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He is considered the master of his craft, he is the most melodious cowboy with infectious charm and plethora of talent and he is non-arguably one of the finest musical artists of these times. He is Ian Tyson, the ultimate musical genius and a legendary artist who needs no introduction.
He is one of Canadas most respected singer-songwriters and has been ruling the music world from the past forty years. Ian Tyson is the story of a man who has gone through many ups and down in life, but eventually he finds peace and pleasure in the form of music. Let us introduce you to this great man and take you through the life and times of Ian Tyson.
Ian Tyson should be credited as one of the first Canadian singers to break into the American popular music market. What is even more amazing is that he has seen two distinctly brilliant careers in music. He has been around forty years now but he remained active in three decades as he took many years off from his musical work during the seventies.
Ian Dawson Tyson, or Ian Tyson as we know him, was born in Victoria, British Columbia on September 25, 1933. He ventured into the music world at the age of twenty-four and started off as a folk singer in the late fifties. After working in logging and rodeos in British Columbia, Tyson has made his mark as musical artist too.
In the initial days of his career, he gathered praise for his wonderful singing talent. However, what really made him the star that time was his collaboration with singer/songwriter Sylvia Fricker as the two rocked millions across the globe with their famous Ian and Sylvia act.
Ian & Sylvia and their band Great Speckled Bird are considered an important players of folk music popularization in Canada. The two talented musicians began performing together in 1961 and married three years later to become the most talked about celebrity couple of that time. During his Ian and Sylvia years, Tyson recorded over a dozen timeless albums and thus played his part in the revival of folk music.
From their self-titled debut album in 1962 to hosting of hit national Canadian television show from 1970 to 1975, the two really rocked the music industry with their charm and mass appeal. However, this involvement did not last for long as the duo disbanded in the mid seventies following the end of their marriage.
Let down by a heart-break, Ian returned to the foothills of Southern Alberta, Canada and became a rancher. Many people regarded this as the end of great musical era and Tyson remained inactive for many years. But during these years, he realized that his real strength and pleasure lies in the music he makes and he decided to comeback to make more great music.
Ian Tysons second innings started when he returned to music with a reprisal in the mid eighties. This time the world witnessed an all-new persona of Tyson as he brought the feel of his personal cowboy experiences into his music. He came back with a 1983 release Old Corrals and Sagebrush which was followed by a series of albums that focused on detailed songs about the concerns of the working cowboy. He toured with Ricky Skaggs and released an eponymous album in 1984 that further increased his fan base.
The decade of nineties proved a great success for Tyson as his third album Cowboyography and a Canadian album And Stood There Amazed became blockbuster hits. Ian ranked high on charts which hits like Springtime in Alberta and Black Nights while his subsequent releases earned him huge fan-following and decent critical acclaim. Some of his most distinguished work includes 1994's Eighteen Inches of Rain, 1996's All the Good 'Uns and 1999's Lost Herd. Tyson also released a live act collection Live at Longview in 2002 followed by Songs from the Gravel Road in 2005, his most recent album till date.
Besides being an extremely gifted singer and a marvelous songwriter, Ian Tyson has also created a niche for himself as a sellable live act. He makes regular tours in Canada, United States and other places and heals his fans with a dose of his music. Tyson is the master of musical innovation.
From his legendary folk act as Ian and Sylvia in the 60's, to his seminal Cowboyography collection that reached platinum status in the mid 90's and his upcoming Jazz related work, he always experiments with new sounds. Even in the current age of rock music, he works wonders with his whispering voice and emotional lyrics.
Ian Tyson has been honored many times for his great contributions to the world of music. A recipient of the Order of Canada, he was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989. Stony Plain Records released a CD titled The Gift - A Tribute to Ian Tyson in which fifteen of Tyson's most respected international peers gave him a musical tribute.
In 2006, CBC Radio declared his masterpiece composition Four Strong Winds the number 1 Canadian song of the 20th Century while his album Lost Herd won the Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Country Recording in 1999.
From declaring the Male Vocalist of the Year in 1987 and 1988 by the Canadian Country Music Association to becoming the first Canadian male vocalist to achieve two gold albums in 1992, Ian Tyson is a sure-shot hit all the way. He also won the 2000 American Cowboy Culture Awards for promoting cowboy music and has been inducted in Mariposa Folk Festival Hall of Fame, BCCMA Hall of Fame and Prairie Music Hall of Fame for his great work.
Today, Ian Tyson is considered a legend and ambassador of Canadian music. If his cool and danceable cowboy image has earned him wide fan base and sees overwhelming response every time, he equally charms the listeners with a certain emotional vulnerability that is reflected through his voice and lyrics.
Tyson is actively touring different countries, writing music, recording new tunes and accepting new honors and awards. He is all over the place, so it is not very difficult to catch him. Make sure to attend his latest concert as he is simply the best when he performs live. So go for Ian Tyson and enjoy your brightest musical dream with this great singer.