From a media release:
THIS BEAT GOES ON and RISE UP: TWO REMARKABLE NEW DOCUMENTARIES CHRONICLE THE EXPLOSION OF CANADIAN POP MUSIC IN THE 1970s AND 1980s
- AIRING OVER FOUR CONSECUTIVE THURSDAY EVENINGS ON CBC TELEVISION, BEGINNING THURSDAY, AUGUST 27 AT 9:00 PM ET/PT
Two remarkable, new, two-part documentaries, THIS BEAT GOES ON and RISE UP, chronicling the explosion of Canadian pop music in the 1970s and 1980s, will have their World Premiere on CBC Television over four consecutive Thursday evenings at 9:00 pm ET/PT, beginning August 27.
THIS BEAT GOES ON tells the story of Canadian pop music in the 1970s, followed by RISE UP which brings the story through the 1980s. The films are researched and written by acclaimed music writer Nicholas Jennings, directed by Gary McGroarty, narrated by the CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi, and co-produced by Soapbox Productions in Vancouver and AmÃ©rimage-Spectra in Montreal. The new films reunite the same creative team who collaborated on the first part of this musical journey, the two-hour special Shakin’ All Over, that told the story of the birth of Canadian pop music in the 1960s, and which CBC aired to critical acclaim in 2006.
THIS BEAT GOES ON and RISE UP are a treasure trove of Canadian music and music lore, reviving the wealth and variety of our musical heritage as Canadians and the common thread that unites and moves us. Every region of the country contributed its own music to what has become our national jukebox.
THIS BEAT GOES ON – Hour One (Thursday, August 27 at 9:00 pm ET/PT) Mixing archival footage with candid interviews from a remarkable array of top artists and industry heavyweights, THIS BEAT GOES ON (Hour One) focuses on the formative years of Canada’s music scene, a time of proven hitmakers like Anne Murray, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Guess Who. The decade starts out on a controversial note, with the implementation of a government ruling that forced radio stations to play 30 per cent Canadian content, or â€˜CanCon’.
But the ruling soon starts to pay dividends, laying the groundwork not only for the performers themselves but for an industry infrastructure to support them made up of studios, managers, and record labels. Meanwhile, the newly launched Juno Awards creates a much-needed forum for a star system. By the middle of the decade, Canadian music is rocking from coast to coast with folksingers, blues artists and mullet-rockers like Prism and BTO.
THIS BEAT GOES ON – Hour Two (Thursday, September 3 at 9:00 pm ET/PT). The hits keep coming in THIS BEAT GOES ON (Hour Two), from Burton Cummings’ soaring soft-rock ballad â€œStand Tallâ€ to Loverboy’s frenetic arena-rock anthem â€œTurn Me Loose,â€ to Gino Vannelli’s romantic â€œI Just Wanna Stop,â€ and Rush’s classic â€œCloser to the Heartâ€ The program documents Canadian music’s international breakthrough in the latter half of 1970s. Solo artists like Joni Mitchell and progressive rockers such as Rush still rule, but a new wind is also blowing in. The era heralds the arrival of shaved heads and skinny ties, as punk and new wave artists from D.O.A. and the Viletones to the Pointed Sticks and the Kings, who land themselves on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand with their doubled-sided single â€œThis Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide,â€ push their way into the spotlight.
As revealed in RISE UP, the 1980s was a visual era, and that brought big changes and rapid growth to the industry. It was a time of aerobics, big hair and even bigger shoulder pads. The decade sees the rise of music videos and the arrival of the digital age, which brings everything from Pac-Man games to compact discs. It’s also the time when Canadian music explodes internationally. RISE UP digs up a treasure trove of gold and platinum hits, from Men Without Hats’ â€œThe Safety Danceâ€ to Bryan Adams’ â€œSummer of 69,â€ to showcase Canadian music’s phenomenal global rise.
RISE UP – Hour One (Thursday, September 10 at 9:00 pm ET/PT). RISE UP (Hour One) explores the period when CDs replace cassette tapes and synthesized sounds fill the airwaves. Videos define music in the Eighties. With the arrival of MTV in America and, later, MuchMusic and MusiquePlus in Canada, artists suddenly have access to a powerful new marketing medium. They still have to write good songs and perform well (witness singer-songwriters like Bryan Adams, with such massive hits as â€œCuts Like A Knifeâ€), but now it really helps to also have good hair and wardrobeâ€”and be able to play to the camera. The whole package means that the most photogenic musicians, from Corey Hart to Lisa Dalbello, gain widespread exposure coast to coast through the power of television.
RISE UP â€“ Hour Two (Thursday, September 17 at 9:00 pm ET/PT). RISE UP (Hour Two) shows just how far Canada’s artists have grown. Bands like the Payola$ and the Parachute Club draw on styles as diverse as reggae, soca and calypso to shake up the airwaves with such rhythmic hits as â€œEyes of a Strangerâ€ and the era-defining anthem â€œRise Up.â€ Videos are the new fast track to fame, as homegrown artists like Robbie Robertson and Alannah Myles (with her huge hit, â€œBlack Velvetâ€) score global hits in record numbers. The late ’80s also sees the rise of some diverse new sounds, including the alternative country of Blue Rodeo and Cowboy Junkies and hip hop pioneers such as Maestro and Michie Mee.
Director/associate producer of THIS BEAT GOES ON and RISE UP is Gary McGroarty; Nicholas Jennings is writer, researcher, interviewer and associate producer; producers are Randolph Eustace-Walden, Nick Orchard, Alain Simard and Pierre L. Touchette; executive producer is Luc ChÃ¢telain. The films are narrated by Jian Ghomeshi.