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Ian Tyson Died: folk duo Ian & Sylvia, has died at age 89


Ian Tyson died: A Canadian folk singer, was killed on Thursday at the age of 89. He was one half Ian & Sylvia, and wrote “Four Strong Winds.”

How Ian Tyson died?

Paul Mascioli, his manager, stated that the native of Victoria, British Columbia, had died at his ranch, in southern Alberta, after a series of complications.

Tyson, his first wife Sylvia Tyson, was part of Toronto’s influential folk movement. Tyson was also viewed as a throwback, and spent much of his time living on his ranch and writing songs about the cowboy lifestyle.

Sylvia Tyson praised her husband for his dedication to songwriting.

He is best remembered for his troubadour’s lament, “Four Strong Winds”, and the classic refrain about wandering: “If all the good times are gone/Then I’m bound to move on/I’ll search for you if ever I return this way.”

The song was covered by Judy Collins, Waylon Jennings, Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan. Young featured “Four Strong Winds”, his acclaimed 1978 album “Comes a Time”, on which he also performed it two years prior at the “The Last Waltz”, a concert that the Band held to celebrate its end to live performances.

Who was Ian Tyson?

Tyson was born September 25, 1933 to English parents. He went to private school, where he learned to play polo and then discovered the rodeo.

He hitchhiked from Vancouver to Toronto after he graduated in 1958 from the Vancouver School of Art.

He became a part of the city’s growing folk movement. Young, Mitchell, and Gordon Lightfoot all played in hippie coffee shops in Yorkville.

Tyson & Sylvia love story

Tyson met Sylvia Fricker soon after and the two began a relationship. They moved to New York together.

Their 1962 debut album “Ian & Sylvia” was a compilation of mostly traditional songs. Their second album, “Four Strong Winds”, was their breakthrough album.

Its title track, which is one of only two original compositions on the record, was a major factor in the success of the duo.

They were married in 1964 and continued to release new records.

They moved to Nashville in 1964 and started incorporating country and rock music into their music as folk became less popular.

The Tysons founded the country-rock group Great Speckled Bird in 1969. They were joined by Janis Joplin, the Band, and the Grateful Dead on the 1970 “Festival Express” tour through Canada.

This was later used as the basis of a documentary that was released in 2004.

Clay was their child. However, the couple fell apart after Clay’s birth in 1968. They split in 1975.

Tyson returned to Canada to resume ranching, horse training, and cowboying in Pincher Creek (Alberta), 135 miles south-east of Calgary. These experiences were reflected in his songwriting, especially on 1983’s “Old Corrals and Sagebrush”.

Tyson was awarded a Juno Award in 1987 for best country male vocalist of year.

He was then inducted into Canada’s Music Hall of Fame five years later with Sylvia Tyson. In 2019, he was inducted into Canada’s Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Tyson performed live concerts despite the damage to his voice from a 2015 heart attack and subsequent surgery. Tyson had to cancel his 2018 appearances due to heart issues.

He still played his guitar at home. He said, “I believe that’s the key for me hanging in there because it’s gotta use or lose it.”

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