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Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: One Man's Coast-To-Coast Bicycle Trip Set to Great Canadian Songs

Also in the column, Grammy-winning Canadian 'Hair' composer and favourite hip hop sample subject Galt MacDermot renews a valuable agreement with Third Side Music.

Aengus Finnan

Aengus Finnan

greatcanadiansongcycle.com

Folk musician and arts organizer Aengus Finnan is making history on a journey he calls “The Great Canadian Song Cycle” that has him on a free-wheeling, 8-kilometre bicycle trip paying tribute to the places people call home, with songs like “Alberta Bound,” “Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon,” “Sudbury Saturday Night,” “Farewell to Nova Scotia,” and “Bobcaygeon.”

The journey is expected on Vancouver Island sometime in mid-September. By this time, he will have completed his goal of charting a song map of Canada populated by artists and their fans, and random interviews en route that started June 15 in St. John’s, Newfoundland with updates posted to Instagram, Facebook, Strava, and, when time, his journeyman website.


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As per a Toronto Star feature penned by Nick Krewen, the map and the trip are essentially two different things entirely that are interconnected. Quoting Finnan, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, but raised in Shelter Valley, Ontario, near Grafton, “There are over 100 songs that different musicians and songwriters have placed on the map, which, as a concept and an engagement piece, is a way for people to interact with the country's geography by identifying place-based songs.

“It’s not about the artist. It’s about the song.”

His story is both informative and entertaining and can be read online here.

– The estate of Montreal-born Can-American composer Galt MacDermot has renewed a long-standing agreement with Third Side Music (TSM) to manage the portfolio of the Grammy, Ivor Novello and Tony Award-winning composer who died a day shy of 90 in 2018. Best known for the music he composed for Hair which produced three No. 1 singles in 1969: "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," "Good Morning Starshine" and the title song, he won his first (of three) Grammys for the Cannonball Adderley recording of his song "African Waltz" in 1960.

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He went on to compose for Broadway and film, winning three Grammy Awards, and also became popular with collectors of jazz and funk. His work became popular with hip hop musicians including Busta Rhymes, who sampled "Space" from MacDermot's 1969 record Woman Is Sweeter for the smash-hit "Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check" and Run-DMC, which sampled the Hair song "Where Do I Go?" in its Grammy Award-winning "Down with the King." Scottish electronica duo Boards of Canada used a loop in their track "Aquarius" (Music Has the Right to Children) which sampled Hair.

In 2009, MacDermot was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and a year later was awarded the SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award. He has yet to be recognized in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Overlooked? Well, he joins an august lineup of fellow Canadians that also includes Celine Dion, Gino Vannelli, Michel Pagliaro, Harmonium, Robert Charlebois, Dan Hill, Valdy, Tommy Hunter and Portia White.


– Oops! In one of my nostalgia pieces about what was I had mentioned Larry Ellenson who owned a first-rate music shop on Bloor Street where Holt Renfrew now stands. Brian Taylor politely nudges my brain to point out that Around Again was on Baldwin Street, whereas Round Records was on Bloor.

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50 Cent

50 Cent

Awards

50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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