Singer-songwriters are musicians who write and perform their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies. The genre began with the folk-acoustic tradition. Singer-songwriters provide the sole accompaniment to an entire composition or song using a guitar or piano. "Singer-songwriter" is used to define popular music artists who write and perform their own material, self-accompanied on acoustic guitar or piano. Such an artist performs the roles of composer, vocalist, sometimes instrumentalist, self-manager. According to AllMusic, singer-songwriters' lyrics are personal but veiled by elaborate metaphors and vague imagery, their creative concern is to place emphasis on the song rather than their performance of it. Most records by such artists have a straightforward and spare sound that placed emphasis on the song itself; the term has been used to describe songwriters in the rock, folk and pop music genres including Henry Russell, Aristide Bruant, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly. It came into popular usage in the 1960s onwards to describe songwriters who followed particular stylistic and thematic conventions lyrical introspection, confessional songwriting, mild musical arrangements, an understated performing style.
According to writer Larry David Smith, because it merged the roles of composer and singer, the popularity of the singer-songwriter reintroduced the Medieval troubadour tradition of "songs with public personalities" after the Tin Pan Alley era in American popular music. Song topics include political protest, as in the case of the Almanac Singers, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie; the concept of a singer-songwriter can be traced to ancient bardic oral tradition, which has existed in various forms throughout the world. Poems would be performed as chant or song, sometimes accompanied by a harp or other similar instrument. After the invention of printing, songs would be performed by ballad sellers; these would be versions of existing tunes and lyrics, which were evolving. This developed into the singer-songwriting traditions of folk culture. Traveling performers existed throughout Europe. Thus, the folklorist Anatole Le Braz gives a detailed account of one ballad singer, Yann Ar Minouz, who wrote and performed songs traveling through Brittany in the late nineteenth century and selling printed versions.
In large towns it was possible to make a living performing in public venues, with the invention of phonographic recording, early singer-songwriters like Théodore Botrel, George M. Cohan and Hank Williams became celebrities. During the period from the 1940s through the 1960s, sparked by the American folk music revival, young performers inspired by traditional folk music and groups like the Almanac Singers and the Weavers began writing and performing their own original material and creating their own musical arrangements; the term "singer-songwriter" in North America can be traced back to singers who developed works in the blues and folk music style. Early to mid-20th century American singer-songwriters include Lead Belly, Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, Blind Willie McTell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, Robert Johnson. In the 1940s and 1950s country singer-songwriters like Hank Williams became well known, as well as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, along with Ronnie Gilbert and Lee Hays and other members of the Weavers who performed their topical works to an ever-growing wider audience.
These proto-singer-songwriters were less concerned than today's singer-songwriters with the unadulterated originality of their music and lyrics, would lift parts from other songs and play covers without hesitation. The tradition of writing topical songs was established by this group of musicians. Singers like Seeger and Guthrie would attend rallies for labor unions, so wrote many songs concerning the life of the working classes, social protest; this focus on social issues has influenced the singer-songwriter genre. Additionally in the 1930s through the 1950s several jazz and blues singer-songwriters emerged like Hoagy Carmichael, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Harry Gibson, Nina Simone, as well as in the rock n' roll genre from which emerged influential singer-songwriters Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Paul Anka. In the country music field, singer-songwriters like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, Billy Edd Wheeler, others emerged from the 1940s through the 1960s writing compelling songs about love relationships and other subjects.
The first popular recognition of the singer-songwriter in English-speaking North America and the United Kingdom occurred in the 1960s and early 1970s when a series of blues and country-influenced musicians rose to prominence and popularity. These singer-songwriters included Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Lennon, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell. Artists, songwriters, notably Carole King, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Diamond began releasing work as performers. In contrast to the storytelling approach of most prior country and folk music, these performers wrote songs from a personal, introspective point of
Linda Maria Ronstadt is a retired American popular music singer known for singing in a wide range of genres including rock, light opera, Latin. She has earned 10 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, many of her albums have been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum in the United States and internationally, she has earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award. She was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Latin Recording Academy in 2011 and awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy in 2016, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On July 28, 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Humanities. In 2019, she will receive a joint star with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their work as the group Trio. In total, she has released over 30 studio albums and 15 compilation or greatest hits albums.
