The Sunday Magazine

Catherine MacLellan on her father's musical legacy

Catherine joins Michael to talk about growing up with a famous father and coping with his sudden death, and to perform songs with her collaborator Chris Gauthier from her latest album “If It’s Alright With You – The Songs of Gene MacLellan."
Catherine MacLellan's album 'If It’s Alright With You – The Songs of Gene MacLellan,' is a tribute to her late father. (True North Records, Jule Malet-Veale)

[Originally published on Nov. 19, 2017]

Canadian singer-songwriter Gene MacLellan's 1969 mega-hit Snowbird has been covered by dozens of artists and sold in the many millions.

It was the first song inducted into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

In 1970, Gene MacLellan won a Juno Award for Composer of the Year and a year later the Canadian band Ocean had a hit on their hands when they released his gospel pop song, Put Your Hand in the Hand. 

Songwriter Gene MacLellan was born in Quebec and moved to P.E.I. in 1964. (Boris Spremo)

Catherine MacLellan wasn't yet born when her father's star was rising. And she was only a teenager when he died by committing suicide in 1995. 

She was very close to her father, but growing up in the shadow of a famous parent can be challenging.

So, when she first began performing, she didn't record her father's songs. She wanted to step out on her own, doing her own music — and she did. 

Catherine MacLellan has recorded five albums, including, The Raven's Sun, which won the 2015 Juno Award for the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year.

This spring she expanded her repertoire to include her father's music.

Her tribute album to her Dad is titled, If It's Alright With You — The Songs of Gene MacLellan.

Catherine talked to Michael Enright about growing up with a famous father and coping with his sudden death. She also performed songs from new album with her collaborator Chris Gauthier.

Click 'listen' above to hear the interview and performance.

Catherine and Chris Gauthier (John Sylvester)


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