Walter Grealis

Walter Grealis, longtime
supporter of the Canadian music industry, founder of the trade publication RPM
and one of the inspirations behind the Juno Awards, died Tuesday, January 21, in
Toronto. He was 74.

A Torontonian from birth,
Grealis had a career as a policeman before he entered the recording industry in
1960. He soon became the Ontario promotion manager for London Records and went
on to establish RPM magazine, a weekly music trade publication promoting
Canadian singers and musicians.In 1970, RPM
initiated the Gold Leaf Awards to honor exceptional Canadian artists and
contributors. The award was renamed the Juno the following year. RPM also
established the Big Country Awards along with the Canadian Academy for Country
Music Advancement in 1975. Grealis received a People’s Award at the 1976 Junos
and had a Juno for industry figures named after him. In 1993 he was made an
Officer of the Order of Canada and he was inducted into the Canadian Country
Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

[Courtesy of the

Folk Alliance