Can you solve this musical mystery? [UPDATE! Mystery solved!]

A reader of this website came to me with a mystery: a song he’d recorded from the radio years and years ago has languished unidentified. All efforts to identify it over the decades have come to naught.

Here’s what we know:

  1. It was heard on Montreal Top 40 radio around 1975.
  2. It’s almost certainly Cancon.
  3. Those have been consulted seem thing recall that the name of the artist begins with some initials (like JJ, but necessarily that).
  4. Er, that’s it.

Can anyone figure this out?


Thanks for all your help. We may have found an answer. RossK, the reader who first came to me with this problem, writes:

Wow, I’m impressed.  You have some knowledgeable and resourceful followers.  You’ve gotten me further along in solving this mystery than anyone else in previous attempts.

I’m willing to roll the dice on Mike Lehman, who I’ve never heard of, but there are enough clues that make him the likely suspect.

I found the record scan (below), it’s the right year, it’s cancon.  I found a news article saying that the name was changed from “I’m on Fire” to “(something’s burning) I’m on Fire”.

I’ve ordered it.  Worst case it’s the wrong one, but definitely worth it.

I’ll let you know when I receive it and play it.

Thanks for your help.


Wait! There’s more: This is from Greg Hambleton, who now works at Axe Records.

Hi Alan,

I recorded “I’m On Fire” with Mike Lehman in 1975 at Toronto Sound (Terry Brown engineer). Licensed to Quality, it looked like it was going to go big with a lot of stations adding. Unfortunately, a week or two later Dwight Twilly Band, with full-page Billboard ads & a ton of US stations, released a different song with the same title. Game over.

Of course, Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” (1985), again a different song same title, has been covered many times.

Thanks for the memory – it always did sound good on radio!

All the best,



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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