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March 13, 2019

Music News Digest, March 2019

Larry Gowan stuck by the old phrase 'the show must go on' during a recent solo concert when he took a bloody hard fall into the drum rack onstage. After completing the setlist, he found that nasty gash needed 12 stitches. He’s back on the road feeling a bit bruised but still smiling all the way.

-- The Canadian Music Publishers Association has announced the inaugural cohort of its innovative mentorship program, Women in the Studio. Five producer-songwriters have been selected to take part in this series of curated events and experience from March to Dec. 2019, including a master class with world-renowned producer/songwriter Linda Perry. Those selected for the program include Alexandra Petkovski AKA FJØRA, Denise De’ion, Francesca Nocera AKA Sun Sun, Lisa Patterson, and Myya Lal.

The program launches on March 16 during the Juno festivities in London. During Canadian Music Week, the cohort will experience a day of programming at Revolution Recordings that includes time in the studio with Perry (4 Non-Blondes, P!nk, Christina Aguilera). The initiative is backed by Ontario Creates and RBC Royal Bank.

– A sizeable chunk of the Canadian music industry is heading to Austin this week for SXSWM for Montreal and Pop Montreal are partnering for talent-heavy SXSW shows at Swan Dive on March 15. Two stages there feature acts including Emilie Kahn, Yves Jarvis, Pottery, MUNYA, Graham Van Pelt, Odonis Odonis, and Hubert Lenoir. It's preceded by a cocktail party presented by Quebec Creates, featuring Helena Deland.

– Joni Mitchell fans have reasons to celebrate and spend this month. A star-studded tribute album,  Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, was released Friday, and now comes news of Morning Glory on the Vine—a book compiling handwritten lyrics, poems, and over thirty of Mitchell’s paintings. Back in 1971, Mitchell crafted 100 copies of this as a gift for a select group of friends. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases the commercial edition Oct, 22.

– On March 28, Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) presents Music in Motion, an event that gives industry professionals an opportunity to explore the world of export for Canadian music companies and artists through panels, roundtables, and networking. It takes place at Mt. Pleasant (225 W 8th, 2nd Floor), Vancouver, from 11:30 am – 7:00 pm

– With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock approaching, interest in the 1970 Michael Wadleigh-directed documentary on the fest is growing. A notable omission from that film was Neil Young, but this will be rectified in a new doc produced by Bill Gerber of A Star Is Born fame. In it, Young is reunited onscreen for the first time with ex-bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, according to Deadline

– The Mariposa folk fest continues to add names to its lineup. New additions include Terra Lightfoot, The Burning Hell, and Union Duke. Held in Orillia, ON, it runs July 5-7.

– Toronto's renowned Art of Time Ensemble has assembled another star-studded cast for its next performance: Doghouse Roses, a tribute to the music of Steve Earle. Set for Koerner Hall in Toronto on May 3, it features singers Tom Wilson, Oh Susanna, Andy Maize (Skydiggers),  and Gregory Hoskins. Author Michael Ondaatje and actor Rick Roberts read his words.

– The Juno Awards come to singer Marie Bottrell's hometown in the London this week. From the late '70s on, she was nominated for eight consecutive nominations for female country vocalist of the year but never won a trophy, marking her the Susan Lucci of the Junos. In a recent interview with The London Free Press, Bottrell waxes: "I’m not bitter about it. Just getting a nomination is nothing to turn your nose up at. It opened a lot of doors for me. It solidified me as a credible artist, and it upped your earnings to get a nomination.” Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, she continues to play about 20 shows a year.

