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Dundurn Press Fall 2021

Massey Hall
By (author): David McPherson Foreword by: Jann Arden
David McPherson ,

Foreword by :

Jann Arden


Dundurn Press - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Flaps


General Trade
Nov 02, 2021
$39.99 CAD


8.5in x 8.5 x 1 in | 700 gr

Page Count:

272 pages


40 B&W illustrations, 32 Colour illustrations, notes, Bibliography, Index
Dundurn Press
MUSIC / History & Criticism
History of music|Architecture: public, commercial and industrial buildings
  • Short Description
Covering the history of the iconic venue, from emerging artists and musical giants, this full-colour book is a celebration of music, community, and our shared cultural heritage.
The fascinating story of Canada’s most revered concert hall and the myriad artists who have graced its stage.

Known for its intimacy and sense of occasion, a night at Toronto’s Massey Hall is magical for both audiences and performers. For many musicians, playing the hall is the surest sign that they have made it. Looking out over the crowd, performers often comment that they feel they have joined history as they stand on the stage where Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, and so many other legends have stood.

Based on scores of interviews and meticulous research, Massey Hall chronicles not only the historical and musical moments of the past 127 years, but also the community of artists and supporters that has built up around the hall. Covering both emerging artists such as Shakura S’Aida and William Prince and musical giants from Herbie Hancock to the Tragically Hip, this full-colour book is a celebration of music, community, and our shared cultural heritage.

  • Massey Hall is internationally famous as Canada’s most important venue for concerts and lectures
  • The venue has been operating for 127 years; its first concert in June 1894 featured Handel’s Messiah performed by a 500-member chorus with the 70-member Grand Festival Orchestra
  • Highlights the milestone events held at Massey Hall: from political speeches by Winston Churchill and Sir Wilfrid Laurier to boxing matches to concerts by Bob Dylan, The Police, Oscar Peterson, Pavarotti, and so many more
  • A restoration project of the venue is set to be completed in fall 2021
  • Author wrote the acclaimed The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: “A rigorously researched account of one of Canada’s most storied music clubs” Globe and Mail

David McPherson is the author of the acclaimed Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History and has written for Grammy.com, the Globe and Mail, SOCAN’s Words and Music, No Depression, American Songwriter, and Acoustic Guitar. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

  • Publicity campaign to targeted media and influencers
  • Launch event, Toronto
  • Consumer, trade, and/or wholesaler advertising campaign
  • Social media campaign and online advertising
  • Email campaigns to consumers, booksellers, and librarians
  • TV and radio appearances
  • Book hashtag: #MasseyHallBook
  • Book Twitter: @masseyhallbook
  • Book Instagram: @masseyhallbook
  • Author Twitter: @mcphersoncomm
  • Author Instagram: @mcphersoncomm

For more information contact
Heather Wood, [email protected]

Massey Hall is one of the great iconic concert venues in the world for both classical and pop music. Now it has an iconic book to go with it. If one day we would have to explain to extraterrestrials the magic of the human invention of music, this book would suffice to make their ears (assuming those extraterrestrials have something like ears) burn and yearn. - Rufus Wainwright, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and composer

David McPherson's appropriate reverence for Toronto's most enduring palace of musical art is abundant on every page of this lovingly crafted and impeccably researched book. David has created a living and tactile testament to a building that isn't just a hall of music, it's a hall of magic. - Paul Myers, musician and critically acclaimed author of It Ain't Easy: Long John Baldry

David McPherson chronicles the history of one loving and beloved home to music — and so much more — that has become legendary in Canada and admired all around the world. The legacy of Massey Hall is long and illustrious and features so many of the greatest artists of our times, Canadian and otherwise. By tracing this great hall's story through many decades of highs and lows, triumphs and challenges, McPherson reminds us all how important a living cultural centre can be to one city like Toronto and to the whole world that art and artists connect. - David Wild, writer, TV producer, and bestselling author

This is a book that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Massey Hall and even more. Terrifically researched and written, with loads of great pictures, it’s all you need to spend some special time at a fabulous theatre, and you don’t even need a ticket. - Bernie Finkelstein, founder of True North Records

David McPherson brilliantly weaves together several strands of western culture in the history of Toronto’s revered venue, the Massey Music Hall. He juxtaposes the logistical, economic, architectural, and political challenges in creating and maintaining the theatre and guides the reader through more than a century of classical, folk, blues, jazz, rock and roll, comedy, and philosophy through the prism of Massey’s stage. - Danny Goldberg, author of Serving The Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain

A lavish love letter to Canada’s queen of concert halls, packed with vivid tales from and about her most famous performers and intimate photos of those artists, taken onstage and off. Long may Massey reign. - Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot

In his reverential look at Massey Hall, David McPherson captures not just its long and storied history but the true spirit of a remarkable cultural icon and why it means so much to so many. Rock stars and rogues, politicians and wrestlers, even the Canadian Typewriting Championship, Massey Hall has seen it all and McPherson presents it all, brilliantly. - Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

The tribute and testament this great venue, Canada's venue, deserves. - Bob Egan, former member of Blue Rodeo and Wilco

McPherson not only tells the rocking, rollicking history of this iconic temple of music in all its glory; he somehow captures the elusive soul of Massey Hall that makes it so unique. A must for any music fan. - David Sax, author of The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter

David McPherson captures the magic and the spirit of Massey Hall in his beautiful book. It makes you want to be there and makes you remember why you wanted to play there more than anywhere else. - Colin Linden, Grammy-winning producer/songwriter and musician

There are very few North American music venues that deserve a biography as lovingly crafted as this one, but Massey Hall, a.k.a. the Old Lady of Shuter Street, has been a not-so-silent witness to transformative moments in 20th-century history. It’s an essential character in the narrative of Toronto, of Canada, and of popular music itself. If the walls of Massey Hall could speak, this would be the story they’d tell. - Michael Barclay, author of The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip

David takes us past the holy red doors and inside the beating heart of Canada's most important and loved cultural venue. A room where dreams have been ignited and kicked from the stage's wooden boards to the dusty corduroy seats, unknowingly giving us a better understanding of who we are to one another and who we can become. Rave on Massey Hall! - Tom Wilson, musician/songwriter and author of Beautiful Scars

No matter how many times I play Massey, I feel like there’s a new magic that spills over from the walls and that beautiful wooden stage. It’s like I’ll never really get to know it, but it always feels familiar and exciting. Either from the audience or the stage, every time I’m inside, it's an honour and a gift that takes me in its grounded, nourishing mystery. David’s book covers all the familiar and magical ground I feel when I walk through those doors backstage or front of house. It feels like I’m inside those walls again when I open this book. That’s the kind of magic worth sharing. - Serena Ryder, Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter

This book is a masterful tribute to the triumph of our beloved Massey Hall. To read of her astonishing survival through the countless pressures that threatened her with the wrecking ball time and again is incredible. Enriched by the memories of the musical icons strewn throughout, this book is a delightful account of the extraordinary vitality that magically still haunts and enriches this treasured hall. - Denise Donlon, C.M., author, broadcast/music executive

It is hard not to be moved by the story of the long and fruitful life of this hallowed building. Born out of philanthropic zeal, Massey Hall is a cultural institution that has given so much to so many in our great city. Sharing the many highs as well as the countless times the Hall was in the wrecking ball’s crosshairs, David’s book brings into pinpoint focus the story of this beloved Toronto landmark. - Jim Cuddy, Juno-award winning artist (Blue Rodeo, Jim Cuddy Band)

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The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern David McPherson 9781459734944 $21.99 CAD Sep 23, 2017

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