Era Inducted To: Modern Era
Lyricist(s):Kelly Jay, Roly Greenway
Composer(s):Kelly Jay, Roly Greenway
In 1971, Kelly Jay Fordham and Roly Greenway of Crowbar co-wrote the rock anthem Oh, What a Feeling for their debut album ‘Bad Manors’. The first single symbolized the carefree hippie generation and soared up the charts quickly reaching gold in Canada. The song is also featured on the live album at Massey Hall, ‘Larger Than Life’, which received a RPM Gold Leaf for outstanding Canadian record sales. Unfortunately, due to the drug connotation in the lyrics, it failed to gain airplay in the United States, however it reached gold in England.
The song was written in 1969 and took a couple of years to get out to the public, however the timing was perfect because the Canadian content regulations had just been introduced, forcing radio stations to play more Canadian songs. Oh, What a Feeling was considered the first ever CanCon hit. Pierre Juneau, CRTC chairman and the man responsible for the regulations, praised the band for proving Canadians could make just as great music as the big United States and British bands.
Oh, What a Feeling has become a Canadian cultural staple and in 2009 it became the official theme song for the Grey Cup. It was thought to be a counter-culture pro-drug song back in the day but has now become an anthem of ‘the establishment’. Co-writer Kelly Jay Fordham insists the song was never about drugs but that “it was written in 1969. Man walked on the moon. Woodstock. The summer of love. It was written about the times, about everything that was happening.” According to Fordham, “The song was meant to be celebratory.
During 1969, most of the members of Crowbar were members of Ronnie Hawkins’ backup band under the name, And Many Others, however they were fired in 1970. Their name came to them while Hawkins angrily yelled at them, saying “You guys are so crazy that you could mess up a crowbar in seconds!” They recorded their first album, ‘Official Music’, in 1970. Crowbar’s rock, blues and boogie mix made it one of Canada’s most popular touring bands of the early 1970s. Crowbar broke up in 1975 but was revived in 1977 for a tour of eastern Canada.
Cover artists include: Econoline Crush covered Oh, What a Feeling for the 2009 Grey Cup. A disco act from the 1970’s, Crack of Dawn has covered Oh, What a Feeling. Tom Wilson’s band, Junkhouse have also covered this song. Oh, What a Feeling was used at the Juno Awards as the theme for their 25th anniversary celebrations in 1995. It was also used as the title song of the all time best selling CD boxset released in Canada in 1996 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Juno Awards and raise funds for charity.