~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
I discovered that I can watch Youtube on my new "smart" tv the other night, so I looked up some Kurt. Wow there was some great programs to watch...I even rewatched the original "Quad King" land the first quad in the fs history books. I well remember that famous night. Kurt was so young and inspiring. It reminded me of why he became my favorite male skater of all time. Kurt moves like "poetry on ice." He is a real legend.
Gotta Have Music
God bless Kurt! A gentleman and surely one of the skating Gods! Still sublime after all these years
I agree with you both! He's still the top of the list for me. He was a wonderful Olympic-eligible skater and became an even better pro skater. Thank goodness he turned pro during the real peak of pro skating opportunities, because we got to see an amazing array of beautiful and innovative skating while he was in his physical prime. He's still more exciting to watch than almost anyone else. Just magical, and a splendid person off the ice as well.
If I ever decide to relocate to Canada, and any officials ask me why I want to live there, I will give two answers: Stan Rogers (their great troubadour) and Kurt Browning. They'll let me in right away, I'm sure.
Why am I not surprised? I knew of your Kurt love but never anticipated the Stan love. My husband was a friend of Stan and Garnet and shared many a stage with them at folk festivals in the 70s and 80s. Stan said he learned how to do sea shanties from the Friends of Fiddler's Green (my husband was in that band for a while). Boy is he missed! His son is a singer and looks and sounds so much like his father. I definitely should meet you someday! I've got tons of Stan stories!
Originally Posted by Olympia
Oh dear. I don't know who Stan is (being from the lower 48) but I'll match anyone's love of Kurt Browning. When I get lost in uTubeland rewatching dearly beloved programs.............I shake my head and say "what has figure skating come to!" Today where multiple quads are the "in" thing and spins that have eleventy-two positions to get maximum points, I think of Ragiddon or remember the program Kurt did to beautiful flamenco music and didn't do a jump or a spin. It was riveting. Singing in the Rain, That's Entertainment, CASABLANCA (one of the most complete programs I've ever seen from anybody) and those amazing feet!!!
I've told friends for years that I should have been born Canadian. Anyone care to adopt me?
Stan Rogers was a famous Canadian singer/songwriter in the 70s and 80s. "Northwest Passage" and "Barrett's Privateers" were well known. Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash in1983, I think. He was returning from a folk festival in Texas. Check him out on youtube sometime.
Originally Posted by noskates
noskates, I am happy to formally make you an honorary Canadian, just as I have done for Olympia. We all share love for our fabulous Kurt!
Scruff! I am sitting here bright green with envy. How lovely that your husband knew him and his brother. Just this week I listened to Northwest Passage to share it with a friend that was looking for something that the men in his chorale could sing together. That, Bluenose, and The Mary Ellen Carter are my three favorite songs of his.
Originally Posted by Scrufflet
Noskates, you owe it to yourself to seek him out. He and Gordon Lightfoot (in a different way) are as close as it gets to the voices of Canada. One thing that gets me about Stan is that he writes the most incredible verses that rhyme and scan but that sound like a completely natural spoken line. As if that were not enough, he also manages to slide in the "job" terms associated with whatever work he's singing about: nautical, farming, ranching.
Here are some of his songs:
Bluenose (a schooner that is a symbol of Canada
The Mary Ellen Carter (this is probably as good a "fight song" as you'll ever need when you need a boost)
Special bonus: I was hunting around for Lightfoot's Canadian Railroad Trilogy, and I found the Canadian Idol final six from a few years ago singing it. Okay, they're not Lightfoot, but there's something tremendously moving about these kids joining together to sing (and pretty well, too) for Lightfoot in the audience.
