Friday, 19 October 2012

CRTC turns down Astral/BELL deal. Toronto radio scene can go back to sleep now.


On October 18 the CRTC announced it's much anticipated ruling on the proposed merger of BCE and Astral Media. For the better part of a year there has been a serious lobbying and media campaign to stop the deal led by competitors such as Cogeco, Eastlink, and Vidéotron. The last of which are owned by the right wing Québecor Média (QMI), who also own SUN Media and have become notorious for their campaigns attacking the CBC as well as government grants and funding for the arts in general, all on behalf of the poor oppressed tax payers of course. Mind you this is even while QMI blithely takes millions of taxpayer funded grants themselves (something the CBC famously revealed and which I have already written about).
In fairness the anti-merger group did have some genuine grass roots support from consumers groups worried about concentration of media ownership and raising fees as well as less choices in programming. But I'm pretty sure they weren't behind all the anti-merger ads I've been seeing.

Still most smart money has been confidentially predicting that the merger would be rubber stamped, and that's not even counting the usual suspects with their conspiracy theories about the CRTC's "EVIL CORPORATE AGENDA" (cough..NCRA..cough) which makes the CRTC's ruling a bit of a surprise.


From the CTRC ruling;
67. The Commission has reviewed BCE’s proposal, as well as the comments received in response to Broadcasting Notices of Consultation 2012-370, 2012-370-1 and 2012-370-2. As noted above, the Commission must evaluate applications for a change in effective control against the objectives set out in the Act, as well as its own policies and regulations. The Commission considers that the concerns related to competition, ownership concentration in television and radio, vertical integration and the exercise of market power are very substantial and fatal to the application.
68. The Commission finds that BCE has not discharged its burden and demonstrated that, on balance, this transaction is in the public interest. The benefits proposed would advantage BCE and its services, but the Commission is not persuaded that the transaction would provide significant and unequivocal benefits to the Canadian broadcasting system and to Canadians sufficient to outweigh the concerns described above.
69. Accordingly, the Commission denies the application by BCE Inc., on behalf of Astral Media inc., to change the effective control of Astral and its licensed broadcasting undertakings so that it is exercised by BCE (application 2012-0516-2). In light of its decision, the Commission has not made determinations on other aspects of BCE’s application, including the value of the transaction.
70. The Commission notes the objections of numerous interveners with respect to the application by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership, to convert CKGM Montréal from an English-language to a French-language commercial radio programming undertaking (application 2012-0573-2). These objections related to, among other things, the integrity of the Commission’s licensing process and the loss of an English-language broadcasting service to an official language minority community. At the public hearing, BCE indicated that in the event the proposed transaction was denied, it would continue to operate CKGM Montréal as an English-language station. As a result, the Commission denies this application. Therefore, the licensee will continue to operate CKGM Montréal under the terms and conditions in effect under its current licence.
71. Similarly, the Commission denies the following related applications, which BCE indicated were contingent on approval of the proposed change of control of Astral:
applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of certain of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization involving the transfer of the assets of 33 Bell Media radio stations to seven partnerships or corporations, requiring the issuance of new broadcasting licences (applications 2012-0701-9 and 2012-0736-6); and
application by BCE Inc., on behalf of Astral Media inc. and certain of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, to effect a corporate reorganization involving the transfer of the assets of certain broadcasting undertakings to companies to be incorporated, requiring the issuance of new broadcasting licences (application 2012-0735-8)."


What this means for radio is that a number of radio stations which Astral would have had to divest (sell off) in order to comply with existing ownership rules will now stay where they are.
BCE owned stations in Toronto include 1050 CHUM AM (TSN), 104 CHUM-FM and CKFM (Virgin Radio);


Informed speculation about the FM stations BCE were most likely to divest following the purchase of Astral Media based on performance are as follows:

City ~ Call letters/freq. ~ Station name and format ~ Share/Rating
1. Vancouver CHHR/104.3 Shore-FM, AAA 1.6/16th
2. Vancouver CKZZ/95.3 Virgin Radio, adult contmp. 7.2/5th
3. Ottawa CJOT/99.7 Boom, classic hits 1.5/14th
4. Ottawa CKQB/106.9 The Bear, active rock 3.5/11th
5. Calgary CKCE/101.5 Kool, adult contemporary 3.4/13th
6. Winnipeg CHIQ/94.3 FAB, ’60s/’70s hits 4.9/10th
7. Toronto CHBM/97.3 Boom, classic rock 5.7/7th
8. Toronto CFXJ/93.5 Flow, hip-hop 1.4/19th
Or they could have sold off the latest money loosing version of the former iconic CHUM AM, now an all-sports station called "TSN 1050". (I have already written about this as well).


Note the two Toronto stations. ASTRAL also had originally put in an application for the vacant 88.1FM frequency last year but then withdrew once the proposed merger was announced and before they had a chance to reveal what exactly they had in mind. Not that there was any guarantee they would have beaten out the winning INDIE 88FM application anyway.
Speaking of which the CRTC also recently announced that the call-letters for the new INDIE 88 will be "CIND".

At any rate this means that the after three years of uncertainty in the Toronto radio scene the status quo has been settled. The FLOW and BOOM 97 are not being sold, and probably not changing format either. Unless ASTRAL change their mind of course, but at least they don't actually have to. Some of those various corporate types who applied for the 88.1FM frequency and got turned down and who have been lurking around to see if they might get a second bite at the apple by buying one of ASTRAL's cast-offs can now go home thanks.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

FLASH!! CRTC revokes license of a corporate radio station. NCRA says diddly squat.

