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‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ pulled from some Canadian radio stations

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  • TORONTO — “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is getting a chilly response from Canadian radio stations.

    At least two of the country’s biggest radio operators — Rogers Media and Bell Media — say they’ve decided to pull the controversial Christmas favourite out of their rotations this year.

    That comes as the duet, written back in 1944, faces renewed scrutiny over what some say are inappropriate lyrics in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

    Earlier this week, Cleveland radio station WDOK-FM announced it was no longer playing the song in response to listener feedback. Some took issue over lyrics where one singer is trying to persuade the other to stay inside, with exchanges that include, “What’s in this drink?” and “Baby, don’t hold out.”

    Bell Media spokesman Scott Henderson says the company, which runs two 24-hour Christmas stations in Vancouver and Ottawa, chose not to include the Christmas tune on its playlists this year.

    “The song wasn’t scheduled for airplay on any Bell Media Radio stations and there are no plans to play it in the future,” he wrote in an emailed statement.

    Rogers Media also runs a number of all-Christmas music stations, including 98.1 CHFI-FM in Toronto and 98.5 CIOC-FM in Victoria. Spokeswoman Caitlin Decarie says the broadcaster also removed the song this year, but declined outline how it reached the decision.

    “There are so many wonderful songs that celebrate the holiday season,” she said.

    A representative for CBC Radio was unable to answer whether its stations include the Christmas song in its current rotation.

    “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been considered a holiday classic ever since it won the Academy Award for best original song in the film “Neptune’s Daughter.”

    It’s since been covered countless times by singers Ray Charles and Betty Carter, Idina Menzel & Michael Buble, as well as Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart.

    Concern over the song has existed for years, leading to many reinterpretations of the lyrics.

    Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt flipped the gender roles in a performance for the pop singer’s 2013 holiday special with the Muppets.

    And two years ago, Minnesota couple Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski rewrote the lyrics to include lines about consent, such as a response to the woman’s line “I ought to say no, no, no” with the man saying: “You reserve the right to say no.”

     

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    David Friend, The Canadian Press


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    Arts

    Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma to give free concert in Montreal’s subway today

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  • MONTREAL — World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma has announced he’ll give a free concert in Montreal’s subway today.

    The Chinese-American musician’s Facebook page says the concert in the Place-des-Arts metro station will explore connections and disconnections in contemporary lives.

    A spokesman for Montreal’s transit agency says Ma will take the stage at 2 p.m., following a multimedia presentation that combines music, art and technology.

    Philippe Dery says the subway stations often draw strong busking talent but rarely anyone of Ma’s renown.

    The 63-year-old cellist’s concert is part of what his website calls a “day of action” that will explore the topic of culture and its role in humanizing technology.

    Dery says the concert will be free and also live-streamed on the transit agency’s Facebook page.

    The Canadian Press


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    National Entertainment

    Violinist Christina Day Martinson on the ‘intense spiritual journey’ behind her Grammy nod

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  • TORONTO — When Christina Day Martinson left her house Friday morning to drive her kids to school, she didn’t expect to return home a Grammy Award nominee.

    But the violinist, who grew up in Saskatoon, is learning that one accolade sometimes leads to another. Earlier this week, her album “Biber: The Mystery Sonatas” was chosen as one of the year’s best classical recordings by the Chicago Tribune.

    The adrenaline rush of being praised by the newspaper was still wearing off when one of her colleagues phoned to share the Grammy news, while she was on the road.

    “I was screaming, ‘No way, really?’ Just all these superlatives,” the 42-year-old performer said during a call from Boston.

    “I was very excited — more excited than I realized I would be.”

    Martinson, concertmaster for the Boston Baroque, splits the nomination in the classical instrumental solo category with conductor Martin Pearlman.

    Their version of Bohemian-Austrian composer Heinrich Biber’s 15 “mystery sonatas,” written in the mid-1600s, has been praised for unearthing a deeper meaning in the pieces, which are inspired by the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

    Biber’s composition is recognized for its complexity, which involves re-tuning the strings of the instrument during the performance. With all 15 mysteries played over three hours — with two intermissions — the live performance is gruelling.

    “For me, it was a very intense spiritual journey,” she remembered of the recording made in March 2017.

    “Whatever you believe, whether you’re religious or not, it’s a very powerful story to be experiencing. And I really felt like I was going on this journey through all the sonatas.”

    Heading to the Grammys on Feb. 10 will be an entirely new experience to take in, Martinson said. But first she’ll have to explain what it all means to her kids.

    When she was celebrating her Grammy nomination in the car, her two boys, aged six and eight, sat puzzled in the back seat.

    They hadn’t heard of the Grammys, but they wanted to know more.

    “When I pick them up I’ll probably elaborate,” Martinson said.

     

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    David Friend, The Canadian Press



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    december, 2018

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