CBC Digital Archives

Neil Young goes solo

Gordon Lightfoot, Celine Dion, Oscar Peterson, Sam Roberts, Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies. What do these artists all have in common? They've all won Juno Awards. Since 1970, the Junos have been held each year to celebrate excellence in Canadian music. In honour of the annual ceremony, the CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a diverse collection of radio and TV clips that shine the spotlight on some notable past Juno winners.

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When Canadian musician Neil Young drove his second-hand hearse down to Los Angeles in 1966, he was bent on success as a solo artist. Almost three years later, after taking a career detour with the band Buffalo Springfield, Young is back on the road to fame in his own name. In this illuminating 1969 interview with CBC Radio's Robert Fulford, Young discusses the bitter end of Buffalo Springfield, the "dirty" music industry in L.A., groupies and his recording process as a solo musician.
• Born in Toronto in 1945, Neil Young spent his teenage years as a musician in Winnipeg, where he lived with his mother. His first band of note was the Squires, which had a local hit with the song The Sultan.
  • Young's father was Canadian sportswriter and columnist Scott Young. In a Globe and Mail column of June 15, 1965, the elder Young wrote a visit from Neil, then 19 years old and checking out the Toronto scene while his band sought out a new hearse for touring. "He's six feet tall and weighs less than 140 - long legs in tight tan pants, a very dirty shirt under a good sweater, long hair hanging down at the back and brushed low on his forehead at the front, a big smile," wrote Scott Young.

• In this 1969 clip, Neil Young alludes to using the "live" method of recording on his next album. That would be Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, with his backing band Crazy Horse. The leadoff track, Cinnamon Girl, remains one of his best-known songs.

• Later in 1969, Young joined the trio Crosby, Stills and Nash (and insisted that they change their name to include him). The quartet played the Woodstock festival in August that year and recorded an album together. Young remained devoted to his solo work as well, and in 1970 released his third album in almost as many years, the hugely successful and influential After the Goldrush

Medium: Radio
Program: This is Robert Fulford
Broadcast Date: Feb. 11, 1969
Guest(s): Neil Young
Interviewer: Robert Fulford
Duration: 17:59
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Last updated: October 21, 2014

Page consulted on October 21, 2014

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