Remember in 2010 when Ryerson University radio station CKLN lost it's broadcast license for being incompetent, lying, weasels? Remember when Ryerson's attempt to get that license back was turned down? Remember how the far leftist wack-jobs at CKLN and the National Campus Radio Association claimed it was proof of the CRTC's "corporate agenda" to "destroy community radio"? CKLN and NCRA partisans (like say; NCRA head Shelly Robinson, CKLN Manager Jacky Harrison and CKLN Exec Andrew Lehrer) insisted that the CRTC was being unfair, holding CKLN up to an unfair double standard compared to commercial radio who are always breaking the rules and never getting penalized. It's all so unfair. According to their official line the only time a commercial station lost it's license for not complying with CRTC was CHOI FM in Quebec City in 2006, and they were able to sort of weasel out of it by fighting the ruling in court until they could sell off the signal. (Note: As it happened the court ruled in the CRTC's favour after the fact, although by then the station had changed hands).


Somehow the CKLN/NCRA Axis failed to notice that commercial radio station CHSC in St Catherines also lost it's license in 2010. Even though the CHSC hearings were held at the same time as the CKLN hearings were originally to be held before they were postponed, and thus that ruling came down first. Well now there's been another;



"CJRN 710 told to go off the air
By Matt Day, Niagara Falls Review
Friday, October 12, 2012 4:38:12 EDT PM
NIAGARA FALLS - The airwaves may go silent at CJRN 710.
The Niagara Falls tourist information radio station has been ordered by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to cease broadcasting by Nov. 30.
A report issued by the CRTC on Oct. 10 states that CJRN Radio 710 AM failed to comply with multiple sections of the Radio Regulations, including broadcasting a live program in the Punjabi language and having commercial messages that targeted the Asian community in Toronto.
“When you’re a tourist information station there are a number of things you can and cannot do,” said Annie Laflamme, director of radio polices and applications at the CRTC. “The bottom line in this case was that the licencee had been found in non compliance repeatedly.”
According to the licencee’s condition, the radio station was only permitted to broadcast pre-recorded tourist information for the purpose of informing visitors to Niagara Falls.
The CRTC monitored the programming of CJRN during the week of April 18, 2010 to April 24, 2010 and found that, in addition to weather forecasts and tourist information consistent to the licence, the station also broadcasted international, national and regional news, promotions for two Niagara Falls FM radio stations and sports updates from NHL games.
Radio 710 said that the information provided was of particular and direct relevance to tourists, said the report.
A second monitoring period took place between Aug. 14, 2011 and Aug. 20, 2011.
During that time, a program entitled Reflections on Islam containing both spoken word and musical selections was aired.
The radio stationed claimed it was providing the program for Muslim tourists who were celebrating Ramadan.
On Aug. 25, 2011, the CRTC requested program logs from that week in August and failed to receive portions of the broadcast.
“The Commission considers that the issues of non-compliance … when taken cumulatively, are extremely serious both due to the nature of the non-compliance and its recurrence,” said the report.
“The Commission is gravely concerned about the licencee’s willingness and ability to bring itself into compliance.”
Niagara Falls Tourism chairman Wayne Thomson said his organization “didn’t really have a relationship or association” with CJRN 710, but believed the radio station to be a good service to the tourist community.
The decision can be appealed.
A representative from CJRN could not be reached for comment. Twitter: @Matt_Review"

No word yet from the CKLN/NCRA Axis on why the CRTC forgot their much feared "corporate agenda" and shut down a corporate station for blatantly flaunting the rules. And this after the CRTC granted the old CKLN 8.1fm license in Toronto to tiny INDIE 88 instead of the 20 or so corporate entities who also applied. I guess they didn't get the memo from their corporate masters.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Prof Kitzel's Time Machine Profile; Fisk Jubilee Singers


The Fisk University Jubilee Singers were the first commercially and critically successful black vocal group, they were the first group to tour both the USA and Europe, they were also the first black vocal group to successfully record, setting the foundations for all later Gospel groups as well as those in turn influenced by gospel, ie. Jazz, Blues, R+B, Doo-Wop, Soul, & Rock n' Roll. ..

~The beginnings ~ ..

Fisk University was an all black Liberal Arts School in Nashville Tennessee in 1866 to educate newly freed slaves, founded by the American Missionary Association, a white northern abolitionist group. The school attracted 900 students in it's first year but had trouble raising funds so that by 1870 school treasurer (who also acted as choir master) George L. White hit upon a plan to raise money by sending the school's respected choir on a concert tour to raise funds. At first following the trail of the old underground railway to the north and performing to mainly white audiences the group were a sensation to whites who had never seen a non-minstrel black singing group. ..


~ The Fisk University Jubilee Singers ~ ..

Billing the group as the Jubilee Singers to emphasize their dignified & religious nature, the group consisted of a male and female quartet with a female pianist. Their music consisted of traditional hymns performed in respectable European style, but also influenced by the more emotional style of the black churches and the work songs of the slaves giving them a power and depth no white group could match. They wore typically somber black suits and gowns of the Victorian era and sang impassively with out speaking to the audience, leaving White to introduce the songs. In 1872 they performed for President U.S. Grant, Vice-President Colfax and members of the congress as well as getting rave reviews in New York City before going to London where they performed for the Queen and Prime Minister Gladstone and royal guests from all over Europe, this tour was so successful that they stayed in Europe until 1874 when they finally returned home minus baritone Issac Dickerson who remained in Britain. Upon returning home singers Minnie Tate and Benjamin Holmes retired due to health issues and exhaustion as did musical director George White. In 1875 a renewed lineup toured Europe, doing especially well in Germany, Holland & Switzerland. In spite of their success the A.M.A facing financial hard times and govt. cuts, declined to fund the group anymore and they returned home (minus three members who stayed in Europe) and disbanded in 1878. Later a reorganized group would tour across the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand & Canada in the 1880's. The great success of the Fisk singers inspired the black schools like the Tuskegee Institute to follow suit. ..


