336 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.09 in
September 6, 2011
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 077103038X
ISBN - 13: 9780771030383
Read from the Book
New York’s fabled Town Hall, at 123 West 43rd Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, is, like Carnegie Hall (the city’s other renowned performance venue), more than just a concert location or another stop on a tour itinerary. A Town Hall engagement is a milestone in any artist’s career, a pinnacle, a measure of success, and a sign that you have, indeed, arrived. Spearheaded by the League for Political Education, a suffragette movement determined to create a utilitarian meeting hall, and opened in 1921, the venerable 1,500-seat venue is known for its superb acoustics. Folk artists were especially fond of performing at Town Hall because of its unique sound qualities that lent themselves to acoustic folk music. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Joan Baez had all graced the Town Hall stage. Now it was Ian & Sylvia’s turn. On the evening of February 27, 1965, the Canadian folk duo, the darlings of the North American folk music circuit and heroes back home, performed to a sold-out Town Hall audience. It was a significant moment in their upward career trajectory from arriving in New York as unknowns from Toronto just three years earlier. “This was our first solo concert at a major New York City venue,” recalls Sylvia, noting that while the Canadian duo may have played Town Hall previously on a multi-artist folk bill,* this was their unofficial coming-out event for New York audiences. “It was a big moment for us.” Having gone just about as far as one c
From the Publisher
An acclaimed music historian brings us the long-awaited story of Ian & Sylvia - marking the first time that the legendary folk duo has endorsed a biography of their groundbreaking career.
Their classic "Four Strong Winds" is widely considered to be one of the great songs of all time. Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell count among their admirers. Their music, including hits like "You Were On My Mind" and "Someday Soon," has been recorded by everyone from Dylan, Joan Baez, and Johnny Cash to Sarah McLachlan and The Tragically Hip. Their influence on music - both in Canada and the United States - has endured over generations and surpassed genres. Yet until now, we have known little of the story behind the folk sensations Ian & Sylvia. In Four Strong Winds, John Einarson takes us back to Ian & Sylvia's early days in Toronto coffeehouses, to their experiences at the heart of the vibrant 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, and beyond, as their personal and musical partnership continued to change and evolve. Based on Ian and Sylvia Tyson's own personal reflections as well as on the recollections of contemporaries, associates, and admirers, Four Strong Winds is the definitive account of this iconic musical duo and a window on a fascinating period in music history.
About the Author
JOHN EINARSON is a widely-respected rock music historian and author of more than a dozen books including critically-acclaimed biographies of Neil Young, Randy Bachman, Buffalo Springfield and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Several of his books have been ranked among the top ten best music biographies and received award nominations. In addition he has written for Mojo, Uncut, Goldmine, Discoveries, Record Collector, and Classic Rock and is a frequent contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press. John wrote the Juno-nominated Bravo TV documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life as well as CBC TV's The Life & Times of Randy Bachman and hosting several CBC radio series. John lives in Winnipeg where he teaches a popular course on rock 'n' roll history at the University of Winnipeg.
“To my principal mentors Ian & Sylvia – I offer my profound respect and admiration.”
“What a time, what a tale! Ian and Sylvia hit the stratosphere in the Sixties with Canadian-tinged folk songs that made them the darlings of the college dorms. Through hits and misses, marriage and divorce, and all the fun in-between, they didn’t miss a thing. A beautifully detailed book that is respectful to the legend and heart-warming in its honesty. A great story well told.”
—Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo and Jim Cuddy Band
“John Einarson is one of this country’s premiere cultural writers. He gets right inside the true and remarkable story of Ian & Sylvia’s rise to the elite ranks of folk, country-rock, and cowboy music, extracting the best quotes from the duo with all their humor, insight, sarcasm, and cheekiness intact. You’ll know why these two belong among Canada’s finest music-makers.”
—Bob Mersereau, broadcaster and author, 100 Top Canadian Albums
“Emerging from Bohemian Toronto and New York’s Greenwich Village in the mid-’60s, Ian & Sylvia became major folk stars in the U.S. With historical perspective and his usual love of subject, John Einarson spins an entertaining tale of two enigmatic Canadians who individually continue to create and perform today and whose story is finely woven into the multi-hued tapestry that is contemporary music.”
—Martin Melhuish, author of Oh What a Feeling and Heart of Gold