Dan Hill

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Dan Hill
Birth name Daniel Grafton Hill IV
Born (1954-06-03) 3 June 1954 (age 63)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Pop, soft rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar
Years active 1975–present
Website www.danhill.com

Daniel Grafton "Dan" Hill IV[1][2] (born 3 June 1954) is a Canadian pop singer and songwriter. He had two major international hits with his songs "Sometimes When We Touch" and "Can't We Try", a duet with Vonda Shepard, as well as a number of other charting singles in Canada and the United States.

Early life and career[edit]

Hill was born in Toronto, the son of social scientist and public servant Daniel G. Hill, and brother of the author Lawrence Hill and the late novelist Karen Hill. He studied guitar in his teens, leaving high school at 17 to work as songwriter for RCA. At one point he was working for the Ontario provincial government, delivering office supplies, while performing at the Riverboat at night. In 1975, he released his first album, Dan Hill, which produced a Canadian hit single, "You Make Me Want to Be".

In 1977 Hill recorded the ballad "Sometimes When We Touch". He also wrote the lyrics and was assisted in the music by Barry Mann for the album from the same year, Longer Fuse, and it was released as a single. It was Hill's biggest hit, peaking at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Canadian RPM Singles chart, and leading to Hill's appearances on The Merv Griffin Show and The Mike Douglas Show. Tina Turner covered the song in 1978 on her album Rough.

Another one of his hit songs was "It's a Long Road", which he recorded for the 1982 action movie First Blood. In 1985, he was one of the many Canadian performers to appear on the benefit single "Tears Are Not Enough" by Northern Lights. Although he had many hits in his native Canada, further singles did not fare as well in the United States, where, after "Let the Song Last Forever" in late 1978, he went almost a decade without cracking any of Billboard's singles charts.

In 1987, Hill returned to the Billboard Hot 100 with the Top 40 hit "Can't We Try", a duet with the then-unknown Vonda Shepard (her last name was incorrectly spelled "Sheppard" on the label). It peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100. He also had a near Top 40 hit with "Never Thought (That I Could Love)". Both records reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart and set the stage for Hill to have three more top 10 U.S. AC hits through 1991's "I Fall All Over Again," though he did not make the Hot 100 again after "Never Thought (That I Could Love)."

A road trip to a Hill concert was the subject of the 1994 Canadian comedy film, South of Wawa.

In 2007 he toured with the CBC Radio program The Vinyl Cafe.

Hill was a lifelong friend of writer Paul Quarrington, and the two also occasionally performed together as a folk music duo, billed as Quarrington/Hill.[3] The pair's final collaboration, a song about death called "Are You Ready", was completed just ten days before Quarrington's death in early 2010, and will be featured in a forthcoming television documentary, Paul Quarrington: Life in Music.[3]

Personal life[edit]

His wife is lawyer Beverly Chapin-Hill,[4][5] with whom he wrote the songs "Can't We Try"[2] and "(Can This Be) Real Love".[6]

Some sources have incorrectly stated that he was married to American country singer Faith Hill whose surname comes from her first marriage to an unrelated Nashville record executive also named Daniel Hill.[7]

Hill wrote an article in the 14 February 2008 edition of Maclean's entitled "Every Parent's Nightmare", about the terror he experienced from friends his son brought home.[8] On 14 March 2008, CBC Television's The National aired an in-depth interview with Hill discussing his son's involvement with Toronto gangs.[9]

In early 2009, Hill published I Am My Father's Son: A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness (ISBN 978-1-55468-190-7) which recounts his childhood.[10]

Hill is the brother of novelists Lawrence Hill and Karen Hill.




Year Song CAN CAN
U.S. U.S. AC UK[11] Album
1975 "You Make Me Want to Be" 24 16 - - - Dan Hill (1975)
"Growin' Up" 41 30 67 - -
1976 "You Say You're Free" 61 13 - - -
"Hold On" 46 - - - - Hold On
1977 "Phonecall" 53 17 - - -
"Sometimes When We Touch" 1 1 3 10 13 Longer Fuse
1978 "All I See Is Your Face" 35 36 41 8 - Frozen in the Night
"Let the Song Last Forever" 14 19 91 50 -
"On the Dark Side of Atlanta" 44 - - - -
1979 "(Why Did You Have to Go and) Pick on Me" 57 35 - - -
1980 "I Still Reach for You" 83 9 - - - If Dreams Had Wings
1981 "Don't Give Up on Love" - - - - - Partial Surrender
1982 "I'm Just a Man" - 20 - - -
1983 "Love in the Shadows" 45 24 - - - Love in the Shadows
1984 "Helpless" - - - - -
1984 "You Pulled Me Through" - - - - -
1987 "Can't We Try" (w/ Vonda Shepard) 14 2 6 2 - Dan Hill (1987)
"Never Thought (That I Could Love)" 22 1 43 2 -
1988 "Carmelia"  ?  ? - 8 -
1989 "Why Do We Always Hurt The Ones We Love" - - - - - Real Love
"Unborn Heart"  ? 1 - 3 -
"Wishful Thinking" (w/ Celine Dion)  ?  ? - - -
1991 "I Fall All Over Again"  ?  ? - 7 - Dance of Love
1992 "Hold Me Now" (w/ Rique Franks)  ?  ? - 30 -
1993 "Sometimes When We Touch" (w/ Rique Franks) 46 - - - - Let Me Show You - Greatest Hits and More
1994 "In Your Eyes" (w/ Rique Franks)  ?  ? - 38 -


  1. ^ "The Life and Times of Daniel G. Hill". Archives of Ontario. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Can't We Try". ACE Title Search. ASCAP. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  3. ^ a b "Paul and me and one last song. About dying." Maclean's, February 3, 2010.
  4. ^ "Official Records for December 06, 1983". Hansard Transcripts. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 6 December 1983. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, Joe (23 February 2008). "In Touch Again". National Post. Retrieved 2008-02-29. [dead link]
  6. ^ "(Can This Be) Real Love". ACE Title Search. ASCAP. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  7. ^ Haislop, Neil (week of 2 May 2007). "Country Q&A". Great American Country. Retrieved 2008-02-29.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Hill, Dan (14 February 2008). "Every parent's nightmare". Macleans. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  9. ^ "A Father's Fear", The National, 14 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Dan Hill deals with daddy issues in candid new memoir". CTV News. 13 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 253. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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