CJNU and McNally Robinson’s Artist Spotlight for March 2019
contracted polio and during her convales- cence, she began to sing to the patients. When she was 11, the family moved to Saskatoon, which she considers her home town. This Canadian song bird has so many awards and hit songs, there is not space for them all, but I can say “Chelsea Morning”, “Both Sides Now”, and “The Circle Game” are among my ‘must take to the desert’ is- land tunes. Roberta is folk, pop, rock and jazz, all rolled into one. Her song writing often re-
CJNU Personality Corner
Larry Updike, from ministry to microphone L
arry Updike has been performing in public since he was 9 years-old. It is all he has ever known. As a
boy, he sang and played to audiences all over southern Ontario as part of a fam- ily singing ensemble. Larry leapt through high school, fin- ished theological training and was an ordained minister by the age of 21. His radio career began as a means to supple- ment his income at a small parish but it quickly became his full time career. By the early 80s he was becoming well known in rock radio in Winnipeg as part of the legendary “Tom and Larry Show”. In 1995, Larry went to news-talk sta- tion 680 CJOB where he helped create an
evening talk show, hosted the drive home show and finally moved to “The CJOB Morning Show” where he remained for nine years. In the autumn of 2009, Larry was inducted into the Manitoba Broad- caster’s Hall of Fame.
While continuing to build on his
profession, Larry went back to school and finished a B. Th. (Theology) at the University of Winnipeg in 1986. Subse- quently he proceeded to undertake and complete a second degree, a B.A. (Phi- losophy) in 1995. Larry won the univer- sity’s “Plato Prize” during his later course of studies and in 2010 was given the hon- our of Distinguished Alumni. Larry has been an advocate for the
eople frequently ask why we chose such an unusual name for our group. To understand that, we have to go back to the beginning. Sometime in 2008, a friend who lived down the street learned that before radio, I had grown up as a singer. His name is Rev. Dr. Greg Glatz. Back then, Greg was divid- ing his time between doing graduate work and pastoring a small Winnipeg church. But he was also a wicked guitar player. He started coming by my house one night per week with one of his many elec- tric guitars and we would jam to some harder-edged “outlaw” country music. As a result of those sessions, we decided to play publicly. But we needed a name for our unconventional act. Greg knew that one of my all-time fa- vourite movies was the 1989 film, “The Apostle”, starring the legendary Robert Duvall. (As a matter of fact, “Apostle” was his nickname for me.) Since our songs
The B-Side Apostles P
less fortunate during his career. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal for his work with the War Amps and has been an advocate for individuals with autism ever since his son Gordon’s diagnosis
in 1994. From September
2009 until August 2010, Larry worked as a spokesperson for Siloam Mission, ad- vocating on behalf of those experiencing poverty and homelessness. Retirement saw Larry come full circle, playing and singing once again. Team- ing with professional musician, promoter and manager Eric Boorman, he formed The B-Side Apostles. The duo performs around 140 shows a year to audiences age 50-plus. Their blend of familiar tra-
ditional music with a country flavour has won them recognition as one of the busi- est bands in southern Manitoba. A few years ago, a morning coffee with CJNU president Tom Dercola and a breakfast with (then) general manager Bill Stewart resulted in Larry going back to radio, this time as a volunteer host of the “CJNU Monday Morning Show”, along with producer Paul Richl. Unlike the heavily formatted shows he did in the past, he enjoys the opportunity to choose his own music and to reconnect with an audience that has grown older with him. “I have been behind a microphone for most of my life” Larry laughs, “so they better bury me with one!”
Joni Mitchell R
oberta Joan Anderson (Joni Mitch- ell) was born in 1943, in Fort McLeod, Alberta. At age 9, she
flects social and environmental issues, and her joys and confusion about romance. She left her Saskatchewan home and headed for Toronto, where she busked street corners and played coffee houses. She found herself pregnant, giving birth in 1965 to a daughter she gave up for adoption as she was ill-equipped to raise her. They later reconnected in 1997. Here she met and married Chuck Mitchell. Al- though the marriage lasted only a couple of years, the last name stuck and she entered the USA with him, starting on her musical journey. She became a protégé of sorts with David Crosby and with his connections she played alongside Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, James Taylor and many more. Despite her prominence in the 60s and 70s she was prevented from preforming at
Woodstock as her manager thought it was more important to appear on the Dick Ca- vet Show. Joni has designed most of her own al- bum covers, describing herself as a painter derailed by circumstance. In 1982 she married Larry Klein and
continued to tour around the globe with her poetry set to music. This union lasted a dozen years.
