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SOWNY » Joey Defrancesco » August 30, 2022 3:53 pm

PeterY
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For those who love jazz and tune into stations such as Jazz FM 91.1, you’ve likely heard the incredible Hammond B3 jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. He passed away last week, just 51. Joey played some of the Toronto Jazz Festivals in the past, and toured around the world, generally regarded as a superb artist who was simply a master of this magnificent beast, the B3. Over the years Toronto music greats such as Doug Riley and Mike Fonfara among many others, were also wonderful artists on the instrument. The B3 is paired with a Leslie speaker which has rotating horns in the top, and a 15 inch speaker facing downwards into the lower rotor. The player controls the speed of the horns and rotor with a switch on the organ. Many people consider the Hammond B3 to be a major component of the heart of R & B, rock, soul, blues, gospel and  jazz. It’s worth a search to check out the B3 and some of the musicians who made their mark in music on this double keyboard. Joey certainly was one of the greats.

SOWNY » Lisa LaFlamme out at CTV » August 18, 2022 10:53 am

PeterY
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A person who apparently “..enjoys destroying careers...” is a very disturbed individual. This type of character just doesn’t get mad, but gets even as well. All he has succeeded in doing by terminating Lisa LaFlamme is to create anger, shock and complete disgust across the country directed at him, as well as the company that prides itself in being so in tune with mental health awareness. This man has humiliated a wonderful professional broadcast journalist who has devoted her career bringing Canadians decades of in-depth, well researched news. She has the rare talent of connecting with viewers through genuine warmth and credibility - gifts that this man will never comprehend.

SOWNY » Bell: It can't happen here. Oh yeah? » August 6, 2022 10:44 am

PeterY
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Same problems with my email as well.

SOWNY » Mike Filey. » August 2, 2022 1:04 pm

PeterY
Replies: 11

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Mike Filey was so knowledgeable about Toronto’s history, and his passion came through both in his written work and his frequent interviews (thank you JohnD).  He made history interesting and fun as well. Mike wrote so many books - some were compilations of his columns but others were dedicated to very specific aspects of this great city’s past. Published in 1981, “I Remember Sunnyside” gives a vivid portrayal through numerous photos and text of how and where people spent their leisure time, how they “socially networked” before that term was ever used. Mike details how people looked outside their homes for entertainment, and connected with others during a time when Centre Island, including Hanlan’s Point, had amusement parks, and Sunnyside Amusement Park was indeed, as he includes in the title, “.... a Magical Era.” The two reminders of this magnificent park are the Sunnyside bathing pavilion, and the Palais Royale (recently refurbished) which was the site where most major big bands of the times played. Oh, and the Rolling Stones did a gig here in the early 90's before embarking on one of their world tours. Mike also covered the Palace Pier in great detail with photos and diagrams. It’s now the name of a large condo on the site. It was a huge dance venue, which was to be the first phase of a half-mile long Atlantic City-style pier extending into Lake Ontario. The depression nixed most of the project but the Palace Pier was a fixture here. CBC radio frequently did live Saturday late night broadcasts after the dances, often with Trump Davidson’s band. People could stay and listen, but not dance. The province of Ontario did not allow dancing on Sunday at that time!

SOWNY » The History Of Radio Ad Jingles Brings One Incredible Surprise » June 30, 2022 10:46 am

PeterY
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This is such an interesting subject. Jingles we heard as kids often resonate with us years later, and still bring back images of the products. The art of jingle writing is covered in two of Terry O’Reilly’s episodes “Under The Influence” Season 7, Episodes 12 and 13. They’re well worth a listen.
For instance it’s generally known that Barry Manilow wrote or arranged many jingles. “I am stuck on Band-Aid brand `cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me.” “Like a good neighbour, State Farm is there.” He arranged the famous “You deserve a break today....” for McDonald’s. Apparently during his performances he’s does a medley of his jingles called VSM - “very strange medley.”

Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane did a bizarre psychedelic-themed song advertising white Levi jeans. The Who recorded a number of jingles in their early years including ones for Coke.

One of the shortest jingles was “By Mennen,” just three seconds in length. Any time a jingle is used a licencing fee has to be paid, including this one when it was apparently sung in a version of Family Guy with a slight word change: “By Menonnites.”

Back in 1969 or so a number of Canadian bands were hired by Coke to record a portion of one of their songs that had received airplay. After 20 seconds or so, the songs segued into “....’cause things go better with Coca-Cola, things go better with Coke.”

One of the crazier jingles I recall was for Brylcreem, which was a tube of white grease that some guys would use on their hair. “Brylcreem, a little dab’ll do ya, Brylcreem, you’ll look so debonair, Brylcreem the gals will all pursue you, they love to get their fingers in your hair.”
Oh, you can still get this stuff if you crave the John Travolta look he sported in the movie “Grease.”

