News and New Releases June – July 2019

Those who began watching Season 3 of hit television series Stranger Things were pleasantly surprised to see it open up with a Canadian song – Corey Hart‘s “Never Surrender”, the biggest hit of 1985. The characters in the show were even singing along to it! Corey was not the only Canadian icon featured in the season, as actor Michael J. Fox made an appearance of sorts; blockbuster feature film Back to the Future was showing on the cinema screen during an episode. It may also be news to some that the actor who plays star Mike Wheeler – Finn Wolfhard – is Canadian; Finn is from Vancouver. We should have learned by now, however, that there really are … stranger things … than CanCon in Hollywood.

There have not been a lot of releases the past couple of weeks as things slow down for the summer. JUNO award winner Daniel Caesar launched his album Case Study 01. An eponymous rock album appeared from Espanola. The Pearl of Bermuda, Heather Nova, a Canadian citizen, contributed a singer-songwriter disc. Navet Confit got very alternative on a prime ministerial kinda party. And punk band Necking advised, Cut Your Teeth. EPs included Adam Baxter‘s Infinity, Jonah Yano‘s Nervous, Andre Papanicolaou‘s Modern Pain, Part. 2, and Sons of DaughtersLove in a Bar.

It’s All About You: MacKenzie Porter Slays Country Radio

Medicine Hat, Alberta’s MacKenzie Porter becomes the latest homegrown artist to crown the Billboard Canadian Country Airplay chart with one of her recent singles, “About You”. This is the hard-working actress, singer, and songwriter’s first number one single. MacKenzie has in the past managed to appear in the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.

Canadian country radio has in recent years proved a tough nut to crack for domestic artists. Through 2014, none reached the summit. We have listed below all Canadian artist singles that have hit number one since 2013. Those of you who like to create playlists may consider putting these champs into one. As you can see, the horizon began to brighten in 2017 when four touched the tip. There were seven lucky victors in 2018. And, so far in 2019, though it is only mid-May, we have already surpassed 2018’s year-long total, as MacKenzie Porter’s “About You” becomes the eighth Canadian artist song to reach number one.

Some stats are as follows. Canadian artist songs that have reached number one since 2013 number at 24. Only two of these have stayed at the top for more than a week – Dallas Smith’s “Wastin’ Gas” and High Valley’s “I Be U Be”, both at 2 weeks each. The number of unique Canadian artists who have scored a number one hit since 2013 number at 16. The most successful of these is Dallas Smith who has placed seven at the summit. Four female artists have hit the top spot with one song each, the first being Lindsay Ell who bust open the bars with “Criminal”, the first number one from a Canadian female soloist in a decade.

MacKenzie Porter’s “About You” is a fabulous song.

List of #1 Songs at Domestic Country Radio by Canadian Artists

2013
When Your Lips Are So Close, Gord Bamford (1 week, Nov 30)
Bounty, Dean Brody (1 week, Dec 7)

2014
(None)

2015
Wastin’ Gas, Dallas Smith (2 weeks, Jan 31-Feb 7)
Airwaves, Brett Kissel (1 week, Oct 30)

2016
Autograph, Dallas Smith (1 week, Nov 26)

2017
Side Effects, Dallas Smith (1 week, Apr 22)
I Be U Be, High Valley (2 weeks, May 27-June3)
Chills, James Barker Band (1 week, Jul 1)
Sky Stays This Blue, Dallas Smith (1 week, Aug 26)

2018
Sleepin’ Around, Dallas Smith (1 week, Jan 27)
8th Day, Dean Brody (1 week, Mar 3)
Criminal, Lindsay Ell (1 week, Apr 14)
Dive Bar, Gord Bamford (1 week, Sep 22)
Make ‘Em Like You, Dallas Smith (1 week, Oct 27)
Who’s Gonna Love You, Tebey (1 week, Nov 24)
Walls Come Down, Meghan Patrick (1 week, Dec 22)