– Hit songwriter Carole Bayer Sager receives the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 13 at its 50th induction ceremony in New York City. The 72-year-old Oscar and Grammy-winner was inducted into the Songwriters Hall in 1987. Sager has written more than 400 songs, including the Oscar-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” from Arthur. She and former husband Burt Bacharach co-wrote songs for Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Bette Midler, and many more. Source: AP

– "Summer of 69" is Bryan Adams' signature song, but it flopped in the UK - only reaching number 42 in the charts when it was released in 1984. In a recent interview with BBC, the singer blamed Radio 1 there. "They wouldn't play it. They didn't play 'Heaven,' they didn't play any of my songs [except for] 'Run To You.'" The track is now certified platinum (600,000 sales), and is a karaoke standard with 280 million streams on Spotify - double the number earned by Adams' second most-popular song, "Everything I Do (I Do It For You). " "A lot of my songs don't chart, but they somehow find their way," said Adams "It's just a matter of time."

In the interview he also discussed the collaboration with Ed Sheeran on the title cut of his new album, Shine A Light. That release recently entered the UK charts at No. 2, behind the debut album from Tom WalkerShine A Light is No. 1 this week on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart.

– The theft of musical instruments is sadly a regularly recurring story. The latest Canadian artist hurt by this is award-winning PEI folk singer-songwriter Rose Cousins. On the eve of a U.S. tour, her rental car in Los Angeles was broken into last week, and her Martin 00016T acoustic guitar and Harmony baritone ukulele stolen. She used Facebook to appeal for help to recover the instruments and to borrow a guitar for shows in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Source: CTV News

– A new Cirque Éloize creation bills itself as Serge Fiori, Seul ensemble, an acrobatic and musical homage to the former leader of Harmonium. There are 20 artists, 5 dancers and 15 acrobats in the production, which opened in Montreal at the Théâtre St-Denis on March 6, and moves to the Théâtre Capitole in June. A budget-priced 2 CD set from the show is distributed by Sony.

– Margaret Atwood will go on the road this autumn to promote the publication of The Testaments, her sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. The Canadian author will talk about her book at the National Theatre in London on Sept. 10, an event that will be broadcast in cinemas around the globe. That will be followed by a UK and Irish tour that will take her to six cities, Oct. 26 - Nov. 2.

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February 27, 2019

You Can Have Your Ahes Turned Into a Playable Vinyl Record, When YOur Day Comes

Even in death we are only limited by our imagination in how we want to go out. There are now ways to turn our corpse into a tree, or have our ashes shot into space, or pressing our ashes into diamonds--I believe Superman is involved in that last one. And now for the music lover, a company called And Vinyly will press your ashes into a playable vinyl record.

You like that punny company name? There’s more: the business lets the dear departed to “Live on from beyond the groove.” Hear that groan? That’s the deceased literally spinning in their grave...on a turntable.

The UK-based company has been around since 2009, when Jason Leach launched it “just for fun” at first. But a lot of people liked the idea and have kept him in business.


It will cost, however. The basic service costs around $4,000, which gets you 30 copies of the record, all of which contain the ashes. However, you cannot use copyright-protected music to fill up the 12 minutes per side, so no “Free Bird” or “We Are the Champions,” unfortunately. But you can put anything else: a voice recording, or the sounds of nature, or complete silence. For an additional fee, you can hire musicians through the company to record a track or tracks for you.

Other extras include cover art either supplied by the deceased or their family or painted by James Hague of the National Portrait Gallery in London and/or street artist Paul Insect; extra copies to be distributed worldwide through record shops (has anyone seen one? Let us know.); and a £10,000 “FUNeral,” where your record will be played at your funeral, surrounded by loved ones.

Joking aside, the service can provide comfort and a memory trigger for those left behind. The above video, “Hearing Madge” is a short doc about a son who took recordings of his mother and used And Vinyly to make a record out of them. It’s sweet.

“I’m sure a lot of people think that it’s creepy, a lot of people think it’s sacrilegious,” the man says. “But I know my mother wouldn’t have. She would’ve thought it was a hoot.”

Jason Leach, a musician and vinyl collector himself, talks of the immediacy of sound and what it means to many.

