Farewell to One of Canada’s Folk Music Legends

Ian Tyson of the Iconic Folk Duo ‘ Ian and Sylvia ‘

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted December 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ian Tyson with then wife and fellow singer/songwriter Sylvia. Together, as Ian and Sylvia they put a big stamp onthe revival of folk music in the 1960s.

In his later years and for most of his adult life, Ian Tyson became known – and thrived – as a singer and writer of cowboy and country songs, which has almost always been a bridge too far for this music lover whose taste in music is pretty wide range.

But way back in the 1960s, he and his then-wife Sylvia were among a handful of Canadian artists, including Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell, who fueled what was then celebrated as a “modern folk music revival” bursting out of places like Yorkville in Toronto, Greenwich Village in New York City and the Newport Folk Festval in Neport, Rhode Island.

Ian and Sylvia came to prominence with songs like Four Strong Winds, You Were On My Mind (also turned in to a huge hit by an Austrailian group called We Five), Someday Soon and a great cover version of Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain.

This December 29th, 2022, Ian Tyson died, and if you think this is just a Canadian story, his life and death was observed with obituaries in some of the biggest news outlets in the United States, including The Washington Post and New York Times.

I leave you with one of myfavourite Ian and Sylvia songs, written by Ian Tyson, first made popular by Ian and Sylvia,  and performed here by Judy (Suite Judy Blue Eyes) Collins, who also made it a big hit in or around 1969.

To watch and listen to the song, click on the screen below

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