~ The Fisk Jubilee Quartet ~ ..

By the 1890's the Europeanised style of the 1870's had been replaced by a newer quartet style which was less formal as well as being easier for the new recording industry to reproduce, accordingly the Fisk singers were reduced to a quartet which became one of the first to record starting in 1909 for Victor Records. These records were highly successful , continuing to sell well into the early 1920's when they were finally superseded by more rural groups like the Norfolk and Golden Gate Jubilee Quartets and even more down home preachers like Rev. J.M Gates. A later member of the quartet Roland Hayes would go on to a successful solo opera career and would become the first black singer to independently produce his own records. Versions of the quartet would continue to perform into the 1950's (including on the Grand Ole Opry) albeit to a largely older middle class and white audience. A yet again revived group continues to perform today. Fisk University is still in operation in Nashville.


The Fisk University Jubilee Singers ~ Thomas Rutling, Issac Dickerson, Benjamin Holmes, Fredrick Loudin, Minnie Tate, Ella Sheppard, w/George L. White as musical director.
The Fisk Jubilee Quartet ~ John W.Work, N.W.Ryder, J.A.Myers, Alfred King and later John Work, Roland Hayes, Leon P.O'Hara, Charles Wesley


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Rock The Vote 2012

Hey Yanks! Tired of Christian Wackjobs trying to force their Medieval superstitions and Crusader mentality on the rest of us? Looking for someone Rock n' Roll to vote for in the 2012 election? Well Metalhead Surfer Dude Randy Blythe from "Lamb of God" wants you;
From his website;


