Posted by: Maggie Ross | May 1, 2011

Return of the Hall of Famer

Hello, fair readers. Having traveled many a mile recently I am indeed back in New Brunswick pleasantly burdened with my shiny Hall of Fame plaque and memories galore…and a few freshly-minted songs.

All in all, a successful and fulfilling visit.

It began with a week in Medicine Hat, Alberta, visiting my mother. I was able to be there for her 88th birthday, which was a nice added bonus. She’s doing well, still living in her own condo with her 13-year-old Shihtzu, Honey (who’s also pretty frisky). She couldn’t have been prouder of the Hall of Fame deal, kept telling everyone we encountered about it. You would have thought I was getting a Nobel Prize!

Then off to Vancouver. I was met by my friends Ron and Sue Irving on Friday night. I spent my time there in the Irvings’ guestroom of their South Surrey townhouse. It was a great time. Saturday, day of the Hall of Fame ceremony, was a perfectly glorious BC day, sunny and warm, mountains crisply viewable in the distance. The event was held at the lovely Red Robinson Theatre which seats 400 or so. It was a full house. There were 10 inductees in all (one of them posthumous), including radio programmer Ted Farr, comedian Kenny Shaw, country singer Jess Lee, journalist-publisher Cheryl Homan (many an article of mine appeared in her Country Wave magazine)…all of them friends of mine from back in the day. Everywhere I looked I saw faces from the past, including singer Lori Jordan who sang my earliest charted releases, and singer-actress Beverley Elliott (she played one of the saloon hookers in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven) who recorded my “Once Upon A Heartache” in the early 90s, and journalist-songwriter John McLaughlin, who has been writing music articles for the Vancouver Province for a dog’s age. Everyone looked just a little older but totally recognizable and we fell into conversation as though we’d been separated by a few weeks instead of 16 or 17 years.

Ron Irving and I sang and played “The Cowboy Thing To Do,” a song that I wrote in the late 80s and that Ron and Bootleg, his band at the time, recorded. It was the BCCMA Song and Single of the Year in 1989…an “old” song for the younger members of the audience, but it went over well and received huge applause. After that Ron and Sue (both long-standing BCCMA members) inducted me and handed me my Hall of Fame plaque. I blathered out my off-the-cuff speech (I can’t stand the stiffness that comes with reading notes), stressing the excellent training ground that Vancouver provided for me back in the 80s and 90s, a time when two local country stations were enthusiastically playing records by local artists and producers. That sense of near-instant gratification was marvelously encouraging and one would be hard-pressed to find anything like it now. For me the evening was like a “return to the source” and I said as much.

The next several days were spent visiting with friends and doing some songwriting with Ron and other people. We completed songs with Michael Behm, Angela Harris and Emily Taylor Adams, and I liked all of them. The time flew by. Ron drove me to the airport Thursday afternoon and, several hours and four time zones later, I set foot on New Brunswick tarmac.

Friday night we drove north to Bouctouche, NB, where my friend Brian Mallery was having his CD release party in the local community center, which he packed with local people only too eager to spend $25 (plus purchasing a CD in many cases) to enjoy a night of mostly traditional country music. People of all ages were fervent in their fandom and it was a lovely thing to see…country music enrapturing its true audience, without the cynical industry presence we became so used to in Nashville.

This crazy songwriting game has introduced me to many people and places and continues to do so. Gotta love that.


Responses

  1. Congratulations, Larry! It’s so wonderful to know that you are getting so much richly-deserved recognition for your contributions to the world of songwriting and music… may you receive many more honors of this sort. Your mama must be so proud 🙂 I know those of us in Oregon certainly are!

    Looking forward to writing with you again sometime soon… if I can ever settle in for more than a few days between travels, that is. Soon, I hope! It will be an honor to write again with a hall-of-fame composer such as yourself! 😀

    Great work, my friend–you deserve it, and I’m so very happy for you. Hope you are doing wonderfully in all respects!

    Hugs to you and Maggie,

    Halie

  2. Hey Larry:

    Congratulations on your induction and well deserved BCCMA hall of fame award. You must be thrilled with all of your accomplishments.

    Bill and I are currently in Nashville to do some writing this week. We miss you and Maggie not being here for our regular get-to-gether at The Longhorn.

    Wishing you many more years of continued success. All the best!!.

    Your friends,
    Dave & Bill
    Frozen North Music (SOCAN)

  3. Larry, WOW!!! What a wonderful path your life continues to be on.
    Bekka and I love you and your music so much. Strange isnt it, how one person (or song for that matter) can enter into anothers life and be part their story for a very small fraction of a moment yet have a life altering affect on who they become.
    You are so special to us and we love you to pieces. Thankyou for the beautiful music you have in you and thank you for sharing with us all.
    I send love, health and longiviety to you and Maggie.
    xo
    D

    • Such a lovely post Deanna. A wonderful path indeed that led me to people like you and Bekka. Can’t wait to see you again.

      Love, Larry

  4. http://tedfarrmedia.blogspot.com/

    Larry. I have added your blog to the ones I follow. Here is the link to my blog.
    Great to see you again. Positive energy coming to you from me in your battle.

    Ted

    • Wow, we’re reciprocal bloggers! That’s a new relationship for me, and I can’t think of a nicer guy to share it with. Great seeing you again Ted. All the best to you and Terry.

  5. The Hall Of Fame….whoda thunk it? Coincidentally, some years ago I was inducted into the Alcohol Of Fame, but subsequently was banished from there for behavior unbecoming to the organization. It sounds like you had a memorable trip. Very cool.

    • Yeah, I see the problem. I think you actually have to drink to remain a member in good standing. Start hitting that Jack Daniels now! You’re supposed to be a country songwriter, dammit.


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