FAN’SPLAINING THE ENCYCLOPEDIA
The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia is a listing of biographies and discographies of nearly 1500 artists starting in approximately 1949 – the year that RCA Records introduced the commercially available 7” single – to 2022. The Encyclopedia covers popular music from this era as it relates to commercial radio, and television, in Canadian pop culture as it is generally recognized. The length of each artist entry is governed by available material and matters of general interest. Some lesser known acts may have longer biographies than more established acts because those artists’ stories remain, largely, untold in the world at large. More established acts have been covered, and analyzed ad infinitum in other reference sources and are widely searchable on the internet. You will find minimal entries covering artists in the genre of Jazz, New Age and Classical music in these pages as the author feels these genres fall outside of the scope of this reference guide. Similarly, in the area of French Canadian coverage, the author acknowledges the gross under representation as Québéc enjoys a unique musical star system that deserves its own book. It is hoped that there will be a separate Québécois and Francophone edition of the Encyclopedia in the future – potentially in both official languages. I thought long and hard about adding website URLs for the individual artists in the entries and decided against it. When editing for the book began in June 2011 URLs for the majority of the artists already on the CANOE website no longer worked. And though many big name artists in the music biz have websites, they default to social media sites like Facebook. Given how tenuous and whimsical those services are, putting URLs in the book and sending readers off into oblivion would make the Encyclopedia both inaccurate and immediately obsolete. So, dear readers, please use your Google Foo and search on websites independently from the book just as we did in writing the book in the first place. Amazing resources one and all.
WARNING: This website contains adult content in the form of some artist names, album titles, and song titles that contain expletives and may offend some readers.
BANDS are indexed alphabetically by first letter of the first word in the name of the act (i.e. APRIL WINE would be filed under “A”); Definitive articles such as The, A, and in French as L’, Le, La or Les are generally ignored in favour of the collective noun that precedes it to indicate alphabetical preference. (i.e. THE GUESS WHO would be filed under “G”).
SOLO ARTISTS are indexed alphabetically by the first letter of their last name. (i.e. GORDON LIGHTFOOT would be listed under “L”). Beware of acts who appear to have proper names when they are, in fact, BAND names (i.e. Max Webster, Jackson Hawke, Danko Jones) and would be filed alphabetically by first letter of the first word as indicated above.
MULTIPLE-NAME listings feature duos or trios that are indexed alphabetically by the last name of the first person in the list. (i.e. ATKINSON, DANKO & FORD would be filed under “A”). In the instance of artists where an individual fronts a band, the index defaults to the last name of the person leading the group. The actual listing has been simplified to feature the first name of the artist at the end of the identifier (i.e. TAYLOR & THE VANCOUVERS, Bobby filed under “T” or JAMES BAND, Paul filed under “J”). Where there is no last name, the index defaults to the first letter of the first name (i.e. DEWEY & THE DECIMALS would be filed under “D”).
BAND and MULTIPLE-NAME entries are written with the membership roster listed chronologically by name with aliases in square brackets. This is followed by the instrument they played shown in parentheses – vocalist, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, etc., the years they were in the band and who they replaced (when known). The list starts with founding members and follows with later additions to the roster through the life-span of the act. These line-ups are based on historical relevance to their inception and sound recording practices only. The Encyclopedia occasionally, but does not as a rule, lists band members who were used as session players, temporary fill-ins or supplemental live performers or revived and reunited acts that are not known to be recording new or current material.
SOLO ARTIST entries begin with the artist’s given name(s), date of birth, city and location of birth, and date of death (where applicable). Some information maybe deliberately vague as some artists have indicated it is not to be made public.
BIOGRAPHIES follow by event accounts of chronological importance. These are general, objective observations and are meant as career highlights – whether positive or negative. The Encyclopedia is a third person account of these events as compiled by the author from artist interviews, news stories and record label biographies. The career overviews are NOT considered complete as the Encyclopedia is a living document and will continue to be updated in future editions of the book. Artist biographies may also be footnoted where they cross reference to previous band incarnations or, in the case of solo acts, previous bands they were in or their adopted pseudonyms.
