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Music World Inside The Ropes
on June 8, 2012
TRUE NORTH: A LIFE IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS
by Bernie Finkelstein
McClelland & Stewart
Right from childhood Bernie Finkelstein was his own man with a love of music and a romantic's curiosity about the people who made it. Though he spent his formative years in Britain his heart was back in North America with Rockabilly, Blues and the emerging genre of Rock and Roll. There was never any question about what he would do when he grew up; he was going to be in the music business. The fact that there was no music business in Canada at the time was no impediment to his goal. He made it up as he went along.
The story begins with the early years of Folk at it's most innocent and follows along as things get political and then morph into a psychedelic rejection of the Establishment. People were lost along the way but Finkelstein managed to make it through, somehow recognizing when it was all getting a little too 'out there'. Despite whatever was going on around him, and he did participate, he manages to maintain a focus on what really mattered most: the music.
Finkelstein broke ground and forged a path for his artists who themselves were groundbreakers. He had a natural gift for recognizing talent and then fought to get others to see what he saw -- hear what he heard. And he gave back to the business that he'd help create, devoting much of his time to the industry organizations that would work to protect the ground that had been gained. His efforts have been recognized with numerous awards over the years.
Finkelstein tells his tale with humility, which according to those who know him, is not the first quality that comes to mind when they think of him. He's quick to recognize the contributions of others and downplay his own efforts with a 'right place, right time' kind of off-handedness. This is the story of a life well lived and enjoyed