Five Days in July is turning into a whole slew of great days in 1995 for Blue Rodeo. Five Days is the Toronto-based band’s fifth album, and their first one to receive wide radio play in the United States, where it is winning rave reviews. The New York Times enthused “that this is an album to return to again and again,” while USA Today declared that the album is “among the year’s highly recommended gems.” Jim Cuddy, who shares Blue Rodeo’s singing and songwriting spotlight with Greg Keelor, acknowledges that the U.S. reaction is “pretty exciting.” But, Cuddy adds that band members are even more pleased that they are successful at home in Canada. “You look at the charts now, both in Canada and internationally, and we’re holding onto our own,” he says. Indeed, Five Days in July has gone double platinum in Canada, selling 200,000 copies. And that, says Cuddy, is
clear indication that the days of Canadians waiting to see how the rest of the world reacts to domestic acts is long gone. “We’re evidence that Canadians do like our own music,” he says. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.
FREEZING ON THE SET
For American actor Randy Quaid, filming the made-for-television movie Legends of the North proved to be quite a challenge. Legends, a Canadian-French co-production being broadcast on TMN-The Movie Network this month, features Quaid as gold hunter Whip Gorman in the Yukon in the winter of 1896. But even though filming took place a lot further south—near the Mastigouche reserve, about 100 km north of Montreal— conditions last winter were still rigorous. “If s a lot more difficult walking in snowshoes than it looks,” explains Quaid. De spite the physical demands, Quaid says that he “loved” playing the part of Whip, based on a character from the Jack London novel Smoke Bellew who evolves from a greedy conniver into the film’s hero. Quaid, who appears regularly on stage and in movies and who won an Emmy nomination for his portrait of Lyndon Johnson in the mini-series LBJ: The Early Years, adds that London is one of his favorite authors. “I have read a lot of his books and his characters are often loners, men of single purpose,” says the lanky Texan. “I was able to bring a lot of myself to the part.” The actor’s mother lode.
THE UNKINDEST CUT When Diana, the Princess of Wales, jetted into New York City for a fashion gala last week, she turned heads with her new slicked-back hairstyle. But back in Britain, reaction was far less favorable. One fashion commentator said the new do made her nose even more prominent, while another decided she looked like “a victim.” Even a royal can have a bad hair day.
OF AWARDS AND JELLY
When award-winning writer Mary Lynne Williamson is not hard at work on her fourth romantic mystery novel, she is busy serving coffee and sandwiches in a Port Elgin, Ont., diner. Mariana, the third book by the 29-year-old Williamson,
who writes under the pen name Susanna Kearsley, was published last fall in Britain where it won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, named in honor of the British writer. Now released in Canada, Mariana recounts the story of a woman
who buys a house in Wiltshire, England, and becomes caught up in the 17th-century history of it. But even though the literary prize was worth $20,000 and included a publishing contract complete with an advance and royalties, Williamson says that she does not plan on leaving behind the daily grind of her job in
the restaurant anytime soon. “Waitressing is a very grounding experience,” she explains. “There you are one day accepting an award and the next trying to get jelly off the carpet.” Edited by BARBARA WICKENS
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