Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson will be individually inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), during the 2019 edition of Country Music Week. They’ll be inducted at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, in Calgary on Sept. 5, 2019. The celebration coincides with the double-album compilation release of Ian & Sylvia The Lost Tapes, the next day, 60 years after the two singer-songwriters first met. In July of 1959, they began a musical journey, both as a dynamic duo and with distinguished solo careers, that would help put Canadian country music on the map globally.
“Ian & Sylvia were pioneers of the singer-songwriter movement – a genre firmly established today because of their leadership,” said Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. “As a performing duo they were superb, and it was apparent through their second album that they wanted to announce their strong individual songwriting skills as well, which continued to drive their authenticity throughout their music careers, spanning more than six decades.”
During the ‘60s and ‘70s, as the folk-singing duo Ian & Sylvia, they were among North America’s leading singer-songwriters, achieving commercial and critical success over 13 studio albums. The duo performed their hit songs at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and Town Hall in New York City, and enjoyed appearances on television’s Hullabaloo, The Johnny Cash Show, Steve Allen Show, Mike Douglas Show, and the BBC.
Their folk standards “Four Strong Winds” – which CBC called the “most essential” piece of Canadian music – and “You Were on My Mind” were inducted into the CSHF in 2003 and 2007, respectively. Ian penned “Four Strong Winds,” and Sylvia wrote “You Were on My Mind,” making her one of the few female folk artists to write a major song in that genre at the time. It was re-recorded in 1965 by American folk-rock quintet We Five, becoming a worldwide No. 1 hit single. Both songs cemented their individual status as songwriters.
Ian & Sylvia The Lost Tapes is culled from newly-discovered concert tapes from the early ‘70s, and includes never-before-heard versions of country and pop classics, cementing their reputations as engaging performers of folk, blues, country, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll. Much of their best-known repertoire is superbly represented here.
Says Canadian music industry journalist Larry LeBlanc, “Along with the Byrds, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, Ian & Sylvia laid the foundation of Canadian country music and Americana music that evolved as a recognized source of popular culture.”
Ian, who loves the cowboy way of life, living on his ranch in Longview, Alberta, today performs his own Western-influenced repertoire; Sylvia continues to have a fascinating, still-thriving solo career, while also performing, writing, and recording with Quartette, alongside Caitlin Hanford, Cindy Church, and Gwen Swick.