From The Vaults

Episode 6: Waiting in The Wings

DECEMBER 13 The path to global success has been long and hard for many of our biggest artists. CBC was often there to record their first steps on the road to global stardom when they were waiting in the wings

Before they reached global success, CBC recorded some of their first steps on the road to stardom.

Leonard Cohen is interviewed on Take 30, 1966 (CBC)

The path to global success has been long and hard for many of our biggest artists. CBC was often there to record their first steps on the road to global stardom when they were waiting in the wings

AIRDATE: Dec. 13, 9 p.m.

Featuring: Bryan Adams, Denise Donlon, Alan Cross, Terry David Mulligan, Anne Murray, Shania Twain, Leonard Cohen, Adrienne Clarkson, Paul Anka

Bryan Adams’ Homecoming Performance shown on Good Rockin’ Tonite Special, 1985 (CBC)

Reckless brought Bryan Adams the rock star status he knew he deserved

From the very beginning, Bryan Adams was young rocker from Vancouver with huge ambitions. "He wanted to be a rock and roll star. He knew he had the talent; he knew he had the songs," explains Alan Cross, Host of The Ongoing History of New Music. Adams' 1983 album, Cuts Like a Knife put him on the map, but he soon became a target for Canadian critics who labelled him as too aggressive and calculating in his pursuit of fame.

Shania (then Ellie) Twain aged 14 performing on The Tommy Hunter Show, 1980 (CBC)

Shania Twain's road to superstardom: 'It's a rags-to-riches story; it's a one in a million story.'

For Shania Twain, the road to becoming the superstar that we know and love was a long one. She began performing at the age of eight in Timmins, Ont. under the name Eilleen Twain, impressing everyone who had the opportunity to hear her.

Former manager Mary Bailey remembers first seeing her perform. "This little girl walked on the stage with a guitar in her hand, and out came this sound, this magnificent, breathtaking sound."

Anne Murray’s 1970 Imperial Room performance featured on CBC’s Telescope ‘71. (CBC)

Anne Murray brought her East Coast style to Toronto's glamorous Imperial Room

As a Maritime singer with few opportunities at home, Anne Murray took a gamble and accepted a chance to play at the famed and fancy Imperial Room in Toronto's Royal York Hotel. As seen in the video above, CBC captured this make-or-break moment in the career of this Canadian icon.

Leonard Cohen, making his television debut on Take 30 in 1966. (CBC)

We all said, 'He's a poet; he's a novelist. Why is he thinking he can sing?'

Leonard Cohen launched his music career on the CBC in mid-'60s, and by the 1970s he was a bonafide music star. In Europe. It would take Canadians a few more years to celebrate Cohen as a national treasure.

At 32, when writing couldn't pay the bills, Cohen turned to a career in music. "I thought that, you know, maybe I'd be able to make a living as a singer."

Bonus

Here's Leonard Cohen's full performance of "The Stranger" on CBC's Take 30 in 1966.

Leonard Cohen plays "The Stranger" on CBC's Take 30 in 1966. 4:55

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