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Hail to the Leaf: CBC campaign pitches a Cancon playlist for Obama
Barack Obama has proclaimed himself a fan of music both old-school and new, but a new CBC Radio campaign specifically aims to get some Canadian content onto the U.S. president-elect’s radar for Inauguration Day.
On Monday, CBC Radio 2 is officially launching a campaign inviting music lovers to craft a definitive Canadian playlist as a gift to the incoming U.S. president.
After accepting submissions for one week, producers will determine the top 100 nominated songs and release a shortlist on Jan. 12. Five days of public online voting will determine the final tally of “49 songs from north of the 49th parallel” for Obama ó to be revealed on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.
“One of the best ways to know Canada is through the depth and breadth of our artistic expression,” said Denise Donlon, executive director of CBC English Radio.
“We’re excited about the new president, and we want him to be excited about us.”
Early suggestions: from Bach to rap
A few CBC personalities and Canadian cultural figures have already weighed in with suggestions.
After reading that Obama enjoys Bach, pianist Angela Hewitt suggested the president-elect listen to a particular recording of Grosser Herr, o starker Konig from the composer’s Christmas Oratorio, featuring “one of Canada’s greatest artists, the baritone Gerald Finley.”
Rick MacInnes-Rae, host of CBC Radio’s Dispatches, picked the song Saskatchewan by Drummondville, Que., band Les Trois Accords because “Obama needs to know Quebec has moved on from Expo 67. And how to spell Saskatchewan. So do Canadians, come to think of it.”
Canadian rap pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes listed his own song Stick to Your Vision among his choices because “it’s a song dealing with perseverance and inspiration. Obama has inspired millions with his perseverance.”
Obama an eclectic music lover
Obama has been described as an avid and eclectic music fan.
Last summer, when he and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain were asked for their top 10 songs, Obama offered a wide-ranging list that included Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter, Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire, The Fugees’ Ready or Not and Aretha Franklin’s Think.
Also during the campaign, he revealed that Stevie Wonder, BeyoncÈ and Earth, Wind and Fire are among the other musical acts that get him dancing.