Born in 1940, Sylvia Tyson (Fricker) is an important part of Canadian music history. Best known as part of the folk due Ian and Sylvia, she continues to perform with the folk group Quartette and has since 1993.
During the Canadian Content days of radio, she and her ex-husband Ian Tyson, were staples on Canadian radio. They likely would have been even without the content rules. The were a very good folk duo from 1959 to 1974, when they split up.
In addition to the duo, they also fronted another Canadian institution, the band Great Speckled Bird. Sylvia is a true Canadian icon. She was inducted into the Order Of Canada in 1994, has 7 Juno nominations (Canada’s Grammys) as a solo artist and was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003. Additionally, she was included in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as part of the Ian and Sylvia duo in 1992.
I have included 2 videos, Four Strong Winds, (you may think of this as a Neil Young song, it’s not) recorded during a reunion concert in 1986. This has been noted as one of the most influential Canadian songs of all time. The second is a solo by Sylvia, “You Were On My Mind”.
Number 1 on the CKUA album chart is Andy Shauf and the album is “Wilds”. This is his latest release and is a follow up to his successful record of 2020, “The Neon Skyline”.
The song I have chosen is titled “Jaywalker” and is available at all the regular streaming sites.
An interesting song, pay attention to the lyrics, no animals were injured. Andy is from Saskatchewan, which makes me happy as an ex-Saskatchewanian, also because he is Canadian and at number 1.
Please support community radio, CKUA is donation driven and is one of the best radio stations on the planet. They are well known for their support of Canadian music and trend towards the independent artists. Their fall fundraiser is on now until November 7. If you are so inclined, pledge some support their way. Their website is below
We have now got to 97 on the list, “Crying Over You” by Platinum Blonde. The band formed in the early 80’s and had a string of hits on Canadian airwaves. They had minimal success in the USA, so my readers from anywhere but Canada will find them to be a new band. The song featured here was their one and only number 1 in Canada. It was taken from their 1985 album “Alien Shores”. The album spawned (see what I did there) 4 singles and is likely the pinnacle of their success. It included their only charted single in the USA, “Somebody, Somewhere” which reached 82 on the Billboard Top 100 and 23 in Canada.
The band is still touring and had released an album of new material in 2012.
Without further adieu, the number 97 Canadian hit of all time, “Crying Over You”.
At 98 is a signature song from former Sweeney Todd singer, Nick Gilder. The track is Hot Child In The City.
Sweeney Todd had a big hit in 1976 with Roxy Roller. After that success, Nick left the band, going solo and signing a record deal in the USA. That deal spawned the featured song which hit number 1 in both Canada and the USA. Unfortunately, he never realized much further success, never again hitting the top 40. He did have success as a songwriter as well, penning hits for diverse artist as Pat Benatar and Bette Midler.
A busy week for birthdays, so let’s get started. We have so many that we will split things up into 2 posts. I will try and do a second post tomorrow, personal stuff takes precedence.
First up is Andre Gagnon, a pianist, composer and actor who turned 79 on August 1. Born the youngest of 19 children in Saint-Pacome, Quebec, he began composing music at the age of 6. He released his first album in 1974. Among his many accomplishments, he has received Juno Awards for Instrumental Artist Of The Year in 1974 and in 1995. He has released over 40 albums in his career, an incredible catalogue of work. Out of extensive library, I chose “Wow” to showcase and celebrate his birthday.
Second up is Tim Bachman, born August 1, 1951. Have a great day Tim. Tim is a vocalist and guitar player, best known as a member of Brave Belt and Bachman Turner Overdrive. He was a founding member of BTO, which featured, and how cool is this, his brothers Randy and Robbie and Fred Turner. The band went on to sell 30 million records worldwide. He left the band in 1974 and rejoined in 1984 for a reunion tour. To help celebrate, please enjoy my favourite BTO tune, “Blue Collar”.
Garth Hudson celebrated his birthday on August 2. He was born in 1937 and is best known as the keyboardist and sometimes sax player for the immortal group “The Band”. He and Robbie Robertson are the only surviving members of this influential and groundbreaking troupe. His awards are deserving. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Juno Hall Of Fame in Canada, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and is part of Canada’s Walk of Fame. Amazing musical pedigree. Again, a personal favourite, “The Weight”.