Country standard inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and celebrated with cover performance
The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) today inducted I Heard the Bluebirds Sing through its Covered Classics series. An international country hit for The Browns, the song was written by Albertan songwriter and Western balladeer Hod Pharis. Canadian supergroup The Good Family – with members old enough to remember when this song was a hit on the radio – pay tribute to this month’s song induction with a memorable performance of I Heard the Bluebirds Sing.
I Heard the Bluebirds Sing
Written by Hod Pharis
Performed by The Good Family
I Heard the Bluebirds Sing is a charming ballad about a happy older couple looking back on their courtship. The song was first recorded in 1952 by Hod Pharis and Little Anne for the Vancouver based Aragon Label. It wasn’t until four years later however, that I Heard the Bluebirds Sing reached mainstream success with a version spawned by American country trio The Browns (Jim Ed, Maxine, and Bonnie Brown) and produced by the legendary Chet Atkins. The 1956 recording held strong at No. 20 on Billboard’s 1957 year-end country chart, after peaking at No. 1 on Cashbox and No. 4 on Billboard’s weekly country chart.
After The Browns’ hit, several other successful covers of I Heard the Bluebirds Sing followed: In 1963 “Wink” Martindale recorded a version of the song on the Dot label, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge recorded it on their 1973 duet album “Full Moon,” Grammy-winner Marty Robbins recorded the tune for his album “Good ’n Country,” along with countless other versions by various artists.
From a ranch in Willow Valley, Alberta, to a now entrenched country standard, I Heard the Bluebirds Sing continues to be heard more than half a century later at country jamborees and festivals around the world.
The Good Family are no strangers to stage and studio as some members consist of two of Canada’s premier acts. Bruce and Larry Good are two-thirds of Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and multiple JUNO Award recipients The Good Brothers. Travis and Dallas Good are members of JUNO and Indie award winning band The Sadies. Rounding out the family is veteran performer Margaret Good and wife of Bruce and mother of Travis and Dallas. The Good Family talent pool does not end there as niece and cousin D’Arcy Good adds yet another dynamic with her amazing fiddle and outstanding vocals. And just when you think it can’t get any better it does with Sean Dean and Mike Belitsky of The Sadies, the rhythm section and the heart and soul of The Good Family band.