Obituaries, Aug. 17, 2023

Douglas EdwinBarron (known professionally as Hal Harbour), a Canadian radio veteran, musician, and actor, died on Aug. 9, at age 71.

Obituaries, Aug. 17, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Douglas EdwinBarron (known professionally as Hal Harbour), a Canadian radio veteran, musician, and actor, died on Aug. 9, at age 71.

Broadcast Dialogue noted that Barron "entertained audiences from Toronto to Halifax over a 45-year broadcasting career. Originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Barron started his radio career as an announcer and music director at CHNR-AM Simcoe in 1971, moving to CHIC-AM in Brampton in 1974 as morning show host. He made the move to Halifax in 1976, working first as a production director for CJCH-AM before eventually becoming morning host and producer at C100 (CIOO-FM).

"He was arguably best known in Halifax for his time at Q104 (CFRQ-FM), starting in 1983 as morning co-host and news director, where he used the on-air handle Hal Harbour. From 1989 to 1994, Barron returned to Toronto where he was an announcer and director of Canadian talent development at CFNY-FM. After making his way back to the Maritimes, he worked as an associate producer and fill-in host on the CBC Radio One Weekend Mornings show for 16 years, up until his retirement as “Deputy Doug” in 2016. In addition to acting in numerous CBC Radio dramas and film roles, Barron played a recurring character on Trailer Park Boys as Channel 10 news reporter “Steve Rogers.”


One of many former colleagues posting tributes on Barron’s Facebook page was “Brother” Jake Edwards, who hired Barron ahead of the Q104 launch. “I am absolutely devastated,” wrote Edwards. “Before I arrived in Halifax to open up Q104, the Rock of the Atlantic, I was looking for talent to join me in bringing classic rock n’ roll to Halifax. I opened up an envelope that contained an audition tape from Doug. Before I even heard it…I immediately burst out laughing because the photo was dramatically enhanced with his hair sticking straight up in the air, as if he sat straight up from an electric chair…I listened to the tape and immediately called him up and hired him over the phone. What a talent! We started the morning show with a full arsenal of comedic bits that to this day stand alone at the top. We would come into the station and work on the weekends, creating songs and bits. It never seemed like work.”


Former Q104 Program Director JC Douglas said he had worked with few people “as talented and wildly creative as Doug. Man, he had it. And could have taken it anywhere. Halifax was lucky to have him.

Barron was known as a huge booster of emerging Canadian musicians, executive producing the CASBY Awards for independent and alternative music during his time with CFNY. Broadcast Dialogue stated that "Barron was known for numerous musical collaborations of his own[ including the band Stunt Chimps], and is credited with helping engineer Terry Pulliam build SoundMarket Studios where many Halifax bands recorded in the ’90s, including Sloan, Jale, Thrush Hermit and Eric’s Trip. Barron also recorded albums at his own Deep Nine Studios for Sandbox, among other artists.


Alan Cross posted, in part, that "Hal Harbour (Doug Barron) was a co-worker towards the end of the Spirit of Radio Days at CFNY-FM/Toronto. Not only would he pull regular announcer shifts, but he also worked tirelessly with the city’s and province’s indie bands as the station’s Director of Canadian Talent. He was also the producer of the CASBY Awards for a number of years. His time at CFNY ran from 1989 to 1994. After changes at the station, he moved back to the Maritimes working at the CBC. 

Steve Fall of the bands Acid Test and ON posted a tribute on Facebook. It reads in part: "Lucy Di Santo and I are gutted to learn the news that our dear pal Doug Barron has passed away. Doug was THE man responsible for discovering and fostering a lot of music talent in Toronto in the early '90s. He was the first DJ and radio personality to play our band Acid Test; he first played me Sloan in his funky car on the QEW explaining he would be getting them 'on air like you guys,' he was instrumental in helping out Barenaked Ladies, hHead, just so many of us from the '90s scene.


"Doug used to DJ and perform at raves with our DJ Jus' Rite ( Michael Harland ). He would rent out film from the library and shoot it over our band as we would play club-style concerts at the Rivoli. We called it a B- in w/Acid Test. Usually, Technicolor Raincoats or hHead would join in on the action. His heart was big - when he asked me to record and perform with his projects like Stunt Chimps or Funky Bummer, it was an honour to return the favour in a small way.

"Doug gigged music and painted and surfed when his family relocated back to Halifax. I followed him out there for a decade too. We picked up right where we left off. Doug was so proud that Lucy, Dan Cornelius and I got On back together. In fact, he was next on my list for a remix for an upcoming EP. I guess we will get to that later on Dougie. See you in the clouds, Deputy Doug."

Last year, Barron was featured on the Toronto Mike'd podcast. Check it out here.

Read his official obituary here.  Donations in Barron's memory can be made to music or arts organizations in your community or to Hospice Halifax.


Sources: Broadcast Dialogue, Saltwire, Facebook


Clarence Avant, an entertainment industry legend dubbed the 'Godfather Of Black Music,' died on Aug. 13, at age 92.

MBW notes that Avant earned that tag "for his reach and influence in the entertainment business advised and guided the careers of Bill Withers, Quincy Jones, and many more. He was a chairman of Motown Records in the 1990s and also founded Sussex Records in 1969 and Tabu Records in the mid-1970s."

According to Quincy Jones, Avant was the ‘silent architect of so many deals it would make your head spin."

