Dan Hill

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Dan Hill
Birth nameDaniel Grafton Hill IV
Born (1954-06-03) 3 June 1954 (age 64)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresPop, soft rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar
Years active1975–present
Websitewww.danhill.com

Daniel Grafton 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. He also established himself as a songwriter who produced hit songs for artists such as George Benson and Celine Dion.

Early life[edit]

Hill was born in Toronto, the son of social scientist and public servant Daniel G. Hill and social activist Donna Mae Hill (nee Bender, 1928-2018[3]), and older brother of the author Lawrence Hill and the late novelist Karen Hill. His musical talent was apparent from a young age, and he received his first guitar shortly after his tenth birthday. While in high school, he was singing and performing at concerts and coffee houses. At one point Hill was working for the Ontario provincial government sorting mail and delivering supplies, while performing at the Riverboat at night. Before finishing high school, he recorded a demo tape with the assistance of his boyhood friend Matt McAuley, later a well-known composer and arranger. In 1972, he signed a contract with RCA, who released a single the following year but did little to advance his career.[4]

Career[edit]

Continuing to record with McCauley, he succeeded in breaking the RCA contract and signing with GRT Records, an independent Canadian label. In 1975, they released his first Canadian hit single,"You Make Me Want to Be," which was followed by his first album, Dan Hill.

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 to 1991's "I Fall All Over Again", though he did not make the Hot 100 again after "Never Thought".

As one of the new Canadian singers and songwriters, such as Bruce Cockburn and Murray McLauchlan, who emerged from the coffehouses and other small venues during the 1970s, Hill belongs to the generation who achieved a prominent place in Canadian popular culture. In addition to his Grammy for his work on Celine Dion's "Falling Into You", he received five Juno Awards and other prestigious awards.[5] A road trip to a Hill concert was the subject of the 1994 Canadian comedy film, South of Wawa. Although he has performed less frequently in recent decades, 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.[6] 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, which would be featured in a television documentary, Paul Quarrington: Life in Music.[6]

Personal life[edit]

His wife is lawyer Beverly Chapin-Hill,[7][8] with whom he wrote the songs "Can't We Try"[2] and "(Can This Be) Real Love".[9] 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.[10]

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 and his relationship with his prominent father.[11] Like his father, Hill was diagnosed as a diabetic. Hill learned from a doctor before a concert, that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.[12]

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.[13] On 14 March 2008, CBC Television's The National aired an in-depth interview with Hill discussing his son's involvement with Toronto gangs.[14]

Hill is a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.[15]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • 1975: Dan Hill
  • 1976: Hold On
  • 1977: Longer Fuse
  • 1978: Frozen in the Night
  • 1980: If Dreams Had Wings
  • 1981: Partial Surrender
  • 1983: Love in the Shadows
  • 1987: Dan Hill
  • 1989: Real Love
  • 1991: Dance of Love
  • 1993: Let Me Show You (Greatest Hits and More)
  • 1996: I'm Doing Fine
  • 1999: Love of My Life (The Best of Dan Hill)
  • 2010: Intimate

Singles[edit]

Year Song CAN CAN
AC
U.S. U.S. AC UK[16] 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 -

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Life and Times of Daniel G. Hill". Archives of Ontario. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Can't We Try". ACE Title Search. ASCAP. Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  3. ^ Hill, Lawrence (June 1, 2018). "Act of love: The life and death of Donna Mae Hill". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Hill, Dan (2010). I Am My Father's Son. Toronto: Harper Perennial. pp. 225–228. ISBN 978-1-55468-191-4.
  5. ^ "Dan Hill | The Canadian Encyclopedia". www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  6. ^ a b "Paul and me and one last song. About dying." Maclean's, February 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "Official Records for December 06, 1983". Hansard Transcripts. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 6 December 1983. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  8. ^ O'Connor, Joe (23 February 2008). "In Touch Again". National Post. Retrieved 2008-02-29.[dead link]
  9. ^ "(Can This Be) Real Love". ACE Title Search. ASCAP. Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  10. ^ Haislop, Neil (week of 2 May 2007). "Country Q&A". Great American Country. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 2008-02-29. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ http://toronto.citynews.ca/2012/04/03/canadian-musician-dan-hill-discusses-his-cancer-survival-story/
  13. ^ Hill, Dan (14 February 2008). "Every parent's nightmare". Macleans. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  14. ^ "A Father's Fear", The National, 14 March 2008.
  15. ^ http://artistsagainstracism.org/artists/
  16. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 253. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]