Under the direction of its founder, publisher, and editor Walt Grealis, RPM offered determined and vocal support for Canadian talent. To focus attention on Canadian artists RPM in 1964 inaugurated the RPM Gold Leaf Awards (see Juno Awards) and in 1975 established the Big Country Awards along with the latter's governing body, the Canadian Academy for Country Music Advancement (see Canadian Country Music Association). RPM lobbied successfully for the CRTC Canadian Content Broadcast Regulations, introduced in 1971, and thereupon inaugurated the RPM MAPL Logo, a widely used symbol (in fact a quartered circle) designed by the magazine's Stan Klees to identify the Canadian content of a given recorded performance according to the categories of music (ie, composer), artist, production (ie, location), and lyrics (ie, lyricist).
Grealis (b Toronto 18 Feb 1929, d there 20 Jan 2004), a former policeman, entered the recording industry in 1960 with Apex and was Ontario promotion manager 1961-3 for London Records before establishing RPM. He received a 'people's award' at the 1976 Juno awards ceremony and had a Juno (for industry figures) named in his honour in 1984. In 1993 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and named to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. Klees (b Toronto 29 Apr 1932), a broadcaster 1949-60, was an executive of Astral Records 1960-3 and of his own Tamarac Records 1963-70, before joining Grealis as a designer at RPM and later becoming 'special projects consultant.'
The magazine ceased publication on 13 Nov 2000 and the site of the original offices at 6 Brentcliffe Road in Toronto was turned into the RPM cafe on 4 Nov 2003. The restaurant featured memorabilia from the RPM years celebrating its role in the Canadian music scene.
Batten, Jack. 'One man's crusade to Canadianize rock 'n roll,' Maclean's 8 Aug 1964
Klees, Stan. 'The story of RPM Magazine,' RPM, 4 Mar 1978
Gallo, Nancy. 'RPM - 15 years of communication,' RPM, 24 Feb 1979
'The Big Country Awards celebrates 25 Years,' RPM, vol 69, 31 May 1999
Fischer, Doug. 'The little music magazine that could,' The Ottawa Citizen, 14 Jun 2003
Linden, J.J. 'RPM's Walt Grealis looks back and ahead,' ibid
'In the beginning,' Axes, Chops & Hot Licks
Links to Other Sites
With this online collection of digitized charts from RPM, visitors can check out the rankings of their favourite tunes of yesteryear. From Library and Archives Canada.
Library and Archives Canada Launches RPM Web Site
A brief history of the RPM website from the journal CAML.