Ontario Pioneers

September 14, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Sylvia Tyson

// by Larry Delaney // (born: September 19, 1940 – Chatham, Ontario) (#53 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Sylvia Fricker was born September 19, 1940, in Chatham, Ontario. While still a teenager, she moved to Toronto to pursue her interests in singing and soon crossed paths with Ian Tyson. Shortly after they met in 1959, they began collaborating vocally and as songwriters, composing songs together and individually. Within the year, they launched the duo Ian & Sylvia, attracting attention to their folk/country music throughout North America, highlighted by what would become a Canadian classic: Four Strong Winds. Sylvia and Ian were married June 26, 1964. They recorded a dozen albums and by the late 1960s, were fronting the country/rock band Great Speckled Bird. During this […]
September 14, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Sylvia Tyson

// by Larry Delaney // (born: September 19, 1940 – Chatham, Ontario) (#53 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Sylvia Fricker was born September 19, 1940, in Chatham, Ontario. While still a teenager, she moved to Toronto to pursue her interests in singing and soon crossed paths with Ian Tyson. Shortly after they met in 1959, they began collaborating vocally and as songwriters, composing songs together and individually. Within the year, they launched the duo Ian & Sylvia, attracting attention to their folk/country music throughout North America, highlighted by what would become a Canadian classic: Four Strong Winds. Sylvia and Ian were married June 26, 1964. They recorded a dozen albums and by the late 1960s, were fronting the country/rock band Great Speckled Bird. During this […]
August 5, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: JK Gulley

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: John Ken Gulley – October 11, 1955 – Toronto, Ontario) (#52 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   A guitar whiz since early childhood, JK Gulley first performed professionally in support of Canadian artist Alfie Fromager, then became a founding member of the country group Dusty Road (with Les Childs and Brian Callan). The trio released a self-titled LP (Thunderbird Records) which featured five songs written by Gulley. JK Gulley next joined the Ontario-based group Whiskey River, and by the late 1970s, was playing lead guitar in Billie Jo Spear’s Nashville touring band, with his first show date with the band taking place at the 1979 Wembley Festival in England. Following a near three-year stint with Spears, JK moved on […]
July 6, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: The Good Brothers

// by Larry Delaney // (Brian Good – Born January 27, 1946 – Toronto, Ontario Bruce Good – Born January 27, 1946 – Toronto, Ontario Larry Good – Born January 25, 1952 – Newmarket, Ontario) (#51 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Twin brothers Bruce and Brian Good began their music career during the late 1960s folk music scene in Yorkville (Toronto) with the folk music group The Kinfolk, which also featured Bruce’s wife Margaret. Brian and Bruce later teamed up with James Ackroyd to form the trio, James & The Good Brothers. The act was part of the fabled “Festival Express” train tour across Canada, which also featured Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Ian & Sylvia, etc. The Good Brothers once listed their […]