"I want to be The Big Cheese.
It’s 2012 now, the year some are saying the Mayan calendar predicts a cataclysmic upheaval across the board for our planet, perhaps even the end of the world as we know it. I don’t know if these doomsday predictions have any validity, but I do know one thing: the potential candidates in the race to decide who will be elected President of the United States look like pure shit.
I’m not particularly stoked on any of the candidates. In a massive blow to our civil rights, Obama quietly signed the NDAA for the fiscal year 2012 into law while Americans drank in their party hats on New Year’s Eve. The GOP is parading around a bunch of ass-clowns in what has got to be the most embarrassing primary season in the history of their party. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than Sarah Palin, they bust out that lunatic Michele Bachman. I have no clue what the Libertarians are up to now that Ron Paul is gunning for the Republican nomination. Probably loading their guns and preparing for the worst.
Don’t even get me started on our current Congress, THE WORST CONGRESS I HAVE EVER SEEN OR HEARD OF IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. It’s a relentless bipartisan pissing contest in Washington where not only is nothing getting done, nothing is ALLOWED to get done. There’s a bunch of squabbling children in Washington in charge of the business of running our country. These baboons are stopping any useful litigation from occurring by engaging in an endless game of “I know you are, but what am I?”. There is very little compromise happening in DC, and there is very little regard for the welfare of the American people. It’s PATHETIC.
Something has got to change. America is falling to pieces around us and we are sitting back and letting it happen. We need someone to come in and REALLY take charge, someone who can’t be bought by corporate dollars because he doesn’t need or want ‘em. Someone who is not going to bullshit the country or the rest of the world about what’s going to go down when he steps into office, because he LIKES pissing people off and doesn’t give a shit about hurting anyone’s feelings. We need a man who is not afraid to stick his neck out and risk embarrassing himself while doing the right thing, a man, in fact, INCAPABLE of embarrassment anymore PERIOD because he’s ALREADY done almost every stupid WRONG thing you can think of at one time or the other. We need a hard-boiled, no-nonsense, mean son-of-a-bitch with a bad reputation who ain’t afraid to cock-whip the shit out of some randomly selected pussy-ass billionaire on live tv during his annual State of the Union Address just to make a point and let the mega-rich know that NO ONE is above the law here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. In short, we need a man who just DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK.
America, that man is me.
Thats right, ME. David Randall Blythe. Ol’ D. Randall. Uncle Randy. Wassisname, that dude from that one band that got drunk and fought in a skirt. I love the USA like a nerd loves D&D, I am thoroughly disgusted with the state of affairs, and I am ready, willing, and able to FUCK SHIT UP without a micro-second’s hesitation in order to fix what ails this country. All you have to do is elect me as the next President of the United States of America and I’ll handle the rest.
You may be asking yourselves “What does this motherfucker think he’s got that all the other more politically experienced candidates don’t? What makes him think that he should be allowed to run this great country?” Well, let me tell you. I have something that all the other candidates lack, something this nation needs now more than ever: BALLS. And when I take office, I will IMMEDIATELY prove it.
My first act as President of the United States will to be shot. That’s right, SHOT. With a high-powered assault rifle. Immediately after taking the oath of office, I will be escorted about twenty yards away and be shot publicly in a non-lethal area of my body by a highly trained Navy SEAL sniper. It will hurt like fuck. Why would I do this? Because I will now be commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This means that during my term I will probably have to make some tough decisions affecting the survival of other men. And as commander-in-chief, I shouldn’t expect anyone in our military to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. That includes getting shot. Me being shot will be broadcast live world-wide via satellite, with no bleeping out of the incredible string of curse words I will undoubtably let fly with. I will be required to walk/limp/crawl on my own power a minimum of 50 yards through the mud to an ambulance that will take me away to patch me up. If I can’t make it on my own, I’m not tough enough to be your President. After all the nations in the entire world witness America’s new President, an insane looking heavily tattooed freak, getting shot ON HIS OWN ORDER as soon as he takes office, then crawling all bloody to an ambulance, cussing the whole way and screaming pure hate in a monstrous voice tortured by years of touring and Marlboro Reds, they will think twice before fucking with us. I can promise you that.
Speaking of military policy, there’s a few other things I will be required to do if I am going to be your commander-in-chief. The first thing I’ll do after recovering from being shot will be to go through the thirteen week Marine Corps basic training boot camp on luxurious Parris Island, South Carolina. I’ll be treated like any other recruit, in fact, probably worse due to my status as the new POTUS.
‘Well, well, well, what do we have here? Isn’t this just PRECIOUS” the drill sergeant will scream in my face “If it isn’t the goddamned President of the United fucking States. Do you think your special, boy? Do you think just because you fooled a bunch of goddamned idiots into voting you into the White House you deserve special treatment? Are you staring at my ass, son? Are you sweet for me? This is the Corps, not Harvey Milk’s San Francisco. Now drop and give me 50, you sub-human piece of shit!”
The physical and mental abuse will be extreme, but I’ve done that to myself for years already, so I’m confident I will pull through ok and be a better man for it.
After I make it through boot camp and come out a lean, mean, presidential killing machine, I’ll have to immediately assess our military presence world-wide. I’ll take a look at any conflicts we are currently involved in, and if I want to keep our troops there and fighting, I’ll be required to fly there ASAP on Air Force One and kill an enemy prisoner myself. In a UFC-style chain-link octagon. In hand-to-hand combat. With a ka-bar knife. If I don’t have the balls to use my recent Marine Corps training, face off against the enemy, and knife another man TO DEATH, then I have NO BUSINESS sending men and women I’ve never met to fight and maybe die in a strange land in the name of service to our country. Once again, if I don’t have the stones to do this, then I don’t have the stones to be your President.
In fact, anytime I decide America is going to war with another country, I will be REQUIRED to kill the first of the enemy, on their home turf, face to face in a brutal manner and with a primitive weapon. If I am willing to do that, there’s a pretty good chance I’m not shipping our guys and gals over there just because they have some oil I want or wear funny hats. They need to die in order to keep America safe. I should certainly not mind doing my part to make that happen.
If you think I’m overreaching a bit here here, take a look at one of my historical precedents - a bad motherfucker named John F. Kennedy. The son of a Congressman, JFK was disqualified from joining the Army in 1941 due to a chronic back problem. JFK was a pretty boy from Boston whose father had a ton of political juice. Had he used that juice to get his disqualification? FUCK NO. He was PISSED about it. Like any child of privilege, he rang Pops up to bitch and cry about how unfair life had treated him, and how he wanted daddy to fix it. And in the manner of connected men everywhere, his big-shot father DID use his old boy network to shut his whining son up. He pulled some strings and got Jack into the Navy instead.
JFK served as the commander of a torpedo patrol boat in the South Pacific during The Big One (WW2). He and his buddies were cruising around the Solomon Islands searching for the enemy late one night when a Japanese destroyer named Amagiri rammed his little-ass patrol boat and it started to sink. He gathered his posse around him on the flaming wreck of his boat and asked them if they wanted to surrender right there in the water.
FUCK NO. These guys knew that if JFK, their commander in charge, was willing to fight, then they should be willing to fight. NO SURRENDER. Fuck it. So they took off swimming to an island. JFK had re-injured his back in the crash, and wasn’t feeling so hot. But there was a badly burned man with them unable to swim to safety on his own. So JFK towed the man to safety. He had to tow him by grabbing the life jacket strap of his burned up homey, and once he had it secure, he swam him to safety. Fucked up back and all, he took off swimming in the dark water, pulling that extra weight. He didn’t let his man down, he didn’t let his man sink, he did what he had to do, and he held onto that strap.
Now THAT is some hard shit right there. And he wasn’t even done yet. In fact, after they got to the island safely, JFK looked around and decided he just wasn’t in love with it. So he towed the man once again, WITH HIS TEETH, to another island, where the atmosphere looked a little more chill. Once his crew were all there, he decided he it was Miller time and took off swimming for a few HOURS, again with his fucked up back, through the night and in water a Japanese DESTROYER was cruising around in in search of brews for his boys. He didn’t find any beer, but he did secure food and aid and the men were rescued off the second island.
That was just one of the many awesome displays of BALLS Kennedy was known for. He was smart as a whip, too. We need a President with balls AND brains again. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I’m as hard, smart, or even as good looking as JFK. But I do have a few brain cells left rolling around in my knotty head, and I promise you that I won’t lead America into any unnecessary conflicts.
Why should you trust me on this? Because I’ll know what it’s like for our military guys and gals to go through boot camp, and I’ll know what it’s like to get shot then pull myself to safety. Most importantly, I’ll know what it’s like to kill another human being, face to face and with my bloody hands, not by making a fucking phone call. This is the type of bullshit games men behind desks play that get our young men and women killed. Fuck that.
If I do decide to get us into a war, I’ll untie the hands of our military when I send them off to fight. I’ll remove these ridiculous rules of engagement that say we can’t shoot until we are being shot at. It’s INSANE what our troops are expected to do- sit there like sitting ducks until someone puts a bullet in someone’s head. Only then are they allowed to start busting caps. This bullshit is getting Americans killed everyday. Under the Blythe administration, if we see you, you have a gun, and you come too close to us, you get shot the fuck up. BLAM! We’ll fight by ghetto law- in the hood, do you think a Blood is gonna wait until a gun waving Crip starts shooting at him to put a round in the motherfucker? HELL NO. He wants to live to sell another 50 rock, so he lets him have it! If I get us into a fight, it will be because we HAVE to fight, and once we’ve been FORCED to fight I’ll let our guys and gals do their jobs- KICK SOME FUCKING ASS IN A GODDAMNED HURRY so they can get safely back home, where they belong, drinking beer and getting laid.
This is the first of my campaign announcements, funded entirely by myself. I refuse to take campaign donations. Let’s let the people, not big money, decide who will be the next El Jefe. In my next announcement, I’ll address some of my ideas for domestic policy, including economic reform.
Thank you for your support, and God bless America."


