Andy Kim To Be Inducted Into Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame

It's Decided

Andy Kim Announces 11th Annual Christmas Show, Is 2016 Inductee to Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame

The past couple of weeks have been busy but very exciting ones for Andy Kim. The Montreal-born singer has just wrapped up a tour of western Canada and is about to start gearing up for his next scheduled appearance, the 11th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show (December 9 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto). On Thursday, October 29, Kim found time to sit down with Jeremy Dodge on CTV Morning Live in Saskatoon to discuss his storied career in music. In addition, Canadian Music Week has announced Andy Kim as 2016 inductee to the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame—a honor truly deserved.


Edit: 22 Nov 2015

Lineup for the 11th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show (9 Dec 2015) has been announced. Artists include:

  • Tom Cochrane
    Barenaked Ladies
    Cowboy Junkies’ Michael and Margo Timmins
    The Trews
    Ron Sexsmith
    Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning
    Honeymoon Suite
    Kardinal Offishall
    Finger Eleven
    Tom Wilson
    Tomi Swick

In addition, the event is going to be live streamed on the Internet. All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation Gifts of Light.


Edit: 28 Nov 2015

The Andy Kim Christmas Show will also take place in Montreal at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre on 12 December 2015. Lineup will include Ron Sexsmith, Kevin Drew, Sam Roberts Band, Brendan Canning, and Amy Millan among others. Click on one of the links above for ticket info.


Kim got his start as a teenager in the famed Brill Building in New York City, meeting songwriter-producer Jeff Barry and recording a number of singles and albums for Barry’s own Steed Records label, including “How’d We Ever Get This Way,” “Shoot ‘Em Up, Baby” (which Kim recently re-recorded for his newest studio album, It’s Decided) and “So Good Together,” as well as remakes of the Ronettes hits “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” both Barry with Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector and the latter of which earned Kim his first gold record in 1969. That same year, the Andy Kim/Jeff Barry-composed “Sugar, Sugar” was released by The Archies and went on to reach #1 on the charts and become RIAA Record of the Year; it too went gold as did the band’s followup single, “Jingle Jangle,” also penned by the Barry/Kim team. In 1974, with Jeff Barry having dissolved Steed Records, Kim recorded the self-penned “Rock Me Gently” and released it on his own label, Ice Records. The success of the single in Canada led Capitol Records to sign him to a recording contract and release the record here in the States where it soared to the top of the charts and added another gold record to Kim’s collection.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Kim recorded under the name Baron Longfellow (a moniker bestowed upon him by his manager at the time, the late Gordon Mills) before reverting back to Andy Kim in the new millennium. In 2010, Kim’s first studio album in 20 years, Happen Again, was released; earlier this year, 2015, Kim released It’s Decided, produced by Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew and released on Drew’s Arts & Crafts label. A short documentary of the same name was filmed in Manhattan during Kim and Drew’s sojourn to the city last March to perform one of the album’s cuts, “Sister OK,” on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Click to read the announcement from Canadian Music Week

Read more about the 2016 Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame induction.

Andy Kim – It’s Decided (Short Documentary):

“Rock Me Gently” (live) – Andy Kim, 1974

“Sugar, Sugar” (live) – Baron Longfellow (aka Andy Kim), 1983

“Shoot ‘Em Up Baby” – Andy Kim (2015 version)

Ain’t It Good, Ain’t It Right: Ode to a Classic

Andy Kim 1974

Forty years ago today (September 28), Andy Kim‘s enduring classic, “Rock Me Gently,” hit the top of the U.S. charts. Of course, back then the song wasn’t yet a classic, enduring or otherwise. The track had just been recorded a few months earlier, and the single was released in June, when it began its steady climb to the #1 position. For disc jockeys and program directors, it was little more than business as usual; records hit the streets, get included on radio playlists and loaded into jukeboxes, garner radio play, are purchased at retail outlets, and (hopefully) ascend the charts, with the lucky ones going all the way to the pinnacle. An everyday occurrence and nothing to get worked up over. For Andy, however, the process was nothing short of a miracle.

When Andy Kim finished composing “Rock Me Gently” in February of 1974, he knew he had come up with a winner. He could feel it in his very heart, through which the melody and lyrics had flowed with sublime ease during a ten-minute session on guitar. So convinced was he that this was the song that would mark his return to the music charts that he carefully put his guitar down and proceeded to do a hand-spring across his living room, followed by a return hand-spring back to his instrument and the window through which he’d been gazing as the poetry residing in his soul was made manifest. It was the sort of moment we all live for, when everything comes together and the less athletically inclined among us pump our fists in the air—”YES!” A moment of joy when our grins all but split our faces in two, and we feel at one with the Universe. For some people, this happens only a handful of times in a lifetime.

Yet Andy’s euphoria was quickly followed by a strong dose of reality: He had been without a record label since the previous year, and if his new creation was to see the light of day, he had to get that little dilemma solved. And fast. Though only in his twenties, he knew that time waits for no man; all we have is the present in which to act. This was a life and work ethic to which Andy held fast. He had had a run of success as a songwriter and recording artist on Jeff Barry’s Steed Records from 1968 to 1971, recording eleven singles and three albums for the label. Five of those singles, including his first effort, “How’d We Ever Get This Way,” hit the national Top Forty; his remake of “Baby, I Love You,” which has come to be as identified with Andy as with the group that originated it, The Ronettes, made the Top Ten and earned Andy his first gold record. After Jeff Barry discontinued Steed Records and relocated from New York to California, Andy was signed to Uni and recorded an eponymous album for the label, in 1973. The Montreal-born singer of Lebanese extraction was accustomed to moving forward; he hadn’t become a successful singer/songwriter by resting on his laurels or sitting on his ass. There was work to be done, arrangements to be made, music to record. Details such as booking a studio and finding a record company willing to press and release this new creation of his had to be seen to, as well as getting all of the promotional ducks in a row. Andy enlisted the help of his older brother, Joe, to help with the business end of his chosen profession; then he raided his piggy bank for the funds needed for studio time. The record wasn’t going to cut itself.

