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Willie P. Bennett

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William Patrick "Willie P." Bennett (26 October 1951 – 15 February 2008) was a Canadian folk-music singer-songwriter,Heeley, James. "Death of an icon". Peterborough Examiner, 19 February 2008. harmonica player, and mandolinist. Bennett was part of the 1970s folk music scene in Canada, and wrote and recorded many original songs. As well as performing as a solo artist, he was part of several well-known Ontario bands.

Life and career

Born in Toronto, Bennett was first recorded by folksinger David Wiffen, who released a cover of "White Lines" in 1973. Bennett released his first album, including his own recording of the song, the following year.
While working as solo performer, he recorded three albums, and also formed and fronted a newgrass group, the Bone China Band, touring through Ontario.
Throughout his career, Bennett kept busy as a sideman in bands fronted by other artists. From 1974 to 1979 he toured and recorded with the Dixie Flyers, playing harmonica, while continuing to perform as a solo artist."Great Coffee Houses Without FED Support". The Chevron, 13 January 1978 Bennett also played harmonica live and on recordings with Joe Hall, Doug McArthur, Sneezy Waters and several other pop and country artists.
Bennett co-wrote the song "Goodbye, So Long, Hello" with Russell deCarle. The song was recorded by deCarle's band Prairie Oyster, released as a single in 1990.
In the early 1990s, Bennett was a member of Toronto-based Pat Temple's band, the High Lonesome Players, playing live and appearing on their 1991 album, Connecting Lines. In 1991 he joined Fred Eaglesmith's band, the Flying Squirrels, with whom he toured and recorded, playing chiefly mandolin and harmonica and singing backup vocals, also serving as road manager, until shortly before his death."Willie P. Bennett: Squirrel of the Radio".
Bennett came to prominence in 1996, when Stephen Fearing, Colin Linden and Tom Wilson formed Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a supergroup named for Bennett's 1978 album, and recorded a tribute album featuring Bennett's songs. Bennett's first subsequent album of new material, Heartstrings, won a 1999 Juno Award for Best Roots and Traditional Album – Solo.Rellinger, Paul. "Music community singing sad note with death of local folk music icon". Peterborough This Week, 20 February 2008.
During a 2007 Victoria Day weekend concert in Midland, Ontario, Bennett suffered an on-stage heart attack; he continued playing to the end of the concert, but after that was forced to stop touring.
He died of a heart attack on 15 February 2008, at his home in Peterborough, Ontario. At the time of his death, he was recording an album and was planning on rejoining Fred Eaglesmith on tour. His sister inherited his music rights.
David Essig, producer of Bennett's first three albums, paid tribute to him in the song "Willie P", released on the 2009 album Double Vision (with Rick Scott). Canadian country singer Corb Lund wrote a song for Bennett on his 2009 album Losin' Lately Gambler, entitled "It's Hard to Keep a White Shirt Clean". Canadian songwriter Ian Tamblyn's 2009 album Gyre included a song he wrote for Willie called "Hurricane Heart". Americana songwriter Kenny Butterill wrote a song for Willie, "Wille We Miss Ya", released on his 2014 release Troubadour Tales.
In 2010, Bennett was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association's Canadian Country Music Hall of Honour"Willie P. Bennett". Canadian Country Music Association. List of Hall of Honour inductees. during the Canadian Country Music Awards. The award was accepted by his mother, sister and nephew. In 2014, the "Willie P. Bennett Legacy Project" was launched online, providing a space to share stories and new versions of Bennett's songs and to start a memorial award in his honour.

Awards

  • 1990 Canadian Country Music Association – Song of the Year, for "Goodbye, So Long, Hello" (co-written with Russell deCarle)
  • 1998 SOCAN – Song of the Year: Most Played Country Songs of 1997, for "One Way Track" (co-written with Russell deCarle)https://kawarthanow.com/2015/03/02/russell-decarle-trio/ This references "Song of the Year" in the year 2008, but Billboard 5 December 1998 (retrieved via google search) lists it as "Most Played Country Songs" for 1997, awarded in 1998
  • 1999 Juno Award – Best Solo Roots And Traditional Album, for Heartstrings
  • 2010 Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame – Inducted as Artisthttps://www.ccma.org/cgi/page.cgi/hall_of_fame_inductees.html?log=view&log_id=78,

Discography

Singles

{ / "This Lonesome Feelin' "
align="center" —
Blackie and the Rodeo King
-
rowspan="2" 1989
"The Lucky Ones" / "Ain't Got No Notion"
align="center" 19
rowspan="2" The Lucky Ones
-
"Train Tracks" / "Goodbye So Long Hello"
align="center" —