OK there is one small problem. Actually two. First I'm pretty sure he's not actually on the ballot anywhere. Sure you can write him in but then you would probably have to bring your own pen. And you gotta know the Republicans won't count those votes.
And then there's the slight issue that Blythe was recently arrested in The Czech Republic for Manslaughter after an incident in 2010 in which a fan fell or was pushed off stage striking his head and dying. He is now out on bail and back in the USA promising to return to The Czech Republic for any trial, assuming the charges are not dropped. Blythe is insisting that the incident was an accident and he was unaware that anyone was hurt until he was arrested two years later. Still it doesn't look good.

Then there's Robert Burck, better known as "The Naked Cowboy" a notorious street performer in New York City who is also running on a basic far right wing Tea Party platform;

Wow! Who knew he was such a humourless prig? Seriously you might as well vote for Romney and Ryan.

Or screw it; you could just vote for this guy;


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Nick Curran & Some recent Rock and Roll pioneer deaths

Nick Curran was not a Rock and Roll pioneer, in fact he was only 35 when he dies of cancer on October 6. But he did play with the original spirit and style. Besides his solo work he managed to also do some scorching guitar work with Ronnie Dawson, Kim Lenz and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.



Another great guitarist, Mikey Baker, 1950's & 60' Rock & Roll and R&B guitarist and singer, both solo for the Savoy, King, Atlantic, Vik, MGM and RCA-Victor Record labels and with Sylvia Robinson as Mikey & Sylvia. He also played with The Drifters, Ray Charles, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Champion Jack Dupree and Coleman Hawkins. He also played in touring band for Alan Freed's "Rock n' Roll Dance Party" with Big Al Sears, Freddie Mitchell and Sam "The Man" Taylor. Baker was hugely influential on blues and rockabilly guitarists in the 1960's in Britain and Europe where he toured extensively, later moving to France. ~ 87




Jon Lord ~ Keyboardist for 1960's and 1970's Hard Rock heavy weights Deep Purple ("Smoke on the Water", "Space Truckin'", "Hush") ~ 71

Larry Reinhardt ~ American rock guitarist with 1960's Proto Heavy Metal Band Iron Butterfly ~ 63 ~ also Lee Dorman Iron Butterfly bassist ~ 70

Johnny Perez ~ Drummer for 1960's Texas garage band The Sir Douglas Quintet ("She's about a mover" ~ 69

BB Cunningham ~ Singer/Keyboardist with 1960's Garage Band The Hombres ("Let it out (Let it all hang out))" and Jerry Lee Lewis ~ 70

Eddie Bertrand ~ Guitarist w/ 1960's Surf band The Bel Airs ("Mr Moto")

Big Jim Sullivan ~ British session guitarist from the 1960's on. Played with; Dave Berry's 1964 hit "The Crying Game", Alexis Korner's and Blues Incorporated's, P.J. Proby's 1964 hit "Hold Me", Billy Fury, Frank Ifield, Adam Faith, Frankie Vaughan, Helen Shapiro, Freddie and the Dreamers, Cilla Black, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Georgie Fame, Bobby Darin, Little Richard, Dell Shannon, The Walker Brothers, Donovan, David Bowie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Benny Hill, The New Seekers, Thunderclap Newman, Long John Baldry, Marmalade, Small Faces, The Tremeloes. He was also the resident guitarist at TV shows "Top of the Pops" and "Ready Steady Go!" ~ 71



Bill Dees ~ Guitarist and songwriter with Rot Orbison in their original band "The Five Bops", co-wrote "Pretty Woman" and "It's Over", worked on the Orbison movie "The Fastest Gun Alive". Also worked with Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Skeeter Davis, Glen Campbell, Billy Joe Royal, Frank Ifield, Mark Dinning and Gene Pitney ~ 73



Eddie "Guitar" Burns ~ Detroit blues musician from the 1950's on who recorded with Chess, Checker, Red Bird and Delmark Records ~ 84

JIMMY McCRACKLIN; 1950's California R&B pianist/singer with hits like "The Walk" on Chess Records ~ 91

Maurice Davis ~ 71 ~ American trumpeter (The Funk Brothers)
Bob Babbitt ~ 74 ~ American bass guitarist (The Funk Brothers)

~ The Funk Brothers were of course the house band for Motown Records. Babbitt was not the main bassist for Motown though, that was the legendary James Jamerson.


