Folk icon Murray McLauchlan to be inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at Mariposa Folk Festival
Murray McLauchlan was hailed as one of Canada’s most culturally conscious songwriters of the ’70s, but his sympathetic portrayals of everyday people’s songs have appealed to our social conscience for more than five decades.
The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is pleased to announce the induction of singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan, composer of over 35 hit singles, including SOCAN classics “Farmer’s Song,” Down by the Henry Moore” and “Try Walkin’ One Way”. Marking its first in-person songwriter induction ceremony since the pandemic, CSHF is teaming up with the Mariposa Folk Festival to recognize McLauchlan on Saturday, July 9 on the festival’s main stage.
Since 2018, CSHF began partnering with music events and festivals across the country to connect with fans and celebrate songs and songwriters back to their musical roots. McLauchlan will be officially inducted into Mariposa by longtime friend and CSHF inductee Gordon Lightfoot and honored with a special performance in tribute to Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
“I am honored to join my respected friends Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and so many others in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” said McLauchlan.
Murray McLauchlan was born in Scotland and raised in Toronto where he studied art and started singing in cafés at the age of 17. He frequented Yorkville’s The Riverboat, a hub of the folk-rock music scene in the 70s where fellow singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and other Canadian icons played – it was also a stop in favorite tour of American artists, including Simon and Garfunkel and folk singer Tom Rush.
McLauchlan was playing his bittersweet compositions “Old Man’s Song” and “Child’s Song” in the footsteps of The Riverboat for Tom Rush, who became the first artist to record one of McLauchlan’s insightful songs. “Child’s Song” was recorded by Tom Rush in 1970 and went on to earn McLauchlan three JUNO Awards for Folk Single, Country Single and Songwriter of the Year.
In 1971, McLauchlan signed with True North Records and recorded his first album street song which reached the Top 40 in Canada. His first Top 10 single came from “The Farmer’s Song“ which drew attention to the industrial forces that are decimating family farms, while earning him his first JUNO Awards for Best Songwriter, Folk Single and Country Single. His follow-up album Sweep spotlights earned him a JUNO for Best Country Singer; and his Toronto tribute, “Down by the Henry Moore,” became his first No. 1 hit to cross over on the pop and country charts.
McLauchlan’s first gold record came with the 1976 album Boulevardwhich included the hit single “On the Boulevard“. During the 1980s, McLauchlan enjoyed further success with hit singles like “Do You Dream of Being Somebody?”, “Somebody’s Long Lonely Night”, “Little Dreamer”, and “Never Did Like That Train”. He ended the decade with the anthem “If the Wind Could Blow My Troubles Away”, participation in “Tears Are Not Enough” and its JUNO-nominated album swing on a star.
Her most recent efforts include her 2012 hit albums human writings and love can’t tell the time and 2021 hourglass, which has made numerous Top 10 lists in Canada, the United States and around the world. He has won 11 JUNO Awards during his prestigious career and is one of the 20 most awarded JUNO artists of all time.
McLauchlan’s songwriting, whether in his earlier narrative style or his later impressionistic style, has a definite grassroots appeal. And the visual sense he developed while studying art in his youth still inspires his songwriting: “I always try to write visually, to put someone in context,” he explains. .
His love for songwriting and art came together in 2021’s ‘A Thomson Day,’ a tribute to the work of Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson that culminated in a collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Ontario.
Recently, “Child’s Song” was featured on the hit NBC TV show It’s us and Widespread Panic recorded a hit rock cover of McLauchlan’s dark ode “Honky Red.” Others to cover McLauchlan’s work over the decades include Bonnie Dobson, John McDermott, Renée Claude, David Wiffen, George Hamilton IV, Waylon Jennings, Kathy Mattea, David Bromberg, The Ennis Sisters, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, R Harlan Smith, Walter Ostanek, Bob Neuwirth, 3’s a Crowd, Melanie Safka and Junkhouse.
McLauchlan will be honored by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at the 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival on Saturday, July 9. The Mariposa Folk Festival will take place July 8-10 at JD Tudhope Memorial Park in Orillia. Tickets are available at mariposafolk.com.