Fosterchild, circa 1977.
(l-r) Barry Boothman, Peter Sweetzir,
Vern Wills, Jim Foster, Gerry Wand
|Origin||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
One Horse Blue
Long John Baldry
|Past members||Jim Foster
Bob "Mickey" Mathews
Fosterchild was a notable Canadian band that existed from 1976 to1981, releasing three albums.
Fosterchild was formed in Calgary, Canada in 1976 by Jim Foster and Vern Wills, both of whom had first played together as teenagers. In 1976, the band was signed to CBS Records Canada at the initiative of producer Bob Gallo, then head of A&R for CBS Records Canada.
The band's music was categorized as rock, with country influences, as opposed to country rock, with most of their material written or co-written by Foster and Wills. During their first recording contract, Foster and Wills were discouraged by Gallo from writing predominantly pop songs.
The core membership of the band was Foster and Wills, on guitars and vocals, initially with Gordon Marr on guitar, Dwight Thompson on bass and Bob "Mickey" Mathews on drums. Gaye Delorme produced the band's first demos, at Edmonton's Sundown Recorders. Prior to recording the band's first album, Peter Sweetzir was added on keyboards, while Barry Boothman replaced Thompson on bass and Gerry Wand replaced Mathews on drums.
Recording and Touring History
Fosterchild's first two albums, Fosterchild (1977) and Troubled Child (1978) were on Columbia Records, both recorded at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, with Bob Gallo as producer. The Fosterchild album is notable as featuring renowned session drummer Larrie Londin, who had previously been a drummer in Elvis Presley's touring band and recordings.
Gordon Marr left the band, following the release of their first album. In 1978, following the release of their second album, Troubled Child, Doug Johnson was added on second keyboards for the band's tour in support of the album. However, record company interest in the band waned, and their cross-Canada tour was cut short. Their relationship with the CBS ended thereafter. Barry Boothman left the band at this point. Doug Johnson also did not continue with the group, beyond touring in support of Troubled Child.
In 1979, the band signed with Vera Cruz Records, based in Edmonton, Canada, and released their third album, On The Prowl in 1980. The album was recorded by Foster, Wills (replacing Boothman on bass, as well as playing guitar), Sweetzir and Wand, assisted by Mavis McCauley, from One Horse Blue, on background vocals, and John Wesson on saxophone. They commenced touring with One Horse Blue, another Vera Cruz recording artist, but encountered similar tour interruptions due to financial issues with the record label.
Post Band Break-Up
The band continued to perform until 1981. Foster then joined One Horse Blue, and in 1986 released a solo album Powerlines. He wrote songs for One Horse Blue, Doug and the Slugs and Patricia Conroy. He also co-wrote songs with Murray McLauchlan, Rocko Vaugeois and Lynda Scott. In 2009, he released another solo album, Lone Bird, on Quest Records. Wills co-wrote with Loverboy ("Lady of the 80's", co-written with Paul Dean, Mike Reno and Doug Johnson, from Loverboy's eponymous first album, 1980) and also contributed to the solo work of Jim Foster and Paul Dean. Wills continues to perform in Calgary. Doug Johnson became the keyboardist for Loverboy, as of the band's first album, in 1980. Sweetzir continued in music as the keyboardist for various artists, including Long John Baldry, Gaye Delorme and Aaron Pritchett.
Control of the band's name appears to have been lost, at least in the United States. The name "Fosterchild" is currently associated with a Philadelphia-based heavy metal band, active since 2005, and where the name appears to have been trademarked.
- Dan Brisebois, Profile of Fosterchild; CanadianBands.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- John Bush, Profile of Fosterchild; Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- Profile of Fosterchild; Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- Biography of Bob Gallo; dmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- E-mail correspondence with Gerry Wand, August 8 and August 12, 2012.
- Fosterchild album credits; Discogs. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Gerry Wand, Learning by Example: Larrie Londin. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- Uncredited, TCB Band - Larrie Londin; Elvis Presley Music. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- Comments of Peter Sweetzir, 2011, refuting a commonly published assertion that it was he who left the band after the second album. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
- E-mail correspondence with Gerry Wand, August 9, 2012.
- Jaime Vernon, with notes from Mark Fancher, Profile of Jim Foster; The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
- Performer Spotlight - Vernon Wills, Blues Can. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
- Profile of Peter Sweetzir; Billy Dixon's Soul Train Express. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
- Profile of Fosterchild; Spirit of Metal. Retrieved 2012-08-12.