“Sound is vibrating you, the room, and it’s actually moving the air around you,” he says. “And that’s what’s so powerful about hearing someone’s voice on a record. They’re actually moving the air and for me that’s powerful.”

via Mental Floss/Aeon



July 17, 2018

Rock N Roll Never Forgets

SRV/CFOX's Liz McKinnery/Yours Truly

David Chesney

JJ's 365

Jim Johnston

President, CEO, JJ Media/Management, Media Talent/Content Coaching, Executive Coach
Company NameJJIMS Inc. JJ international Media and Management Solutions
Dates EmployedJul 2013 – Present Employment Duration5 yrs 1 mo
JJIMS was launched July 1st of 2013 and has several high profile customers at home and abroad.

Jim JJ Johnston, The President, CEO and head Talent Coach, is a deeply experienced and successful Media/Management leader. JJ has coached/mentored many of Canada's Top Broadcasters and Executives and now coaches in many different fields.


Welcome to JJ-365 Salutes. Over 2018, we pay tribute daily to one of “The Good Ones”.

Today we are shining the light on "The Ches", Dave Chesney.
This fellow is a master story teller. I remember him elucidating me with the legend of Jerry Lee Lewis playing at 86 Street and how Jerry was docile for most of the show but then out of nowhere got up, kicked the stool away, pounded the piano for hours and brought the house down. The way Ches says it really makes you want to have been there.
Dave was one of the first guys I met when I arrived at Richards and Nelson at the helm of CFOX. Dave will always have an affinity for the FOX and was of the fabric of the station. He continues today to be a part of the glue that keeps the west coast music and radio scene together. He welcomed me with open arms with his genuine and friendly smile and I still count on him as one of the most positive dudes I know.

He says it all began at a young age for him. He comes by his love of the media and music industry honestly. His father, “Uncle Joe” Chesney held down a number of positions at The Top Dog CKNW radio, that was until the station got wind he was looking to apply for a radio station license in Surrey. After being shown the door “Uncle Joe” ended up pioneering country music on the west coast with an afternoon drive show on talk show giant CJOR. Along with Vic Waters his father played both kinds of music, country & western. In around 1961 Joe successfully landed a license to operate a radio station in Langley British Columbia. CJJC The Voice of the Valley became British Columbia’s first 24-hour country music radio station.

Dave was afforded the golden opportunity growing up to be around radio stations and broadcasters: “CJJC was a real life WKRP. Being the boss’s kid and working in a creative environment, I had two choices. 1. Just be the boss’s kid or …2. Ploughing my row deeper and truer than everyone else. I chose #2 and as result earned the respect of my fellow workers and later my staff.”

But alas as much as he loved the gig, he loved rock n roll more. One of the promotion men who used to make the long journey out to the Valley to service CJJC with country product was Frank Gigliotti. Frank inadvertently informed Dave that CKLG-FM was about to go through a metamorphosis under the leadership of The Real Roy Hennessy, former morning boss jock on CKLG. Dave jumped ship and became the music and promotion director for FM/99. Dave says his stay at CFOX was short and sweet: “One of my main duties as a music director was to deal with record company reps vying to get their music on the radio. CBS Records in the late 70’s was looking to expand their market share by adding additional reps in the major markets across Canada. I applied for a position of the Epic/Portrait/Associated labels position in the Vancouver branch and was successful in attaining the position."

The next 14 years was a blur he says: “The 60’s certainly was a heady time in the music business, but let me tell you this, the 80’s was the period of excess. With the introduction of MTV and MUCHMUSIC the sales of pre-recorded music exploded. The CBS Records wrecking crew in my humble opinion owned the streets. First under the leadership of Brad Weir and then 365’er Kim Zayac. I attained ‘record heights.’ I cannot thank or say enough about those two gentlemen. I proudly still call them friends. I went on to win the Top Promotion Man award 6 consecutive years. Then it all came to a screeching halt.”

