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Posts Tagged ‘Hank Snow’

This Week in Music History: November 10 to 16

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by Ripple Creative Strategy No Comments

By Adam Bunch

ANOTHER NO. 1 FOR HANK SNOW

It was originally written by an Australian; the 1950s country song “I’ve Been Everywhere” was penned by singer-songwriter Geoff Mack. It was a travelling tune listing off a cornucopia of cities, towns and villages from around Mack’s homeland of Australia. Not long after it was first released, the song caught the attention of one of the biggest country music stars in the entire world: Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Hank Snow.

Snow decided to record his own version of the tune. But first, he rewrote it a bit. This time, instead of verses about Australian places, it would feature places from North America. Instead of singing about spots such as Mooloolaba, Wallumbilla, Woolloomooloo, Tuggerawong and Yeerongpilly, he’d sing about places like Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Waterloo and Fond du Lac.

It proved to be a very good decision. Snow’s version of “I’ve Been Everywhere” was a smash hit produced by the legendary Chet Atkins. During this week in 1962, it was sitting right at the very top of the Billboard country chart.

“I’VE BEEN EVERYWHERE” BY HANK SNOW

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THE BIRTH OF THREE WESTERN CANADIAN SYMPHONIES

Three of Western Canada’s biggest cities can trace the roots of their symphony orchestras back to this particular week in history.

The oldest is the one that started in Vancouver all the way back during this week in 1897 – 117 years ago – when 23 musicians teamed up with a conductor to play classical music at an old theatrical venue called Dunn Hall. They called themselves the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, but they didn’t last very long: the group disbanded after only three performances. The modern version of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra wouldn’t be permanently revived until 1930 and, before long, it had established itself as one of the most successful groups in Canada. By the end of the 1970s, the VSO had more subscribers than any other symphony orchestra on the entire continent. As recently as 2008, the VSO walked away with the JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year.

By the time Vancouver’s was back up and running, the other two orchestras were well under way. It was during this week in 1913 that the Calgary Symphony Orchestra gave its very first performance. Decades later, it would merge with the Alberta Philharmonic to become the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Today, 101 years after that first performance, it’s still going strong.

The youngest of the three is the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, which turns 94 years old this week. It started off as a community orchestra in 1910, was suspended in the ’20s and revived in the ’50s. In the time since, Edmonton’s orchestra hasn’t been afraid to crossover and collaborate with stars from the world of pop music. It’s performed with everyone from Frank Zappa to Ben Folds and with Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees including k.d. lang and Tom Cochrane. In 1976, the ESO even teamed up with Procol Harum to record Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The album’s biggest single, “Conquistador,” became the very first “classical” recording ever to go Platinum.

“CONQUISTADOR” BY PROCOL HARUM AND THE EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

This Week in Music History: August 25 to 31

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Ripple Creative Strategy No Comments

By Adam Bunch

TWO CANADIANS TOP THE CHARTS AT THE VERY SAME TIME

They came from very different backgrounds. The Crew-Cuts were a doo-wop group from the heart of the big city: choir students in downtown Toronto. Hank Snow was born in small-town Nova Scotia and spent much of his youth as a cabin boy on a fishing schooner before becoming a country crooner. But during this week in the summer of 1954, both Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees were sitting at the top of the Billboard charts.

It started with Snow. “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” was released in early 1954 and by the middle of June it had climbed all the way to the top of Billboard’s Country and Western chart – and that was just the beginning. The song spent an amazing 20 weeks at No. 1: throughout the entire summer of 1954 and all the way to the end of October. The tune would eventually be covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Bob Dylan to Dinah Washington. Even Snow himself released another version of the same song years later.

The Crew-Cuts soon joined him as chart-toppers. A couple of weeks after “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” claimed the top spot on the Country and Western chart, the Toronto group arrived on the Hot 100 with the song that would prove to be their biggest hit: “Sh-Boom.” It immediately leapt all the way up to No. 8, knocking another one of their own tunes, “Crazy ’Bout You Baby,” out of the Top 10 – and “Sh-Boom” kept climbing. Just a few weeks after it debuted, the song was sitting at No. 1. It would stay there for the next seven straight weeks and continue to be the most-played song on the radio and on jukeboxes for weeks after that.

So during this week in 1954 – and for a span of seven straight weeks through nearly all of August and September – there were two Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees sitting atop the Billboard charts at the very same time.

“SH-BOOM” BY THE CREW-CUTS

“I DON’T HURT ANYMORE” BY HANK SNOW

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“THE SUMMER OF ’69” IN THE SUMMER OF ’85

More than 30 years after Snow and The Crew-Cuts topped the charts, another Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee found himself sitting high on the Billboard Hot 100. It was during this week in the summer of 1985 that Bryan Adams reached No. 5 with his smash hit “Summer of ’69.” In fact, the nostalgic tune raced up pop charts all over the world: in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Austria….

Even today, three decades after the song was first released, it’s still remembered as one of Adams’ greatest hits. It regularly ranks on best-of lists: the best songs of the ’80s, the best Canadian songs ever and even, quite simply, one of the best songs of all time.

“SUMMER OF ’69” BY BRYAN ADAMS

This Week in Music History: August 18 to 24

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by Ripple Creative Strategy No Comments

By Adam Bunch

THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL’S BIGGEST HIT

During the summer of 1966, The Lovin’ Spoonful was at the height of its powers. The group had only been around for a couple of years, but was already one of the most popular bands in the world. The band had first formed as part of the early 1960s folk scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village. American John Sebastian (son of a classical harmonica player) teamed up with Toronto’s Zal Yanovsky (who once lived in a dryer in a Yorkville laundromat, played in a folk-pop band with Mama Cass and fellow Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Papa Denny Doherty, and was also the husband of future “Road To Avonlea” actor Jackie Burroughs). It only took the Spoonful about a year to release its very first single and it was a smash hit: in the summer of 1965, “Do You Believe In Magic” raced up the Billboard charts all the way into the Top 10.

That was just the beginning. “Do You Believe In Magic” was the first of seven straight Lovin’ Spoonful singles to reach the Top 10, including “Daydream,” “You Didn’t Have to Be so Nice” and “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind?” The group was one of only two 1960s bands to get off to such an impressive start on the charts. The other was Gary Lewis and The Playboys. Not even The Beatles or The Rolling Stones were able to match their record.

The biggest hit of them all was “Summer in the City.” It was released during the summer of 1966 and nearly 50 years later is still one of the most iconic songs of the season, played on radio stations all over the world when the weather gets warm. During this week in August 1966, the song climbed all the way to the very top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, where it would stay for three consecutive weeks.

Zal Yanovsky was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

“SUMMER IN THE CITY” BY THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL

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THE KING OF THE BANJO

Canada’s “King of the Banjo” was born in New Brunswick during the winter of 1920. His name was Maurice Bolyer. Growing up, he learned to play a wide range of instruments, including the piano, but as a teenager he picked up the one that would make him famous.

By the time he was in his early twenties, Bolyer was making appearances playing banjo on a local radio station, performing with Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Hank Snow. Before long, he would be heard in kitchens and living rooms all across the country as a regular guest on the CBC’s “Tommy Hunter Show” – first on radio and then TV – and then all across the continent thanks to American programs like “The Lawrence Welk Show.” By the time his career came to an end, Bolyer had earned a place as one of the greats in the history of his favourite instrument and in Canadian country music as a whole.

Maurice Bolyer, the King of the Banjo, passed away during this week in 1978.

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