Remembering Stan Rogers, Canadian Folk Music Legend

Thirty years ago on June 2, 1983 one of Canada’s most important musicians died. Folk star Stan Rogers was killed at the age of 33 in a fire aboard an Air Canada flight when travelling between Dallas and Toronto. In all 23 passengers were killed on that sad day.

As Jian Ghomeshi stated in his opening essay on CBC Radio’s Q program, Stan Rogers was a folk star who wrote about Canada, from the Praries to the Maritimes to Central Ontario, and his songs are timeless.  Furthermore his legacy is everywhere. He lives on today in the folk festival that’s named after him in Nova Scotia, and in the ritual singing of his song Mary Ellen Carter at the closing of the Winnipeg Folk Festival every year.

When CBC Radio was looking for the 50 most essential Canadian songs of all time, Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage” came in at number 4 of the “50 Tracks” list, ahead of other great Canadian musicians like Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.

In our documentary, One Warm Line, we explore the life and music of Stan Rogers, providing an in-depth portrait through interviews and rollicking live performances. One Warm Line is a rare celebration of an artist’s dedication to the spirit of Canada.

Here is an excerpt from our documentary (originally broadcast on CBC, Bravo and Vision) of Stan Rogers explaining the origins of one of his most important songs and singing “Barrett’s Privateers.”

It’s an energetic sea shanty which you still hear sung by folks in Maritimes pubs!

 Click here to purchase online streaming or a DVD of One Warm Line, the entire 46 minute film.