Ronstadt charted 38 Billboard Hot 100 singles, with 21 reaching the top 40, 10 in the top 10, three at number 2, "You're No Good" at number 1. This success did not translate to the UK, with only her single "Blue Bayou" reaching the UK Top 40, her duet with Aaron Neville, "Don't Know Much", peaked at number 2 in December 1989. In addition, she has charted 36 albums, 10 top-10 albums and three number 1 albums on the Billboard Pop Album Chart, her autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir, was published in September 2013. It debuted in the Top 10 on The New York Times Best Seller list. Ronstadt has collaborated with artists in diverse genres, including Bette Midler, Billy Eckstine, Frank Zappa, Carla Bley, Rosemary Clooney, Flaco Jiménez, Philip Glass, Warren Zevon, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, Nelson Riddle, she has lent her voice to over 120 albums and has sold more than 100 million records, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.
Christopher Loudon, of Jazz Times, wrote in 2004 that Ronstadt is "blessed with arguably the most sterling set of pipes of her generation."After completing her last live concert in late 2009, Ronstadt retired in 2011. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in December 2012. Linda Maria Ronstadt was born in 1946 in Tucson, the third of four children of Gilbert Ronstadt, a prosperous machinery merchant who ran the F. Ronstadt Co. and Ruth Mary Ronstadt, a homemaker. Ronstadt was raised on the family's 10-acre ranch with her siblings Michael J. and Gretchen. The family was featured in Family Circle magazine in 1953. Linda's father came from a pioneering Arizona ranching family and was of German and Mexican ancestry; the family's influence on and contributions to Arizona's history, including wagon making, commerce and music, are chronicled in the library of the University of Arizona. Linda Ronstadt's great-grandfather, graduate engineer Friedrich August Ronstadt immigrated to the Southwest in the 1840s from Hanover and married a Mexican citizen settling in Tucson.
In 1991, the City of Tucson opened its central transit terminal on March 16 and dedicated it to Linda's grandfather, Federico José María Ronstadt, a local pioneer businessman. Her mother Ruth Mary, of German and Dutch ancestry, was raised in Flint, Michigan, she was a daughter of a prolific inventor and holder of many patents. Copeman, with nearly 700 patents to his name, invented an early form of the toaster, many refrigerator devices, the grease gun, the first electric stove, an early form of the microwave oven, his flexible rubber ice cube tray earned him millions of dollars in royalties. Establishing her professional career in the mid-1960s at the forefront of California's emerging folk rock and country rock movements – genres which defined post-1960s rock music – Ronstadt joined forces with Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards and became the lead singer of a folk-rock trio, the Stone Poneys; as a solo artist, she released Hand Sown... Home Grown in 1969, described as the first alternative country record by a female recording artist.
Although fame eluded her during these years, Ronstadt toured with the Doors, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, others, appeared numerous times on television shows, began to contribute her singing to albums by other artists. With the release of chart-topping albums such as Heart Like a Wheel, Simple Dreams, Living in the USA, Ronstadt became the first female "arena class" rock star, she set records as one of the top-grossing concert artists of the decade. Referred to as the "First Lady of Rock" and the "Queen of Rock", Ronstadt was voted the Top Female Pop Singer of the 1970s, her rock-and-roll image was as famous as her music. In the 1980s, Ronstadt went to Broadway and garnered a Tony nomination for her performance in The Pirates of Penzance, teamed with the composer Philip Glass, recorded traditional music, collaborated with the conductor Nelson Riddle, an event at that time viewed as an original and unorthodox move for a rock-and-roll artist; this venture paid off, Ronstadt remained one of the music industry's best-selling acts throughout the 1980s, with multi-platinum-selling albums such as What's New, Canciones de Mi Padre, Cry Like a
Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian. Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of many different ethnic and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of Old World immigrants and their descendants. Following the initial period of French and the much larger British colonization, different waves of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today. Elements of Indigenous, French and more recent immigrant customs and religions have combined to form the culture of Canada, thus a Canadian identity. Canada has been influenced by its linguistic and economic neighbour—the United States. Canadian independence from the United Kingdom grew over the course of many years since the formation of the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
World War I and World War II in particular, gave rise to a desire among Canadians to have their country recognized as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship. Legislative independence was established with the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on January 1, 1947, full sovereignty was achieved with the patriation of the constitution in 1982. Canada's nationality law mirrored that of the United Kingdom. Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and socioeconomic development; as of 2010, Canadians make up only 0.5% of the world's total population, having relied upon immigration for population growth and social development. 41% of current Canadians are first- or second-generation immigrants, 20% of Canadian residents in the 2000s were not born in the country. Statistics Canada projects that, by 2031, nearly one-half of Canadians above the age of 15 will be foreign-born or have one foreign-born parent.