Andy Kim, 1970s

For a time it looked as if the record wasn’t going to be cut at all. But Andy was nothing if not resourceful, and he decided to bring Muhammad to the mountain, so to speak, by founding his own label, Ice Records—a fitting name for a Canadian-based company—and proceeding with the studio work on pure faith. After getting the track laid down to his satisfaction and with the remaining session time down to minutes, Andy made the decision that, rather than his recording another song as a “B” side for “Rock Me Gently,” its flip would be the instrumental backing track (which would be entitled “Rock Me Gently [Part II]”). Actually, the decision was made for Andy by his newly svelte piggy bank, which vetoed the idea of paying for another session.

Andy had done all he could. Things were now in the hands of the gods … who came through with flying colors when the folks at Capitol Records heard “Rock Me Gently” and decided to sign Andy to a record deal and to release the single, with its instrumental counterpart on the B side. Andy was on his way, and the song itself was on its way to attaining hit status.

The rest is musical history. “Rock Me Gently” began a steady climb to the top of the (U.S.) charts and would reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 28, 1974. It would go on to hit the #2 spot on the U.K. Singles Chart two weeks later, on October 12, 1974, and subsequently garner a second gold disc for Andy (which was intercepted and informally presented to him by John Lennon at the Capitol Records building!). In the years since, the song has stood the test of time and become a pop standard. It remains in constant rotation on classic rock radio stations and is probably being played somewhere on the planet at just about any given moment. It’s even been used in commercials. And, in 2012, Andy Kim himself good-naturedly recorded a parody of the song, entitled “Mock Me Gently,” for Toronto radio station CHBM-FM (Boom 97.3)’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.

Andy Kim - Gold Record

“Rock Me Gently” came into being at the perfect time. First of all, it’s a wonderful dance tune, so it’s fitting that it became a hit as disco was emerging as a musical genre. Second, and perhaps more important for reasons of longevity, the song is classy; it makes perfect sense that it became a classic. “Rock Me Gently” is both romantic and sexy, without being blatantly sexual or using explicit lyrics of any sort; the physical intimacies are hinted at rather than baldly spelled out, with whatever may have been taking place between the sheets laying between the lines. It’s the perfect song for amorous couples to listen to during romantic nights in front of the fireplace, and in fact the track has shown up on more than one CD compilation of love songs. It’s safe to say that Andy Kim’s financial investment has paid off many times over—and his personal and emotional investment continues to pay off, with  multiple generations of music lovers reaping the dividends. Thanks to the dream and vision of Andy Kim, “Rock Me Gently” has become part of the world’s DNA.

Videos

Andy Kim – “Rock Me Gently” (official video):

Live Performance of “Rock Me Gently” by Andy Kim on Top of the Pops (UK, October 1974):

TV Commercial for Jif Cleaner (UK):

2008 Jeep Liberty “Pouring In” Commercial feat. “Rock Me Gently” (US, 2007):

Andy Kim (with Blair Packham) performing “Mock Me Gently” for Boom 97.3 FM’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest (Toronto, 2012):

Distinguished Artists: Interview with Andy Kim (2009):

Andy Kim’s Christmas Show For CAMH To Feature All-Star Lineup

Andy Kim Christmas Show

Every holiday season for nine straight years Andy Kim has called up his closest musician friends and those he admires, from Rush’s Alex Lifeson to Sam Roberts, to join him at his Andy Kim Christmas Show in Toronto. Proceeds go to a charity of his choice. This year’s concert on Dec. 11 at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club is raising money for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation’s Gifts of Light, which provides Christmas gifts for the hospital’s patients.

The Montreal-born and Juno award-winning singer-songwriter had nine Billboard Top 40 hits in the 1960s and 70s, including No. 1 smashes “Rock Me Gently” and “Sugar, Sugar.” To date, Kim has sold over 30 million records, according to the musician’s web site. His still untitled album is set for release in the spring on Arts & Crafts but he won’t be playing any new songs from it at the 2013 Andy Kim Christmas Show.

His all-star lineup this year features The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, Stars’ Amy Millan, Dan Hill, Kardinal Offishall, Sexsmith, treble charger, The Trews, Glass Tiger and — returning for their sixth Andy Kim Christmas Show — Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene. All 540 tickets have already sold out at $30 apiece.

Read more:

Andy Kim’s Christmas Show For CAMH To Feature All-Star Line-up | Samaritanmag.com – The Anti-Tabloid.

Andy Kim is Happening Again (CD review)

Andy Kim - Happen Again

Imagine, just for a moment, that you are Andy Kim.
 
Make believe that you are a singer/songwriter who left your native Montreal as a teenager in the mid-60s, traveling to New York City where you met your musical idol, Jeff Barry; teamed up with him to record several Top 40 hits (“How’d We Ever Get This Way,” “Baby, I Love You,” “Be My Baby”) for his record label and to write a song that would sell in the millions, and become Record of the Year for 1969 (“Sugar, Sugar”); and composed, produced, recorded and released what would become your signature song and an international hit in 1974 (“Rock Me Gently”).  Pretend that your songs and recordings endure to this day, continually being discovered by new generations of fans.  And imagine that there’s probably not an hour that goes by when at least one of your songs isn’t playing somewhere in the world.
 
Now – if you were Andy Kim, what would you do to top all that?
 
Here’s a little secret …

(To finish reading my review of singer-songwriter Andy Kim’s new CD, Happen Again, please click on the link to visit my Andy Kim Fan Page.)