DISCOGRAPHIES follow with known domestic Canadian singles, albums, CDs, and digital files though rare or country-specific releases may also be listed if they are significantly different from the Canadian versions. The discographies also feature record label information including re-issues where known packaging, track listings and formats differ. If a recording has been re-issued it will be listed separately from the earlier version of that title (whether it be on album, cassette, etc.) so multiple listings for any given title may contain old record label affiliations as well as current affiliations; Discographies for solo artists will contain known works from previous bands not covered elsewhere in the book; Discographies for bands will feature alternate incarnations, spelling variations and, occasionally splinter groups.
There are three sections within the discographies:
Singles – year of release, the A-side and B-side of vinyl and cassette formats or the solitary side of a CD or the more modern Digital File. A forward slash (/) indicates the division between the two sides of the record. On multi-song singles a double front forward slash (//) indicates the division between the two sides. Format is presumed to be 7” single in the vinyl era (generally ending around 1989) or CD (generally 1990 onward). Variations (such as a 12” single) are noted in square brackets following the song titles. This is followed by record label name in parenthesis followed by catalog number where known. Record labels can be independent artist labels followed by the distributor name or a major label imprint followed by the distributor name or a solitary, direct signing to the major label itself.
Albums – year of release on vinyl, cassette, CD or Digital File (there are no 8-track tape examples in this book) formats or the solitary side of a CD. Variations are noted in square brackets following the album title. This is followed by record label name in parenthesis followed by catalog number where known. Record labels can be independent artist labels followed by the distributor name or a major label imprint followed by the distributor name or a solitary, direct signing to the major label itself.
Compilation Tracks – year of release, artist specific song title, and name of compilation album on which it appears, This is followed by record label name in parenthesis followed by catalog number where known. Record labels can be independent artist labels followed by the distributor name or a major label imprint followed by the distributor name or a solitary, direct signing to the major label itself.
Occasionally an artist will also be listed with ‘Collaborations’ as in the case of David Foster, Lisa Dal Bello, John Jones, and K’naan. These are records in which the principle artist may have only made a special guest appearance or produced another artist.
Note: In the instances of a release that is split between two acts, the specified artist track is mentioned and the associated act (generally located on the B-side of the release) is indicated with italicized square brackets.
The Encyclopedia contains no bootleg or pirated titles as they are not recognized as legitimate sanctioned releases by the artists or their record labels.
The music industry has its own standard familial language and short-hand slang. Here are words and abbreviations prevalent within the book, and what they mean in context:
Single – vinyl 7”, 10”, 12”, cassette, CD or Digital File featuring one to two songs but frequently containing additional versions of the same songs in remixed or alternate form.
EP (Extended Play) – vinyl 7”, 10”, 12”, cassette, CD or Digital File featuring a minimum of three but no more than eight songs that usually contain unique song titles though remixes and alternate mixes might be included.
LP (Long Play) – vinyl 12”, cassette, CD or Digital File featuring a minimum of six songs and an unlimited maximum of unique song titles. These are generally referred to as ‘albums’ (which, historically, described a collection of ‘singles’ housed in an audio ‘book’).
CD (Compact Disc) – 3” and 5” is the modern format equivalent replacement of the vinyl LP. It is also referred to as an ‘album’ of songs. There is also an audiophile format SACD as well as enhanced DTSC discs and CD-Rom formats.
DigiFile (Digital File) – a digital MP3, MP4, .WAV, AICC, or FLAC audio file used on digitally run devices such as computers, smartphones, etc.
DVD – Digital Video Discs are often used for both visual and audio content. Many modern releases feature both a CD and DVD package to augment the album’s release.
BLU-RAY – A larger format digital optical disc as the successor to the DVD.
USB – Universal Serial Bus. A removable storage device used to move digital files from one digital device to another. In recent years it has been a means of releasing music, artwork and other types of files that would not traditionally fit onto a compact disc.
