The officially unofficial site for details and discussion about the history and legacy of Mike Porco's Center of Folk Music, Gerde's Folk City (&other pertinent stuff)
Friday, February 25, 2011
Ian and Sylvia Tyson
February 25, 1963
Ian and Sylvia begin a week's engagement at New York's Center of Folk Music, Gerde's Folk City.
Ian & Sylvia started performing together in Toronto in 1959. By 1962, they were living in New York City where they caught the attention of manager Albert Grossman, who managed Peter, Paul and Mary and would soon become Bob Dylan's manager. Grossman secured them a contract with Vanguard Records and they released their first album late in the year.
Ian & Sylvia's first and self-titled album on Vanguard Records consisted mainly of traditional songs.There were British and Canadian folk songs, spiritual music, and a few blues songs thrown into the mix. The album was moderately successful and they made the list of performers for the 1963 Newport Folk Festival.
Four Strong Winds, their second album, was similar to the first, with the exception of the inclusion of the early Dylan composition, "Tomorrow is a Long Time", and the title song "Four Strong Winds", which was written by Ian. "Four Strong Winds" was a major hit in Canada and ensured their stardom.
Ian and Sylvia married in June 1964. They also released their third album, Northern Journey, that year. The album included a blues song written by Sylvia, "You Were On My Mind", which was subsequently recorded by both the California group We Five (a 1965 #1 on the Cashbox chart, #3 on the Billboard Hot 100) and British folk-rock singer Crispian St. Peters (#36 in 1967). A recording of "Four Strong Winds" by Bobby Bare made it to #3 on the country charts around that time.
On the Northern Journey album was the song "Someday Soon", a composition by Ian that would rival "Four Strong Winds" in its popularity. Both songs would eventually be covered by dozens of artists.
In June of 2010, Sylvia Tyson would return to New York to perform "You were on my mind" as one of the supreme highlights of the 50th Anniversary party.
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