a sample of his work accomplishments: