Christopher Ward (songwriter)

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Christopher Ward
Birth name Christopher William Ward
Born (1949-07-28) 28 July 1949 (age 64)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Pop
Occupations Songwriter, broadcaster, judge, author
Instruments Piano, guitar
Labels Warner
Attic
Website http://www.christopherward.ca

Christopher William Ward (born 28 July 1949 Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian songwriter and broadcaster, known as a former long-standing on-air personality at MuchMusic, Canada's music video network, where he and J.D. Roberts were among the first video jockeys in 1984. Ward was a judge on The Next Star which is a Canadian reality television show on YTV.

Early career[edit]

Ward began his music career in the late 1970s while attending Trent University in Peterborough Ontario where he was a member of the school's campus radio station.[1]

Broadcasting[edit]

Some of Ward's early television appearances began in 1978 on the CBC children's series Catch Up, as leader of the show's band. He also played a minor role as a musician in an episode of The Kids of Degrassi Street alongside Alannah Myles in 1984.

Before MuchMusic launched, Ward hosted a weekend, all-night video program called City Limits on CITY-TV in Toronto. On Friday and Saturdays, from midnight to 6 am, Ward broke ground as Canada's first "veejay". The show was broadcast from CITY-TV's old Queen Street East studios and apart from playing the latest music videos, hosted guests. Bands such as Bon Jovi and actors like Mike Myers- playing his Wayne's World character long before Saturday Night Live made it famous- added to the prototype of what MuchMusic would become. The show also had "video clip" contest segments which gave winners prizes to special events like movie debuts. Broadcast only in the Toronto region, it was a major way music videos were introduced to the Southern Ontario public. (MTV, the American television network was not broadcast in Canada due to regulatory laws protecting Canadian Content until 2006.) When the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted a broadcast licence for an all music channel to begin in 1984, CHUM-CITY won the lucrative rights. The application process to the Commission included Ward's current show as evidence of experience in broadcasting music video entertainment.

During five years on MuchMusic Ward interviewed artists like Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen and Kate Bush. While with the network, he hosted another show titled City Limits that spotlighted alternative music. Even after his departure from MuchMusic in the late 1980s, he was still involved in the channel off-and-on, most notably as Charles de Camembert, host of the annual Fromage specials.

In 2008, Ward became a judge on YTV's The Next Star for its first four seasons until 2011.

Songwriting[edit]

Ward has written many songs for artists such as Hilary Duff, Diana Ross, Backstreet Boys, Wynonna Judd, Amanda Marshall, Tina Arena, Peter Cetera, Anne Murray and Meredith Brooks.[2] His best known song is perhaps the Billboard number one single "Black Velvet",[3][4] recorded by Alannah Myles. 'Black Velvet' was named the No. 49 song in Bob Mersereau's book 'The Top 100 Canadian Singles'. Ward has also released several of his own recordings, including the singles "Once in a Longtime" (1977) and "Maybe Your Heart" (1978) (both co-written with his longtime friend Stephen Stohn the executive producer of Degrassi: The Next Generation and Instant Star) and "Boys and Girls" (1987). The music video for "Boys and Girls" featured both Alannah Myles and comedian Mike Myers in an early version of his "Wayne Campbell" character.

Promotional tour for Time Stands Still (released on House of Lords Records/distributed by WEA) included David Wipper on guitar, Billy Idol bassist Steven Webster and featured on keyboards, pianist Antonio Salci.[5]

Starting in 1997, Ward became a member of Ming Tea, the tongue-in-cheek celebrity rock band assembled by fellow Canadian Mike Myers for the first and third Austin Powers films. Group members included Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet and performed the faux-sixties songs "BBC" and "Daddy Wasn't There".

Recent work (much of it in collaboration with Rob Wells Luke McMaster, Greg Johnston and Fred St-Gelais) includes songs for Alexz Johnson in the TV series Instant Star, with soundtrack albums for the four seasons of the show. Along with Rob Wells and Fred St-Gelais, he has also been working with Lindsay Robins. Ward songs were featured on two recent Degrassi - The Next Generation features, Degrassi Takes Manhattan and Degrassi Goes Hollywood. His songs were featured in Cirque du Soleil's tribute to Vaudeville, 'Banana Shpeel'.

Bibliography[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album
1978 Spark of Desire
1981 Time Stands Still
1987 Christopher Ward (EP)[6]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
CAN AC CAN CAN Country
1976 "Lost in a Love Song"[7] 9[8] 69 10 Spark of Desire
1977 "Once in a Long Time" 19 38
1978 "Maybe Your Heart" 17 47
"Imagine a Song" 16 96
"No Time to Cry" 26 74
1981 "So Long Baby Jane" 17 Time Stands Still

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]