Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 20, 2021

The Anne Murray: Full Circle doc (pictured) is now streaming on CBC, Rosalie Trombley makes the New York Times, and big changes for The Dirty Nil. Others in the headlines include Les Emmerson, Molly Johnson, SATE, Classified, SOCAN, Sony Music, Bruce Springsteen, Billie Eilish, Keanu Reeves, BandLab, Nathaniel Rateliff, Alan Vega, and Norah Jones.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 20, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Anne Murray: Full Circle is a gentler trip down memory lane

The CBC has aired straight-ahead documentaries on Anne Murray before. What does one say about Anne Murray: Full Circle, except to mention that it is one more. Those looking for an edgier presentation of the life and times of Canada’s mezzo-soprano sweetheart would be better served by reading 2009′s All of Me, a candid memoir co-written with Michael Posner. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Juno-winning Hamilton rock group The Dirty Nil introduce a new bassist 

The continuing evolution of The Dirty Nil. – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Rosalie Trombley, who picked hits and made stars, dies at 82

As music director for CKLW, a major radio station in the Detroit market, the Canadian furthered the careers of Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, the Temptations and many others. – Neil Genzlinger, TheNew York Times


Ontario arts leader suggests pausing food, drink sales instead of capacity limits

Mervon Mehta, executive director of performing arts at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory, is asking provincial leaders to consider ways to keep capacity at current levels rather than introduce rules that would directly erode ticket sales. – David Friend, CP

Ottawa rocker Les Emmerson wrote the hippie anthem Signs

In the summer of 1971, Les Emmerson of Five Man Electrical Band received a phone call from an old friend who worked as a disc jockey in Norfolk, Va. Told the band’s single Signs was exploding in the US, Mr. Emmerson was asked if the group could come down to play a big outdoor festival. The development was a shock to Mr. Emmerson and the other band members, who had struggled to find commercial success since moving to LA from Ottawa a few years earlier. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

The Canadians who helped Broadway make a stunning return in 2021 

There are Canadians currently in prominent roles in both of last two shows to win best musical at the Tony Awards – Moulin Rouge! and Hadestown – as well as the best-reviewed new musical of this season, Six, and the best-reviewed revival, Caroline, or Change. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail

‘Not everybody likes Jesus’: Molly Johnson on writing a holiday record that’s not just about Christmas

The Toronto diva showcased her holiday album “It’s a Snow Globe World” in her Massey Hall show Dec. 17. – Nick Krewen., Toronto Star


'They need to play': Owner of NB music agency worries for future of live music

Carol Doucet, the owner of Le Grenier musique, said she anticipates 2022 will be even harder on the music industry than the prior two years of the pandemic. –.Global News

SOCAN addresses music publishers' concerns at two 2021 Town Halls

SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown, along with many of the organization’s Vice Presidents and department heads, addressed more than 100 Anglophone and Francophone music publishers of all kinds for two separate online Town Hall meetings, on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 – during which they provided key information and updates on distributions, royalty collections, and the org's financial situation, and answered questions. – Howard Druckman, Words & Music

Classified's new memoir takes on perseverance, success and the importance of home

Luke Boyd, aka Classified, explores how he went from being a small-town teen to a big name in the music industry. – CBC News

Toronto rocker SATE says music is ingrained in her DNA

As the daughter of recent Canada Walk of Fame inductee Salome Bey she draws on a musical legacy for inspiration. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

From Fugazi to Joy Division: Keanu Reeves' favourite bands

The Canadian actor is an all-round nice guy who’s long been regarded as the “internet’s boyfriend”.  Another key facet of Reeves’ persona is how much of a massive music fan he is. His fave artists include Elvis Costello, The Clash, and Joy Division. – Mick McStarkey Far Out


