Yonge Street Murals a Salute to 'The Toronto Sound'

Oct 22, 2020

By Gene Stevens

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Murals have become more and more popular in recent years – although mural art has been with us for centuries, if not millennia, when considering ancient cave drawings. But it’s a more recent phenomenon to capture a city’s musical essence in wall art. There are murals all over the world celebrating music icons in cities from Liverpool (Beatles) to Memphis (Elvis and BB King); London (David Bowie and Freddie Mercury) to Detroit (Stevie Wonder). Montreal has an amazing 21 story mural of Leonard Cohen on Crescent Street, one can see from ‘the mountain’.
And we’re blessed with TWO giant murals on two sides of a 22 story building on Yonge Street, just south of College/Carlton. It portrays almost two dozen famous and legendary musicians who performed in the clubs and theaters along Yonge Street during its hey-days of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
I’m looking forward to saluting these creators of ‘The Toronto Sound’ – from jazz giants Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie, blues-masters Muddy Waters and B.B. King, and reggae legend Jay Douglas, to folk icon Gordon Lightfoot, rockabilly pioneer Ronnie Hawkins and his ‘Band’, and rockers RUSH and Kim Mitchell – not-to-mention David Clayton-Thomas, Jackie Shane, Goddo, Mandala and others. ‘If These Walls Could Sing’ – they’d be singing the Toronto Sound – which I’ll celebrate in this Sunday’s main feature.
As for ‘This Week in Zoomer Music’ look for stories and songs about Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, The Stones on Ed Sullivan and more. It’s all on ‘Vintage Favourites’ starting at 1pm. this Sunday. Cheers.

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