"Theres a little town I'm proud to call my home,
where i was raised on good ol Alberta beef n' corn"
I was raised up in a little farming community in Northwestern Alberta in the 50s and 60s.
Below is some of what i have written about that, but also if you are interested, my spiritual writings entail many of the endearments of those years. i have written about Calahoo, the Okanagan valley, Grant McEwen, and many of my musical wanderings in the pages of my inspirational book "As if Smiling"..on different featured sections of this site. You can explore there too any time. Anyway..
Sharon Anderson has captured a rather unique era in Canadian Country and Folk music, gathering experiences from a rousing frontier position at every turn. She was raised up in a clan of Paul Bunyon type people on the prairies of Northern Alberta, and later the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, perceiving those pristine Rocky Mountains in the distance as her very own alter of discovery. In the 1970’s, when other kids were working part time at Safeway, she was already exploring the vast northland with her guitar and a PA system, roving like a throwback gypsy minstrel from town to town singing in the lounges and taverns for oil crews , loggers and pipeliners.
She attended Grant McEwen music college in Edmonton when some of the industries key session player/producers were budding students there, and then became part of the musical family of dedicated rhythm and blues tunesters living on the north side of that city. They seemed so sweet to her, welcoming her off of her well trodden road of solitude with open arms. They truly loved the music and studied their mentors devotedly, relishing each other’s company, and helping each other hone their crafts. The music was fresh and inspired, and they felt like they were contributing something wonderful to the world.
And so it was, after cutting her first release “Calahoo” on the new Larry Wanagas “Bumstead” label alongside a teenage KD Lang, she was lured across the border and wondered down to Nashville.
You can hear this song on the home page and also on the music page. By the way..
The same year i cut my first record Calahoo, about my home town, i played Whistler mountain and met a neat guy who would play a role in getting me signed up to sing my new record at a very prominent Canadian TV show. Here is my account of that encounter:
'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.
( yah, that was a cool day that me, michael shellard, and doug beal were driving back home from a gig with the new single in the car, and we swung by Camrose to see if the major Alberta station CFCW would play it (naive me hey..). Well, it was Sunday and the station was closed. i checked by some garbage cans in the back, and sure enough the back door was opened. None other than Larry Donohue himself was doing some program recording. i was so excited, handing him the single and bubbling over. i guess it was a welcome pep for a slow ol sunday, and he smiled sweetly."you know..Sharon, not many new independants get played..i'll see what i could do".. Well, me and the boys had the radio cranked up in the car and sure enough about 20 minutes down the road Larry came on announcing a promising new artist SHARON ANDERSON and her song CALAHOO. Yee Hawww!!! we all 3 nearly hit the rood and almost hit the ditch--ha! good ol memories..)
By the way it was Larry Wanagas who signed me and developed me as an artist out of his new Homestead studio on the west end of Edmonton, Under his new Bumstead lable. I used to open the place up, sweep and answer the phone.. One day he announced he had found this teenager from out in the Country and they were gona call her k.d. Lang. So started my real training as i studied every note that crooned out of this rockabilly protogy. Her moves and timing were impecable. She was a star exploding..Larry didn't have too much time for me after that..she took off like a rocket. But boy what a ride to see from the front seat...!
my sister ollie (anderson) does all the amazing artwork.