The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is pleased to announce the country and western ballad ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing’, written by Albertan Hod Pharis, as this month’s induction into the Hall of Fame. The induction of ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing’ is celebrated through Covered Classics, a collaboration between the CSHF and CBC/Radio-Canada that invites Canada’s brightest musical talent to perform their own rendition of a newly inducted song. The Good Family, featuring Bruce and Larry Good, two-thirds of Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees The Good Brothers, and Travis and Dallas Good, members of JUNO Award winning band The Sadies, pay tribute to Hod Pharis with an amazingly faithful rendition of ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing’ which can be viewed here.
“We’re honoured to help celebrate the induction of ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing’ into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” says Bruce Good. “The song’s joyful lyrics and rousing music make it a classic that, even six decades later, continues to be enjoyed around the world. I remember mom singing this song; and performing it with my family brings back fond memories.”
Watch The Good Family perform I Heard the Bluebirds Sing below.
Typically, the sound of bluegrass music calls to mind the American southern states, but ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing,’ was written by Albertan Hod Pharis in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Hod first recorded the song in 1952 with Anne Little for the Vancouver-based Aragon Label. But it wasn’t until the late ‘50s that the song reached mainstream success with a version spawned by the American country trio, The Browns. 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. Now entrenched as a country standard and a fan favourite at country jamborees and music festivals, ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing’ has been recorded by the likes of Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, Marty Robbins and Bill Monroe.
“Hod’s song, ‘I Heard the Bluebirds Sing,’ has been widely celebrated in the United States, being covered by countless American artists. He would have been very proud to have his song honoured here in Canada by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” says Hod’s widow Linda Mae Greengrass.
The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (www.cshf.ca) honours and celebrates Canadian songwriters and those who have dedicated their lives to the legacy of music, and works to educate the public about these achievements. National and non-profit, the Hall of Fame is guided by its own board of directors who comprise both Anglophone and Francophone music creators and publishers, as well as representation from the record industry. In December 2011, SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) acquired the Hall of Fame. The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame’s mandate aligns with SOCAN’s objectives as a songwriter and publisher membership-based organization.
For a complete list of 2015 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame song inductions and links to the new Covered Classics versions, visit here.