7” singles generally refer to a 45 RPM playing speed (though 33 RPM does exist)
10” singles generally refer to a 78 RPM playing speed (though modern 33RPM and 45 RPM versions exist)
12” singles generally refer to a 45 RPM playing speed (though 33 RPM versions are also common)
12” LPs generally refer to a 33 RPM playing speed (though 45 RPM versions do exist)
ORGANIZATIONS (and their acronyms)
ADISQ – Association Québécoise de l’Industrie du Disque (who also control the Félix Awards for music)
ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (a US-based performing rights society)
BMI – Broadcast Music Incorporated (an international performing rights society)
CAPAC – Composers, Artists and Publishers Association of Canada (a defunct Canadian performing rights society)
CARAS – Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (who also control the JUNO Awards for music)
CCMA – Canadian Country Music Association (who also control the CCMA Awards for music)
CRIA – Canadian Recording Industry Association
CIRPA – Canadian Independent Record Producers Association
ECMA – East Coast Music Association (who also control the ECMA Awards for music)
NARAS – National Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences (who also control the American Grammy Awards for music)
PROCAN – Performing Rights Organization of Canada (a defunct Canadian performing rights society)
RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America
SESAC – Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (a performing rights society)
SOCAN – Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (a performing rights society)
WCMA – Western Canadian Music Association (who also control the WCMA Awards)
BBC – A United Kingdom radio broadcasting network
C-FOX – Radio station in Vancouver, British Columbia
CFNY-FM – Radio station in Brampton, Ontario (now known as The Edge 102.1 in Toronto, Ontario, home of the CASBY/U-Know Awards and the Music Search compilation albums)
CHEZ-FM – Radio station in Ottawa, Ontario (creators of the Share-CHEZ compilation album series)
CHOM – Radio station in Montreal, Québéc
CHUM – Radio station in Toronto, Ontario (originator of the hit parade CHUM Chart: 1957-1986)
CKLW – Radio station in Windsor, Ontario and broadcasting into Detroit, Michigan
iHeartRadio – A network of multi-national radio stations available through smartphone apps
SIRIUS XM – An American satellite radio network
Q107-FM – Radio station CILQ-FM in Toronto, Ontario (creators of the Q107 ‘Homegrown’ compilation album series)
ABC – American Broadcasting Corporation. An American television broadcasting network
APTN – Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. An Canadian indigenous television broadcasting network
BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation. A United Kingdom television broadcasting network
BET – Black Entertainment Television. A People of Colour television broadcasting network
CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A Canadian national television broadcasting network
CBS – Columbia Broadcasting System. An American television broadcasting network
CHCH – Local Hamilton, Ontario television broadcaster
CITY-TV – Local Toronto, Ontario television broadcaster
CTV – A Canadian national television broadcasting network (their Toronto headquarters is know as CFTO-TV)
GLOBAL – A Canadian national television broadcasting network
MTV – An American national (former) music video network
MuchMusic – Canada’s English language national (former) music video network
MusiquePlus – Canada’s French language national (former) music video network
NBC – National Broadcasting Corporation. An American television broadcasting network
PBS – Public Broadcasting System. An American publicly funded television broadcasting network.
Télé-Québec – Television Quebec. A Quebec publicly funded television broadcasting network
TVO – Television Ontario. An Ontario publicly funded television broadcasting network.
VH-1 – An American national (former) music video network (with a franchised network in Canada)
Non-broadcasting jukebox-styled websites containing (mostly) digitally streamed music – either free or through subscription.
Amazon, Deezer, e-Music, iTunes, Spotify, Tidal
Companies that provide downloadable digital music files by independent artists either directly from the corporate website or linked to artist sites. These companies may also act as aggregates to streaming services as well.
Bandcamp, CDBaby, DistroKid, Tunecore
BILLBOARD Magazine – American-based music industry magazine (has issued music hit parade charts since January 4, 1936 and still publishing online).
CRTC – Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Council (regulates broadcast licenses, policy, etc.)
RPM Magazine – National music industry magazine owned and operated by Stan Klees & Walt Grealis (issued weekly hit parade charts 1964-2000)
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(c) 1998 – 2023 Jaimie Vernon.
All rights reserved. Duplication in whole or in part in any medium is prohibited without written permission. The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and its logo are trademarks of Bullseye Records of Canada Inc.