Indigenous peoples, according to the 2011 Canadian Census, numbered at 1,400,685 or 4.3% of the country's 33,476,688 population. While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of permanent settlers were the French, who founded the New France settlements, in present-day Quebec and Ontario. 100 Irish-born families would settle the Saint Lawrence Valley by 1700, assimilating into the Canadien population and culture. During the 18th and 19th century; this arrival of newcomers led to the creation of the Métis, an ethnic group of mixed European and First Nations parentage. The British conquest of New France was preceded by a small number of Germans and Swedes who settled alongside the Scottish in Port Royal, Nova Scotia, while some Irish immigrated to the Colony of Newfoundland. In the wake of the British Conquest of 1760 and the Expulsion of the Acadians, many families from the British colonies in New England moved over into Nova Scotia and other colonies in Canada, where the British made farmland available to British settlers on easy terms.
More settlers arrived during and after the American Revolutionary War, when 60,000 United Empire Loyalists fled to British North America, a large portion of whom settled in New Brunswick. After the War of 1812, British and Irish immigration was encouraged throughout Rupert's Land, Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Between 1815 and 1850, some 800,000 immigrants came to the colonies of British North America from the British Isles as part of the Great Migration of Canada; these new arrivals included some Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances to Nova Scotia. The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s increased the pace of Irish immigration to Prince Edward Island and the Province of Canada, with over 35,000 distressed individuals landing in Toronto in 1847 and 1848. Descendants of Francophone and Anglophone northern Europeans who arrived in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries are referred to as Old Stock Canadians. Beginning in the late 1850s, the immigration of Chinese into the Colony of Vancouver Island and Colony of British Columbia peaked with the onset of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.
The Chinese Immigration Act placed a head tax on all Chinese immigrants, in hopes of discouraging Chinese immigration after completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The population of Canada has risen, doubling every 40 years, since the establishment of the Canadian Confederation in 1867. In the mid-to-late 19th century, Canada had a policy of assisting immigrants from Europe, including an estimated 100,000 unwanted "Home Children" from Britain. Block settlement communities were established throughout western Canada between the late 19th and early 20th centuries; some were planned and others were spontaneously created by the settlers themselves. Canada was now receiving a large number of European immigrants, predominantly Italians, Scandinavians, Dutch and Ukrainians. Legislative restrictions on immigration that had favoured British and other European immigrants were a
Albert Wade Hemsworth was a Canadian folk singer and songwriter. Although he was not a prolific composer, having written only about 20 songs during his entire career, several of his songs — most notably "The Wild Goose", "The Black Fly Song" and "The Log Driver's Waltz" — are among the most enduring classics in the history of Canadian folk music. Hemsworth was born and grew up in Brantford, Ontario and learned to play guitar and banjo in his youth, he subsequently studied painting at the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 1939, spent World War II serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was stationed for a time in Newfoundland, it was there that he first discovered traditional music. After the war, he worked as a surveyor in the wilderness areas of Northern Ontario and Labrador, the job which provided Hemsworth with the subject matter for many of his songs, he subsequently moved to Montreal in 1952, where he worked as a draftsman for the Canadian National Railway, performed in the city's folk music clubs at night.
He recorded his first album, Folk Songs of the Canadian North Woods, in 1956. That album included both original compositions by Hemsworth and traditional songs he had learned in his various jobs. In 1957 Hemsworth recited and sang the narration of Log Drive, a documentary of the National Film Board of Canada about the annual spring log drive on the Riviere Lièvre in Quebec. In the early 1960s, most of Hemsworth's songs were being sung by the Mountain City Four, a now legendary folk ensemble that included the teenaged Kate and Anna McGarrigle; the band's rendition of "The Log Driver's Waltz", with the McGarrigles on vocals, became famous as the soundtrack of an animated short film by the National Film Board in 1979. Hemsworth himself sometimes performed with the group, although he was not a regular member; the McGarrigles continued to perform Hemsworth's songs after branching out as a duo, including a cover of "Foolish You" on their 1975 album Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Hemsworth retired from the CNR in 1977 and moved to Morin Heights, Quebec, a small village in the Laurentian Mountains about 70 kilometres north of Montreal.
