Tyson in 2010
|Birth name||Sylvia Fricker|
19 September 1940 |
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Folk, country rock, country|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, broadcaster, author|
|Instruments||Vocals, autoharp, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Vanguard, Columbia, Capitol, Stony Plain, Salt, Outside|
|Associated acts||Ian & Sylvia, Great Speckled Bird, Quartette|
The second of four children, her father was an appliance salesman for the T. Eaton Company, and her mother was a church organist, who also led the choir. Although her parents both loved music, they tried to discourage Sylvia from pursuing a career as an entertainer. But she says she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a singer, and she left Chatham in 1959 to perform in Toronto.
Ian & Sylvia
From 1959 to 1974, she was half of the popular folk duo Ian & Sylvia with Ian Tyson. The two met after a friend of Ian Tyson's heard her sing at a party and let Ian know about her; Ian had been performing in Toronto clubs as a solo artist, but after he and Sylvia met, they decided to work together as a duo. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, she and Ian Tyson also fronted the country rock band Great Speckled Bird. Since 1993, she has been a member of the all-female folk group Quartette.
Perhaps her best-known song was "You Were on My Mind", which was originally recorded by Ian & Sylvia in 1964. Sylvia wrote it in 1962, and has said it was the first song she wrote. The song became a popular hit single in the mid-1960s for the San Francisco-based folk-rock band We Five and also for the British pop singer Crispian St. Peters. It has become a rock and roll standard which has been covered numerous times.
Sylvia Tyson has contributed offstage to the Canadian music scene as a board member of FACTOR and the Juno Awards. She also established an independent record label, Salt Records, in the early 1980s.
With Tom Russell, she was an editor of the 1995 anthology And Then I Wrote: The Songwriter Speaks (ISBN 9781551520230). In 2011, she wrote her first novel, a 420-page book entitled Joyner's Dream.
Awards and recognition
She was nominated seven times for a Juno Award, the first being in 1987 as Country Female Vocalist of the Year. But despite these nominations, she has not yet won a Juno award.
|1976||Cool Wind from the North||—|
|1978||Satin on Stone||—||Salt|
|1979||Sugar for Sugar, Salt for Salt||—|
|1986||The Big Spotlight||—||Stony Plain|
|1989||You Were on My Mind||—|
|1992||Gypsy Cadillac||—||Silver City|
|2000||River Road and Other Stories||—||Salt/Outside|
|2001||The Very Best of Sylvia Tyson||—||Varèse Sarabande|
|2011||Joyners Dream: The Kingsfold Suite||—||Outside Music|
|CAN Country||CAN AC|
|1972||"Give It to the World"||—||44||single only|
|1975||"Sleep on My Shoulder"||35||24||Woman's World|
|1976||"Good Old Song"||42||—||Cool Wind from the North|
|1979||"Love Is a Fire"||32||—||Satin on Stone|
|1980||"Same Old Thing"||—||36||Sugar for Sugar, Salt for Salt|
|1985||"Up in Smoke"||50||—||single only|
|1986||"Denim Blue Eyes"||15||—||The Big Spotlight|
|1987||"Too Short a Ride"||20||—|
|1989||"You Were on My Mind"||35||—||You Were on My Mind|
|1990||"Slow Moving Heart"||43||—|
|"Rhythm of the Road"||42||—|
|"Thrown to the Wolves" (with Tom Russell)||43||—|
|1992||"I Walk These Rails"||18||—||Gypsy Cadillac|
|1993||"The Sound of One Heart Breaking"||52||—|
- "CCMA Hall Of Fame - Sylvia Tyson". Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- Sarah Hampson. "The Hampson Interview: Sylvia Tyson." Toronto Globe & Mail, July 31, 2004, p. R3.
- June Callwood. "The Informal Sylvia Tyson." Toronto Globe & Mail, October 28, 1974, p. 8.
- "Tyson". Quartette. 2003-09-08. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Ian and Sylvia". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- Dennis Braithwaite. "How to Get Rich." Toronto Globe & Mail, October 29, 1963, p. 31.
- John Barber. "I've Been a Writer All My Life." Toronto Globe & Mail, March 19, 2011, p. R19.
- "Bach and Shubert as Ian, Sylvia Wed." Toronto Globe & Mail, June 27, 1964, p. 18.
- Leblanc, Larry (12 February 2005). "Tyson Takes a New 'Road'". Billboard. p. 52. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- Lederman, Marsha (28 March 2008). "Tyson comes clean". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "They're partners in life as well as in music, which must have its difficult moments like the prospect of having to sing with someone you were maybe not speaking to. But they certainly have made that work, what with that thing rolling around on the rug, young Clayton Dawson, herein and hereafter referred to as 'Mr. Spoons.'" From the jacket notes (by John Court) to Ian and Sylvia's LP "Lovin' Sound", MGM 4388, 1967. Quoted in Mudcat Forum by Dale Rose, 1999-04-16; accessed 2011-05-08.
- The Canadian Press (8 September 2003). "Country music to honour Tyson". London Free Press. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Order of Canada: Sylvia Tyson". Governor General of Canada. 19 October 1994. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- Sylvia's Profile at Quartette's web-site
- Sylvia Tyson on The Canadian Encyclopedia
- An interview with Sylvia Tyson
- CBC interview with Sylvia on the early years of Can-Con (important because of Sylvia's contribution to the organisational side of Canadian music
- Sylvia Tyson on Canoe.ca
- Sylvia Tyson at the Internet Movie Database