The History of Canadian Pop Music
by Alex Cosper (5/22/13)

The pop music of France has its roots in the early recording industry, which developed in the early 1900s through World War II. This music was heavily inspired by jazz artists and big bands from America. The music was popularized around the world through the military and radio. Guy Lombardo clearly became the icon of this era as his version of "Aulde Lang Syne" became played around the world every New Year's Eve.

Canadian popular music in the 1950s mirrored the development of rock and roll in America. Canada even produced some acts that scored big hits on the U.S. charts including the Crew-Cuts, The Diamonds and The Four Lads. During the 1960s as Bob Dylan led the folk scene in America, Canada had its own folk movement with Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot. Buffy Sainte-Marie had one of the top protest songs of the decade with "Universal Mind." Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas was actually from Nova Scotia, which was downplayed by the group who emphasized their "California Dreamin'" image. By the end of the decade the Steppenwolf and Guess Who were considered the top Canadian rock bands while The Band was more celebrated for their rootsy bluesy folk sound.

The 1970s produced many artists who blended country, folk and pop such as Anne Murray and Helen Reddy. David Clayton-Thomas brought a Canadaian voice to the American jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears. Rush emerged an the quintessential Canadian rock band of the progressive movement and went on to become the nation's most successful rock band with a series of albums full of statements about politics and society set to incredibly advanced musicianship.

In the 1990s rap, hip hop and house music dominated the mainstream. People who wanted an escape from dance music gravitated toward alternative music, which injected a mix of styles back into pop culture. By the end of the decade the internet revolution was underway, opening the door to empowering indie artists.

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was launched in 1978 and gives annual JUNO awards to commercially successful artitst who reflect positively on Canadian music. Inductees have included Guy Lombardo, Hank Snow, Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Glenn Gould, Wilf Carter, Maureen Forrester, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Domenic Troiano, Lenny Breau, Gil Evans (pianist for Miles Davis), Maynard Ferguson, Moe Koffman (jazz), Rob McConnell (jazz), David Foster, Bruce Cockburn, Daniel Lanois, Tom Cochrane, The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, Triumph, Loverboy, April Wine, Shania Twain, Blue Rodeo, k.d. lang.

Check out information on the following Canadian music scenes:

New Brunswick
Quebec City

Songs of the Year Playlists

Top Music from Canada 2013
Top Music from Canada 2014

© Playlist Research. All rights reserved.