In 1990, he published a songbook, The Songs of Wade Hemsworth, which led to an appearance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, filmed for a CBC Television documentary. In 1995, at the age of 79, Hemsworth recorded his second album, The Songs of Wade Hemsworth, which included all 16 songs from the 1990 songbook. Hemsworth died at Ste. Anne's Hospital for Veterans in Montreal in 2002, following a lengthy illness. On learning of Wade's death, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson paid tribute to Hemsworth, saying that his songs were "so much a part of our folklore and so familiar to us that we didn't realize anyone had written them." His great-nephew named Wade Hemsworth, worked as a journalist and columnist at The Hamilton Spectator. Folk Songs of the Canadian North Woods The Songs of Wade Hemsworth The Unfortunate Rake The Rough Guide to the Music of Canada Classic Canadian Songs from Smithsonian Folkways Wade Hemsworth at The Canadian Encyclopedia The Log Driver's Waltz NFB The Black Fly Song NFB Discography at Smithsonian Folkways
Emmylou Harris is an American singer and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers' works, a singer-songwriter, a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists. Harris is from a career military family, her father, Walter Harris, was a Marine Corps officer, her mother, was a wartime military wife. Her father was reported missing in action in Korea in 1952 and spent ten months as a prisoner of war. Born in Birmingham, Harris spent her childhood in North Carolina and Woodbridge, where she graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School as class valedictorian, she won a drama scholarship to the UNCG School of Music and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she began to study music, learn the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on guitar.
She dropped out of college to pursue her musical aspirations, moved to New York City, working as a waitress to support herself while performing folk songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses during the 1960s folk music boom. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird. Harris and Slocum soon divorced, Harris and her newborn daughter Hallie moved in with her parents in Clarksville, Maryland, a suburb near Washington, D. C. Harris soon returned to performing as part of a trio with Tom Guidera. In 1971, members of the country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers saw. Instead, Hillman recommended her to Gram Parsons, looking for a female vocalist to collaborate with on his first solo album, GP. Harris toured as a member of Parsons's band, the Fallen Angels, in 1973, the pair shone during vocal harmonies and duets; that year and Harris worked on a studio album, Grievous Angel. Parsons died in his motel room near what is now Joshua Tree National Park on September 19, 1973, from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol.
Parsons's Grievous Angel was released posthumously in 1974, three more tracks from his sessions with Harris were included on another posthumous Parsons album, Sleepless Nights, in 1976. One more album of recorded material from that period was packaged as Live 1973, but was not released until 1982. Warner Brothers A&R representative Mary Martin introduced Harris to Canadian producer Brian Ahern, who produced her major label debut album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975 on Reprise Records; the album was eclectic by Nashville standards, including cover versions of the Beatles' "For No One", Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and the Louvin Brothers' "If I Could Only Win Your Love". It featured "Bluebird Wine", a composition by a young Texas songwriter, Rodney Crowell, the first in a long line of songwriters whose talents Harris has championed; the record was one of the most expensive country records produced at the time, featuring the talents of James Burton, Glen Hardin, Ron Tutt, Ray Pohlman, Bill Payne, as well as two tracks that were cut with the Angel Band.
Two singles were released: "Too Far Gone", which charted at No. 73, Harris's first big hit, "If I Could Only Win Your Love", a duet with Herb Pedersen, which peaked at No. 4. Executives of Warner Bros. Records told Harris they would agree to record her if she would "get a hot band". Harris did so, enlisting guitarist James Burton and pianist Glen Hardin, both of whom had played with Elvis Presley as well as Parsons. Burton was a renowned guitarist, starting in Ricky Nelson's band in the 1950s, Hardin had been a member of the Crickets. Other Hot Band members were drummer John Ware, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, bassist Emory Gordy, Jr. with whom Harris had worked while performing with Parsons. Singer-songwriter Crowell was enlisted as a rhythm duet partner. Harris's first tour schedule dovetailed around Presley's, owing to Burton and Hardin's continuing commitments to Presley's band; the Hot Band lived up to its name, with most of the members moving on with fresh talent replacing them as they went on to solo careers of their own.
