The 40th anniversary of a classic Canadian pop song is more than just music to the ears of Oakville-bred band The Kings.
The anniversary also marks the occasion of the band’s induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for their hit This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide. It joins a select group of other inducted songs that celebrate the country’s finest music makers.
The Kings grew out of the friendship of John Picard, David Diamond and Max Style, who all attended Oakville Trafalgar High School before deciding to join forces in the 1970s to make some music along with Sonny Keyes.
Playing around town as Whistleking, the group members knew they had something special happening, especially when their low-budget recording sessions were overheard by super producer Bob Ezrin.
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Ezrin, who has worked with Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Andrea Bocelli and Kiss, decided to work with the band and his expertise paid off.
Shortening the name to The Kings, the band combined two songs into one. The result was This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide, a hit that first bubbled up in Canada before jumping out to be an international hit, staying on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for almost half a year. During that period they performed at the famed Whiskey A Go-Go in Los Angeles as well as on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. They also appeared alongside such acts as Eric Clapton, Bob Seger and the Beach Boys as well as performing at Heatwave, the 1980 outdoor concert near Toronto which served as modern music’s answer to Woodstock.
Now, after 40 years, the band that grew out of Oakville will join other Canadian music legends in the the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide will become part of the ongoing and interactive exhibit at the National Music Centre in Calgary.