Martin with one of his babies.
Martin with one of his babies.

Martin Melhuish: Canada's Literary Music Man

Writer/creative entrepreneur Martin Melhuish, who, among other things, is currently working with TH Productions out of Brentwood, TN on the Beverly D’Angelo-narrated film which will be seen exclusively inside the soon-to-be-opened Patsy Cline Museum in Nashville, has also been busy driving up the stock price of printer’s ink.

Upcoming in October are two more books: Bound For Moving On: A Vital History of Canadian Country Music (Quarry Press/Fox Books) and Just Between You And Me: A Memoir (Harper Collins), a book on which he collaborated with author Myles Goodwyn (April Wine). It gets a launch in Toronto on October 18 with Melhuish hosting a Harper Collins-sponsored get-to-know-you session with Goodwyn.

Bound For Movin’ On is part of a trilogy which began with two separate editions of Oh What A Feeling: A Vital History of Canadian Music (1996), the first to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Juno Awards. The second, Oh What A Feeling: A Vital History of Canadian Music – Next Generation (2013), would inspire the 2015 musical/rockumentary OH CANADA What A Feeling, which played to critical acclaim at Caesar’s Windsor and the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto in the summer of 2015.

The pending third book in the series, Soundtrack for a Northern Film, is a history of the predominantly French-speaking Québec music scene, in English, for international distribution. On-going, he is also working with Bill Henderson (Chilliwack) on a history of the Canadian west coast music scene under the title The Songcatchers.

In late 2015, his book Celtic Café: Beyond the Craic (Quarry Press/Fox Book), which contains a CD of the same name from Putumayo World Music, was published. It recently inspired an invitation by the Fergus Scottish Festival in Fergus, Ontario to help introduce, with festival organizer Lynn Boland Richardson, New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon (Outlander). Hordes of fans showed up at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex over two days in mid-August to hear her speak and to have her sign their books.

Says Melhuish: “It was nice to spend a couple of days with Diana and see how the other half lives when it comes to success in the book world. I signed ten books, all of them unsold, at a small store in Fergus during that period. A woman came up to me as I was signing and said, ‘I think my brother’s girlfriend is into that shit; I’ll buy one!’ Ah, the sweet validation!”

-- Editor's note: Born in Penzance, Cornwall and resident in Canada since the 1960s, Martin Melhuish has been one of the most literate and productive music journalists and authors writing about musicians for more than 40 years. His books range from a definitive biography of Bachman-Turner Overdrive to a colourful and instructive history of Celtic music and a series of books that spin stories about the early years in Canadian music, chronicling achievements that in many cases have been overlooked and untold. 

His authorial histories have been the basis for a number of television documentaries, radio shows and album compilations. He has authored more than a dozen music-related books and worked on international multimedia entertainment related projects as a TV producer/director/writer, radio producer/writer, author, journalist, magazine editor and music historian. He's also a really good guy.

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