Bill Tillman, 65, American saxophonist (Blood, Sweat & Tears),

James "Sugar Boy" Crawford ~ New Orleans R&B songwriter. Wrote "Iko Iko" hit by The Dixie Cups ~ 77

Cleve Duncan ~ Singer with 1950's Doo-Wop group the Penguins ("Earth Angel" & "Pledge of Love") and The Viceroys and The Radiants as well as backup singer w/ Frank Zappa ~ 77

Vincent Carrella ~ Singer with Doo Wop group Randy & The Radiants did the original version of "Denise" later covered by Blondie as "Denis"

Inez Andrews ~ Singer with 1950's Gospel Group The Caravans ~ 83


Fontella Bass ~ Gospel, R&B and Jazz singer from the 1960's & 1970's with hits on Chess like "Rescue Me", "You'll Never Know", "I Can't Rest", later recorded with The Art Ensemble of Chicago" ~ 72


Marva Whitney; Singer with James Brown's band, as well as solo, known as "Soul Sister"


Major Harris ~ Singer w/R&B Vocal Group The Delfonics ("Didn't I blow you mind this time" & "La La La Means I Love You") ~ 65

Dave Brubeck ~ Jazz Pianist who introduced new poly-rhythms to jazz from the Mid-East and was one of the leaders of the West Coast Cool Jazz sound of the late 1950's and early 1960's with sax players Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan and trumpet player Chet Baker. ~ 91



Ted Curson ~ American Jazz trumpet player w/Charles Mingus ~ 77

John Tchicai ~ Black Danish born Jazz Sax Free Jazz Sax Player, w/Albert Ayler, John Coltrane and Archie Shepp ~ 72

Frode Thingnæs ~ Norwegian Jazz Trombonist, composer and Jazz Pioneer who recorded the first jazz album in Norway ~ 72

Pete La Roca ~ American Jazz drummer w/ John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Marian McPartland, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Mose Allison and Chic Corea as well as with his own bands. Retired and became a lawyer, later suing after one of his solo albums was released under Corea's name instead of his own. ~ 74

David S. Ware ~ Free Jazz sax player w/Cecil Taylor and later with his own Quartet ~ 62

Jose Curbelo ~ Cuban-born American Big Band Jazz musician and manager from 1939 to the 1970's, played with Xavier Cugat and Titi Puente ~ 95

Terry Callier ~ Jazz/Folk singer guitarist from the 1960's on. Also songwriter for 1960's psyche band H.P. Lovecraft and R&R band The Dells ~ 67


Scott McKenzie ~ American singer ("San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)") and songwriter ("Kokomo" covered by The Beach Boys) ~ 73

Mike Auldridge ~ Dobro player with Bluegrass The Seldom Scene from the 1960's on. Previously played with Cliff Waldron's Band, later played with Emmy Lou Harris and Lyle Lovett ~ 73


Doc Watson. A blind Folk & Old Time Country singer & guitarist from the 1950's on. Father of guitarist Merle Watson;

Doc Watson ~ "Deep River blues";

Martin Fay ~ Fiddler & Bones player with Irish Folk Band The Chieftains ~ 76

Rollin Sullivan ~ Country singer with 1940's & 50's Country duo Lonzo & Oscar ~ 93


Kitty Wells ~ Country singer from the 1940's to the 1960's (It wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", "I can't stop loving you") ~ 92

Louis Nunely ~ Singer with 1950's & 60' vocal group The Anita Kerr Singers (who sang backups for Brenda Lee, Perry Como, Pat Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Vinton, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Floyd Cramer, Al Hirt, Ann-Margret, Red Foley, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Faron Young, Chet Atkins, Rod McKuen, and Webb Pierce. In 1999 he joined the current gospel version of The Jordanaires ~ 81



Thursday, 4 October 2012

Moses Znaimer is a HUGE crybaby. And other reactions to the CRTC's ruling on 88.1fm in Toronto.


I have already written extensively about how the CRTC awarded the 88.1fm frequency lost by CKLN when they had their license revoked to a small group calling themselves "INDIE 88". They caught many by surprise when they beat out 21 other applicants most of which had bigger names and more money. Among those other applicants shocked by the results were PROUD FM, a gay themed radio station owned by the giant Evanov group who were the first to apply and Ryerson University who were expecting to get the license back and former City TV and Much Music Head Honcho Moses Znaimer.

First PROUD FM; Their application was to move from their current frequency at 103.9fm where they are limited to 60 watts and get a power upgrade which which they could reach the entire city. Evanov has insisted that without that increase PROUD FM can not stay in business. In the weeks before the decision was announced Evanov announced they were closing their Downtown offices and consolidating in their Mississauga office (Evanov owns a station in 905 country already; Z103fm, along with dozens more across Canada) and they were also laying off most of their staff. Some staff were willing to stay on as volunteers.

As one report in "XTRA" put it;

"In February, management decided to move administrative staff out of its Wellesley St location because of the neighbourhood’s increasingly high rents. The business side of Proud FM is now located across town, at Evanov’s headquarters at 5312 Dundas St W.

In 2010, Proud FM let go of four popular on-air hosts — Deb Pearce, Patrick Marano, Shaun Proulx and Mark Wigmore. Earlier, in November 2007, the station fired popular talent Maggie Cassella, Richard Ryder and a number of staffers. Ryder was eventually rehired."

"Willette says so much depends on the application for university radio station CKLN at 88.1 FM, which was owned by Ryerson University for almost three decades.

CKLN is bidding to get the licence back, but it has stiff competition: 27 groups applied for it last year, and 22 made the first cut in March, including Proud FM.

Since Evanov first won the licence for Proud FM in 2006, the station has been plagued by a weak frequency at 103.9 FM, says Evanov VP Carmela Laurignano.

The problem is Proud FM sits too close to Z103.5 on the dial, so they risk interfering with each other. As a result, Proud FM’s downtown transmission has been limited to 50 watts — too weak to penetrate downtown buildings. That means listeners can’t get a good signal, even in Toronto’s gay village.

“They can’t sell any ads now because of the signal strength,” Bellini says.

