Hamilton

Kelly Jay Fordham, Cancon pioneer and keyboardist for Crowbar, dies at 77

Kelly Jay Fordham, the Canadian singer-songwriter whose 1971 hit Oh What a Feeling became the first song to reap the rewards of the Cancon era, has died at 77.

Singer-songwriter wrote 1971 Cancon hit Oh What a Feeling

Crowbar — with Kelly Jay Fordham on keyboards and vocals — eventually recorded their own album, and the single Oh What a Feeling marked their biggest success. ((Doug Griffin/Toronto Star))

Kelly Jay Fordham, the Canadian singer-songwriter whose 1971 hit Oh What a Feeling became the first song to reap the rewards of the Cancon era, has died at 77.

The member of rock band Crowbar passed away at a Calgary hospital early Friday after suffering a massive stroke on June 9 that permanently affected the left side of his brain, his son Hank Fordham confirmed.

The Hamilton rock act was originally hired by Ronnie Hawkins after the members of his previous supporting act, the Band, split off to start their own career.

The notoriously prickly Hawkins was dissatisfied with Crowbar's abilities and later fired the act.

Crowbar — with Fordham on keyboards and vocals — eventually recorded their own album, and the single Oh What a Feeling marked their biggest success.

The song was buoyed to the top of the charts by Canadian content regulations which required radio stations to play a certain amount of homegrown music.

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