Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ian and Sylvia Tyson

Image from critics at large

An early and great hit of this duo was the release in 1964 of Ian Tyson's composition, Four Strong Winds.

This song hit a nerve and was later this sung by many others including John Denver, Bobby Bare, The Brothers Four, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, Sarah McLachlan, Neil Young Blue Rodeo and The Seekers.

This duo, once a married couple, made hits with The Mighty Quinn and Farewell to the North, a song I played over and over in my second winter in Vancouver, spent mostly alone in my "garrett" on West 43rd near Dunbar. It gave me a pleasing frisson of homesickness for the North I'd left to come and study in the city. Other hit were The Renegade, London Life and This Wheel's on Fire.

After their divorce, Sylvia joined three other women singers to form a group called Quartette. Spring of 45 is a joyful little tune about a soldier who returns safely from the war. Also, in 2011, Sylvia published a novel called Joyner's Dream.

Meanwhile, Ian Tyson carries on with his separate musical career. Last year he appeared in Toronto and Wyoming. This year he is scheduled to sing in several locations around Alberta, Washington and Oregon.

Back in the day, he sang the old hit Summer Wages with Sylvia and Emmy Lou Harris. Very dated now, it still has a good sound.

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