By Karen Bliss
The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame has welcomed two new inductees to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, April Wine’s Myles Goodwyn who was presented with the honour at the East Coast Music Awards, and Paul Piché at the SOCAN Awards Montreal.
Goodwyn, who retired in March from performing live with the still-active rock band after more than 50 years and 20 million albums sold, was inducted May 4 by fellow musician Lennie Gallant, who called him a “brilliant songwriter, author, Canadian music icon, big-hearted Waverley [Nova Scotia] boy and good friend.”
He recounted an amusing tale about first hearing April Wine at a high school dance, when he was taking care of his girlfriend who was “vigorously tossing her cookies after having too much Baby Duck [champagne].” The song? “You Could’ve Been a Lady.” Years later the two became friends after meeting at a song circle and following up on an idea to write together.
Gallant also mentioned their mutual friend, the late April Wine producer Ralph Murphy, who “was instrumental in getting Myles’ career off the ground.”
A generation-spanning ensemble or East Coast musicians then performed a medley of April Wine classics — Colin MacDonald of The Trews (“Roller”), Jimmy Rankin (“Just Between You and Me”), Christine Campbell (“I Like To Rock”) and Nick Earle (“Rock and Roll Is a Vicious Game”) — before Gallant called the man himself to the podium.
“This is an honor to be here tonight and I am thrilled to get this award. I’m so thrilled that I bought a new suit; the last time I bought a suit, I was 14,” Goodwyn quipped.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank April Wine. And thanks to radio, especially Canadian radio, for the support all these years. A shout out to fans: hello, I love you. And thank you to ECMA for their involvement here tonight and being so kind for me over the years. I appreciate it.
“And lastly,” Goodwyn, said, “a very special thanks to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for the recognition and this beautiful award. Thank you. I dedicate this award to the memory of my friend and yours, Gordon Lightfoot.”
Goodwyn will continue writing and producing for April Wine. His third blues recording will be released this summer. His name will be added to the permanent exhibit at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Museum in the National Music Centre in Calgary.
A few days after the ECMAs, on May 7, Piché was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame during the SOCAN Gala in Montreal.
One of the most influential singer-songwriters of Québec’s music scene, Piché has been called a “free thinker, poet and standard-bearer of protest folk,” since releasing his 1977 debut album, À qui appartient le beau temps?, penning a catalogue of songs throughout his career that are as much about social issues, as they are about love.
Piché was presented the award by francophone talk show host Julie Snyder and treated to a performance of his songs from Pierre Kwenders (“Un château de sable”), Stéphanie St-Jean (“Sur ma peau”) and Ingrid St-Pierre (“L’escalier”), who all came together for “Car je t’aime.”
Piché’s contribution to Canadian culture also included such classics as “Heureux d’un printemps,” “Mon Joe,” “Y’a pas grand-chose dans l’ciel à soir,” “J’aurai jamais 18 ans,” “J’appelle” and “Ne fais pas ça.”
In 2017, he marked the 40th anniversary of his 1977 debut album, À qui appartient le beau temps? by performing a set of concerts he called a Célébration des 40 printemps alongside such acts as 2 Frères, Safia Nolin, Éric Lapointe, Vincent Vallières, Koriass and Les Trois Accords. They went so well, he mounted a three-year Quebec tour, inviting different artists to play and sing with him at each show. The finale, postponed since the pandemic, was at Place Bell in Laval May 20, 2022.