New Works Magazine: Music
In Halifax 1985
none of the local stations have
the time to
promote local talent."
standards set by Top 40 radio have done a lot to limit the opportunities
of local musicians. Of the total volume of music produced in North
America, commercial radio plays only a small fraction, repeatedly
playing the latest releases of the latest superstars.
stations are required by the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications
Commission to play a minimum quantity of music by Canadian artists,
but even on local radio stations, it's Toronto bands that benefit.
Q104 station manager Jake Edwards says that many local bands are
out of the competition for commercial radio airplay because they
don't have high quality recordings of their material. "In
all fairness to the band, you wouldn't want to run stuff that
wasn't done properly," he says.
year Q104 released an album with music by six young Maritime bands,
the winners of the station's Homegrown contest. Prince Edward
Island band Haywire, the grand prize winner as determined by audience
response, recorded an EP through the station.
is planning a second contest to be held this fall. This year,
ten bands will be recorded on the Homegrown album and one will
record an LP. There have been more than sixty entries so far.
and the name of the promotion are borrowed from Q104's parent
station, Q107 in Toronto. "I think it means more here,"
Jake Edwards says. "I'm really surprised none of the local
stations have taken the time to promote local talent."
Dalhousie University's low power FM station, broadcasting since
February, plays tapes and live recordings of local musicians,
giving airplay to artists who haven't gotten a big record contract
yet or who may never get one. Licensed by the CRTC to provide
an alternative to existing broadcasting, CKDU is more receptive
to challenging or unpopular musical forms than most commercial
stations. Only partly dependent on commercial advertising, CKDU
is free to define it's own audience.
CKDU doesn't take systematic listener surveys, the number of persons
exposed to local musicians through the station can't be estimated.
The CBC has recorded and broadcast the work of local musicians,
mostly Jazz, blues and classical players, regionally and nationally
on radio and television. In the mid-Seventies, Canadian Express
regularly taped Bucky Adams and his Basin Street Band at the Middle
Deck. A 1981 radio broadcast of Identities, "Black Music
in Nova Scotia," featuring Bucky Adams, son Corey and the
Generation Band won the United Nations Gabriel Award for Broadcasting.
year, Corey Adams and other Halifax musicians, including Don Palmer,
Carl "Sleepy" Thomas and Susan Clarke, put together
a tape for CBC. It hasn't been aired yet. "Mulroney took
all the money," Adams says.
Next: Black musicians