The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrated the induction of four songs with a spate of televised presentations with that aired nationally on various television programs from September 4-17, 2020.
Two global electro-pop hits by Montréal’s Men Without Hats – “Safety Dance” and “Pop Goes the World,” both written by the band’s frontman and lead singer Ivan Doroschuck – were inducted on Sept. 2, and celebrated on City-TV’s Breakfast Television on Sept. 17. Similarly, Jimmy Rankin’s “Fare Thee Well Love,” which launched the career of The Rankin Family, was inducted on Sept. 4 on Global Television’s The Morning Show. And Rough Trade’s gender-bending single “High School Confidential” – co-written by the band’s Carole Pope and Kevan Staples – was inducted on Sept. 10, on CTV’s Your Morning.
“Safety Dance” skyrocketed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983, propelling the album Rhythm of Youth to sell more than two million copies worldwide. It helped the band win three ADISQ Awards for Best-Selling Single, Group of the Year, and Rock Album of the Year; a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist; JUNO nominations; and a 2008 SOCAN Award. “Pop Goes the World” was a gold-selling single and earned a JUNO nomination for Single of the Year; reached the No. 2 spot on RPM’s Top 100 singles chart in 1988; and was Billboard’s No. 20. The album on which it appeared went platinum in Canada, won an ADISQ Award, and a PROCAN (one of the precursors of SOCAN) Award for the most-played English-language Canadian single on Canadian radio in 1988.
“Fare Thee Well Love” was the career-launching hit for The Rankin Family, the multi-platinum-selling Celtic-folk-pop band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, who led Canadian music’s “Celtic wave” of the 1990s. The song was voted CBC listeners’ No. 1 East Coast Song of All Time, went gold before the end of 1992, crossed over to No. 1 on both RPM Canadian country and adult contemporary album charts; and by 1996, reached quintuple-platinum sales.
“High School Confidential,” written as an anthem to teenage hormones, found its openly gay and sexually explicit lyrics, paired with Rough Trade’s captivating live shows and a controversial television moment, propelling the band from the underground Toronto club scene to the national spotlight. The single had some words bleeped out on radio, and subsequently rose to the Top 10 on RPM’s Top 100. Then Rough Trade infamously performed the song at the 1980 JUNO Awards where Pope, on live national television, made a gesture to touch herself that was then considered “obscene.”
Following the televised presentations of these song inductions, fans will be able to view the permanent exhibitions honouring CSHF inductees and song inductions at the National Music Centre, located at Studio Bell, in Calgary. The National Music Centre is the physical home of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and will continue to honour and preserve the legacy of new inductees through exhibitions which feature stories, exclusive artifacts, and one-of-a-kind memorabilia.