Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Me & The Canadian Music Hall of Fame

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably already know about this, but I figured I should post something about it here, too: a few months ago, I starting a weekly column for the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It's a "This Week in Canadian Music History" series, which means I get to write a bit about the history of music in Toronto — as well as the history of music in the rest of the country. So far I've posted about everything from Canada's first gun-running opera composer to the birth of the Horseshoe Tavern (it started out as a blacksmith's shop in the 1860s) to a vaudeville troupe performing on the front lines of the First World War.

For last week's Hall of Fame column, I wrote about "The First Lady of Canadian Song": Gisèle MacKenzie. She studied at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto and had her own show on the CBC in the 1940s before heading south to become a star on American television. She's even got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can check out my post about her here. And watch a great little comedy bit she used to do with Jack Benny here.

To keep an eye on my column — as well as James Sandham's more eclectic and contemporary contributions — you can follow the Canadian Music Hall of Fame blog here. And I'll try to post links to some of the more Toronto-related on this blog whenever I remember to actually do that.

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I've actually been writing about music for a lot longer than I've been writing about the history of Toronto: as the old Editor-in-Chief of SoundProof Magazine and a contributor to PopMatters, Crawdaddy!, 24 Hours, AUX and a few other places. I'm lucky enough to be on the jury for the Polaris Music Prize. And I still write about my favourite Toronto bands on regular basis over at The Little Red Umbrella.

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