Rocket Norton & Bill Allman. Pic credit: Quinn Bender.
Rocket Norton & Bill Allman. Pic credit: Quinn Bender.

The FYI Bulletin: June 29, 2023

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and SX Works have joined Independent Music Publishers International Forum’s (IMPF) Friends and Supporters category.

Launched in 2021, IMPF’s ‘Friends and Supporters’ category is aimed at commercial companies whose mission is to have an open and transparent relationship with the independent music publishing community worldwide, aligned with that of IMPF.

CMRRA, a SoundExchange company, is a licensing agency which represents over 90% of music publishers and self-published songwriters doing business in Canada. CMRRA licenses, collects and distributes royalties for the majority of songs recorded, sold and broadcast in Canada. Innovators in licensing and royalty collection for over 48 years, CMRRA provides licenses to dozens of digital services, including all the major online music services operating in Canada as well as YouTube, the Meta platforms, TikTok and more.

SX Works Global Publisher Services (SX Works), which originated with SoundExchange’s acquisition of CMRRA, provides administration solutions to enable organizations that own, represent and/or engage with music to manage their repertoire across the music ecosystem by leveraging an integrated musical work and sound recording database.

– Chris Taylor appears in a Variety Q&A talking about his ascendence in the music biz and running MNRK Music Group which is home to Dualtone Records, a music pubbery, a management firm (that includes Daniel Lanois in its roster), and a synch/licensing music division.

– Last week we mentioned Prism drummer Rocket Norton being inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. And in the picture above, with HoF President Bill Allman to the right, Rocket holding his plaque. Excuse appearances but the lad of 70-plus has been battling cancer since Feb. 2021, but he’s fighting it every step of the way. Below, Rocket’s Sonatina Di Norton, performed last October at the F * *K Cancer concert he put together with 23 musicians from 9 notable Vancouver bands that raised $320K for a local agency offering aid to other cancer victims in the city.

– Daughter Catherine MacLellan opens a Summerside Harbourfront Theatre series on July 4 that pays homage to her late father Gene MacLellan. Described “as part concert and part memoir.” The Songs of Gene MacLellan musical ends its run with a final performance on Aug. 23. The reminisce follows the release of a CD/DVD/vinyl and digital release bearing the same title, available on True North Records.

Now and Forever, a musical tribute to Anne Murray, has a limited run in Amherst, Sackville (NB), Springhill, Pugwash, and Springhill where the Canadian icon’s museum is located. The musical retrospective includes the songbird’s greatest hits and is to be hosted by actor/writer/director and best-selling author Charlie Rhindress, who will tell stories from her life and read from his upcoming book, Nova Scotia’s Women of Song. Others included in the forthcoming book include Portia White, Carroll Baker, Rita MacNeil, Holly Cole and Sarah McLachlan.

Slaight Music’s Ryan Langdon has quietly and quickly earned a rep for hitting home runs with 5 Top 40 hits under his belt and 3M Spotify streams. I caught an impromptu set he performed solo several years back and I recall thinking then that his unadorned style and rich baritone voice were qualities that could propel him to become a big name in the Hat Country arena. Well, his latest single, Bad Choices, written by Langdon, Jim Witter, Steve Molella and Andrew Martino, is to my mind the song that’s gonna become a staple in his repertoire and undoubtedly generate a lot of covers. It’s a song bristling with attitude and a story that every bad boy is gonna love.

– Another noteworthy new release comes from Juno award-winning artist JRDN (born Ralph Jordon Croucher in Halifax but now living in Toronto) who exudes soulfulness on What Do I Got to Do, which follows the sinewy funk that made Call My Name a popular hit earlier this spring.

– After a two-decade hiatus from recording, The Monoxides have released Let Her Know, one of two new tracks that precede the release of a new album in 2024. There’s also a vinyl reissue of 1997’s Galaxy of Stooges, first issued by Handsome Boy Records and now briefly available (300 copies pressed, 41 remaining) on Bandcamp.

– And Barenaked Ladies have just released Lovin’ Life. Here’s the song video…

– Congrats to Klaus Heymann, founder and Chairman of the Naxos Music Group who has been awarded the medal of Commander of the Order of Rio Branco by the Brazilian government for his contribution to Brazil’s classical music heritage through the award-winning 17-volume ‘Music of Brazil' series on Naxos.

–  And same again for Montreal Chamber Music Festival founder Denis Brott, C.M., C.Q, who has been appointed as a knight to the Ordre national du Quebec. As a cellist, Brott was a member of the Orford String Quartet from 1980 to 1988, during which he recorded 25 albums — winning the Grand Prix du Disque Award and two Juno Awards. The announcement comes via The Violin Channel.

– In the everything old is new again category, Rhino Records is releasing quadrophonic Blu-Ray editions of Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, J. Geils Band’s Nightmares & Other Tales and Jefferson Starship’s Red Octopus.  

– And, finally, American hat star (Michael Wilson) Hardy has released a killer track (quite literally) that sends a strong message to men who abuse women. It’s simply titled Wait in the Truck (and thanks to Olie Kornelsen for tipping us on this one).

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