Albums

{ (from Tryin' to Start Out Clean)
-
1979
Live at the Nervous Breakdown
Nervous Breakdown Productions NB001
Includes "Has Anyone Seen My Baby Here Tonight" recorded live in London, Ontario, with Mendelson Joe, (mislabeled "Storm Clouds" on LP cover)
-
1981
Touch the Earth
CBC LM 473
Includes "My Pie", recorded live in CBC Studio 4S in Toronto, 1974
-
2001
Festival to Go: All Canadian Sampler Vol. 2
Festival Distribution FDI 003
Includes "Restless Wind" (from Heartstrings)
-
2006
Hope: The Design Hope Songwriters Project
Design Hope
Includes the original song "Solitaire"
-
2014
Live From Dollar Bill's: Bootlegger's Legacy
Not on label
Includes "Tryin' To Start Out Clean", "Come on Train", "It's Not The Love You Give Me", recorded live in Kingston, Ontario

With The Dixie Flyers

Willie was a full time member of this bluegrass band, playing on harmonica what would generally be considered the fiddle part.
{ (with Bob Webb)
-
1977
Larger Than Life
Denis LePage
Lead vocal & additional lyrics ("John Henry, The Gambler"), harmonica
-
1978
The Doctor Is In
Denis LePage
Harmonica ("Dalrymple", "Gravel Run", "Over The Rainbow")
-
1978
Hard Rock Miner
Glen Reid
Harmonica, band member
-
1979
Denis Lepage & Station Road
Denis Lepage & Station Road
Harmonica
-
197?
Musician at Large
Richard Knechtel
Harmonica
-
1980
It's High Time
Coyote
Harmonica
-
1981
Sings Hank Williams
Sneezy Waters
Harmonica
-
1985
Fire in the Snow
Terry Christenson
Harmonica
-
1986
The Immortals
Colin Linden
Backing vocals
-
1987
Summer Heart
Terry Christenson
Harmonica
-
1990
Different Kind of Fire
Prairie Oyster
Co-wrote "Goodbye, So Long, Hello" with Russel deCarle
-
1990
Violet And Black
Scott Merritt
Harmonica
-
1991
Connecting Lines
Pat Temple and the High Lonesome Players
Harmonica, band member
-
1993
Drinking with the Poet
Scott B. Sympathy
Harmonica
-
1994
Antarctica
Ian Tamblyn
Harmonica on "The Penguin Came From Pittsburgh" & "The Bloodvein"
-
1994
Cold Cuts
Pat Temple and the High Lonesome Players
Harmonica & mandolin, band member
-
1995
Straight Line
Katherine Wheatley
Mandolin, harmonica on "Main Street"
-
1995
Hear Them Callin'
Kevin Head
-
1995
The Stars Above
Tim Harrison
Harmonica
-
1996
High or Hurtin
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Vocals, harmony vocals, harmonica, mandolin
-
1996
Slightly Haunted
Lynn Miles
Harmonica on "I Always Told You The Truth", "Long Time Coming", harmonica & mandolin on "The Ghost of Deadlock"
-
1996
She & She & She
Bird Sisters
Harmonica
-
1997
Blue Plate Special
Prairie Oyster
Harmony Vocals "She Won't Be Lonely Long", "In The Summertime"; Co-wrote "One Way Track" with Russell deCarle
-
1997
Flying Jenny
Linda McRae
Harmonica
-
1997
Industrial Lullaby
Stephen Fearing
Co-wrote "Coryanna", Harmonica on "So Many Miles Away", "Dog on a Chain"
-
1998
Painter Passing Through
Gordon Lightfoot
Harmonica on "Uncle Toad Said"
-
1999
Handle with Care
Paul McKay & the Perfect Strangers
Lead vocals ("Bless This World'", "Back to the Country", "Maybe It's Crazy", "Wildwood Lullaby"), harmonica ("Back to the Country")
-
1999
Kings Of Love
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Harmonica & vocals ("Patience Of A Working Man"), mandolin ("Lean On Your Peers", "Red Dress"), harmonica ("If You Have To Choose")
-
2000
Rough but Honest Miner
Richard Wright
Harmonica (member of Wake Up Jacob Band)
-
2001
Walk On
Terry Tufts
Harmonica, Jew's harp
-
2002
Jazz: All Over The Map
Paul McKay
vocals on "Maybe It's Crazy", "Wildwood Lullaby"
-
2003
Dirty Rotten Shame
Stephen Hogg
Backing Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Jew's Harp
-
2003
Just a Songwriter
Kenny Butterill
Mandolin
-
2005
The Canadian F̶i̶d̶d̶l̶e̶ Violin
John P. Allen
Guitar & harmonica on "Lace and Pretty Flowers"
-
2005
Roger Marin Jr
Roger Marin Jr
Harmonica; Co-wrote "It Breaks My Heart" with Roger Marin Jr.
-
2006
I'm a Mountain
Sarah Harmer
Harmonica on "How Deep in the Valley"
-
2006
Hope: The Design Hope Songwriters Project
Various Artists
Mandolin on Linda Duemo track "Circus Life", harmonica on Dan Medakovic track "Fine Line'"
-
2007
Lovers Find Reasons
Lindsay Jane
-
2007
Anywhere
Paul O'Toole
Mandolin on "Creepy Coated Love Song"
-
2007
High Roads
Roger Marin
Harmonica
-
2007
Redneck Lullaby
J.P. Riemens & the Bar Flies
Harmonica ("Indian Girl", "Small Town Inertia"), backup vocals ("Redneck Lullaby")
-
2007
I Dreamt I Had a Recurring Dream
Wally High and the Non-Prophets
Co-wrote "Angels in Prison (Biting at Angels)"; mandolin, harmonica, guitar, backing vocals on multiple tracks
-
2008
Evening Bird
Paul McKay & the Perfect Strangers
Lead vocals on "Just Another Kid in Graceland"
-
2015
Day For Day
Pat Temple
Co-wrote "Back In Style" with Pat Temple

