"A golden throat"
A soaring voice, engaging stage presence and proven
songwriting talent made COLLEEN PETERSON a
lasting presence on the music scene both in Canada
Her music defied easy classification-Colleen' s live performances and five album/ CD' s move freely between country , folk, blues, jazz, and pop. In August 1991, her single "NO PAIN, NO GAIN" reached #l on the Canadian country charts. Two JUNO AWARDS have graced her bookshelf: MOST PROMISING FEMALE VOCALIST IN 1968, and BEST NEW FEMALE VOCALIST in 1977.
Since beginning her professional career at 17 - touring coffee houses in Canada and the U.S. with BRUCE COCKBURN and DAVID WIFFEN, as a member of THREE'S A CROWD - Colleen lived and worked in many places, including 10 years in Nashville. Her most recent home was a farm just north of her birthplace in Peterborough, Ontario.
In the '70's and '80's, Colleen was frequently seen on Canadian and American television. She hosted her own series of specials - "THE ROAD SHOW" - on CBC, she was a regular on CTV's "SPIRIT OF THE COUNTRY", appeared on the "TOMMY HUNTER SHOW", and on several NASHVILLE NETWORK specials. In her later days, she spent more time writing songs, playing gigs across the country, appearing on TV benefits, and leading songwriting workshops.
Over the years, Colleen worked with a remarkable list of musicians: opening for GORDON LIGHTFOOT at Massey Hall in Toronto, singing back-up for two years with THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND, and touring with TOM WAITS and RY COODER, among others. She has also provided studio background vocals for WAYLON JENNINGS, ROGER MILLER, JANIE FRICKE, and MARTY STUART.
As a writer, her songs were recorded by ANNE MURRAY, SYLVIA TYSON and RONNIE PROPHET, while her writing partners included NANCY SIMMONDS, SYLVIA TYSON and CYRIL RAWSON,
Her unconventional career even included an early stint singing rock'n'roll with New York city band, TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS, followed by a leading role in the '60's musical "HAIR" at Toronto' s Royal Alexandra Theatre!
Recent highlights included opening for NEIL SEDAKA at Toronto' s Roy Thompson Hall, singing the blues with JACKSON DELTA in Yellowknife NWT, and performing "O Canada" for the opening ceremonies at a BLUE JAYS game in the Skydome.
Colleen worked hard re-establishing herself on the Canadian music scene. Her recent video, "CODE OF THE WEST", played on CBC's COUNTRY BEAT, and MuchMusic's OUTLAWS AND HEROES, while her version of Willie Nelson's song "CRAZY" is hard to miss on country radio stations from coast to coast.
Deeply missed by all the members of Quartette, Colleen's music lives on in those mingled voices. Colleen was pleased that Gwen Swick was able to fill in for her, as Gwen was an old friend and they had worked together many times. Gwen Swick continues to sing with Quartette.