Several artists have had success covering a Mitchell song. My favorite one is the Judy Collins recording of “Both Sides Now”. Having declared herself “one of the world’s last great smokers”, her voice has had its challenges. She also suffered, in 2015, a brain aneurysm which needed a lot a physical therapy. Although she no longer gives concerts or
Joni Mitchell, 1974.
performs, she does speak out on environ- mental issues and spends her time between her L.A. home and her retreat in Sechelt, B.C. We invite you all to stay tuned to CJNU Nostalgia Radio 93.7 FM for the month of March and enjoy some Joni Mitchell clas- sics.
were old enough that they would be some- what unfamiliar to our audiences, we more or less thought of them as “B” sides. This, despite the fact the tunes been hits back in the day for people like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard or Johnny Paycheck.
Now settled on a name, The B-Side Apostles, we went looking for gigs. From what others told us, we had a pretty good sound. My singing voice was still there, my rhythm guitar playing abilities returned, and Greg’s guitar solos were stellar. But we weren’t very busy. Neither of us were very good at mak- ing phone calls to venues to book a spot to play. In our private lives, we were intro- verts. And I wanted to do concerts, not be part of some open mic roster. On one of our practice nights, Greg
brought another friend, Eric Boorman, over to my house. Unbeknownst to me, Eric was a world class drummer who had toured with bands all over North America and Australia. He was looking for a little diversion and sat in on the session with just a snare drum and some brushes. I noticed him smiling the whole night. Eventually
Eric joined The B-Side Apostles and we became a threesome. But we still weren’t very busy. Somewhat later, Greg left to become senior minister at Calgary’s Knox United Church. It was only then that I began to learn about Eric’s vast experience in the music business. I should have asked soon- er. Not only was he an in-demand touring and session-playing percussionist, he was also a promoter who had helped launch some music careers.
He sat me down and asked two ques- tions: 1. Where do you want to go with this? 2. What kind of people appreciate our performances the most? My answers were: 1. I wanted to play more often and 2. I thought our music appealed primarily to older adults. With that, he asked if I would like him to manage the group. My reply was a resounding YES!
I had no idea what was coming. We
went from playing three gigs a month, to becoming one of the busiest bands in Win- nipeg. Eric deliberately targeted seniors clubs, retirement residences, and personal care homes and booked us in them. We
were astonished to discover just how much people wanted to hear the music of their generation performed live. And word of us spread quickly. We moved away from a the hard-edged “outlaw” approach to music and broadened our appeal, playing familiar hit songs from the 40s to the 70s. More than a cover act, we talked about the history of the songs in a concert setting, just like I’d dreamed of. In 2018, we played 140 shows. And as of this writing, we already have 110 booked so far in 2019. Another surprise: Older-adult audiences
prefer a high-energy show, so our con- certs are no cakewalk. There is no relaxing through slow ballads for us. A show featur- ing The B-Side Apostles is a genuine phys- ical workout for a guy in his 60s like me! Two friends have made my life’s “third act” so rewarding: Greg Glatz and Eric Boorman. I owe them such a debt. With the deepest respect to my broadcasting ca- reer, I am having the time of my life. The icing on the cake is that I still get
to “play radio” one morning a week on CJNU!
CJNU in the community
CJNU radio works closely with community groups to provide public service announcements throughout the broadcast day. In April we helped promote numerous events at nonprofit and charitable organizations, in addition to providing personal CJNU representation, time permitting. Here’s just a sample of these activities.
MRDA 20th Annual Super Flea Market Feb 2 at the Assiniboia Downs in support of the Manitoba Riding For the Disabled.
CJNU fans at Deer Lodge Feb 9 Deer Lodge Centre was host sponsor for the month of February.
Alleluia Singers concert at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church Feb 10
Secret lives of Victorian women (and their fragile hearts) Feb 13
at Rady JCC as part of the Wellness series.
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