The end of April and the beginning of May make for a pretty interesting week when it comes to the history of music in our city. And so, there were a couple of Toronto-related events that made this week's edition of my column for the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
The Torontonian Behind Hair — Plus: The Greatest Canadian Song of All-Time
First off: the anniversary of the Broadway debut of the musical Hair. It started its groundbreaking run during this week in 1968. It proved to be the most controversial musical ever — full of pacifism, nudity, swearing and drug use. Some people were so upset, they tried to shut it down while it was on tour: including someone who bombed the theatre. The Toronto connection? The music — which included iconic 1960s tunes like "Good Morning Starshine", "Aquarius" and "Let The Sunshine In" — was written by Galt McDermot, who went to high school at our very own Upper Canada College. In fact, his dad was the principal.
The second event happened during this week in 1967 when Ian & Sylvia gave a big performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. They had started out as part of the Yorkville folk scene. Their biggest hit, "Four Strong Winds", was recently chosen as the greatest Canadian song of all-time by CBC listeners.