RIP: Louis Meyers, one of the four founders of the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in 1987, died Friday (March 11) of a heart attack in an Austin hospital. He was 60. Meyers was the SXSW’s music festival director for its first eight years. He sold his share in the business to partners Roland Swenson, Louis Black and Nick Barbaro after the 1994 conference. After moving overseas for a few years, Meyers became executive director of the annual Folk Alliance International convention in Memphis and Kansas City from 2005 to 2014. He moved back to Austin last year.
RIP: Keith Emerson, founding member and keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and a prog rock legend, died Friday. He was 71. His bandmate Carl Palmer and the trio's official Facebook confirmed Emerson's death. TMZ reported that police found Emerson with a self-inflicted single gunshot wound to the head. His girlfriend tells The Mail on Sunday the one-time superstar with The Nice and ELP was distressed over ailments he felt would impair his ability to perform in a series of upcoming shows in Japan.
RIP: Yvette Thériault Abbott, a longstanding employee of Long & McQuade where she held the post of Accounting Manager, has died of cancer. The news was reported by Tom Wilson on Facebook who adds that she was married to Bob Abbott who was the saleman. that took care of all the musicians for equipment and was an important part of helping musicians that were broke and needed a break. "Bob would do some creative financing or time plans to make sure the musicians got to play. Yvette was the one that took care of the money for L &Mc., as well as for Bob who wasn't that great at handling his own. She was an amazing woman."
A Celebration of Life was held for the late Norman Vidler/Gary Russell in Ocean Park, BC with friends, family and industry associates on Saturday night (March 12th). Of special note was the wonderful donation of a four year, quarter-million dollars donation the Slaight Family Foundation has made in Norman’s name to NABS (The National Advertising Benevolent Society). Brother Chuck McCoy also related to the gathering how Gary Slaight flew Norman out to Toronto and arranged a dinner of his peers from Standard Broadcasting. Gary Russell passed away on Jan. 2 from lung cancer. White Rock councillor, newspaper publisher and former CBS Canada rep Dave Chesney writes, "I've never met the man, but believe me I have heard the Gary Slaight stories. They have spread far and wide across this great nation. Class act that Mr. Slaight. Class act!"
- Ajax, ON music promoter, independent businessman Mike Starr is to be remembered at a celebration of life set to take place April 2 at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 43. Tickets for the event are SRO. Born Mike Shulga, he was the name and face behind the city's Star Records - both the record store and the record label - and Oshawa's underground live music venue, the Star Club. He died September 11, 2015 in Cuba of accidental drowning while on vacation, aged 64.
- Maclean's magazine looks into the future with Trump as president of the United States: Under pressure from human rights groups and probably also Bono, the federal government has announced it will take in a quarter of a million Americans who have been massing along the Canadian border since the election of President Donald Trump.
“This is a humanitarian crisis,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, while doing that thing where he squints a little bit to show that, yeah, he gets it. “Along our border, Trump refugees are arriving with the shirt on their back—plus U-Hauls crammed with pleather sofas, large-screen TVs and, in all likelihood, more shirts.” There are reports a small faction of refugees recently spent the night at a Best Western near the Buffalo airport. “It’s worse than we feared,” Trudeau said.
In a move designed to highlight the severity of the crisis, the federal government revealed a video montage of sad Bernie Sanders supporters set to a Sarah McLachlan song....
- CIMA recently announced the first ever Canadian Blast showcase and business initiative to The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest), a four-day event combining film, live music, VJ/DJ sets, Q&As, industry panels and presentations showcasing the important relationship between movies and music. The CB showcase will be held on April 16 at 1st Ward, and will feature David Morin, SC Mira, The Noble Thiefs, The Treble, and The Trews. Canadian companies joining the Music Export Canada mission will be: Bombay Records, Bumstead Productions, McKinley Entertainment and Pipe & Hat.
- Sports Media blog has the skinny on a new round of cuts at Sports Network and how Gary Bettman needs to turn his attention to Canada's seven NHL teams and add some sizzle to let viewers north of the border know the game is still in play.
- Danny Nicholson, the voice of safety and courtesy on the TTC for nearly 20 years, is taking retirement. The former broadcaster shares a memorable story about his time at CFNY and confronting an interloper wielding a crowbar when David Marsden ran the shop on SpiritofRadio.ca (via SOWNY Radio board).
- Three months after mass layoffs at CHCH TV, former employees are being contacted by Employment and Social Development Canada by letter. The agency says it has started investigating the issue of unpaid severance and lost wages.
- Smart homes can be hacked by malicious actors over the internet, but now it looks like radio hosts can hijack your smart home over the radio. Ian Kar explains in Quartz.
- Former Radio India managing director Maninder Gill has been convicted of a 2010 shooting in the parking lot of a Surrey Sikh temple. BC Supreme Court justice Kenneth Ball found Gill guilty on five of six charges, including aggravated assault and discharging a firearm with intent to wound or disfigure Surrey builder Harjit Atwal. He was acquitted of shooting at another man. Sentencing is scheduled for May 10.
- The Six Shooter Records posse is heading down to SXSW with guns a blazin’. They host an Interstellar Rodeo Showcase at Swan Dive on March 19, and they’re using the occasion to introduce Mike McKeown, the newest member of the SS Management team. One of the founding partners in Cameron House Records, McKeown now manages honkytonk songstress Whitney Rose, a recent Six Shooter signing. Rose has six SXSW gigs, while labelmates The Wet Secrets, The Strumbellas (11 shows!), and Sam Outlaw are also gigging hard in Austin. All four are on the Interstellar Rodeo showcase bill.
- Speaking of SXSW, Manitoba will be well repped at the fest.The Manitoba Showcase takes over Austin haunt Friends Bar for the afternoon on March 17. It'll feature sets from Royal Canoe, The Lytics, Mise en Scene, and The Mariachi Ghost. JP Hoe also hits SXSW stages.
- UK-based music and arts spectacle festival Bestival won praise for their Toronto debut last year. It has just announced two major acts to headline this summer’s event, The Cure and Tame Impala, alongside notables Odesza, Grimes, Jamie xx, and Porter Robinson. The fest takes place June 11-12 at new location Woodbine Park (it was on the Toronto Islands last year). Tix go on sale this morning.
- - 'You are a witch': Mariah Carey's brother Morgan Caret blasts 'evil' singer for 'failing to foot their dying sister's hospital bills' and calls his 51-year-old superstar sister ‘heartless’ for refusing to help pay for their HIV-positive sister Alison's brain and spine surgery. All is spilled in the UK's The Sun on Sunday.
- Former 680 News entertainment reporter Rudy Blair has gone solo and has launched Rudy Blair Media Entertainment that includes daily interview postings on SoundCloud and YouTube with the stars of today and tomorrow. Anyone wishing to contact Rudy to syndicate his spot features or find out more about his plans, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck & Sebastien of Simple Plan Chat with Rudy Blair Entertainment Media about the release of their 5th album Taking One For The Team.
Rudy Blair Celebrity Chat Interview with Ali Slaight of Slaight Music on their music initiative "It's Your Shot", a program that helps up and coming Canadian musicians on their careers in the music business. Rudy Blair also spoke with the program's most recent winner, Kayla Diamond.
- Weird or what? British designer David Cramner has created an inventory of extraordinary inventions, some musical, others like his mechanical duck machine just playful. A couple of years ago he designed a badger-shaped theremin, aptly named the 'badgermin' and it recently sold to an unnamed studio. View some of Cramner's wacky creations on his website, and enjoy the accompanying video featuring the musical badger below.