Sylvia Tyson

About Sylvia Tyson

SYLVIA TYSON's first commercial recordings were part of the 13-album history of IAN & SYLVIA, the landmark folk and country duo who began in the early 60's. The story goes that BOB DYLAN played them "BLOWIN' IN THE WIND" at the Kettle of Fish in New York, and they were inspired to try their hand at songwriting. Ian's first song was "FOUR STRONG WINDS", and Sylvia's was "YOU WERE ON MY MIND", which subsequently became a hit for the folk-pop group WE FIVE, and also for CRISPIAN ST. PETER in England. 

As BOB DYLAN, EMMYLOU HARRIS, LINDA RONSTADT, GORDON LIGHTFOOT, ANN MURRAY, PETER PAUL AND MARY, and JUDY COLLINS all attested on the "IAN & SYLVIA REUNION" television special (co-produced by Sylvia), that IAN & SYLVIA'S music influenced two decades of writer/performers. "Magic" was the word often used to describe their sound, and the albums - stocked with timeless material - stand their ground today. 

One of those albums, "THE GREAT SPECKLED BIRD", is a cornerstone of country rock music. The album was produced by TODD RUNDGREN and featured AMOS GARRETT on guitar, BUDDY CAGE on steel guitar (later with the NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE, and NEIL YOUNG), and N.D. SMART on drums (MOUNTAIN, GRAM PARSONS). 

Along with the early work of GRAM PARSONS and STEVE YOUNG, this album helped to lay the foundation for what would become country rock, progressive country, and finally new country. Sealed copies have sold for as much as $200. 

IAN & SYLVIA parted ways in the mid-70's, and Sylvia established an impressive solo career, hosting the award-winning CBC Network radio show, TOUCH THE EARTH, and a national CBC Television show, COUNTRY IN MY SOUL. She has released seven solo albums, the most recent being "GYPSY CADILLAC", released by SONY in Canada, and by ROUND TOWER MUSIC in Europe. She continues to have great success with her songwriting. 

In 1992, SYLVIA TYSON was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame
on the nationally televised Juno Awards. 

Although she is still active as a solo artist, SYLVIA is currently part of a collaboration with three other female singer/song-writers in a group called QUARTETTE. They released their first album on the Denon label in Canada in 1994, won a Canadian Country Music Award on the 1994 television awards show, and most recently received the nomination as best country group on the 1995 JUNO Awards. The group's second album, "WORK OF THE HEART" was released in November of 1995, and "IT'S CHRISTMAS!", a collection of new and traditional Christmas songs as released in November of 1996. 

Also released in November of '95 was "AND THEN I WROTE (the songwriter speaks)", a book on songwriters she co-edited with longtime friend and collaborator, Tom Russell. "AND THEN I WROTE" is available from:

Arsenal Pulp Press
100 - 1062 Homer Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2W9
Tel: (604) 687-4233
Fax: (604) 669-8250 

In March of 1995, Sylvia received the Governor General's Order of Canada.

A theatre presentation based on three books by Timothy Findley
The Piano Man's Daughter

Based on

"Dust to Dust", "You Went Away" & "The Pianoman's Daughter
Timothy Findley.Veronica Tennant, Joe Sealy
and Sylvia Tyson
with Michael Sean Marye and Anne Ledennan
and Directed by Paul Thompson with special choreography by
David Earle and Danny Grossman
Played from coast to coast in Canada from April 23rd - May 27th, 1997. There has been talk of reviving the show in the new year with the expectation of doing it for television as well as in the theatre.