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April 24, 2020 8:40 am  #1

The Toronto Historical Jukebox

music and the facts to back that up: each post on the Historical Jukebox blog includes an MP3 file of a song from Toronto’s past and a short but illuminating backgrounder on the song or artist.



April 24, 2020 8:53 am  #2

Re: The Toronto Historical Jukebox

arc23 wrote:

music and the facts to back that up: each post on the Historical Jukebox blog includes an MP3 file of a song from Toronto’s past and a short but illuminating backgrounder on the song or artist.


Love the first entry The Diodes and Tired of Waking Up Tired. One of the best TO singles ever !

Cool Airchecks and More:

April 24, 2020 9:29 am  #3

Re: The Toronto Historical Jukebox

Any Other Way by the late Jackie Shane might be a worthwhile addition, eh?


April 24, 2020 10:24 am  #4

Re: The Toronto Historical Jukebox

arc23, this is fantastic! I also love the Diodes cut which I haven't heard in years.  I believe 1050 CHUM played it a lot in 79, and of course CFNY.

And the great Jackie Matoo with Soul Bird what a super song and well produced.  Jackie really introduced reggae to Toronto and Canada. Died much too young at age 42. Interesting that the label (Summus) that Jackie was on for the album Wishbone which featured Soul Bird was owned by Stompin Tom.  Who knew Stompin Tom was into reggae!  Pretty Toronto eh? 

I can hear the wonderful soul singer Dianne Brookes in the background on Soul Bird.  She sang backup in the studio for all kinds of artists in Toronto and was a member of Dr. Music. RIP Dianne. Carl Banas on CKFM really liked Jackie's music and played him a lot on his evening program.


April 25, 2020 7:26 am  #5

Re: The Toronto Historical Jukebox

Little piece of trivia that some of you likely already know.  Ritchie Knight & The Mid-Knights had the first  #1 song on CHUM that was recorded and produced in Canada . Charlena was number one for two weeks in 1963 and the song was recorded in Toronto.  Prior to this all #1 Canadian songs on the CHUM chart were produced and recorded in the US.

In the photo, (from arc23's link above) the guitarist standing next to the piano player on the right is George Semkiw.  George became a crack sound engineer and producer of note.  George stayed in Toronto and became the chief engineer at the RCA studios on Mutual Street. This building was built by CHUM in 1947 in the days that radio stations had big studios that could house live performances. 

George passed away last year but at RCA he worked with some of the best including Lou Reed, BTO, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seeger, Mick Jagger and more, 

Here's a bit of more info on RCA's Mutual Street Studios.

Last edited by paterson1 (April 25, 2020 7:30 am)


April 25, 2020 8:44 pm  #6

Re: The Toronto Historical Jukebox

I saw this mentioned in the Star and decided to check it out. It's very bizarre - it's called The Museum of Canadian Music and features hundreds of extremely obscure 45s and LPs, most of which you can listen to. I've only seen a few items that were even remotely familiar - like Jack London and The Sparrows, Pat Hervey or The Kings, where "Switchin' To Glide" is just listed as "Switch."

Then there's a very bizarre album called the Two Tones, featuring a duo with a very young and still unknown Gordon Lightfoot at a live performance from 1962. Or Bruno Gerussi doing something called "Signin' With The NHL."  (Don't ask.)

Oh and don't forget an Al Boliska record that dates around the time he would have been on CHUM. Side one is called "The Ballad of The Dying Cowby," while the B-side purports to be his theme song, titled "What D'ye Mean, You've Lost Your Dog?"' 

I finally stopped around page 36, but if you've ever wondered about that obscure CanCon tune you weren't sure existed, chances are it's here somewhere. It appears all the items on display are for sale by collectors and the price of each is featured as well. 

Worth a look if you're at all curious about vintage Canadian music you never knew existed. 

The Museum of Canadian Music 


April 26, 2020 7:21 pm  #7

Re: The Toronto Historical Jukebox

I had some time today to delve into the Museum of Canadian Music site. I was pleasantly surprised to see Peter Francis Quinlan of St Johns  Nfld included in the 70's section.  In the mid 70's I was employed by a broadcasting company in St John's which I left under dubious circumstances and do not wish to acknowledge. I met Peter thru a mutual acquaintance and spent a few drunken and related substances in late night recording sessions for the album that is now in the museum. The only clear song memory I still possess was the one called Nancy. During that session, about 10 of us joined in on the chorus in the back of the room , but, I have never heard the finished production until today. I recall the song having a country flavor . It ended up as more of a soft rocker . I wonder if my vocal contribution is contained in the song or ended up as they say, on the cutting room floor.