Feature

Folkdj-l Top Canadian Artists 2009

This posting is the first of three that examines Canadians’ 2009 airplay based on playlists submitted to the Folkdj-l listserve. In the lists to follow, if I have inadvertently left someone out, I offer advance apologies and cite my aging eyes.

1. The Wailin’ Jennys (414)
2. James Keelaghan (307)
3. Bruce Cockburn (254)
4. Jesse Winchester (246)
5. The Duhks (210)
6. Stan Rogers (198)
7. Dala (186)
8. Bop Ensemble (178)
9. Leonard Cohen (177) “Suzanne”
10. Le Vent Du Nord (176)
11. Kim Beggs (172)
12. Loreena McKennitt (168) “All Souls Night”
Nathan Rogers (168)
13. James Hill & Anne Davison (155)
14. Joni Mitchell (154) “Woodstock”
15. Jory Nash (152)
16. David Francey (147) “Waking Hour”
17. Fred Eaglesmith (145) “I Like Trains”
Buffy Sainte-Marie (145)
18. Catherine MacLellan (139)
19. Janet Bates (138) “Little Spinner”
20. Cori Brewster (136)
21. Crabtree & Mills (134)
22. Maria Dunn (121)
23. April Verch (120)
24. Garnet Rogers (119) “Under The Summer Moonlight”
25. Gordon Lightfoot (116) “Early Morning Rain”
26. Beyond The Pale (106) “Turkish Delight”
27. Oliver Schroer (100) “Colour Of Snow”
28. Neil Young (99) “Cowgirl In The Sand”
29. Harry Manx (95) “Bottom Of The Hill”
30. Finest Kind (91) “He Comes Like Rain”
31. Lynn Miles (88) “Flames Of Love”
32. Genticorum (83)
33. Neko Case (82) “This Tornado Loves You”
Annabelle Chvostek (82) “7 Years”
34. Kate & Anna McGarrigle (77) “Heart Like A Wheel”
35. Ray Bonneville (75)
36. Jon Brooks (73)
Stephen Fearing (73) “No Dress Rehearsal”
37. The Band (72) “The Weight”
Blackie & The Rodeo Kings (72) “49 Tons”
John Wort Hannam (72) “With The Grain”
38. Ian & Sylvia (71) “4 Strong Winds”
39. Rose Cousins (68) “Edmonton”
40. Lynne Hanson (63) “Dance In The Evermore”
41. Kendel Carson (62) “Belt Buckle”
Good Lovelies (62) “Sleepwalkin”
42. Eve Goldberg (61) “One In A Million”
43. Jim Byrnes (60) “Talk In Circles”
44. Enoch Kent (59) “Bonnie Wee Country Lass”
Natalie MacMaster (59) “Appropriate Dipstick”

The end of December 2009 will mark 166 months of keeping these records. In that time 226 Canadian performers have made an appearance in the top ten of a monthly top artists list. Performer appearances are significantly influenced by how thoroughly they, or their record companies, have serviced international folk DJs and their stations.

Richard Gillmann has consented to my using his posted playlist information for the reports to follow. Richard’s dedication to providing this information is greatly appreciated and, as always, I offer the usual well-deserved tip of the hat for all his labour.

Richard compiles monthly surveys of international airplay on the folkdj-l listserve. Archives of these can be found at http://folkradio.org Richard’s complete lists can be found on his own website at http://www.nwfolk.com and I have used this latter source for the information that follows.

Richard created a couple of programs to analyze all playlists posted to the Folkdj-l list. These programs require that playlists be submitted in a particular format to be counted. Because of this he estimates his programs pick up 60-80% of the total airplays posted. Richard tallies the most popular albums and songs as well as total play for individual performers to create a top artists list.

It should go without saying that these tallies are utterly meaningless in the context of mainstream airplay. The stats simply list those Canadians whose music was played and reported to the Folkdj-l listserve. Folk DJs pick and choose from the vast catalogue of international folk recordings and select songs and performers they enjoy. I believe that those folk DJs who do report, are our musical peers and that the songs and musicians they choose to air provide a rough guide to current and longterm folk popularity.

Here are the top Canadian artists of 2009 based on total airplay for the year with 166,046 airplays from 195 different DJs. Richard Gillmann cut this list off at 59 plays. Pete Seeger was the top international artist with 920 plays. The Wailin’ Jennys were the top Canadian artists on the international charts ending a four year run by The Duhks. The Wailin’ Jennys came in at #14 overall.

If an artists’ most played song did not make the top songs list, which follows, the title is noted below after their airplay total.

To be continued…

Vic Bell is the artistic director of Calgary’s Nickelodeon Music Club. He’s been tracking Canadian performer airplay on folkdj-l since 1996.

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