Canadian music legends Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson, who performed hits like “Four Strong Winds” as Ian & Sylvia before splitting up to forge solo careers, received individual inductions into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, on September 5, at Calgary’s National Music Centre.
The former couple met and formed a duo in 1959 and moved to New York. It was their second album, 1964’s Four Strong Winds, that marked their breakthrough with the popularity of the title song, which Ian Tyson penned after an evening with Bob Dylan. It has since been deemed one of the most influential songs in Canadian history.
Sylvia Tyson wrote “You Were on My Mind” for the pair, and it went on to be covered by folk-rock group We Five, who took it to No. 3 on the Billboard charts in 1965.
By the ’70s, the duo founded the country-rock outfit Great Speckled Bird, whose debut album was released in 1970. The couple divorced in 1975, and their careers diverged as well, with Ian moving to Alberta, where his songwriting embraced stronger Western elements.
Sylvia Tyson turned out four albums from 1975 to 1980, plus dedicated her time to behind-the-scenes work. She was a founding member of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson’s inductions will coincide with the release of Ian & Sylvia — The Lost Tapes, a collection of newly discovered recordings.
The double album was released by Stony Plain Records on September 6.