For nearly 30 years, the CHUM chart, published weekly by 1050 CHUM AM in Toronto was THE way that young Canadians discovered popular music. The amazing Chum Tribute site has an online archive of every CHUM CHART.
In 1962 and 1963, American Bandstand host Dick Clark was a DJ on 1050 Chum (sort of). He would tape his segments of the show (including his half of banter with Toronto DJs) in Los Angeles, mail the tapes to Toronto where the show would be completed and edited together. You can find out more about this process on the Torontoist blog.
Although the live/broadcast and concert with Al Boliska, Dick Clark and Franki Valli is completely ficitionalized in the Episode 14 of Time for the Fair, Dick Clark and Franki Valli were indeed at the CNE on August 21, 1963 according to the CHUM CHART for August 19, 1963.
I found a medley of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons songs from the Mid 1960s on youtube.
On Tuesday February 24, from 5-8 pm I’ll be joining Adrien Robitaille at his weekly acoustic stage at the Ladybug Cafe on King Street in Midland, Ontario. I’ll be playing my new songs, and a bunch of my older ones too. If you are in the area come on down for a cup of tea or coffee, one of Elaine’s award winning buttertarts, and some music and stories from yours truly.
The story so far this week
is read by Tim Chesterton, an Edmonton based pastor, blogger, songwriter and novelist. He has posted two novels, A Time to Mend and Meadowvale, chapter by chapter as he wrote them to his blog Faith, Folk and Charity.
In Episode 13, Billy encounters Pops and his new bride in 1949. They dance to the music of Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians. Guy Lombardo was Canada’s most famous bandleader. He and his siblings had an orchestra that was popular for almost 50 years, from the 1920s until his death in 1977.
The SS Noronic was great lakes cruise ship that burned and sank in Toronto Harbour on September 4, 1949. 139 people died in the fire and its aftermath. It was one of the greatest marine disasters in the world. In life, as in the story, the remains of the Noronic victims were taken to a makeshift morgue on the CNE grounds.
The Story so Far is read by Phil Mills, a filk musician and songwriter from Toronto who I met through February Album Writing Month. I play Phil’s song, Talk to Strangers from his album Mix Until Absurd which is available on Bandcamp.
In Episode 12 of Time for the Fair, Billy enjoys a day at the CNE in 1969 which includes a Monkees concert. Although Time for the fair is a fictional fantasy story, The Monkees did perform at the CNE on August 25, 1969– two days after the events in the story. It’s great writing historical fantasy– you can tweak the dates a bit.
Here are some silent clips from the Monkee’s performance at the CNE in 1969, and a couple musical numbers that they may have played at the show as Billy and family watched on. Stay tuned for chapter 13 of Time for the Fair this weekend.