'In the blue Canadian rockies
spring is silent through the trees
and the golden poppies are blooming
round the banks of lake Louise.'
In the mid 80’s against a backdrop of staggering beauty that was the skyline near Whistler mountain,
An ol cowboy sang to Bow and I, songs that he wrote ; sweetly reminiscent of ‘The Blue Canadian Rockies ‘’
and “Four strong winds”; songs that he had shared amongst the hearty ranch hands of northern Alberta
in the 50’s and 60’s in the bunkhouses and around the campfires of those mystic prairie lands.
I could see how thoughts like “This is my Sky” could have welled up in the heart of a young Ian Tyson as Johnny’s voice and simple guitar strokes trailed off softly into the night.
His was a timeless contribution to what would become a trilogy for the Canadian West;
It’s iconic free spirited minstrel Canadian cowboys.
And so it was that in his last years, Johnny had wondered back into the Squamish country,
and befriended a duo of impressionable songsters playing at a café in Whistler.
Johnny was to fall on the ice and break his hip that winter.
He had no money, and I helped him pay his hospital bill.
He was determined in the months that followed, to try and pay me back somehow.
He relentlessly wrote letters to the Tommy Hunter show until at last I was signed up to sing my song Calahoo;
a song I had sneaked in through a back door and dropped onto the desk of Larry Donahue at CFCW radio in Camrose.
Thus was started a career for me. Twenty six years later, Johnny has drifted into my dreams giving me this little song.
Let us lift up our hearts and salute the sons of our rich musical heritage.
Let us not forget the springtime, or Johnny Fulton.
Credits for Springtime Johnny are as follows:
Musical direction and production assistance by producer/engineer/musician George Bradfute at Tone Chapparal Studio in Madison TN. Also by producer/engineer/musician Miles Jackson at Ma-Me-O Music Studio, Mameo Beach, Alberta.
Spanish guitar and Mandolin Gaye Delorme