Revolution in the air

Digging 50 years of Beatlemania in North America helps to unearth a Canadian cultural treasure in Allison Crowe’s home province on the Atlantic. The Beatles landing at New York City’s JFK International in February 1964 was emblematic of the new – the “jet set” – a revolution in air travel that made it possible for jet planes to cross the Atlantic in record times. In the era of propeller planes and the refuelling stop-overs needed to make the trip between Europe and the USA, the key North American terminal – GIA – was located in Gander, Newfoundland.

Gander International’s VIP Lounge played host to Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Jackie O., among countless others, during those years GIA was popularly known as the “Crossroads of the World”.

Then a thriving global hub, in 1959 a new terminal opened and its construction and furniture featured creativity of leading designers – including chairs by Charles and Ray Eames -http://eamesoffice.com/charles-and-ray , “Primasteel” seating by Robin Bush, and a six-foot mural painted by Kenneth Lochhead – http://www.kennethlochhead.com

Gander International Airport – departure lounge photographed by Zach Bonnell

The advent of jet travel, however, soon redirected the flow of international air travel. With Gander facilities no longer bustling, it’s uniquely preserved a “time capsule” quality. Today, GIA is viewed as a marvel by art historians, architects and design aficionados – ”It’s still one of the most beautiful, most important Modernist rooms in the country, if not the most important,” says Alan C. Elder, Curator, Canadian Crafts and Design, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. (Recently renamed, the Canadian Museum of History is this nation’s most-visited museum).

Gander, and such nearby communities as Lewisporte, Twillingate and more, earned international renown in 2001 as GIA became haven for dozens of international aircraft grounded when airspace was shut-down in the wake of the 9/11 NYC attacks. The character of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians opening their hearts and homes to thousands of people – flight passengers and crew – during the crisis is legend – http://www.snopes.com/rumors/gander.asp#smvFTOCIkq43PMEj.99

Less-known, across even its home and native land, is how Gander long-served as “Crossroads of the World”. Awareness of GIA’s style is enjoying a renaissance in our internet age – with features in The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/travel/tmagazine/20TGANDER.html , Institute http://www.instituteartist.com/feature-Gander-Airport-Simon-Norfolk , “dwell” magazine – http://www.dwell.com/rewind/article/aviation-preservation – and more – http://itraveltree.com/virgin-atlantic-welcome-to-um-gander-canada

Most recently, Bloomberg’s high-end “Pursuits”, (a publication “for the world’s richest people”) put Gander International on its cover, with a fashion shoot – http://ca.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416276333&WT.mc_id=PUB_COM_DISC_GLOBAL_082813_Pursuits_Fall13 – calling it “the world’s coolest airport”.

GIA image – showing mural – from series by Zach Bonnell on flickr

In a fab, 18-photo, flickr gallery, Zach Bonnell of St. John’s, NL is our guide on a magical mystery tour of GIA @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachbonnell/sets/72157623762605690

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“Imagine” peace again – and again

Among her interpretations of songs by the Beatles, during the group’s collective and solo years, chanting the mantra – peace and love – here’s “Imagine” performed “Live at Wood Hall” by Canadian musician Allison Crowe.
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Gerry Deiter, assigned by ‘Life‘ magazine, was the only photographer present for the entire eight-day Bed-In staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel in 1969. His collection of images from that happening come together in the book “Give Peace a Chance: John & Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace” – compiled by Joan Athey and edited by Paul McGrath.
And Joan Athey’s graciously allowed Gerry Deiter’s photographs to accompany the music to make this video.
Since it’s Groundhog Day leading us into the week celebrating 50 years of Beatlemania in North America+ – here’s an encore version of “Imagine” recorded by Allison at home – with peace signs courtesy of Top Pun.
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“Let It Be” – Allison Crowe performs The Beatles

In My Life” – Allison Crowe performing a “John song” was our first video commemorating the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania in North America. With her take on a “Paul song” – here’s Allison now with “Let It Be”, again captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry “Turtle” Anschell (and in higher fidelity than previously available online).

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The ‘Tidings’ album version of the song – http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/let-it-be – was recorded a year or two earlier, as was Allison’s version of “Let It Be” that’s part of the NYC-produced “It Was 40 Years Ago Today” tribute album – a compilation also featuring Dee Dee Ramone, Sylvain Sylvain and other DIY, indie, alternative and punk rock musicians (released on February 9, 2004).

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Beatlemania Hits Fab 50: Allison Crowe Performs “In My Life”

“Beatlemania, as it is called, affects all social classes and all levels of intelligence,” The New York Times reported in December 1963.
We’ll hear all manner of takes on similar themes over the coming month, with this February 7 marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles landing at JFK International (New York City’s Idlewild airport rechristened on December 24, ’63 in tribute to the recently assassinated US President). The group’s appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – broadcast over the three succeeding Sundays – electrified a new continent.
Plenty came before, and much has happened since, Pan Am Flight 101 delivered the Fab Four aboard a Boeing 707-331, known as the Clipper “Defiance”, to a world ready for joy and release.
Celebrating the musical legacy of John, Paul, George and Ringo – here’s Allison Crowe performing “In My Life” – captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording studios by the sea in White Rock, BC, Canada.
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(This is an higher-fidelity video recording than has been previously available!)
And, here’s another performance of the song by Allison – recorded, audio-only, at Turtle a couple of years earlier: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/in-my-life

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Let It Be ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 13)

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Allison Crowe’s exciting and inspiring year on the road – embracing musical theatre, ballet, movies, and concert tours – is a wrap. We now return to our regular program of sharing comfort and joy online. Catching up a wee bit today, with a double-bill from Allison’s new “Tidings Concert” album. Here be a “Paul’ song – from the ever-gladdening Beatles repertoire – and songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney: “Let It Be

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In My Life + Imagine – Allison Crowe’s “Tidings Concert” (encore songs 1 + 2)

In My Life“, penned by John Lennon and fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, the first encore song of “Tidings Concert“, performed by Allison Crowe.
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A double reality of “John” songs – here’s “Imagine“, by John Lennon, performed by Allison as the next encore.

