Stanley Allison Rogers (November 29, 1949 – June 2, 1983)[1] was a Canadian folk musician and songwriter.

Stan Rogers
Background information
Birth nameStanley Allison Rogers
Born(1949-11-29)November 29, 1949
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
DiedJune 2, 1983(1983-06-02) (aged 33)
Hebron, Kentucky, U.S.
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1970–1983
LabelsRCA, Fogarty's Cove, Borealis

Rogers was noted for his traditional-sounding songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes.[2] Rogers died in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on the ground at the Greater Cincinnati Airport at the age of 33.

Early life and musical development edit

Rogers was born in Hamilton, Ontario,[1] the eldest son of Nathan Allison Rogers and Valerie (née Bushell) Rogers, two Maritimers who had relocated to Ontario in search of work shortly after their marriage in July 1948. Although Rogers was raised in Binbrook, Ontario,[3] he often spent summers visiting family in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.[4][5]

It was there that he became familiar with the way of life in the Maritimes, an influence which was to have a profound impact on his subsequent musical development. He was interested in music from an early age, reportedly beginning to sing shortly after learning to speak.[5] He received his first guitar, a miniature hand-built by his uncle Lee Bushell, when he was five years of age.[6] He was exposed to a variety of music influences, but among the most lasting were the country and western tunes his uncles would sing during family get-togethers. Throughout his childhood, he would practice his singing and playing along with his brother Garnet, six years his junior.[7]

While Rogers was attending Saltfleet High School, Stoney Creek, Ontario,[8] he started to meet other young people interested in folk music, although at this time he was dabbling in rock and roll, singing and playing bass guitar in garage bands such as "Stanley and the Living Stones" and "The Hobbits".[9] After high school, Rogers briefly attended both McMaster University and Trent University, where he performed in small venues with other student musicians, including Ian Tamblyn, Chris Ward and fellow Hobbit Nigel Russell.[10][9] Russell wrote the song "White Collar Holler", which Rogers sang frequently on stage.[11]

Rogers signed with RCA Records in 1970 and recorded two singles: "Here's to You Santa Claus" in 1970,[12] and "The Fat Girl Rag" in 1971.[13] In 1973, Rogers recorded three singles for Polygram: "Three Pennies", "Guysborough Train", and "Past Fifty."[14]

In 1976, Rogers recorded his debut album, Fogarty's Cove, released in 1977 on Barnswallow Records.[15] The album's subject matter dealt almost entirely with life in maritime Canada, and was an immediate success. Rogers then formed Fogarty's Cove Music, and bought Barnswallow during the production of Turnaround, allowing him to release his own albums. Posthumously, additional albums were released.

Sung in his rich baritone, Rogers' songs often had a Celtic feel which was due, in part, to his frequent use of DADGAD guitar tuning. He regularly used his William 'Grit' Laskin built 12-string guitar in his performances. His best-known pieces include "Northwest Passage", "Barrett's Privateers", "The Mary Ellen Carter", "Make and Break Harbour", "The Idiot", "Fogarty's Cove", and "White Squall".[16]

Death edit

Rogers died alongside 22 other passengers most likely of smoke inhalation on June 2, 1983, while travelling on Air Canada Flight 797 (a McDonnell Douglas DC-9) after performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival. The airliner was flying from Dallas, Texas, to Toronto and Montreal when a fire from an unknown ignition source within the vanity or toilet shroud of the aft washroom forced it to make an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport in northern Kentucky. There were initially no visible flames, and after attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, smoke filled the cabin. Upon landing, the plane's doors were opened, allowing the five crew and 18 of the 41 passengers to escape, but approximately 90 seconds into the evacuation the oxygen rushing in from outside caused a flash fire.[17]

His ashes were scattered off the north-eastern shore of Nova Scotia, Canada.[18]

Legacy edit

Rogers' legacy includes his recordings, songbook, and plays for which he was commissioned to write music. His songs are still frequently covered by other musicians, including children's performer Raffi on his 1977 out-of-print album Adult Entertainment, and are perennial favourites at Canadian campfires and song circles. Members of Rogers' band, including his brother Garnet Rogers, continue to be active performers and form a significant part of the fabric of contemporary Canadian folk music. Following his death, he was nominated for the 1984 Juno Awards in the category for Best Male Vocalist. That same year, he was posthumously awarded the Diplôme d’Honneur of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.[19] In 1994, his posthumous live album Home in Halifax was likewise nominated for Best Roots and Traditional Album.

