April Wine originally formed in 1969 in Halifax and is considered an iconic Canadian band. They relocated to Montreal and were one of the first to sign a publishing deal with Summerlea Music by Brian Chater as part of CHUM's venture into the record business as Much Productions. The original members were David and Ritchie Henman, their cousin Jim Henman and Myles Goodwin. The principal songwriters for their first three albums which were released by Summerlea on the Aquarius label:
April Wine - 1970
Myles Goodwin, David Henman, Jim Henman
April Wine - On Record
Myles Goodwin, David Henman, Jim Clench
April Wine - Electric Jewels
Myles Goodwin, Jim Clench
Based in Montreal and known as Freedom, Freedom of Choice, and finally Freedom North, this band had success with their single “Doctor Tom”, which garnered radio airplay across Canada and attained the #2 spot on RPM’s Top 50 Canadian Chart in RPM’s weekly edition of Aug. 1, 1970.
The group was signed by Brian Chater to Summerlea Music as part of CHUM Radio’s venture into the recording industry as Much Productions. Bill Hill was a member of the group and the producer of their only album recorded and released by Summerlea on the Aquarius label in 1970. Classified as psychedelic rock, the songs are superbly crafted and include soaring vocals by Frankie Hart. The songwriters on various tracks were Bill Hill, Rick St. Jean, Rene Boileau, Laurence Leroux, Frankie Hart,
Edward Kaye and Allan Nicholls.
The British North-American Act
The British North-American Act was formed in 1967 and discovered by Bob Hahn who heard them practicing because they lived on the same street as he did with his family in Montreal. The group signed publishing contracts with Bob under his publishing company Laurentian Music for the individual songs on their only album between August 4, 1967 and March 19, 1968. The album was produced by Brian Chater and released on Now Records in 1969. Ownership of the publishing for all songs was transferred to Summerlea Music on May 29, 1968. The songwriters on the various tracks were Rick Elger, Robert Allen, Kirk Armstrong, Andrew Bator and David McCall.
Mantis grew out of a songwriting partnership between Rick Elger and Martin Swerdlow which was joined by Martin’s girlfriend Christine Williams as a vocalist. The group was subsequently formed in 1971 with the addition of Philip Aker on bass and Daniel Hutchison on drums. The band also initially included André Deguire on lead guitar and vocals who left the group and was replaced by Mark Bajona just before the recording sessions for their only album were due to start. Considered a bit genre-defying at the time, the album mixes rock, orchestral fusion and blues and includes contributions by Moe Koffman and Guido Basso for the orchestral parts.
The group was signed by Brian Chater to Summerlea Music as part of CHUM Radio’s venture into the recording industry as Much Productions. Produced by Bill Hill, the album was released on the Sweet Plum label in December of 1973, a label started by Chater under Much Productions. Two tracks were released earlier on the Much label and through Chater’s UK connections, also on the Pye Label. The songwriters for the various tracks were Rick Elger, Martin Swerdlow, Christine Williams, Philip Aker, Mark Bajona, David Hutchison, André Deguire and Jean Nicolle.
The Five Bells
The Five Bells originated as a duo consisting of Cliff Edwards and Ann Ralph who were later joined by Ann’s sister Jackie in 1965. The group was rounded out with the addition of Doug Gravelle on drums and Gordie McLeod on keyboards, who was soon replaced by Mickey Ottier.
The group was signed to Summerlea Music by Bob Hahn in January of 1969, and recorded their first album ‘Dimensions’ on the Polydor label, which was released in March, 1969. This album included their first hit single “Moody Manitoba Morning” written by Rick Neufeld.
Tom Cahill was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1929. He attended Loyola College in Montreal, and Memorial University in Newfoundland, earning a BA in 1953. Known as a playwright, songwriter, and TV producer, he came to be regarded as a cultural leader in his home province of Newfoundland. He worked for 20 years at CBC Television beginning in 1965 where he wrote and produced TV drama, comedy series, documentaries and specials.
His passionate interest in Newfoundland was evident through the songs he wrote. Often collaborating with the late Newfoundland singer Joan Morrissey, his songs told stories from a distinctly Newfoundland perspective. Cahill was awarded the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2005, and passed away in August, 2006. He was signed to Summerlea Music by Brian Chater in 1972.
Ron Mahonin is a native of British Columbia who has been an active singer, writer, and producer for over four decades. He first achieved international recognition in 1978 as a semi-finalist winner of the American Song Festival with “Trying to Write A Hit Song”. This tune was recorded by Player on the debut album and would become Ron’s first gold record. His songs, recorded by both himself and other artists, in foreign translations as well as instrumental versions, have been playlisted in many markets worldwide.
After a period of time as a staff writer for a Los Angeles publishing firm, Ron returned to Canada to build a nationally distributed record company, Heart Records. In 1983, he received the PRO Canada Song of the Year Award for outstanding airplay of “You Came Into My Life”, while also developing a successful commercial music and jingle production firm in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Passage of time and personal experience has led Mahonin back to his roots in the Country / MOR genre. The messages of his songs are universal, and are relayed through a fine-tuned craft; a profound level of emotion intricately woven into impressionable lyrics and melodies.
Derrick Zuber is an accomplished Canadian musician and songwriter originally from Toronto, now residing in Oshawa, a city approximately 50 km east of Toronto. He has played guitar for such artists as Juno nominee Blaise Pascal, Jason Grills and Marion Drexler in addition to his solo career since 2003. His influences are diverse, including country, rock, pop and blues. Derrick's eclectic style presents itself in the studio on both his vocals and his use of guitar, bass, mandolin and banjo. His unique style utilizes both traditional and less traditional instrument pairings and progressions.
Derrick’s first album, ‘Like A Song’, features catchy, lyrical vocals that pull in the listener. The songs have a country flare, and tell you a story that is familiar to anyone who has ever been in love, whether they kept it or lost it. ‘Road Less Travelled’, Derrick's second studio release, picks up where ‘Like A Song’ leaves off; It's catchy, roots-based and adds breadth to Derrick's music that reflects passing time and life experience. Both albums were recorded at Haggarty Sound Studio in Peterborough Ontario and were co-produced by Derrick and veteran engineer Barry Haggarty.
His third studio album, ‘Built To Last’ was recorded at The Woodshed Recording Studio located on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, and released on December 18, 2020. In this album, Derrick’s music reaches yet further heights with assistance from Tim Vesely, best known as a founding member of the Canadian indie rock band ‘The Rheostatics’.
Derrick performs regularly around Southern Ontario and can be seen at various festivals, restaurants, bars, resorts, theatres, churches and private functions.