Sunday, August 28, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Our guest host this week is Helen Mann.
Across Canada, many people spent this past week mourning and remembering Jack Layton.
Singing is an an especially appropriate way to honour the memory of the NDP leader, who died last week at age 61.
Layton loved music -- and not just as a listener.
The Toronto home he shared with his wife MP Olivia Chow was the scene of regular sing-alongs.
And, of course, he never hit the campaign trail without a guitar -- and an eager willingness to break into vocals.
It may be that music was in his blood.
Latyon's great-grandfather was a piano tuner -- and the piano store he founded in Montreal was run by the family for years.
His grandfather Gilbert was a Quebec legislator -- but also an amateur composer, whose Dominion March chimed on the carillon as Jack Layton left Parliament Hill for the last time on Thursday.
So we assembled a group of musical artists who knew the man and his love of song. Lorraine Segato, Grit Laskin, and MP Andrew Cash will share memories and tunes inspired by "Jack".
It's hard to think of any career in baseball that can last thirty years. But Jerry Howarth has had one.
He's been the Blue Jays' play-by-play man since 1981.
Today, his familiar voice is on THIS program, in an repeat of an interview with Michael at the start of the Major League season.
Much MORE music.
An encore of Michael's long-awaited -- and rather unexpected -- interview with the Butterfield boys. They're a family of Canadian musicians who were hard to pin down -- even when we got them together for a chat.
Elsewhere in the show....the comfort of a mother's voice. A repeat broadcast of Karin Wells' documentary Send Me Books, Mom. It tells us about a unique program that lets women in prison read to their children.
Jack Layton Tribute:
Canadians came to know Jack Layton as an unabashed political animal with a cheeky sense of humour and joie de vivre that was infectious. And a man whose acoustic guitar was never far away.
It became a tradition during NDP campaigns that, after the long day's work was done, Jack Layton would grab his guitar and conduct an impromptu sing-a-long with party workers and members of the media.
In keeping with Jack Layton's love of music and performing, we decided to pay him a musical tribute. We invited three people - all musicians - into our studio to talk about the man they knew and play some music in his honour.
Lorraine Segato is a singer, songwriter and the founder and lead vocalist of the Canadian group the Parachute Club. Grit Laskin is a singer and songwriter, guitarist and master instrument-maker. They were with Helen in our Toronto studio.
Andrew Cash is the new NDP member of parliament for the Toronto riding of Davenport. He is also a professional musician and was a member of the 80's punk rock band L'Etranger. He was in Ottawa.
Baseball is an unusual sport.
The pace of the game, as exciting as it can be, is slow when compared with hockey, basketball and soccer. A pitcher, for example, spends more time between pitches then he does actually throwing a ball. And even the best hitter in the game gets on base less than half the time.
Perhaps it is these qualities that make baseball the ideal sport for the radio. With the sound of the crowd in the background and the right play-by-play person in the foreground, it's easy to build a picture of the action in one's mind.
Jerry Howarth is one of the right people - one of the very best in the game.
Baseball is also a game of numbers, so here are some of Mr. Howarth's stats. He's called more than 4600 regular season games for the Toronto Blue Jays. That's more than 41,000 innings, about 125,000 outs, and nearly a million pitches.
Before joining the team in the1981 season, Jerry Howarth was in Utah, where he called the games for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association.
Jerry Howarth was behind the mic with Michael in our Toronto studio last May.
Send Me Books, Mom:
One day, nearly 12 years ago, a woman named Wanda in Saint John, New Brunswick, leafed through her weekly copy of People magazine during a quiet moment on her shift at the local nursing home.
That week, People carried a story about a woman in Oklahoma whose daughter wound up in jail.
That Oklahoma woman realized, when she first went to visit her daughter and saw children in the visitors room, that when women go to jail, children lose their mothers.
This bothered Wanda.
The woman in that article had started a program where mothers in jail could read to their children - on tape.
That got Wanda to thinking.
She put the magazine in her purse and went off to see Mariana Stack, president of the local Elizabeth Fry Society, who happened to be visiting her father at the nursing home.
Mariana Stack is the kind of woman who gets things done.
That was the beginning of the the Saint John, New Brunswick Read Aloud Program for the children of women in jail - the first of its kind in Canada and a model for jails in Quebec and BC.
Now 8,000 books later and heralded as a great success, the program finds itself even more critically important. More women are being sent to jail and for longer and two thirds of those women have children.
This is a repeat broadcast of Karin Wells' documentary "Send Me Books, Mom" which was originally aired back in March.
It took months to corral our guests for this next hour, which originally aired in late May. The boisterous, bodacious Butterfield brothers are four members of a family of talented Canadian singers and musicians and
composers. But they're on the road most of the time. Separately.
So, it took almost two years to get them all together - we virtually stalked them until we had a date and it was a go.
And then we got them into studio. Plans were carefully laid to have them sing - and talk about their lives.
What happened wasn't what we expected. But it was such fun that we're sharing it with you.
Here then, is Michael's interview with the very talented and accomplished Butterfield brothers: Benjamin, Christopher, Peter and Philip.