10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters
Twenty-five years ago on June 2, 1983 Canadian folksinger and songwriter Stan Rogers died in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on the tarmac at Greater Cincinnati Airport. He was returning from the legendary Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival. The tragedy cut short a leading exponent of Canadian folk music who, even at the young age of 33, had become a leading influence for folk and acoustic music in his native country.
Rogers possessed a warm baritone voice that could erupt large like a volcano and he housed it all in a 6-foot, four-inch frame that Emily Friedman once wrote was “built like a fire truck.” He wrote and sang songs of the Canadian experience from the Maritimes to the Plains, songs that gave voice to ordinary Canadians who built a great modern country. He was a passionate Canadian partisan.
He began his professional career in 1969, but its pivotal point was an appearance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1975 and a subsequent recorded album of his songs about the Maritimes. Three years later he made his performing debut in the United States, appearing several times in Connecticut. He wrote some 100 songs, most molded by traditional folk music, and recorded eight albums. There are also several tribute albums.
This program not only was intended to mark the anniversary of his death but also introduce a new generation to a singular talent. I ended the night with a set from an early recording from Canadian singer/songwriter David Francey, who today is one of Canada’s leaning exponents of acoustic music.