Why Leonard Cohen's songwriting disappointed Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell once claimed that the only people she would ever willingly describe herself as a ‘groupie’ for were “Picasso and Leonard”. To the young Mitchell, who was 24 when her debut album, Song To A Seagull, was released, Leonard Cohen seemed more like a philosopher than a songwriter. The adulation would wear off. – Sam Kemp, Far Out

Year in review: 25 of the best jazz albums of 2021

Throughout this year, jazz artists crossed time and space to make extraordinary music that rose to the moment. –  JazzFM


Confirmed: Warner paid $400M cash to buy 300 Entertainment

There’s been a modicum of debate out there this week over how much money Warner Music Group paid to acquire Kevin Liles’ 300 Entertainment. Now we know for sure: Warner paid $400M, on the nose, to acquire 300…. and paid it out in cash. – Tim Ingham, MBW


Bruce Springsteen sells music catalog to Sony for $500M; Are career songbooks Hollywood’s next goldmine?

Over the last 12 months, as streaming and studio mergers and consolidation milestones crowded the entertainment headlines, the music business has quietly shaken up conventional wisdom with mega-deals for singer-songwriters. – Tom Nunan, Forbes

Don't sleep on the creator revolution: Bandlab valued at $303M as it raises $53M

Bandlab, described as a 'social music platform', has just raised $53M, valuing its company at $303M. BandLab is the flagship product of BandLab Technologies, a division of Singapore-based Caldecott Music Group (CMG), which also owns Vista Musical Instruments and NME Networks, which counts publications such as NME, Uncut and amongst its roster of brands. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Nathaniel Rateliff talks about stumbling blocks in making ‘The Future’ with the Night Sweats

A divorce and a death and a period of introspection produced hits like “Survivor” and “Love Don’t Treat You Like That.”  – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star 

Billie Eilish takes to Howard Stern to talk about Covid, SNL, and how a steady porn diet warped her young brain

The two sat down Monday, just a day or so removed from Eilish’s triumphant stand hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend. Major revelations included the 19-year-old doom-pop singer contracting Covid earlier this year, and that the entire week leading up to her SNL appearance was a nonstop blur of tears and joyful terror. And the occasional bout of vomiting. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

No Album Left Behind: Alan Vega revels in gritty atmospherics on Mutator

Posthumous album is first in a planned series of archival releases. – Eric R. Danton, Paste

Top 15 reissues of  2021

The best reissues, box sets and archival recordings released in 2021 include a mix of live tracks, session outtakes, alternate versions and long-forgotten songs pulled from the vaults and dusted off. Artists here include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and the Beatles. – Michael Gallucci, Ultimate Classic Rock

"For me? It’s been Christmas all year already": Norah Jones on her first holiday album

I Dream of Christmas came early, an unexpected gift from the nine-time Grammy winner. – Tom Lanham, Paste


No doubt to the horror of his heathen neighbours, Kanye West plans to convert his various homes into churches

Kanye West has announced that he’ll be turning all of his home into churches. And by churches, we’re not talking opulent worship-palaces like the Vatican, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Basílica de la Sagrada Família. Instead, think the kind of always-welcoming sanctuaries where the common rabble lines up for free food, drink, and shelter. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Myles Smith attends the Sony Music's The BRIT Awards 2024 After Party at the Nobu Hotel on March 02, 2024 in London, England.
Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images

Myles Smith attends the Sony Music's The BRIT Awards 2024 After Party at the Nobu Hotel on March 02, 2024 in London, England.

Chart Beat

Hot 100 First-Timers: Myles Smith Shines With Breakthrough Single ‘Stargazing’

The song debuts at No. 77.

English singer-songwriter Myles Smith lands his first career entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated May 25), as his breakout single “Stargazing” debuts at No. 77.

Released May 10 on It’s Okay To Feel/RCA Records, the track arrives on the chart with 6.7 million official U.S. streams, 34,000 in radio airplay audience and 6,000 downloads sold in its opening week (through May 16), according to Luminate. It also starts at No. 10 on Digital Song Sales.

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