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In the late 70s to early 80s there was a small Canadian record label that started from a converted bedroom in a north west Calgary townhouse. Heart Records flourished into an independent label with a distribution network envied by labels in Toronto. Beginning with Ron Mahonin's 'A Hit Song' in 1978, the label grew (almost unintentionally) to release some 38 singles and half a dozen albums - from Adult Contemporary and Pop to Country - over the course of its six year existence.

Always mindful of CANCON (in the years when the importance of the MAPL logo was almost 'patriotically' regarded) and after substantial Canadian airplay, some releases picked up some notable awards - for example You Came Into My Life won Pro Canada's Song of the Year Award for outstanding airplay, as did Hotel Eldorado penned by Bonnie James (Kruzik) and Ed Molyski. Some of the releases were distributed in other countries, and songs from the catalogue were subsequently re-recorded by other artists in other countries. Via sub-publishing and co-publishing arrangements, some of these recordings were released in countries such as Spain, France, Belgium, Portugal, South Africa and some even found a position on the Top 40 charts of Japan.

 
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Conceived, developed and managed by Ron and Val Mahonin (Val, who was endearingly called "Boss Lady") the label eventually started its own newsletter called 'The Heartbeat', which was distributed to every radio station / media outlet in Canada (a bit of nostalgia below). And what PD or Music Director could forget the red cinnamon heart-shaped candies that arrived every Valentines' Day, or with every new release? A larger staff evolved along with a small studio with head engineer Richard Engel, and a few avid 'believers': drummer Ron Beechey, bassist Hugh McMillan, keyboardist/arranger Ted Alexander, singer/artist Doug Watt are just a few of the many who all helped the enterprise grow.
 
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Faded Levi Jeans promo pocket
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As the label's popularity grew, and after floundering through various distributors until finally organizing their own distribution network, the label gained an acceptance in the Canadian industry - both in the radio community and the distribution community. Not only were songwriters and other publishers trying to align with this growing company, but surprisingly, a few other well-known independent Canadian labels sought distribution with Heart Records' network.

The little label that *couldn't*, actually *did* for a while. Prior to its demise, the label was named the Number 7 most popular label in an RPM Magazine poll, as voted for by the radio industry. Sadly, the financial backing needed to compete on the world stage was never secured, and the label closed its doors in 1983. Because the label wasn't swallowed up by the multis, and remained steadfastly independent until the end, no move was made until recently to digitize any of these releases for airplay, which were in fact part of the Canadian Music mosaic of that era. The publishing arms survived and have continued to function to present.



This tab of the module represents the Heart Records 'discography'. Since the 'A' side releases are available in broadcast quality MP3 format for download via the Library tab (through Soundcloud), we've put only the chorus (hook) of these records in an online playable form (far from the quality of the Downloads, for conservation of bandwidth), more or less as a 'reminder' of what songs they were. (Click on each record thumb to preview).

A Hit Song
HRT-7801
That Lady of Mine
HRT-7802
Lovin' Willie
HRT-7803
Waiting For Me
HRT-7804
I Want You Back
HRT-7805

Close To Your Love
HRT-7806
Red To Blue
HRT-7807
Queen Of Hearts
HRT-7901
Angel In The Night
HRT-7902
Faded Levi Jeans
HRT-7903

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