Trend Records
Canada's Original Independent Record Company

Trend Records was formed in 1965 by Toronto disc jockey and record producer Merv Buchanan (aka Tommy Trend). Its purpose was to make the recording business accessible to emerging talent, hampered by lack of resources and connections. At the time, only a few major international labels, like Capitol and RCA were active in Canada and their main activity was the pressing and distribution of records for foreign artists signed by their American or overseas offices. Very few Canadian artists were being signed and those that were seemed to wither, due to lack of attention.

In the early sixties, recording studios, record labels, music publishers, pressing plants and record distributors were usually separate operations. Arranging to get a record produced, pressed, distributed and promoted presented an almost un-surmountable challenge to young, inexperienced artists in Canada. Enter Trend Records.

Housed in a former schoolhouse in the Toronto suburb of West Hill, Trend and its BMI publishing arm Pan Canada Music, offered the whole package. Based on the template developed by Motown Records’ Berry Gordy Jr., it could help artists market their original songs, produce their records in its own studio and handle manufacturing and distribution. Records were mailed to radio stations across the country, followed by promotional letters and phone calls. A Canadian, vertically integrated, independently owned record company was born.

Of course, creating a record company from scratch was no easy task. There was no “Recording Studios For Dummies” book to study, no local source of affordable recording equipment and no colleges offering music industry courses, so it was a case of trial and error. Lots of error. For starters, some real recording studio equipment was needed. Eastern sound and Hallmark Studios were only too happy to unload some of their old gear, at a good price. But, besides microphones, racks and some electronics, a solid state, stereo mixing console was required, a real challenge on a shoestring budget. The late sound equipment wizard Pete Traynor came to the rescue with a stereo console custom built for the "Toronto '67" rock festival. Everything else, including the custom Traynor studio monitors and stereo reverb system, was built by hand, often after hours at the Yorkville Sound factory. After a shaky start, the company got off the ground. The rest is rock’n’roll history.

As additional material is gathered from artists, collectors, journalists and the Trend archive, this site will be expanded and improved. News about CD re-issues of all Trend albums and singles will be posted, as well as more complete and up to date artist information.

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