Elite Hotel, released in December 1975, established that the buzz created by Pieces of the Sky was well-founded. Unusual for country albums at the time, which revolved around a hit single, Harris's albums borrowed their approach from the album-oriented rock market. In terms of quality and artistic merit, tracks like "Sin City", "Wheels", "Till I Gain Control Again", which weren't singles stood against tracks like "Together Again", "Sweet Dreams", "One of These Days", which were. Elite Hotel was a No. 1 country album and did sufficiently well as a crossover success with the rock audience. Harris appealed to those who disapproved of the country market's pull toward crossover pop singles. Elite Hotel won a Grammy in 1976 for Female. Harris's reputation for guest work continued, she contributed to albums by Linda Ronstadt, Guy Clark and Neil Young, she was tapped by Bob Dylan to perform on his Desi
Martha Wainwright is a Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of American folk singer and actor Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, she was raised in a musical family along with her older brother, Rufus Wainwright, in Montreal, Canada. Wainwright released an independent cassette, Ground Floor, in 1997; the following year, her song "Year of the Dragon" appeared on The McGarrigle Hour, an album released by Kate & Anna McGarrigle. Shortly after this recording, Martha began singing backup vocals for her brother, released the six-song EP Martha Wainwright in 1999. Following her drama classes at Montreal's Concordia University, she moved to New York City, where she established herself as singer and songwriter, she made contacts within the industry, one of whom was producer Brad Albetta, who worked with Wainwright to produce her self-titled debut album, Martha Wainwright. Albetta worked again with Wainwright to produce her second album, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too, released in Canada on June 10, 2008.
Artists contributing to the album include Pete Townshend, Donald Fagen, Garth Hudson, as well as her mother and aunt. Wainwright is signed with the independent record labels Rounder Records in the United States, DiS in the United Kingdom, MapleMusic Recordings in Canada, V2 Records in Europe and Shock Records in Australia, she performed "Tower of Song" and "The Traitor" at the Leonard Cohen tribute concert which became the film and album Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. In 1988, Wainwright sang the end credit song "Tommy Come Back" for the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, she sang the French version of the song "Tommy, Reviens" for the French version of the movie titled "Les Aventuriers du Timbre Perdu." In 1999, Wainwright sang the title track in the short animated film When The Day Breaks, directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis and funded by the National Film Board of Canada or NFB. In 2001, Wainwright recorded "Star Crossed Lovers" with Propellerheads for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease Since the release of her album, I Know You're Married...
Wainwright toured in Europe, the United States and Australia. She has positive reviews, she appeared at the 2007 Bonnaroo and at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire in August 2007. She duetted with Snow Patrol at the V Festival and Lollapalooza, performed with her brother at the Hollywood Bowl in September 2007, she recorded the song "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" with Snow Patrol in 2006. In May 2007 Martha Wainwright, her mother, Kate McGarrigle, cousin Lily Lanken performed "Golden Hair" and "See Emily Play" at the Syd Barrett memorial concert at the Barbican Centre in London. In 2010, Martha contributed background vocals on Hole's album Nobody's Daughter. In 2013, she recorded the soundtrack album for the fourth season of the television drama series Trauma, including covers of songs by Offenbach, Claude Dubois, Daniel Bélanger, Ariane Moffatt, Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon and Kate and Anna McGarrigle, as well as French translations of her own songs "I Will Internalize", "When the Day Is Short" and "This Life".
