Tag Archives: MuchMusic

9781459739239

RIP-ROARING TALES OF A LIFE SURROUNDED BY MUSIC AND DARING ADVENTURES!

SKINHEADS, FUR TRADERS and DJs
An adventure through the 1970s

Book launch party at The Rivoli on Queen West, Toronto, this coming Sunday Sept. 10 @ 8pm

When I heard that tv personality and music media insider Kim Clarke Champniss was writing his autobiography covering his childhood and teen years in England and his 70’s adventures in Canada, I knew I would be reading much about my own history…but with just a few geographical differences. I was born a few months before Kim came into the world, so we were both exposed to the same popular music of the Brits and American rock-and-roll in the mid to late 50’s. But while Kim experienced the whole mods’n’rockers evolution in person, I would only hear about it from far off Australia to where my parents had emigrated in ’59. Unfortunately my family would end up way out in the bush, cut off from any form of entertainment other than 4 radio stations and two television channels that only broadcast from 11am until 10pm. Kim, as he tells it in his book, was right there at ground zero in London for the changing social moods and music styles, going from bovver boys to The Beatles. So it was with a touch of envy that I turned the first page…..

Champniss writes like Jackson Pollack painted: bold colourful strokes with trickles of familiar music history, lobbing in droplets of dusty old names that suddenly come back to me – Régine, Slade, Lyons tearooms and Marc Bolan. Then once the reader arrives with Champniss in Canada’s far north, his descriptions of living and working for the Hudson’s Bay Co in the isolated, snow-bound Eskimo Point during the early 70’s will have you pulling a blanket up around your ears – so cold, so windy and wild you can almost feel the biting gusts of Arctic air whirl around you.

The pages turn easily as the reader follows Kim’s journey back to civilization (Winnipeg?) then several road trips across the States and through Canada, with the music of the time playing in your head: glam rock, Motown hits then disco. His brief 1975 return to England plugged Champniss into the emerging sounds of new pop and rock music along with an increased social and political awareness – these were also the days of random IRA bombings and economic unrest as the European Common Market developed. Upon returning to Canada, Champniss soon found his calling as a DJ, working in top nightclubs around Vancouver and he enthusiastically shares his memories of the dawn of the disco era.

Apparently, our lives had intersected in Perth, Western Australia, my childhood home and Kim’s home for a short time in the mid-70s while waiting for entrance into the University of Western Australia (my alma mater). He and his (by now) wife Lily even lived close to where my family had once resided, the beachside town of Cottesloe. But Oz didn’t work out as expected and they soon returned to Canada’s west coast where Kim immersed himself even more in the music scene.  Rock, pop and soul would be joined by punk and new wave, and reading through the artists’ names Champniss notes, the clubs, the cities that gave rise to the new music, gives readers of a certain age that warm feeling of remembrance that sends one off to the basement to pull out the old vinyl and dust off the ancient turntable.

This book definitely leaves the reader wanting more…and fortunately there is a lot more as Champniss ends this story just before he heads to Toronto in the early 80s to join the revolutionary new music & video tv station that we came to know as MuchMusic.SONY DSCNot only is this an autobiography with exciting adventures we can relive with the writer, it is a great music history lesson to be shared with younger readers. I first met Kim when he had arrived in Toronto from Vancouver whilst hanging out at renowned music publicist Richard Flohill’s floor-to-ceiling record lined apartment in Cabbagetown. I remember thinking what a bright, energetic young man Kim was, full of music trivia and fascinating stories of his many adventures around the world. I cannot wait for the next chapter when I know he’ll have more great tales to share.

SKINHEADS, FUR TRADERS and DJs
An adventure through the 1970s
Published by Dundurn Press
200 pages, 29 illustrations, black & white
Available in Paperback $23.99 ISBN: 9781459739239
Or  eBook $11.99  ISBN: 9781459739253

Kim Clarke Champniss (a.k.a. KCC) is an award-winning broadcaster who was a popular VJ on MuchMusic and special assignment reporter for The NewMusic. KCC is also the author of The Republic of Rock ’n’ Roll. He lives in Toronto.

