Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for January 31st!
The Godfather of Grunge? Or just a simple songwriter from the prairies?
A little of both probably, but we see him as an another Amazing Canuck!
Canadian History for Kids, looks at the life of Neil Young!
Neil Young was born November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario to Rassy and Scott Young. His father was a highly respected sportswriter for The Toronto Sun and has authored several books, including Neil & Me, a 1984 title covering his relationship with his musician son. As a youth, he survived diabetes, polio, epilepsy and the divorce of his parents.
In 1960, Neil moved with his mother to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was there that music first became a huge part of his life. He switched from ukulele to guitar and was in a series of Winnipeg-based bands, including The Jades, The Esquires, The Classics and Neil Young & The Squires.
Initially an instrumental band in the style of The Shadows, The Squires ultimately became more of a folk-rock group. The Squires performed regularly at clubs and dance halls in Manitoba and Ontario.
Canadian History for Kids has learned that at a club in Fort William, Ontario in ’65, The Squires crossed paths with an American folk-rock band called The Company, which featured a singer/guitarist named
Stephen Stills. Young and Stills became fast friends but soon lost track of one another as The Squires disbanded in the summer of ’65.
In search of fresh opportunities, Young packed most of his possessions into his car and drove from Toronto to Los Angeles. On Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, his car was spotted in traffic by Stills and singer/guitarist Richie Furay. The three musicians huddled in a supermarket parking lot and immediately talked of forming a band. With the addition of a drummer, the Buffalo Springfield was born.
After some success with the Buffalo Springfield, Young joined the super group, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. From there rock and roll history was made.
He forged a successful and acclaimed solo career. His career has since spanned over 45 years and 35 studio albums, with a continual exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as “one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers”. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
Young is an outspoken advocate for environmental issues and the welfare of small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid.
And that’s this weeks Canadian History for Kids, Amazing Canuck!