Burton Cummings to be inducted in Canadian Music Hall of Fame as solo artist
'He's a Canadian music icon,' says Winnipeg rock historian
Winnipeg-born Burton Cummings will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist at the 2016 Juno Awards.
He will also be the first artist to have his name added to the Hall of Fame's new home at the National Music Centre in Calgary on April 1.
"It's long overdue and well deserved," said rock historian John Einarson.
"He's more than a Canadian music superstar and a successful recording artist, he's a Canadian music icon."
In 1987, Cummings entered the Hall of Fame with his band The Guess Who. He left the band to go solo in the mid 1970s.
As a solo artist, Cummings released his solo single Stand Tall in 1976, which fulfilled the huge expectation from the music industry at that time because of his success with The Guess Who, said Einarson.
He went on to have many more singles, including I'm Scared, My Own Way To Rock, Timeless Love and You Saved My Soul.
His 1978 album, Dream of a Child, was the first album by a Canadian artist to go quadruple platinum.
He's won seven Juno Awards throughout his career.
It's Cummings' presence and voice that has made him so successful, said Einarson.
"If Burton walks into a room, everything changes. He has a very dynamic personality and a magnetic personality," he said. "From a musical standpoint, he's a very commanding performer and it's that voice."
One of Einarson's favourite memories of Cummings was when The Guess Who was playing a reunion show at a baseball stadium in Winnipeg. It rained in the middle of the show and no one in the audience left.
"Everybody stayed because we just knew the band was going to come back out and the rain let up and sure enough The Guess Who came out," he said.
"When Burton came out on stage he said 'only in Winnipeg would the audience stay,'" he said.
"It was an amazing, amazing moment."
Even though the rock legend no longer has a house in Winnipeg, Einarson, who has played on stage with Cummings before, said the city means a lot to Cummings.
"Winnipeg is still very much in his heart and very much his home town," he said. "Without doubt, he's Winnipeg's favourite son."