Olympia, thank you for the youtubes. I HAVE heard Stan Rogers. His voice was very, very familiar to me. But then I got lost in youtubeland with Gordon Lightfoot who has been a favorite of mine for well over 35 years. I didn't know that he had recorded The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
I always loved If You Could Read My Mind. Need to find those old CDs.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Scrufflet for making me an honorary Canadian. I stayed at the Empress Hotel during Skate Canada in 2006. I remember waking up really, really early one morning and taking a walk around the harbor. It was so beautiful. I've been to Vancouver a handful of times and actually went to Toronto for a concert one time. Would love to take that Canadian Pacific train trip across the country~
eta: forgot to mention that the first time I met Kurt in person (at the World Championships in Oakland, CA) I was struck by how friendly and open he was. He looked you in the eye and acted like you were the most important person to him at that moment - even though there was a huge crowd around him trying to get pictures, autographs, etc. I remember the first time I noticed him was the televised men's freeskate from the Calgary Olympics. Not only did I think he was adorable then but he had "it!" You just knew you would be seeing him again. So many of the top skaters in the ensuing years, in my opinion, haven't had the certain "it" that makes them great!!!! They can land jumps, do spins, etc. but the hard to identify, born with it, can't be taught, special something just isn't there. Kurt is my benchmark for all male skaters!
Last edited by noskates; 02-10-2013 at 10:00 PM.
Gotta Have Music
Please adopt me as an "honourary" Canadian, too! That goes for my fondness for Canadian figure skaters, visiting different parts of Canada (Toronto is my favorite NA city), and I am a huge Gordon Lightfoot fan. We've lost count how many times we've seen him in concert! Musically speaking, I'm also very partial to Bryan Adams, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, and Michael Buble.
And I'm turning even greener with even more envy. You've met Kurt more than once, you lucky duck. Yes, whatever it is he has, it's not something you can bottle, copy, or teach. I think everyone's Canadian while watching him skate.
Originally Posted by noskates
I remember when I first heard Lightfoot sing "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," as well. What a warm voice he has, as well as being such a splendid writer. Years ago, around the time when American pop artists recorded "We Are the World" to raise money for hunger, Canadian singers made their own group, called something like Northern Lights. I heard the song without explanation, and the first voice to sing out was unmistakably Lightfoot. You can't confuse him with anyone else.
Last edited by Olympia; 02-11-2013 at 08:48 AM.
I am green with envy for anyone who has met Kurt! I simply can't believe that I haven't! Friends of mine have. I live 10 minutes away from him! I sit on-ice every year at SOI and he always seems to sit in the lap of someone 3 seats down! Ah well, someday....
Originally Posted by Olympia
Since this is now the Kurt/Stan thread, I will try to get a Stan story for you. I had to wait for my husband to wake up but here goes. Many years ago the band Friends of Fiddlers Green was at Garnet's home in Dundas. He had been making his own beer and shared it. I gather it was a particularly drunken night with noy-very-good beer. One of the band, Ian Robb, did a spoof on the experience, calling it "Garnet's Home Made Beer" to "Barrett's Privateers" and they performed this at a folk festival in London, where Stan was the headliner. Apparently, he was asleep on a bench nearby while they were practising it. It was very funny and typical of the pranks played on one another over the years. Ian did record it and it might be on one of his cds. He is part of a trio, Finest Kind, based in Ottawa. I know that FK have recorded a fine version of "Mary Ellen Carter". Check out FK on youtube. They have unbelievable harmonies!
I dub thee an honourary Canadian!
Originally Posted by iluvtodd
This is cool! We - with Scrufflet's help - can start our own country. Pseudo-Canadians!
Did you ever read Kurts autobiography? I think it was called "Jump" and is now out of print. But in it he talks about going to the store with his mother when he was about 12 years old and getting annoyed because someone asked him how he was. He didn't understand that anyone would even care. His mother chastised him about his behavior and told him he had to be polite to everyone because they WERE interested. I'm paraphrasing all this! I think he took his mother's direction to heart.
And while we're at it, Lightfoot stories. Around 1970. he was just starting to get famous. He did a concert at U of Toronto and came to a nearby frat party afterwards. My best friend sat there knitting and grilled him on words to his songs! He looked completely bored out of his tree and left soon afterwards.
About 8 years later, I was invited to go to his place in Rosedale (posh area) for a party. Iwent backstage for the concert but passed on the part! I was adamant that I wasn't about to be a groupie!