Music News Digest, Nov. 20, 2017

The members of The Tragically Hip were among the Order of Canada recipients to be honoured with medals on Friday. Kingston, Ont., natives Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair and the late Gord Downie were invested as members of the Order of Canada for their cultural contributions to the nation and work on behalf of social and environmental causes. Downie was previously invested at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in June for his work in raising awareness of Indigenous issues.

Also made an officer of the Order of Canada was Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, recognized for his "iconic television work" and commitment to educational, environmental and humanitarian causes. Source: CP

— The Songwriters Association of Canada’s past president Eddie Schwartz has been elected as the new president of the International Council of Music Authors (CIAM) at the annual congress in Tokyo earlier this month. He takes over from creator ally Lorenzo Ferrero. Schwartz will be the first North American president in CIAM’s long history. CIAM and its members represent music creators from across the globe.

— There is a big hush in the corridors of Bell Media suggesting something extraordinary is in the wings and TBA in the next several days or week.

– Last week, SOCAN presented a No. 1 Song Award to hard rock band Theory of a Deadman for its current radio hit song "Rx (Medicate)." It spent six weeks (and counting) on top of the Mediabase US Active Rock chart (based on radio airplay), starting on Oct. 8. The song has also achieved more than 14 million streams, and as of Nov. 16, remains in the Top Five on both the Canadian Rock and Modern Rock charts.

The presentation was made to the four group members,  David Brenner, Tyler Connolly, Dean Back, and Joe Dandeneau at the studio of 604 Records, their Canadian record label. The song was co-written by all four.

– Presented by the Toronto Blues Society (TBS), the 31st annual edition of the Women’s Blues Revue was held at Massey Hall on Saturday night. The event was hosted by Shakura S'Aida who performed alongside other blues talents including Sue Foley, Kellylee Evans, Andria Simone, Jenie Thai, and Dawn Tyler Watson. The house band was The Women’s Blues Revue Band, directed by bandleader Rebecca Hennessy. Reports suggest this may have been the very best edition yet.

– The next event in the Myseum Presents: Music From People City series is set for Nov. 21.  Started from the Bottom: A History of Toronto Music Videos will offer an in-depth look into the past four decades of music video making in the city through a screening and panel discussion with some of TO's top music video directors. Those participating include Joel Goldberg (Maestro Fresh-Wes),  Nyla Innuksuk (A Tribe Called Red), Tim Hamilton (Barenaked Ladies) and Hill Kourkoutis (Mother Mother).

The programming also includes an archival tour of the MZTV Museum and a Sonic Boom pop-up record shop at TIFF Bell Lightbox. More info here

– MusicOntario and Folk Music Ontario are inviting Ontario-based artists to apply for private showcases during the Folk Alliance International 2018 conference on February 15-17, in Kansas City, MO. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 1. Application info here 

– On Nov. 23 Manitoba Music hosts the first session in its new Decipher hip-hop professional development series. Participating artists are The Lytics' Andrew Sannie, Carmen Omeasoo aka Hellnback, Transit22's Daniel Bennett, and Tasha the Amazon. More info here


Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC, died on Nov. 18. Age 64, of dementia. Young was born in Scotland in 1953, emigrating to Australia with his family ten years later. From their first release in 1975, High Voltage, two years after the formation of the band, up until their final album, Rock or Bust, Young and his younger brother, Angus, were credited as co-writers on all AC/DC tracks.

The band is one of the most successful rock acts ever, with a reported 120 million albums sold internationally. The onset of dementia forced Young to retire from the group in 2014. Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band in 2003. Peers quickly paying tribute to Young on social media over the weekend included Eddie Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Nikki Sixx, Tom Morello, Paul Stanley, Ronnie Wood and Ryan Adams.

Malcolm's elder brother (and AC/DC producer) George Young passed away last month.  Sources: The Guardian, Consequence of Sound

Mel Tillis (born Lonnie Melvin Tillis), the veteran country music hitmaker, died Nov. 19 of respiratory failure, in Ocala, Florida. He was 85. Tillis recorded more than 60 albums and scored three dozen top 10 singles in his decades-long career. He wrote the classic, "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town)," a hit for Kenny Rogers and The First Edition. He went on to a long string of hit singles of his own, including "I Ain't Never," "Heart Healer," "Good Woman Blues," "Coca-Cola Cowboy" and "Southern Rains." The CMA named him its Entertainer of the Year in 1976.

Tillis also made a mark as an actor, appearing in such films as Every Which Way But Loose with Clint Eastwood, and The Cannonball Run I and II and Smokey and the Bandit I and II with Burt Reynolds. Tillis was inducted into both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Michael ‘DikMik’ Davies, former synth player and keyboardist in UK space-rock band Hawkwind, passed away on Nov. 15. Age 74. Davies played on the group's self-titled 1970 album and two subsequent albums before exiting the group in 1973. He is credited with helping Hawkwind hire Lemmy Kilmister in 1972.

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