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Dr. Heck’s Holiday Prescription

The much-liebed “Heck of a Guy“, a shining star in the universe of Leonard Cohen-centric blogs, is rockin’ around the tree to the sounds of Allison Crowe’s just-released “Tidings Concert” album. Listening is invited: “if you’re into something more enthusiastically, gleefully, contagiously joyous… welcome home”.

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Tidings Concert video playlist

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New album, concert tour, and documentary film come a’pealing

It’s coming on “Tidings” – and that means the voice of Allison Crowe will soon ring out traditional favourites, Christmas carols such as “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “In the Bleak Midwinter”, and “The First Noel”, alongside the modern canon of Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Lennon & McCartney and original song selections including the elegiac “Arthur”, and the epic, foot-stomping, “Disease”.

Allison’s just off the road, wrapping up her second engagement of this year with Canada’s amazing Royal Winnipeg Ballet – performing songs of Leonard Cohen. With the love experienced on the dance stage, as well as recent European concert dates and this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival hit, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, still touching souls – it’s time to rally a repertoire that decks us all in comfort and joy whatever life’s circumstances.

“Allison Crowe is a stunningly talented performer. Her voice celebrates the music with a bluesy rock-gospel intensity; her controlled vibrato, silken rasp, and powerful projection rivet your attention. This is no casual background music… be prepared to be amazed,” says Carol Swanson (ChristmasReviews).

Drawing themes of faith, hope, sorrow, joy, redemption, transcendence and more from an abundant well of music, this year, there’s plenty of ways to rejoice with Allison as she melds the sacred and secular in “songs of the season” and spirit.

Tidings Concert”, captured truly by Engineer and Mixer Brad Graham, and FOH Engineer Ed Johnson, and mixed at Turtle Recording in White Rock, BC, Canada is released on November 25 (debuting @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/tidings-concert with some days grace for iTunes and other folks observing Thanksgiving this weekend). This album set, her eighth full-length collection, features 19 in-concert performances, and, for the first time, audio from Crowe’s “Hallelujah” video which now has a worldwide audience of greater than 10 million people (more than eight million genuine views on YouTube alone).

Right after this music release, Allison embarks on a “Tidings” concert tour allied with special guests and special causes:

NOVEMBER 29 – Campbell River, BC, Canada – St. Peter’s Anglican Church – featuring The Campbell River Childrens Choir’s “Zephyr” w. Director Barbara Prowse and accompanist Judy Melny – presented by Rockin’ Ron Nicolaye to aid Campbell River Hospice Society & CR Food Bank

DECEMBER 1 – Victoria, BC, Canada – Fairfield United Church – with guest artist, singer-songwriter, Billie Woods – to aid Artemis Place, (girls’ educational and life-skills), and HepCBC

DECEMBER 5 – Nanaimo, BC, Canada – Old City Quarter – Community Carol Sing-along in support of “Light up a Life” campaign for Haven Society

DECEMBER 8 – Nanaimo, BC, Canada – St. Andrew’s United Church – with a cavalcade of Vancouver Island’s finest young musical talent: Chelsea Peckett, Daniel Knapp, Paige Hughes, Raymond Salgado, Kaleigh Hargrove & Emily Blake – to aid The Mind’s Eye (youth newspaper) + Woodlands SS Band and Basketball programs

DECEMBER 14 – Corner Brook, NL, Canada – Arts and Culture Centre – Tidings fun barrels down the chimney in this caring and creative Atlantic community

DECEMBER 15 – Corner Brook, NL, Canada – Arts and Culture Centre – World Premiere screenings of the Peter Buckle-directed documentary ~ “A Corner Brook Tidings” – a film featuring Allison Crowe and you – created with gracious assistance of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC)

Fuller details @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/tour.html – and plenty more to come!

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Wedding Song: V Day Playlist #5 of 7

Allan Showalter, erudite and entertaining MC at ‘1 Heck of a Guy‘, a Leonard Cohen-centric blog of rare scope, in comparing Allison Crowe’s cover of “Me and Bobby McGee” with this original, “Wedding Song” -

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- says such act “leads to an unavoidable conclusion: Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song.” The good doctor adds: “Turns out all the hype about about Allison’s vast tonal, thematic, and emotional range is true.”

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In My Life: V Day Playlist #4 of 7

Here’s a tune first delivered to the world by The Beatles and George Martin on the “Rubber Soul” LP. From the timeless songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it’s a “John song”. Allison Crowe sailed to sea and performed for Lennon family and friends come together with Scottish villagers and music-lovers from all across Europe, in Durness, Scottish Highlands. The Scotsman newspaper calls Allison a “Canadian angel” and her “In My Life” cover “one of the weekend’s most magical moments”. Here’s a video version -

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and a different performance from Allison on her “Tidings” album.

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