SOCAN is mourning the loss of Myles Goodwyn, the singer, primary songwriter,  guitarist, and frontman of classic arena-rock band April Wine, who died on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, at the age of 75, after a brief, undisclosed illness. Goodwyn had struggled with diabetes, and in 2008, was hospitalized due to internal bleeding, after he collapsed on his way to a Québec airport while traveling to a show.

April Wine has sold more than 10 million recordings, worldwide, and it was Goodwyn’s distinctive voice and prolific songwriting that led the group from the start. The  band was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2009, the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame in 2010, and Canada’s Walk Of Fame in 2023. Goodwyn himself received the SOCAN National Achievement Award in 2002, the East Coast Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2023. His 2018 album Myles Goodwyn and Friends Of The Blues won the East Coast Music Award (ECMA) in that category in 2019, and his follow-up, volume two, earned the same honour in 2020. Over the years, April Wine also garnered two Félix Awards in Québec, earned six SOCAN Classic Awards (for more than 100,000 airplays), and received 11 JUNO Award nominations.

Goodwyn founded April Wine in 1969 with longtime friend Jim Henman, and Henman’s cousins David and Ritchie Henman, in Nova Scotia.  Less than a year later, the group moved to Montréal to sign a record deal with Aquarius Records, and embarked on a “Fast Train” to success. Their first album, released in 1971,  included their first hit single, “Fast Train,” written by Goodwyn; followed by Goodwyn-penned classics like “Roller,” “I Wouldn’t Want to Lose Your Love,” and “I Like to Rock.” April Wine’s The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy went No. 1 in  Canada, and became the first Canadian album to sell more than 100,000 copies. In 1977, the band supported The Rolling Stones at their famous secret club performance at El Mocambo in Toronto, and they also opened for other legendary artists, including Stevie Wonder and Ike & Tina Turner. In 1981, “Just You and Me” charted in the Top 25 on the Billboard Top 200, and became the first song by a Canadian act to air on MTV.

Goodwyn’s songs ranged in style from edgy rock to romantic ballads, from country to blues – and his  subject matter was just as wide-ranging, encompassing piano classics such as “Comin’ Right Down on Top of Me,” “Like a Lover, Like a Song,” and “I Wouldn’t Want to Lose Your Love,” as well as the environmental song, “Lady Run, Lady Hide.” He also wasn’t afraid to tackle political topics in “Some of These Children” (bringing awareness to unmarked residential school graves), and 2022’s “For Ukraine,” which was written in support of the citizens of the war-torn country, garnering him a Social Impact Film and Art (SIFA) Award for Best Social Impact Music/Art 2022. As a hardworking master of his craft, Goodwyn has said, “I worked diligently and tenaciously on becoming a good, consistent songwriter. To me, it’s the most important part of what I do. Always has been.”

April Wine disbanded in 1984. In total, as of 2023, they released 16 studio albums, 15 compilation albums, and nine live albums. They re-grouped in 1993 and resumed touring, once again selling out shows continent-wide.  Goodwyn stopped performing live with April Wine earlier in 2023, though he continued writing and producing for it, and continued playing onstage with an acoustic trio of himself, Jim Henman, and Bruce Dixon. Goodwyn also published two books: a memoir, Just Between You and Me, and the novel Elvis and Tiger.

Myles Goodwyn is survived by his wife, Kim Goodwyn, and their two children, as well as another child from a previous marriage. SOCAN extends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, bandmates, music industry colleagues, and fans of Goodwyn and April Wine throughout the world.