As we always do on Sunday night on The Strombo Show, we look back at someone who comes before us and we honour them. This week, we travel to Big Pond on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. She was unbelievably shy - but she said it was the crowd that got her through. That's where we go tonight with our nod to gods: Rita MacNeil.
She died this past Tuesday from post-surgical complications at the age of 68. In recent weeks, we've lost some other East Coast musicians, Stompin' Tom and guitarist Jay Smith. Like them, MacNeil regularly paid tribute to her roots. And no track does that quite like 'She's Called Nova Scotia' off her 'Flying On Your Own' record.
It was just one of her twenty-four albums, which sold millions. After winning the Juno for most promising female artist at age 42, she hosted 'Rita & Friends' on CBC for several years. This program opened the floor to countless Canadian acts, including our friends in Sloan.
For her music - and her passion for music - we celebrate her tonight. Rita was also in the red chair this past December. Check out that interview below:
For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or re-listen, all of the episodes are archived on our Radio page.