Trend Records Releases
Produced By Merv Buchanan
Recording for Trend Records began before the label had a studio. Both Roy Kenner and The Uncertain were recorded, after hours, at The Modern Age Lounge, on Danforth Avenue, in Toronto. The first Trend recording studio was
located below a grocery store, at the corner of Kingston Road and Warden Avenue, in Toronto. It was equipped with a 6-channel mixer, hand-made by Pete Traynor, with about 18 12AX7 tubes in it and an Ampex 601 mono tape
recorder. There were no studio monitors in the closet-sized control room, only headphones. Of course everything sounded terrific, until it was played back on good speakers. The studio did mostly demo work and an album by
Dutch immigrant Guido Smit, which sold 200 copies, mostly to his relatives back in Holland.
In 1967, Trend turned a farmhouse in the Toronto suburb of West Hill into a makeshift studio and office. Here, records for Terry & The Pyrates, The Sedum Shadows, Ultimate Image, Cargo and Friday Afternoon were made, as
well as demo tapes for singer-songwriters, like 70s recording star Craig Ruhnke. The place was cramped and hot, but it helped get the label off the ground. And it was here that the first pieces of real recording studio
equipment, a pair of giant Ampex reel-to-reel consoles, were acquired. Although the bank manager was pretty understanding, he was amazed that a tape recorder could cost more than a car. Luckily, neighbouring homes were
too far away to be bothered by the music, but the landlord was horrified when he discovered what had been done to his house.
Things took a turn for the better in 1968, when the company moved to a former schoolhouse, near the intersection of Sheppard Avenue and Morningside Avenue. In less than two months, the company was up and running in spacious
new digs. It's first projects there were singles by Bent Wind and The Pop Machine, a second Friday Afternoon single, then albums by Michael-Jon and Friday Afternoon. Within a few short years, Trend had signed and recorded
more than two dozen artists, although not all of these recordings were released.
Besides Trend artists, dozens of others took advantage of the friendly, low-cost facility, including the late Stompin’ Tom Connors, who booked the studio for a week, to record his amazing, 5-album box set, for Dominion
Records. Quality Records and other labels also found the studio to be a cost-effective place to develop new songwriters and artists.In 1969, Terry McManus, a Quality Records singer/songwriter from Silver Spring, Maryland,
arrived at the studio, to record some demo tapes. He liked the atmosphere so much, he decided to stay on as an un-paid intern and learn as much as he could about the “recording process”. But it wasn’t until 1970, after
his Quality contract had expired, that he got his first record release, a Buchanan/McManus production called “Sunshower”, on the Los Angeles based A&M label. Business continued apace at the studio until 1971, when
financial difficulties and lack of commercial success forced the company to close the studio and move operations to Vancouver. Although scores of singers, songwriters and musicians made use of the famous red
schoolhouse, the $20 per hour recording rate just couldn’t cover the growing cost of running a record company.
By 1972, Trend Records had morphed into Music Media, a booking agency and recording studio, on the King George Highway, in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. Records by Sebastian, Lee Hurst and Norm Roth were recorded here, as
well as some unreleased tracks. However, “Ready To Move” by Joy was recorded at Studio 3, “Ramblin’ Guitar Man” by Bryan Pickering, was recorded at Omnimedia and “Just Right For The Summertime” by The Noddies, was recorded
at Can Base Studios. The Mountain City and Concept labels, manufactured and distributed by Rada Records, were launched here, to help promote Music Media’s artists. The Concept label was later re-designed, for a
manufacturing and distribution deal with Imperial Records. During this period, the focus was primarily on supplying bands to a string of nightclubs throughout the B.C. interior and leasing masters to larger, better
funded, record labels. Record promotion was handled by the various labels or distributors, including London Records and A&M.
Listed below is a schedule of releases on Trend and associated labels, including masters leased to A&M, Quality and others. This does not necessarily reflect the order in which the recording sessions were done. Many of the
record labels have been re-created from original layouts. Some are scans of actual records, supplied by artists, collectors, or the Canadian Record Museum.
In some cases, minor errors or deletions have been corrected. Most sample tracks have been lifted from records.