A move to 88.1 FM would entirely eliminate the problem, Willette says, noting that 88.1 FM is 128 watts, with a tower at First Canadian Place. “If we get 88.1 FM, then all of a sudden people who couldn’t hear us before can hear us. That means more listeners, so hopefully that equals more money.”

A lot has changed since 2006, she says. Although Evanov was well aware that Z103.5 bumped into 103.9 FM, they didn’t anticipate Toronto’s condo boom.

“We need that stronger signal to bring in more advertisers and grow,” she says.

Laurignano says the CRTC may also look favourably on the Proud FM bid because the station has fulfilled all of its application expectations, which Evanov agreed to when it bid for the licence. “We have fulfilled every single one,” she says.

But Proud FM falls short on programming — seven hours per week of newscasts and 21 hours of talk — which is a result of the staff cuts, she says. The station maintains its commitment to play 40 percent Canadian music.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s Proud FM is still alive, Willette assures, but the station is on life support and the future is uncertain. “Proud FM will always be around in one capacity or another. To what extent we can maintain live shows and a presence on the street? That is a valid question. I don’t know.”

Note; One important item left out of the report (and others) was the fact that PROUD FM recently got a power upgrade that they have yet to implement. At the hearings the CRTC took some exception to this and it alone was probably enough to deny them this upgrade. There has been little post rejection reaction as of yet from PROUD FM although I did notice some new ads in Now Magazine so I guess they aren't ready to give up the ghost yet.


Meanwhile back at Ryerson we can safely say that they are not pleased. And the NCRA are REALLY not happy;

(From a Trent University Paper);

The NCRA and Rodney Diverlus, President of the Ryerson Student Union, used the application process to emphasis the importance of community radio in general:

“We sent a clear message to the CRTC that we, as the future leaders and community members, see value in a radio station that is for our community and the broader Toronto community. Unfortunately this means less young voices and community voices will be heard on the airwaves.”

The diversity of voices requirement is based on a CRTC mandate and was interpreted by the NCRA’s Executive director Shelley Robinson as a diversity of voices participating in radio, not just represented by a radio station’s demographic or listenership:

“There is already so much commercial radio available,” she said. “This was a chance for something different. Radio Ryerson was a place where people would get to be citizens and creators, not just passive consumers of a set format.”

Trent Alumni and BCIT radio broadcasting student Philip Benmore noted a larger trend at the CRTC “away from grassroots, not-for-profit media, towards corporate controlled and heavily formatted commercial radio.”

Wait! Then there's my personal favorite part;

"Local NCRA member Trent Radio weighed in on the consultation process to lend support to campus/community radio in general. At an April 1st, 2012 meeting of the board, Trent Radio decided to support Radio Ryerson’s application, not with “cogent and winning arguments,” (since the application was deemed to be sufficient in such endeavours) but with a short statement of approval that included the quip: “Toronto needs all the community it can get.”


Umm...Yeah, Right. Good Call. Who needs "cogent and winning arguments" anyway when you have endorsements like that? And speaking of useless know-it-alls; what does the NCRA have to say about this?

From Vanmusic;

Radio Ryerson did not get their license back

15 September 2012 Despite public access option, CRTC decides to licence yet another commercial radio station.

Toronto is less indie now as they lost a campus-community radio. The CRTC has decided not to award 88.1FM to a campus-community radio licensee. The slot was given to commercial radio station Rock 95 . Its a great loss not only to Toronto but to the indie radio community.

“We sent a clear message to the CRTC that we, as the future leaders and community members, see value in a radio station that is for our community and the broader Toronto community. Unfortunately this means less young voices and community voices will be heard on the airwaves.” said Ryerson Student Union President Rodney Diverlus who also praised student efforts to win 88.1. “Students voted overwhelmingly in favour of funding a campus-community radio station through a referendum. We sent a clear message to the CRTC that we, as the future leaders and community members, see value in a radio station that is for our community and the broader Toronto community.”

"The National Campus and Community Radio Association also appeared in support of a campus-community radio license for 88.1FM over a commercial license. “I am very disappointed in this decision,” said NCRA’s Executive Director Shelley Robinson. “There is already so much commercial radio available and now there is one less opportunity for people in Toronto to directly access their local airwaves and represent their communities. Radio Ryerson was a place where people would get to be citizens and creators, not just consumers.”

"Press release from NCRA;

Today the CRTC licenced a commercial radio station for the last viable frequency in Toronto and denied the application of Radio Ryerson, making one less space available for community access to public airwaves.

Competing with dozens of prospective commercial radio stations, a group of Ryerson University students, faculty and community supporters proposed a station where the city and its many communities could speak for themselves and to their neighbours, sharing stories and music under-represented in other media.

Rodney Diverlus, President of the Ryerson Student Union, says the loss stretches beyond the campus.

“We sent a clear message to the CRTC that we, as the future leaders and community members, see value in a radio station that is for our community and the broader Toronto community. Unfortunately this means less young voices and community voices will be heard on the airwaves.” Shelley Robinson, Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) agrees.

“There is already so much commercial radio available,” she said. “This was a chance for something different. Radio Ryerson was a place where people would get to be citizens and creators, not just passive consumers of a set format.”

Jacky Tuinstra-Harrison was acting Station Manager and led Ryerson Radio’s application. She says she’s not sure next for the station, given the loss.

“There was such momentum. I had new students, up-and-coming musicians, senior citizens and my own neighbours asking how they could be involved,” she said, noting that the Broadcasting Act recognizes three pillars of Canadian broadcasting: commercial radio, public radio and community radio. “88.1FM ought to have been the place where we could live up to that ideal.”

