When CBC viewers got to know singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn

More than 40 years after its 1978 release, Bruce Cockburn's album Further Adventures Of is among the contenders for Canada Listens.

The Ottawa-born singer-songwriter was popular in both English Canada and French Canada in 1979

Bruce Cockburn in 1970. (CBC Still Photo Collection)

Canada Listens is back to discuss, debate and determine one album that all Canadians need to hear.

In 2021, CBC Music's "musical cousin of Canada Reads" made for a lively contest that crowned Kardinal Offishall's 2001 album Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1 the winner, edging out competitors that included Illuminations by Buffy Sainte-Marie's and The Con by Tegan and Sara.

The 2022 edition of Canada Listens is scheduled to air on CBC Music April 11 to 14 with a whole new lineup of contenders and their champions.

Among the albums coming under scrutiny is Bruce Cockburn's 1978 release, Further Adventures Of, whose advocate is TV star, filmmaker and author Les Stroud, a.k.a. Survivorman.

Laughter on Canada After Dark

A new album and a new role for Bruce Cockburn in 1978

44 years ago
Duration 4:29
The Ottawa singer-songwriter talks to the CBC's Paul Soles on the late-night talk show Canada After Dark.

Cockburn has a long history in the CBC archives.

In 1969, he played the Mariposa Folk Festival on the Toronto Islands alongside other artists including Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. CBC filmed those performances for a special that aired that fall.

Within about a year, Cockburn would be featured many more times on CBC-TV, appearing in a special called Rock One, an episode of This Land focusing on musicians speaking out about environmental issues and on The Tommy Hunter Show.

In 1978, Cockburn was a guest on the late-night talk show Canada After Dark, performing his song Laughter before joining host Paul Soles at his desk for an interview.

"So glad you're here. That was pretty," said Soles, holding a copy of Cockburn's new record. (The clip above does not include the performance due to copyright restrictions.) "It's from this, your newest album, the Further Adventures Of, uh, the world, I would gather."

"Well, just the Further Adventures Of," clarified Cockburn. He then spoke at length about one of his more recent adventures at the time: being a father.

Adored by audiences in two languages

Bruce Cockburn proves popular with English and French audiences

44 years ago
Duration 1:30
The Ottawa-born singer plays to audiences in both official languages in 1979.

The following year, viewers of CBC's The National learned that Cockburn was equally popular with English-speaking and French-speaking crowds.

"Cockburn, the bilingual balladeer, sings his way right across French Quebec as if he were Québécois," said reporter David Bazay. "In fact, he's from Ottawa."

Cockburn said he wasn't sure why not many musicians from English Canada played in Quebec. He just knew that he wanted to perform for audiences there, and maybe not everyone did.

"I'm not sure that the two solitudes concept is really accurate," he said while seated in front of a poster for Further Adventures of. "I think people on both sides of that fence are a lot more willing to talk than the image would have us think."

Canada Listens can be heard on CBC Music starting on Monday, April 11.

Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn poses for a photograph in Toronto on Monday, July 15, 2019. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

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