Cover versions

{ class="wikitable"
! Song
! Artist
! Album
! Year
-
rowspan=2 Andrew's Waltz
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Kings of Love (also on the 2009 compilation Swinging From The Chains of Love)
1999
-
Claire Lynch
North By South
2016
-
Blackie & the Rodeo King
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin

1996
-
Caney Fork River
Old Man Luedecke
My Hands Are on Fire and Other Love Songs
2010
-
Come on Train
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
Country Squall
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
Crying The Blues
Audrey Auld
Tonk
2013
-
Don't Blame Your Blues On Me
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Let's Frolic Again
2007
-
Don't Have Much to Say
Sneezy Waters
You've Got Sawdust on the Floor of Your Heart
1978
-
Driftin' Snow
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
Faces
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
For the Sake of a Dollar
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings with Russell deCarle
High or Hurtin
1996
-
Goodbye, So Long, Hello
Prairie Oyster
Different Kind of Fire (also released as a single, 1990)
1990
-
Has Anyone Seen My Baby Here Tonight
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin

1996
-
rowspan=2 If I Could Take My Own Advice
Prairie Oyster
Different Kind of Fire (CD versions only, also b-side to US single release of Goodbye, So Long, Hello, 1990)
1990
-
Pat Temple
Day For Day
2015
-
If You Have to Choose
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Kings of Love
1999
-
rowspan=2 Job Disorder
Scott B. Sympathy
Neil Young Street
1990
-
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
John Henry The Gambler
Tom Wilson
Live at the Acoustic Grill
2010
-
rowspan=4 Lace and Pretty Flowers
Binder Brothers
Binder Nation
2006
-
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin

1996
-
John P. Allen
Canadian Fiddle (violin)
2005
-
Sneezy Waters
You've Got Sawdust on the Floor of Your Heart
1978
-
rowspan=4 Music in Your Eyes
Colleen Peterson
Beginning to Feel Like Home (also on a 1976 CBC Radio Canada International broadcast LP – cat no. LM 410)
1973
-
Garnet Rogers
Garnet Rogers
1984
-
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
Stan Rogers
From Coffee House to Concert Hall
1999
-
My Pie
Washboard Hank
Human Beans
2016
-
Patience of a Working Man
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Kings of Love
1999
-
Rains on Me
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin

1996
-
Red Dress
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Kings of Love
1999
-
Sometimes it Comes So Easy
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Let's Frolic Again (also on the 2009 compilation Swinging From The Chains of Love)
2007
-
rowspan=2 Stealin' Away
Colleen Peterson
Colleen
1977
-
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin
1996
-
Step Away
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings with Emmylou Harris
Kings & Queens
2011
-
The Lucky Ones
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
Kings of Love
1999
-
rowspan=2 This Lonesome Feelin'
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings with Vince Gill
Kings And Kings
2016
-
Denis Lepage & Station Road
At the Cowboy Arms Hotel
1980
-
Tryin' to Start Out Clean
Colleen Peterson
Colleen (also on the 1994 compilation What Goes Around Comes Around)
1977
-
Turnkey
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin

1996
-
rowspan=9 White Line
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
High or Hurtin' (also on the 2009 compilation Swinging From The Chains of Love)
1996
-
Billie Hughes
Horton, Bates & Best – The Last Catch
1981
-
David Wiffen
Coast to Coast Fever (also released as a single in 1974)
1973
-
Doug Seegers
A Story I Got To Tell
2019
-
John Starling
Long Time Gone
1993
-
Jonathan Edwards
Rockin' Chair (also b-side of the single Favourite Song 1976)
1975
-
Peter Pringle
Peter Pringle
1976
-
Pure Prairie League
Can't Hold Back
1979
-
The Seldom Scene
Live at the Cellar Door
1974
-
rowspan=3 Willie's Diamond Joe
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings
BARK
2003
-
Matt Andersen
Coal Mining Blues
2011
-
Russell deCarle Trio
Live at Loud Mouse Studios
2014
-
You Care
Kenny Neal
One Step Closer
2001

See also


  • Canadian rock
  • Music of Canada

External links

  • Willie P. Bennett legacy project

Category:1951 births
Category:2008 deaths
Category:Musicians from Toronto
Category:Canadian folk guitarists
Category:Canadian male guitarists
Category:Canadian folk singer-songwriters
Category:Canadian harmonica players
Category:Canadian male singer-songwriters
Category:Canadian country singer-songwriters
Category:Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Solo winners
Category:Canadian bluegrass mandolinists
Category:Canadian mandolinists
Category:20th-century Canadian singers
Category:20th-century Canadian guitarists
Category:20th-century male singers
 
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