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FYI

Obituaries, Oct. 12, 2023

George (Michael Anthony) Antoniak, a prominent Atlantic Canadian guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist, died on Sept. 20, at the age of 72.

Obituaries, Oct. 12, 2023

By Kerry Doole

George (Michael Anthony) Antoniak, a prominent Atlantic Canadian guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist, died on Sept. 20, at the age of 72.


Antoniak was  a member of such regionally popular '70s and '80s Maritime bands as Lougarou, Storm, Ram, Ought To Be, The Corvettes, The Press, The Chosen Few, Minglewood Band, and Barbara-Mae & The Nashville Renegades. He became an in-demand session player and a sought after songwriter for such artists as Lisa MacDougall and Laura Smith.

Antoniak's work was featured on albums by Lougarou, Dutch Mason Blues Band, Minglewood Band, Gene MacLellan, Joe Fahey, Terry Kelly, Al Tuck And No Action, Theresa Malenfant, Laura Smith, Tom Gallant, Wayne Nicholson And The East End, and many more.

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He received a 2007 ECMA award for his musical contributions to East Coast Music.

Antoniak's family has created a Life Tributes page, and it is full of fond reminiscences from his former bandmates, fans, and friends. Check it out here

Sources: Discogs, Saltwire, Harbourside Cremation, Facebook

Luc Martel, the co-founder and editor of Quebec music trade magazine Radio activité, died on Oct. 3, at age 72.

The Canadian Encyclopedia noted that Radio activité was established in 1981 in Montreal by Luc Martel and Daniel Morrison, with Martel as editor. It paralleled in Quebec the survey function served by RPM and The Record in English Canada. In 1991 it published 10 charts weekly, including a top 50 for records in French and in English."

His close friend JP Guilbert supplied this obituary to FYI:  "Luc was a pioneer in the Quebec music industry. We have lost a very dear and good friend who helped the Artists with the necessary information to get Radio to connect and understand their power in the star-making machine of "La Belle Province".

Luc, a musician himself, started his career in 1965, drumming in bands such as Les Lords, Les Wanderer, and Les Lost. He then worked with SOCAN/BMI collecting and licensing venues (usage and performing rights) from bars and concert halls, travelling across Quebec & the Maritimes.

One anecdote: "In 1976 we at A&M Records signed a group from Northern Ontario called CANO. I knew that we would need someone who knew the Quebec radio and press network to get the success that they deserved. I started to interview different people for the position by playing them a few tracks and getting their reaction... Well, when Luc heard their debut album Tous dans l'même Bateau he went absolutely berserk and told me exactly how he was going to make it happen. He got the job and CANO had real success.

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He replaced me in 1977 as Director of Promotion for Eastern Canada when I moved on to the national office in Toronto. Luc eventually moved on to CBS who made him an offer that he could not refuse. 

Finally, on Sept. 21, 1981, the first issue of RadioActivité was born with the help of the graphic Artist Huy Vo Van and his associate Daniel Morrison (his wife Jacinthe Roy joined the team a few months later). Times were tough, fighting for money from the record companies and radio subscriptions to make ends meet but It all happened and the yearly music conventions called Rencontre gave him success one more time. He left in 1995, and RadioActivité eventually got sold to L'Adisq and is still alive today as Le Palmares.

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Luc also managed the Record divisions for Guy Cloutier Productions. 

He was stubborn at times with his frustration between the Canadian Star System and his strong belief in getting a better understanding and recognition for the Quebec artists a feeling that will always be there for a lot of people.

He eventually started his own digital radio program and his own record company called Musik 2 Musik,  mostly in the new age instrumental format.

Luc remained a close friend in Lorna & JP's life through most of his life. "We will miss him greatly with his big smile and generous heart."
Sources: JP Guilbert, Canadian Encyclopedia, Linkedin

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Terry (Terrence Dewey) Trojek, a record buyer for Taylor’s One Stop and Saturn Distributing, died on Oct. 2 at age 75 after complications from MS.

Like many kids in the ‘70s, he hung out with friends who had garage bands, and at his local Toronto record retailer, Sam the Record Man in the Royal York Plaza. His career had its start as a singles buyer at Taylor's One Stop which was a key supplier to the then-profitable jukebox trade. The company had all the hits and stocked a lot of golden oldies. Following this, he did a short stint at WEA (now Warner Music), and finally landed a job as head Singles buyer at Leonard Kennedy’s Saturn Distributing. It is worth noting that back in this period, the '80s, singles accounted for as much as 8 percent of a retailer's gross sales and in its heyday, Saturn sold was selling as many as 16M singles a year to big box retailers such as the Bay and Zellers.

What made Terry stand out was his personality––and his ability to pick tomorrow's hit singles.

His smile, outlook on life and warm spirit earned him many friends in the music business, and his ability to pick the hits earned him respect from broadcasters (as many as 30 would call weekly to find out what his new buys were), musicians, and peers in the business. When Saturn ceased, Terry and his wife Debbie moved to Arden, ON, where he set up a handyman business and became involved in community organizations until he was confined to a wheelchair, but his friendships continued. Musician Michael Waite was one of them and they talked regularly by phone. "Terry had golden ears," he remembers.

Another who maintained a friendship with him was his old boss Leonard Kennedy who remembers him with great affection, saying it didn’t matter how late he was out at an industry event the night before, he was always at work the following morning by 7:30 a.m. He also relates that Terry’s sanctuary in his Arden home became something of a village attraction. His house den was festooned with photos of himself with famous musicians, letters from the same, and gold and platinum records. The townsfolk would come to hear him tell his stories from the golden days, and his rather different backstory started to attract visitors to his home overlooking Kennebec Lake "He lived and breathed the music business and loved to tell stories," Kennedy told me in a phone call. "He was one of the best. Always cheerful."

A published obituary noted that "Aquamation arrangements have been entrusted in Wartman Funeral Home, Napanee. If desired donations to the SPCA – L&A Animal Care Centre would be appreciated. Terry had a lifelong passion for music. In the words of Terry 'Keep the Music Alive!!!'"

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Sources: David Farrell, Leonard Kennedy, Michael Waite, Michael Dunn.

International

Buck Trent, a country music banjo and guitar player, died on Oct. 9, at age 85.

He rose to fame through his appearances on the hit television show, Hee Haw, as well as The Porter Wagoner Show, The Marty Stuart Show, and more. Trent's musical journey was punctuated by collaborations with some of country music's most revered figures, including Roy Acuff, Porter Wagoner, Roy Clark, Marty Stuart, and Dolly Parton, He played on several big hits, including Parton's I Will Always Love You and Jolene.

Sources: 2911 MediaTulsa World

 

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