His widow, Ariel, continues to oversee his estate and legacy. His music and lyrics have been featured in numerous written publications and films. For instance, his lyrics have appeared in school poetry books,[citation needed] taking their place alongside acknowledged classics. His song "Northwest Passage" was featured in the last episode of the TV show Due South, his songs "Barrett's Privateers" and "Watching the Apples Grow" having been previously featured. "Barrett's Privateers" has also been used extensively in promotion ads for Alexander Keith's ale. In the 2005 CTV made-for-TV movie on the life of Terry Fox, Rogers' "Turnaround" is the music over the closing shot. As the movie ends, Fox is depicted, alone, striding up a hill, while the lyric "And yours was the open road. The bitter song / The heavy load that I'll never share, tho' the offer's still there / Every time you turn around," forges a link between these Canadian icons.[20] Many of his songs on the albums Northwest Passage and From Fresh Water refer to events in Canadian history.

Adrienne Clarkson, who, prior to serving as the Governor General of Canada from 1999 to 2005, had worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, highlighted Rogers' career in a 1989 television documentary called One Warm Line on CBC Television; she also quoted Rogers in her investitural address.[citation needed]

When CBC's Peter Gzowski asked Canadians to pick an alternate national anthem, "Northwest Passage" was the overwhelming choice.[21][22]

The Stan Rogers Folk Festival is held every year in Canso, Nova Scotia. In 1995, several artists performed two nights of concerts at Halifax's Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, which were released on album that year as Remembering Stan Rogers.

Rogers is also a lasting fixture of the Canadian folk festival Summerfolk, held annually in Owen Sound, Ontario, where the main stage and amphitheater are dedicated as the "Stan Rogers Memorial Canopy". The festival is firmly fixed in tradition, with Rogers' song "The Mary Ellen Carter" being sung by all involved, including the audience and a medley of acts at the festival.

At The Canmore Folk Festival, Alberta's longest running folk music festival, performers take to the Stan Rogers Memorial Stage, which is the festival's main stage.[23]

Stan's son, Nathan Rogers, is also an established Canadian folk artist with a voice and lyrical acumen similar to his father's. He has released two critically acclaimed solo albums and tours internationally as a solo act and in the trio Dry Bones.

On his 2006 album Writing In The Margins, American folk musician John Gorka covered Rogers' song "The Lockkeeper". "That's How Legends Are Made," a song from Gorka's 1990 album Land of The Bottom Line, is also a tribute to Rogers.

In 2007, Rogers was recognized posthumously with a National Achievement Award at the annual SOCAN Awards held in Toronto.[24]

Canadian Celtic rock band Enter the Haggis regularly performs a cover of “White Squall” to end their shows, and included it on their 2011 album Whitelake.

In 2011, the pirate metal band Alestorm released a cover of Rogers' song "Barrett's Privateers" (Label Napalm Records).

In 2013, Groundwood Books turned Rogers' song "Northwest Passage" into a children's book illustrated by award-winning artist Matt James.[25]

In 2017, Canadian Celtic punk band The Real McKenzies released a cover of Rogers' "Northwest Passage" on their album Two Devils Will Talk.

In 2019, Canadian metal band Unleash the Archers released a cover of Rogers' "Northwest Passage" on Napalm Records.

In 2019, Canadian folk punk band The Dreadnoughts released a cover of Rogers' "Northwest Passage", as well as a commemorative song named "Dear Old Stan", on Stomp Records.

In 2020, The Longest Johns released a cover of Rogers' "The Mary Ellen Carter" on their album Smoke and Oakum.

In 2020, Canadian Premier League soccer club HFX Wanderers FC's home kit featured a soundwave image taken from Rogers' "Barrett's Privateers", inspired in part by the song's adoption by Privateers 1882, a supporters group of the Wanderers.[26]

In 2023, The Longest Johns and El Pony Pisador released a cover of Rogers' "Northwest Passage as part of their collaborative EP "The Longest Pony".