SONY MUSIC bought CBS records and everything changed. Dave distinctly remembers sitting in his office one day and realized they had 6 or 7 of the Top 10 records and he didn’t want to listen to any of them. He thought to himself, well I have a pretty extensive radio background and now I fully understand how a major label works. He left CBS records and threw in with Larry Wanagas who at the time had rung the proverbial brass bell with K.D. Lang from a little office on the edge of Vancouver’s Granville island. Ches joined BUMSTEAD PRODUCTIONS as the national marketing director and eventually that job morphed into a co-management with Wanagas for The Blue Shadows (Billy Cowsill). By this time Larry relocated to New York but Dave stayed on the westcoast to be there for his aging mom, a decision he will never regret. She was always there for him especially at a lot of crucial times in his life.

When The Blue Shadows disbanded Dave ended up producing music videos, did contract work for a number of artists and quite synchronistically ended up as an instructor at a private music college called the Pacific Audio Visual Institute. He enjoyed his years working with young students who were looking for a career in the music and radio industry and called that time very rewarding.

Around this time Dave and his late and great wife Laurie (total sweetie) moved back to his roots, White Rock BC. Upon his return he quickly realized: “My White Rock was going through some major changes, many of which I did not agree with. My father at a young age pounded into my head 'Dave put up or shut up! If you aren’t prepared to roll up your sleeves and attack a problem we really don’t want to hear what you have to say.”
Well when it came to White Rock he couldn’t shut up (Interesting the way he says “White Rock”. He makes sure that the “T” is pronounced and he makes sure it is said as two distinct words).

He says two things happened: “I knew from my media experience that technology had an immensely negative impact on the music industry and I knew what was happening with newspapers. They were next. Yet I also knew people had a voracious appetite for LOCAL news. Now as everyone reading this knows in order to start a radio or television station you need millions of dollars and government approval. Yet on-line newspapers did not need any government approval. Before I knew it I had started Canada’s First independent online newspaper, The White Rock Sun That was thirteen years ago this past June.

The second thing that I did was roll up my sleeves and run for White Rock city council. It took a couple shots but four years ago I secured a seat on White Rock council. We are coming to the end of our mandate and I have every intention of seeking another term. In addition to holding a seat on council and publishing the White Rock Sun I handle media for local independent promoter Rob Warwick/Rockitboy Entertainment.”

As he looks back he describes it as one hell of a ride: “I enjoy reading your posts Jim. Many I know, some I don’t know personally but usually know by name. I don’t know if lasting friendships are as prevelant as the radio and music industry have afforded so many of us. I can go years between seeing or talking to so many colleagues and when we do meet, it seems like yesterday. I sometimes think people who went to war together probably have the same kind of a bond.

Highlights of my career could fill a book, which no one wants to read (wrong Ches, we all want to know). Well at least not anyone that would be willing to pay for it (wrong again). With that said though, milestones include presenting Stevie Ray Vaughn with his first gold record, working with country greats like George Jones (the first time I was a stammering fool), being instrumental in CBS RECORDS signing Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts and working with THE CLASH on their first North American show at the Commodore Ballroom. Damn I thought I saw the future of rock n roll that night.”
I just love this guy and have been wanting to write about him for some time. He was one of the first guys on my 365 list. During the tumultuous rock and roll times, Dave was always a gent. He handled any situation being, well, “The Ches.” He is a humble and graceful cat who has had a big stake in the shaping of the west coast media and music scene. Not sure you will find a much better person and pal than Dave. Salt of the earth. Please do write that book Ches, you have so many stories to tell and I know hundreds who will line up to buy it and read it. Atta be brother!

Thank you, Dave Chesney, for being on of the “The Good Ones”. Feel free to like and share Dave’s positive story. Who is the subject of tomorrow’s JJ-365 Salutes? As they say, stay tuned.

Jim JJ Johnston is the CEO, President and Chief Talent Coach for JJIMS INC. and works with talent in many different industries worldwide.









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