Avant was the subject of a 2019 Netflix documentary The Black Godfather. The Guardian wrote that "Avant was a silent but mighty presence in Hollywood; his fingerprints were all over 20th-century music. He managed Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Smith, Lalo Schifrin and Freddie Hubbard, and he discovered Black folk-soul singer Bill Withers. He promoted Michael Jackson’s first solo world tour, Bad, in the 1980s; he brokered the sale of Stax Records, founded Sussex Records and took over Motown Records in 1993. Through the years, he advised a who’s who of artists, executives, sports stars, producers and more, including Quincy Jones, David Geffen, Jay-Z, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jim Brown, Pharrell Williams, Whitney Houston, Antonio “LA” Reid, Lionel Richie, Snoop Dogg, Queen Latifah and Jamie Foxx.


He entered the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 and received the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Ahmet Ertegun Award in 2021.

Sources: MBWThe Guardian, The Wrap, Billboard

David LaFlamme, singer/violinist and founder/leader of the band It’s A Beautiful Day, died on Aug. 6  at the age of 82.

The group’s signature song was the 1969 FM hit White Bird. Prior to forming that band in San Francisco. LaFlamme performed with the likes of Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and in an early version of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. Then in summer of 1967 he and his wife Linda Neska Laflamme formed It's a Beautiful Day. The group's eponymous LP was released by Columbia Records in 1969, containing their biggest hit, White Bird.

The group's second album, Marrying Maiden, was released the following year. It was their most successful on the charts, reaching number 28 in the U.S. and number 45 in the U.K. After two additional albums, Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime and Live at Carnegie Hall, LaFlamme left the group in 1972.

He later performed with the groups' Edge City and Love Gun in the Bay Area before going solo, releasing the albums White Bird and Inside Out. In 2000, he performed with the reconstituted It's A Beautiful Day.

Sources: WikipediaWashington Post

Jerry Moss, Co-Founder of A&M Records with Herb Alpert, died on Aug. 16, at age 88.

Variety reports that "in recent years, Moss had focused his efforts on philanthropy, including a 2020 gift of $25 million from the mogul and his wife Tina Morse to L.A.’s Music Center that resulted in the complex’s outdoor plaza being renamed after him. His last public event, in January of this year, found him being feted by the Music Center with a tribute concert at the Mark Taper Forum, where Alpert spoke, David Foster hosted and Peter Frampton, Amy Grant and Dionne Warwick all serenaded the guest of honour.

His career was recently explored in a well-received documentary Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records that aired at the end of 2021.

A&M rose to prominence during the 1960s behind huge pop hits by trumpeter Alpert’s band the Tijuana Brass, whose worldwide sales are estimated in excess of 70 million albums. After entering the rock business at Moss’ insistence in the late ’60s, the label witnessed booming sales during the ’70s and ’80s with such talent as Supertramp, Peter Frampton, the Police, the Go-Go’s, Bryan Adams and Janet Jackson.

Following the sale of A&M to Polygram in 1989, Moss and Alpert founded a new imprint, Almo Sounds, which developed such acts as Garbage and Ozomatli.

Moss and Alpert were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as non-performers in 2006.

Read more in Variety and AP News

Ron S Peno, lead singer and founder of Australian rock band Died Pretty, died on Aug. 11, at age 68, after a long battle with cancer. 

Peno and Brett Myers formed Died Pretty in Sydney in 1983. A debut album, Free Dirt, came out in 1985, and the second album Lost gave Died Pretty a no 3 chart position in Italy. Subsequent releases Every Brilliant Eye and Doughboy Hollow achieved moderate chart success in Australia. The group then signed to Sony for the album Trace, one that reached No. 11 in Australia  and helped the group earn fans internationally.

Died Pretty disbanded in 2002, but had a few subsequent reunion shows. Peno teamed up with Kim Salmon (The Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon) in 2005 to form country music group Darling Downs, and they recorded two albums together. In recent years, Peno fronted the band The Superstitions.

Read more at Noise11 and Wikipedia

Jamie McGregor Reid, an English artist, designer and activist who had a major impact on British punk. died on Aug. 8, at age 76.

Reid is best known for graphic work for Anglo punk pioneers The Sex Pistols. The Guardian wrote that " Pivotal to the group’s tumultuous impact was the graphic design work of Jamie Reid, whose artwork for the band was as thrilling and unforgettable as their music." His designs included the provocative cover art for the singles Anarchy in the UK, and God Save the Queen

His Pistols work would earn him global notoriety, but Reid saw it as merely a phase in his career. As a left-wing activist, Reid campaigned on several issues, supported Extinction Rebellion, created artwork for the band Afro Celt Sound System, and in 2012 sprang to the defence of the Russian female punk trio Pussy Riot. In 2018, Reid staged his first retrospective, Jamie Reid XXXXX: 50 Years of Subversion and the Spirit, at the Humber Street Gallery in Hull.

Read more in The Guardian here and here.

Katy Perry
Jack Bridgland
Katy Perry

Katy Perry's 'Woman's World' Is This Week's Hottest New Radio Track

Though the star has received criticism online for the accompanying music video, causing her to respond on Instagram, the Dr. Luke-produced "Woman's World," is leading the way this week in downloads, while Canadian indie singer Art d'Ecco is also building momentum.

The following are tracks delivered to radio by digital distributor Yangaroo in Canada and broken down into three categories. Top Downloads and Top Canadian Downloads represent the most copied tracks in the week ending July 12. Most Active Indies blends downloads and streams, with the affiliated label and radio promotions company in parentheses.

Top Downloads

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