THE MAN BEHIND THE MUSIC
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UNSUNG HERO. Outside of music mister Blake is a noted philanthropist and created the mister Blake foundation which helps numerous local (British Columbia) and global charities.
The foundation regularly provides generous donations to Diabetes Canada; the Jasmine Project in Thailand; PADS (Pacific Assistance Dogs); BC/ALBERTA guide dogs; WESN; the C.H.I.L.D. Foundation; Gordon Neighbourhood House; Community Pregnancy Concerns Society; CKNW Orphan’s Fund (for over 40 years!); Live Well with Diabetes; Ukrainian Children’s Christian Fund; Lord Roberts Elementary School; and AIDS awareness charities, to name a few. To date, the foundation has donated over $250,000.
He also has one of the biggest private collections of Beatles recordings and memorabilia in the world, a testament to the influence the Fab Four had on him, having personally met some of them, including John Lennon (plus Yoko and Sean Lennon).
After being discovered at a Steveston, BC, talent show at the tender age of fourteen singing “Pretty Blue Eyes”, mister Blake had a hit record in North America with “ I Only Want To Be With You”—the Ivor Raymond-penned song that was a hit in the UK with the late Dusty Springfield. Sadly, his fame was short-lived as he became a victim of the very men entrusted with his career. The sexual abuse he endured caused him to retreat from the music scene before his career could really take off.
It took many years before he recovered and re-discovered his deep love of music. Song writing now became his therapy, and mister Blake became determined to resurrect the career that was cruelly taken away from him all those years ago.
Fast forward to 2009, the release of “Blue Rain” saw his popularity flourish when it became a hit on Jango internet radio. Since then, he has released 27 songs on Jango, CBC Radio 3 and other stations, with a combined total of 1.6 million plays worldwide, and garnering 600,000 “likes” along the way. One song alone—“Christmas In A Changin’ World”—has racked up a whopping 600,000 plays on Jango.
In 2014, mister Blake released a two album limited edition set (on CD). Featuring many of the songs that made him such a force on Jango Radio, “SuperStars” is packed with great tunes with positive messages, and more of that upbeat, catchy material that has generated all those radio plays. Produced by Juno Award winner Patricia Dahlquist, it includes a hot new remake of mister Blake’s “I Only Want To Be With You’’. The spiritual songs are on an album of their own, entitled ‘Jesus Is’. It features the monster Jango hit, “Christmas In A Changin’ World” and a cover of “We’ll Reach The Sky Tonight”, a song by his good friend the late Rita MacNeil.
In November, 2015, mister Blake’s latest release “Coming Home” hit the airwaves. Representing a shift in a new direction for mister Blake, five of the nine songs are original compositions.The title track “Coming Home” (written by Dan Marshall of the band Shakamoraine) and the accompanying video have been getting great reviews. Other standout songs include “The Promise” originally made famous by When in Rome, and mister Blake’s version of Erasure’s “A Little Respect” is getting a lot of respect from listeners. By popular demand there is a 2015 remake of the mister Blake classic “Christmas in a Changin’ World” and a 21st anniversary reprise of the novelty song “OJ Rap”. Rounding out this solid collection of catchy pop hits are a live version of Paul Anka’s “Jubilation” and the pop classic “Poetry in Motion”. The online versions have been remixed (2017). Five songs were recently re-released on Jango Radio worldwide including a new version of “Spirit in the Sky (Trans Mix)”.
Currently mister Blake is enjoying a hiatus from music and spending more time on the home front looking after two new shelties and his sports cars.