Here’s the jingle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmoDx2wJy1c

SOWNY » For Mace: A Look At A Vintage 1950s Admiral 12" TV Set » May 2, 2022 3:41 pm

PeterY
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RA, your tv is similar to my family’s first set, an Admiral. It was placed at the back of the dining room wall, and my brothers and I were warned to sit as far away as possible - at least 15 feet - for fear that the radiation emitted from the screen would damage our eyes, possibly blind us for life. It wasn’t an uncommon concern at the time, with this new mysterious entertainment device. To mitigate the danger of being struck sightless for life at age 4, my parents bought a small “tv lamp” to place on top of the set to soften the danger rays. These lights were actually quite popular at the time, kind of an art deco design. I still have that lamp on my desk.

My mother’s best friend was a well known pianist who appeared occasionally on what is now the CBC. I could never understand how this musician friend of hers was able to “get into the tv.” The only answer I received was “It’s a very complicated, almost magical process, similar to trick photography, only with motion.”

A link to the fear of danger beams from tv’s:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/09/when-televisions-were-radioactive/570916/

SOWNY » The Shortest-Lived TV Series of All Time » February 21, 2022 12:07 pm

PeterY
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In September 1978 a Norman Lear sitcom called “Apple Pie” debuted in September on ABC. It featured Rue McLanahan, Dabney Coleman and Jack Gilford. Although 8 episodes were recorded it was canned after 2. My wife and I had tickets for the taping of the first or second episode at Metromedia Square in Hollywood in August/78. The show was absolutely terrible. The best part of the experience was sitting in front of a few of Hollywood’s former grand dames of the  B-actress grade regaling each other (and anyone else who would listen) of their salad days from the 1930's and 40's.

SOWNY » A Plaintive Plea To Toronto Weather Broadcasters » December 21, 2021 11:28 am

PeterY
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And please stop calling it "the white stuff!"

SOWNY » Randy Bachman Finds Stolen Guitar 45 Years Later » October 8, 2021 3:27 pm

PeterY
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I went to a presentation that Randy gave at CBC’s Glen Gould studio a number of years ago - billed as “Guitarology 101." Not sure if it was ever aired on CBC Radio, but it was recorded. He had a selection of about 12 to 15 guitars set up on stands in a line on the stage and described each model’s features and sounds, why he used specific ones for various songs, the sentimental value many had for him, and gave some great demonstrations too. He even included one of his very early guitars, a cheap beginner’s “Silvertone.” That model was sold in department stores - Eatons or Simpsons.

Randy’s special delivery of telling stories on Vinyl Tap, and often explaining technical aspects of instruments and the general art of recording in plain, easy to understand terms is a talent in itself. It’s unfortunate that CBC cut ties with him. His ability to connect with the radio audience in a warm, conversational, sometimes humorous manner with his stories was very popular across Canada with many people of all ages. Might have been nice to let Randy leave on his own terms.

And by the way, to a person who loves his or her or their instrument, there’s an attachment that only a true musician would understand. And yes, it’s way more important than someone’s “gold ass watch.”

SOWNY » What's The Most Irritating Spot Currently Running On Radio? » June 29, 2021 2:22 pm

PeterY
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Terry O’Reilly’s season finale for “Under The Influence” show (Season 10, episode 25) aired last week in which he addressed many listeners’ questions and observations. It’s his usual annual format to wind up each series. He said without a doubt every year the most common query is why commercials/ads so “bad.”  He elaborates his explanation in his podcast, which is well worth a listen. Briefly he claims that job promotions within companies’ various departments often place employees into marketing, a catch-all area where they often don’t have understanding or experience. They have no strategic insights, or the appreciation of the power of creative ideas. It’s not unusual for a great concept to be watered down. That’s his take and he sure knows his stuff. It’s great radio.

Unlike like the maniacal scream that once topped of the insufferable Spence Diamonds ads.

SOWNY » Freddie Keeler Has Died » July 30, 2019 10:26 am

PeterY
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John, there will be a tribute/Celebration of Life service for Fred on Saturday August 10 at 2 PM. The location is "The Bridge - A Church for All Nations" and it’s located at 477 Kingston Road, Pickering. It’s just west of Whites Road on the south side of Kingston. Anyone who knew, played with, or remembered Fred will be warmly welcomed.

SOWNY » John Harada » July 17, 2019 4:50 pm

PeterY
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This is very sad news. I’ve known John since the early 1970's when he was in his teens, and worked as a road manager for a while with a band I was with. He set up a small "practice" radio studio in his bedroom and wanted to get into broadcasting with an incredible passion. He followed his dream.John worked so hard in the business he loved. Naturally he had to move around as many people in the industry do, gathering experience and honing his skills. In the early days he’d send me reel to reel tapes of samples of his work! Whenever he was back in Toronto we’d get together for lunch with a couple of his friends he knew from his radio days here. And we’ve kept in touch regularly.John was a great friend, and a wonderful guy. I’m so sorry we’ve lost him and my condolences to his family and to those of you who knew John.The sad irony is that a mutual friend of ours, Fred Keeler, passed away the same day (see John D’s July 15 post). I played with Fred for a few years in a band when John Harada was working with us. Many people who have been in the radio/music business for a while would know Fred, one of the truly great blues and rock guitar players in Toronto. Fred was not quite 18 when his band The Shays backed up David Clayton Thomas on the album John D noted. Fred continued in the music biz for some time, playing with a number of bands, including Jericho. We’ve been friends for nearly 50 years.It’s stunning to lose two long-term friends in two days.

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