In 2014, she appeared in all four episodes of the HBO television miniseries Olive Kitteridge, portraying Angela O'Meara, who sings and plays the piano in the restaurant – and in the nursing home – in the fictional seaside town of Crosby, performing covers of 1970s pop tunes. She participated in the 2015 edition of Canada Reads, advocating for Jocelyne Saucier's novel And the Birds Rained Down, she married her producer Brad Albetta in September 2007. They have two sons and Francis Valentine. Martha Wainwright I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, à Paris: Martha Wainwright's Piaf Record Come Home to Mama Trauma: Chansons de la serie tele Saison 4 Songs in the Dark Goodnight City Official website Martha Wainwright discography at Discogs Martha Wainwright on IMDb
Kate McGarrigle, CM was a Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, who wrote and performed as a duo with her sister Anna McGarrigle. She is the mother of singers Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright from her marriage to American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, which ended in divorce. Born in Montreal, Quebec, to Irish pianist Francis McGarrigle and French Canadian mother Gabrielle Latrémouille, the three McGarrigle sisters grew up in the village of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, north of Montreal, their family was a musical one on both sides gathering around the piano and singing, allowing Kate and her sisters to absorb influences as varied as Gershwin, French Canadian folk songs, Stephen Foster, composer-singers such as Wade Hemsworth, Edith Piaf. The sisters were formally introduced to music by taking piano lessons from the village nuns. In the 1960s Kate and Anna established themselves in Montreal's burgeoning folk scene while they attended school. From 1963 to 1967, they teamed up with Jack Nissenson and Peter Weldon to form the folk group, the Mountain City Four.
Anna, 14 months older than Kate, studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal in Montreal. It was at this time. Although she sang in English, according to Juan Rodriguez and Anna "put Québécois folk music...on the global music map in 1980 with Complainte pour Ste. Cathérine, Entre la jeunesse et la sagesse and 2003's La vache qui pleure."The McGarrigle sisters' life has been chronicled in Dane Lanken's Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Songs and Stories. Place Kate-McGarrigle was inaugurated on August 2013 in Montreal's Outremont borough, it contains a sculpture by Robert Wilson in the form of a double chair. McGarrigle - a Montreal native - lived nearby before her death, her son, says he discussed with Kate the offer of his childhood friend, Lorca Cohen, for Rufus to sire her child. He says that Kate encouraged him to accept Cohen's offer, that he regrets she didn't live long enough to see his daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen's birth. Kate and Anna's 1976 self-titled debut album was chosen by Melody Maker as Best Record of the Year.
Their albums Matapedia and The McGarrigle Hour won Juno Awards. In 1999 Kate and Anna received Women of Originality awards. In 1993 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2006 Kate and Anna McGarrigle were the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the SOCAN Awards. McGarrigle was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and established the Kate McGarrigle Fund at the McGill University Health Centre, which she set up in 2008 to raise awareness of sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects connective tissue such as bone, muscle and cartilage, she died of clear-cell sarcoma on January 2010, aged 63 at her home in Montreal, Quebec. Her sister Anna wrote on their website: "Sadly our sweet Kate had to leave us last night, she departed in a haze of love surrounded by family and good friends. She is irreplaceable and we are broken-hearted. Til we meet again dear sister."She made her last public appearance, with Rufus and Martha Wainwright, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, just six weeks before her death.
The show raised $55,000 for the Kate McGarrigle Fund. On June 12, 2010, the Meltdown Festival staged a tribute concert in her honour, organised by Richard Thompson; the concert included performances by her daughter Martha Wainwright, son Rufus Wainwright, sister Anna McGarrigle, ex-husband Loudon Wainwright III, Neil Tennant, Nick Cave, Emmylou Harris and Linda Thompson, longtime friends and musical collaborators Chaim Tannenbaum and Joel Zifkin. Her close friend Emmylou Harris wrote the song "Darlin' Kate" in her memory, which appears on her album Hard Bargain. On May 12 and 13, 2011, at New York City's Town Hall, a "Celebration of Kate McGarrigle" was held. Among the participating artists honoring her at these concerts were Martha Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Anna McGarrigle, Emmylou Harris, Lisa Hannigan, Norah Jones, Antony Hegarty, Jimmy Fallon, Krystle Warren, Justin Vivian Bond, Teddy Thompson, Jenni Muldaur writer Michael Ondaatje and longtime friends and McGarrigle sidemen Chaim Tannenbaum and Joel Zifkin.
The celebration was filmed by Lian Lunson. Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle was released in June 2013. Kate & Anna McGarrigle Dancer with Bruised Knees Pronto Monto Entre la jeunesse et la sagesse Love Over and Over Heartbeats Accelerating Matapédia The McGarrigle Hour La vache qui pleure The McGarrigle Christmas Hour ODDiTTiES Tell My Sister Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle Kate McGarrigle on IMDb Obituary in the Guardian Vanity Fair Tribute Article Kate McGarrigle at Find a Grave