ABOUT THE BOOK
A true story of an adventurous pop-loving teenager who, in the early 1970s, went from London’s discotheques to the Canadian sub-arctic to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company. His job? Buying furs and helping run the trading post in the settlement of Arviat (then known as Eskimo Point), Northwest Territories (population: 750).  That young man was Kim Clarke Champniss, who would later become a VJ on MuchMusic. His extraordinary adventures unfolded in a chain of On the Road experiences across Canada. His mind-boggling journey, from London, to the far Canadian North, to the spotlight, is the stuff of music and TV legends. Kim brings his incredible knowledge of music and pop culture and the history of disco music, weaving them into this wild story of his exciting and uniquely crazy 1970s.

michael_williams_07_BW

CANADIAN MUSIC ICON MICHAEL WILLIAMS TO MC NEXT MONDAY’S “HEART & VISION” AWARDS CONCERT

I’ve known and worked with Michael Williams since the early 80’s when MuchMusic launched it’s all music TV channel across Canada. Michael was one of the founding veejays for Canada’s answer to MTV, covering live concerts and festivals and interviewing just about every living music legend we know. He’s pleased to be MC’ing the annual Heart & Vision Awards Concert, next Monday May 11 at the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto. This year’s award recipients are Lt. General Romeo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy  (ticket information at end of story)

Michael Williams Fall 1986Before the internet made us all so easily accessible, Michael became a household name across the country for hosting the popular Soul in the City series for MuchMusic (80’s thru 90’s), which was syndicated in 19 European countries and Japan, as well as The Power Hour and Electric Circus, also on the MuchMusic TV network. Michael has interviewed politicians, newsmakers and international recording artists and filmmakers including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Huston, Quincy Jones, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Queen, Metallica, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and Mark Wahlberg. (Below, with Quincy Jones, with young country star Hunter Hayes, with Nile Rodgers & Quincy Jones and with Oscar & Grammy winning composer/singer Paul Williams)

MW,Quincy Jones at Jazz Educator Conference Toronto Toronto-20140Hunter Hayes Nile Rodgers,Quincy Jones ,Michael Williams

Paul Williams and MWNow a dynamic, talented music producer and host of talk radio and music-related radio and television programs, Michael appears frequently on Toronto’s tv news networks and radio, sitting in as guest host for Newstalk1010 radio talk shows. Michael is also a much-in-demand host and MC for fundraisers and galas, and has introduced such world luminaries as the Dalai Llama and Lt.-General Romeo Dallaire.  He has assisted in the audio mix of Living Color, Ice T and Burton Cummings live to air concerts, co-hosted the World Music Video Awards and the Much Music Video Awards and been a Presenter at the Juno Awards.

As owner of Michael Williams Productions Inc. (1993-Present), he has:

  • Created, produced and hosted the College of Musical Knowledge for 94.7 the Wave, Soul on the Beach for Cool 96 FM, Nassau, Bahamas, and Beach Network, ON
  • Wrote, produced and hosted Live at the Pearl Company for Cable 14 Hamilton
  • Co-producer, writer and voice for ten film shorts, Millennium Promise Project
  • Voiced 24 x one-minute shorts for Black History Month for Rogers national TV network
  • Co-hosted Cookin’ with Guests on Jazz FM
  • Guest lecturer, Centre for Creative Communications, Centennial College, and Faculty of Music, York University
  • Designed, developed, produced and delivered Music Business Overview, an introduction to the history of the music business from sheet music to DVD, International Academy of Design & Technology
  • Produced the symphony, Afroadia, performed by the Brampton Symphony Orchestra
  • Author of a weekly column Soul Session published in Canadian Music Network Magazine
  • Hosted Urban Music Seminar at Canadian Music Week for two consecutive years

Michael recently spoke during Black History Month (2015) with long-time pal and collaborator, Spider Jones (pictured below)

MW,Spider JonesJoin Michael on Monday May 11th (7:30pm) as the Toronto United Church Council presents the HEART & VISION AWARDS CONCERT – there are still some tickets available for concert only and the concert & reception:  https://www.facebook.com/events/658101637629824/

If you would like to book Michael to host your fundraising event or concert, please contact me at FordhamPR@rogers.com