CBC Digital Archives

Tom Cochrane's long highway to success

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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It took 17 years and nine records, but Tom Cochrane is finally riding the top of the charts. After fronting the band Red Rider, he launched a solo career in 1991 and had a monster hit with the song Life is a Highway. In this interview from CBC-TV's Midday, Cochrane says the song was inspired by the feeling he got from people he met while touring several East African countries with World Vision.
• Born in Lynn Lake, Man., in 1953, Tom Cochrane spent most of his youth in southern Ontario. According to his official website, he began playing guitar at age 11.

• After selling some 600,000 copies in Canada, Cochrane's album Mad Mad World, the album containing the single Life is a Highway, was released in the United States in the spring of 1992. The song spent 26 weeks on the Billboard chart, peaking at number six. It later caught on with a new audience as the lead-off song (performed by Rascal Flatts) in the 2006 animated movie Cars.

• Cochrane was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in September 2009. Previous awards include seven Junos, membership in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2003) and Officer of the Order of Canada (2008). 

Medium: Television
Program: Midday
Broadcast Date: Dec. 19, 1991
Guest: Tom Cochrane
Interviewer: Valerie Pringle
Duration: 7:13

Last updated: March 18, 2015

Page consulted on March 18, 2015

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