Discography edit

Singles edit

  • "Hail To You Santa Claus" b/w "Coventry Carol" (1970; RCA)
  • "Fat Girl Rag" b/w "Seven Years Along" (1971, RCA)
  • "Three Pennies"/"Past Fifty" b/w "Guysborough Train" (1974, CBC Promo)

Albums edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Stan Rogers biodata". Stan Rogers Biographies. Fogarty's Cove Music. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Edwards, Melissa. "The Stan Rogers Map of Canada". The Geist Atlas of Canada, Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver, BC. page 70.
  3. ^ Rockingham, Graham (July 30, 2016). "Garnet Rogers: Travels with my brother, Stan". The Hamilton Spectator.
  4. ^ "Script changed in new play". Entertainment Guide and tvScene. Nanaimo Daily Free Press. Vol. 117, no. 93. Nanaimo, British Columbia. July 26, 1991. p. 14 – via
  5. ^ a b O'Kane (April 15, 2016). "Ballad of Fogarty's Cove: The Nova Scotia legend, a hard reality and a quarry that could change it all". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ontario: Phillip Crawley.
  6. ^ Soles, Paul (November 30, 1978). "Stan Rogers shows off his first guitar". Canada After Dark. CBC. Retrieved January 3, 2018 – via CBC Digital Archives.
  7. ^ Rogers, Garnet. "Garnet Rogers". Retrieved April 11, 2024.
  8. ^ "Memories". Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. Saltfleet Alumni Committee. November 6, 2014. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Yeatman, Jill; Weeks, Graham (October 25, 1967). O'Brian, Geoff (ed.). "Spider Starts Strong Web" (PDF). Arthur. Vol. 2, no. 6. Peterborough, Ontario: Trent University. p. 7 – via Trent University Digital Collections. Hobbit spokesman, Stan Rogers, usually accounted for most of the instrumental sound...
  10. ^ "Hoot Heats Up". The Arthur, Volume II, No. 9. November 22, 1967. C. Hardess.
  11. ^ "Anglo-Canadian Occupational Songs". The Canadian Encyclopedia, Edith Fowke 02/07/06
  12. ^ Copyright Office (1970). "Music: Current and Renewal Registrations". Catalog of Copyright Entries. 3rd. 24, Part 5 (2, Section I). Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress (published 1971): 1926.
  13. ^ Copyright Office (1971). "Music: Current and Renewal Registrations". Catalog of Copyright Entries. 3rd. 25, Part 5 (1, Section I). Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress (published 1972): 1544.
  14. ^ Copyright Office (1973). "Music: Current and Renewal Registrations". Catalog of Copyright Entries. 3rd. 27, Part 5 (2, Section I). Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress (published 1974): 2402.
  15. ^ Rogers, Stan (1977). "Fogarty's Cove [sound recording]". Library of Congress Online Catalogue. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Fogarty's Cove Music. Retrieved February 24, 2017. Originally released in 1977 on Barn Swallow Records, BS 1001.
  16. ^ "Stan Rogers Biographies". Fogarty's Cove Music. September 21, 2020.
  17. ^ Bureau of Accident Investigation (January 31, 1986). NTSB/AAR-86/02 (PDF). Washington, D.C.: National Transportation Safety Board. Archived from the original on March 22, 2006 – via AirDisaster.Com.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  18. ^ Baird, Craig. "Canada EHX". Canada EHX. Retrieved April 7, 2024.
  19. ^ "Diplôme d'honneur: Past Recipients" (PDF). Canadian Conference of the Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  20. ^ Terry 2005 (Terry Fox Movie), retrieved March 6, 2024
  21. ^ Enright, Michael (July 7, 2016). "Stan Rogers: Folk Singer, Storyteller, Proud Canadian Part 2". CBC Rewind with Michael Enright. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  22. ^ Gzowski, Peter (March 3, 1995). "The Great Canadian Song Contest". Morningside. CBC Radio.
  23. ^ "Parks, Playgrounds & Sport Fields in Canmore". Archived from the original on February 11, 2024. Retrieved April 8, 2024. The Park includes the Centennial Field and the Stan Rogers Stage and one of Canmore's largest playgrounds.
  24. ^ "2007 Socan Awards | Socan". Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  25. ^ "Northwest Passage". Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  26. ^ Thompson, Marty (May 28, 2020). "5 easy-to-miss flourishes from the 2020 CPL home kits". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  • Gudgeon, Chris (2004). Stan Rogers: Northwest Passage. Fox Music Books. ISBN 1-894997-01-8.
  • Rogers, Stan (1982). Songs from Fogarty's Cove. OFC publications. ISBN 0-919141-01-3.
  • Obituary, "Stan Rogers, Folk Musician; In Fire Aboard DC9; At 33". Boston Globe, June 5, 1983, page 1.

External links edit