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    Submitted by Mel Shaw to Cashbox Canada

    From 1950 through 1955 Sugarfoot Anderson could be heard six nights a week on CKXL Radio in Calgary. He programmed his own show, playing early R&B, Blues, and Jazz. The program was an influence on the Calgary music scene for five years and inspired musicians and singers with the new music he was playing. Back In the early fifties, radio was the most influential media as television did not start broadcasting in Calgary until 1954. The local newspaper, in a feature story, stated that “Sugarfoot” was the most popular radio host in Calgary.

    Ezzert “Sugarfoot” Anderson arrived in Calgary, Alberta in Canada in 1949 to play with the Calgary Stampeders football club and was a very popular player for six years. Along with his football career, Sugarfoot Anderson formed a blues band called “The Bluenotes”. They played locally and were one of the first early R&B bands in the city. Twice they were the lead group at the start of the Stampede Parade raising funds for “The Mile of Dimes.” Sugarfoot’s vibrant personality and the blues style of music he performed with his group was not heard on any other radio stations in the city and it gave the Bluenotes a loyal and enthusiastic audience. Over the years, many musicians and singers in Calgary attributed their style and repertoire to music they heard in person and on the Sugarfoot Anderson radio Show.

    Barry and John Anderson, Errol Lacroix and SugarfootBarry and John Anderson, Errol Lacroix and SugarfootThe ceremony to honour Sugarfoot was, by his choice, a private affair. It was held for Sugarfoot and members of his family at his home in Calgary on October 26, 2013. The award and congratulatory letters Sugarfoot received were presented at 1:30 pm by the Calgary representative of CRL, Errol Lacroix, who was a well known vocalist in the sixties on local Calgary TV music shows. The reason for the presentation to be held early in the afternoon was because Sugarfoot, who is 93 years of age, didn’t want the presentation to interfere with his attending the Stampeders football game with his sons, John and Barry. Sugarfoot is still involved with the Stampeders football team and that in itself is inspiring.

    The recognition for “Sugarfoot” has not gone unnoticed as the following letters of congratulations were presented to Sugarfoot with the CRL Award.

    Mike Beebe, the Governor of Arkansas, congratulated Ezzeret “Sugarfoot” Anderson (who was born in Nashville, Arkansas) for his career in Canada. He wrote in part “It gives me great pleasure to join your family, many friends and admirers in congratulating you for your many contributions to broadcasting and music. Throughout your career you have been known as a gentleman and an innovator who….as an outstanding radio host on CKXL could be heard six nights a week and also you were a noted musician in your own right bringing the blues and your Southern roots to our friends and neighbors in Canada…Congratulations and thank you for sharing your extraordinary talent and accomplishments. You have brought lasting pride to your native Arkansas.”

    Mark Wender, the CEO of the Soulsville Foundation, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis wrote “We congratulate you and recognize your many achievements in sports, music and your work in civil rights and equality for persons of color in Canada. The fact that you brought the blues to Canada, performed blues and then played blues on your radio program and refused to attend functions at white only country clubs was inspiring then and remains inspiring today. We know that you, Mr. Ezzrett “Sugarfoot” Anderson… have influenced generations of people.”

    Letters of SupportLetters of SupportWendell Wilks. CEO of TVN & Television Producer and Author of The Vision in Television” 2014 wrote in part: “Recognizing Sugarfoot Anderson as an unforgettable icon of culture, media, and music in Western Canada is long overdue . I spent my early days in broadcasting in Alberta. That is where I became aware of the popularity and personality of Sugarfoot Anderson. I never forgot the presence he had. From Calgary I went on to a long career creating television specials with B.B. King, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Michel Legrand, Paul Anka, Tom Jones, and Anne Murray. I will tell you there are many stars who have left an indelible impact on my life and the lives of others. A member tof his group is the gentle giant, “Sugarfoot Anderson,” a true living legend and in my career memories, he is without a doubt a “Star among stars.” Congratulations my dear friend.”

    John Harris CEO of the Harris Institute Toronto said: “On behalf of Harris Institute, faculty and students, I congratulate you on being presented Canada’s Recording Legacy Award. Your ground breaking contributions as a pioneering radio host on CKXL and as a legendary Calgary Stampeder in the CFL are remarkable achievements.Notable accomplishments in two fields is very rare and you should be proud. At 93 and in good health, you may soon set new records.”

    Al Bell, recording industry icon and legendary past president of Stax Records & later Motown Records stated in a letter.”I want to take this opportunity to praise and thank Calgary radio station CKXL for allowing Sugarfoot to broadcast on radio beginning in 1950 and thus expose Canadians to a creative programming mix of the American musical “art” that was born of the African American culture. Sugarfoot’s profound commitment to “excellence” as the driving component in his personal life and throughout his professional career set the example and paved the way, and opened the minds and doors of opportunity and acceptance for Al Bell and many other African Americans who chose to follow any of Sugarfoot’s professional career pursuits. With sincere thanks, gratitude, and respect I express my profound appreciation personally – and on behalf of both the American Recorded Music and Broadcast Industries – to Canada’s Recording Legacy (“CRL”) and its founder, Mel Shaw, for presenting Sugarfoot Anderson, at the age of 93, its Recording Legacy Award of Recognition.

    Mel Shaw, Founding President of Canada’s Recording Legacy Canada’s Recording Legacy Award of Recognition is dedicated to honouring individuals who made an impact in creating the atmosphere for growth of the music industry in radio, television, recording and performance in the past fifty years in Canada.


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