Ah yes; all this misty eyed eulogizing of the Golden Age of CKLN when it was an open and accessible place rather than a hothouse of extremist politics and vicious turf wars is almost enough to make you forget the last several years of scorched earth warfare. Not to mention the roles that the Ryerson Student Union and the NRCA played in encouraging that strife in the furtherance of their own power hungry agendas that eventually led to the RSU's forcible seizure of the station. But not quite.


The various rejected other applicants which included the likes of The CBC, CHOQ, CARN CHIN and various heavyweights have been pretty quiet. Although one applicant; LIFE 100.3, a Christian Radio station based in Barrie who applied for a religious station, did send out a more gracious concession on their website;

September 11, 2012 The CRTC has denied our application for Christian radio at 88.1FM. The commission approved the application by Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd.
Thank you to all who prayed and supported Trust Communications Ministry through this process."

But then again Trust Communications were always more realistic about their long shot status.

An applicant from Larche Communications inc. for an Easy Listening station to be called "Metro 88" has completely pulled their website without explanation although oddly their Twitter page is still up for now. Albeit there hasn't been a posting since spring.

And then there Moses Znaimer. He also put in an application to add 88.1 to their existing AM station. He is not a happy camper;


Znaimer calls CRTC Toronto radio licence decision "appalling"
September 13, 2012
By Greg O’Brien

MONTREAL – Zoomer Media president and CEO Moses Znaimer was in Montreal Wednesday to watch the CRTC in action as it considers the proposed purchase of Astral Media by Bell Canada, but he was still shaken by Tuesday’s Commission decision on the 88.1 FM frequency in Toronto.
To say he’s not happy is an understatement. Znaimer told in an interview the decision to grant the license to Rock 95 so it can launch a station with an independent music format was “appalling. It was stunningly insensitive and entirely inappropriate – and it’s galling to hear them talk about diversity in there (during the ongoing hearing here) as if they are protectors of it in the light of that decision.”
Znaimer says the rock genre – even if this one is aimed at indie acts and emerging Canadian artists – is very well represented in and around Toronto and another station hitting the same demographic is a mistake. “There are a handful or rock radio stations in Toronto today and if you add the ones on the periphery, there must be well over a dozen,” he added.
Zoomer media was one of 22 applicants to appear at the CRTC hearing in May hoping to gain the licence to operate at 88.1 FM, the license the CRTC revoked from Ryerson University in 2010 due to various infractions over a number of years. Some applicants wanted to launch new stations while others, like Znaimer, wanted to take an existing AM station to FM.
Znaimer wanted to move The New AM740 Zoomer Radio, his station aimed at the 45 and older demographic that suffers from, well, being an AM station and all the sound quality and interference challenges of that brings, to FM. Zoomer also owns another Toronto FM station, The New Classical 96.3 FM as well as Vision TV, JoyTV, One: Body Mind and Spirit, Zoomer Magazine and other assets.
The long-time broadcasting executive whose whole business is aimed at the 45-and-up set is very angry that with this new station a demographic which he and many others say just don’t listen to radio any more will still get another station.
“We brought forward evidence that was overwhelming to demonstrate that the largest percentage of the population throughout Canada today is what we identify as Zoomer – 45-plus – and we brought forward overwhelming evidence that all the radio stations currently are piled up in the demos that lie just younger than that,” said Znaimer.
“Even though there are one or two other stations that acquire an older audience, they don’t do that with a view of serving the older audience with information to make their life better, to give them advice on health and wellness, financial security and so on,” he added.
But why can’t that be done on the AM dial? “Every other station over the last 20 years has made the transition because AM is a medium in decline and in downtown Toronto it’s impossible to get (740) with any clarity because of the wiring and the high-rise buildings,” he noted. It was a main point the company made during the hearing in May in Toronto.
“It is galling to hear the Commission posture as some kind of defender of diversity in the face of a decision which is doubly stunning, doubly insensible because it was discussed at the hearing that the younger generation, the 18-34 demo referenced in the decision, no longer listens to radio,” he added. “This Commission went out of its way to deny a life raft to a station that is the sole provider to a considerable audience.”
Znaimer insists it’s not sour grapes that is driving his ire because he would have accepted a decision which didn’t go his way if the license hadn’t gone to a rock station. “If they had brought forward a decision that favored an ethnic station, or if they had gone with the business news one, I would have been disappointed but I would have understood. But to hand it to another rock station, to a demo that’s already wildly over-served, just seems to be preposterous. The economy is not great and every story you read in the business press says it’s not going to get better any time soon so we came along and we said this is the goldilocks solution. We’re not really bringing in any new financial pressure on the market, we’re simply securing distribution to a large audience that’s got nowhere else to go,” said Znaimer.
“I can only conclude that it is a stunning case of age discrimination. There is no other word for it because they had the evidence… They turned their backs on themselves,” he added, alluding to the ages of the CRTC commission panel members. “They are all in the demo, every one of them.”
The CEO added his executive team will be meeting within the next week to decide whether or not to appeal the decision to federal cabinet."

WOW! And I thought the NCRA were crybabies. He even manged to pull the "ageist' card. And I didn't even know there was one in this deck. Remember when Znaimer brought you "MUCH MUSIC" and "The New Music"? Well now he wants you all to; "GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMN KIDS!"
Oh and by the way that threat to appeal to the Federal Cabinet? It's total bullshit. The Federal Cabinet is barred by law from interfering in the licensing process. Even CKLN had their lawyers explain that to them (probably very slowly) when they made the same empty threat. Given his years of experience you would have though he would have known about that already but never having people so no to you must get a little addictive. It's never a good sign when you are dumber than CKLN.