2019
Feels Like That, The Reklaws (1 week, Jan 26)
Somebody’s Daughter, Tenille Townes (1 week, Feb 2)
You Are, Aaron Goodvin (1 week, Feb 16)
Rhinestone World, Dallas Smith (1 week, Mar 16)
Better When I Do, Aaron Pritchett (1 week, Apr 6)
Lost, Hunter Brothers (1 week, Apr 13)
Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere, Chad Brownlee (1 week, Apr 27)
About You, MacKenzie Porter (May 25)

News and Releases Early 2019

Nominations for the 2019 JUNO Awards, the main gala to take place in London on Saint Patrick’s Day, will be announced January 29 at 8 am PT. Already booked to perform is successful duo Loud Luxury. CARAS has made a few announcements surrounding the JUNOs in recent times as below.

Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award Recipient – Duff Roman

Originally from Swift Current, SK, Duff Roman began as a radio DJ for stations in the Prairies before landing a position at Toronto’s top adult rock station CHUM. He worked his way up to program director and station manager. With his brother, he founded Roman Records in the early 60s, and as an artist manager, he produced Little Caesar and The Consuls and the first recordings of Levon and the Hawks, who went on to become The Band. He was also involved in launching the careers of The Paupers and David Clayton-Thomas. In 1982, Roman led the creation of FACTOR, the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings.

Humanitarian Award Recipient – David Foster

Canadian super producer David Foster will be receiving the 2019 Humanitarian Award (formerly named after Allan Waters). The organization writes, “The award honours Foster’s lifelong dedication to philanthropy through his support of hundreds of charities, including his own non-profit organization, The David Foster Foundation, which raises organ donation awareness and provides financial support to Canadian families in need of life-saving transplants.” Over the years, Foster has made hit songs for the likes of Diana Krall, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder; launched the careers of Céline Dion, Josh Groban, and Michael Bublé; and created blockbuster soundtracks like The Bodyguard, Urban Cowboy, and St. Elmo’s Fire. David Foster has won six JUNO Awards, 16 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe and has received three Oscar nominations for “Best Original Song.” He has been inducted into the Music Hall of Fame, Walk of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and both the Canadian and American Songwriters Halls of Fame.

Music Hall of Fame Inductee – Corey Hart

From his career launch in 1983, Montrealer Corey Hart has scored 18 Top 40 hits including his buzz single “Sunglasses at Night” and his 1985 year-end chart topper “Never Surrender”. The album on which the latter song appeared, Boy in the Box, became a diamond seller with a million copies snatched up in Canada alone. Incredibly, Hart only won two JUNO awards despite being nominated for 21. He often lost out to Bryan Adams. The two trophies went to Best Video (“Sunglasses at Night”) and Single of the Year (“Never Surrender”). In the American Republic, Hart landed nine songs in the Top 40; “Never Surrender” peaked at #3. Corey married fellow Canadian recording artist Julie Masse, and in 1999 he decided to take a hiatus from his music career to focus on raising their children. His induction into the Hall of Fame coincides with the release of a new EP and an upcoming cross-Canada tour. Corey Hart has sold an estimated 16 million records worldwide.

New Releases

New discs are beginning to trickle in. Country music JUNO nominees Kira Isabella and Aaron Pritchett have released new EPs. JUNO winning Folk rock group Whitehorse contributes The Northern South Vol. 1. Find these and more in the list below.

Tallies by Tallies, Jan 11, Alternative
The Northern South Vol. 1 by Whitehorse (JW), Jan 18, Folk Rock
Insert Disk 02 by Game Genie Sokolov Jan 18, Electronic
12 jours by Jordane, Jan 18, S-S/Folk
Barokan by Djely Tapa, Jan 18, World
Comme June aime Johnny by Alicia Deschenes, Jan 18, S-S/Folk
Out on the Town (EP) by Aaron Pritchett (JN), Jan 11, Country
Side B (EP) by Kira Isabella (JN), Jan 11, Country
Extravaganza (EP) by Alexandre Desilets, Jan 18, Pop