Tuesday 16 February 2016


For a very long time I have intended to prepare some words, similar to those which follow, for a specific purpose The delay in doing so gave me the title for the post and if the outcome is positive I will add some further comments further down the line

In 1969 I set out with a friend to drive from a small town in Southern Alberta to Vancouver before sailing north to Haida Gwaii on the Skeena Prince

The Skeena Prince at Northland Navigation dock, VancouverBCAlong with the Northland Prince she sailed from Vancouver to the Queen Charlotte Islands (via Prince Rupert)

Several life changing experiences occurred during my time on the islands but within and around them I did continue to write songs. Writing songs and performing them had become a somewhat serious preoccupation while I had lived and worked in Glasgow Scotland - and before I had arrived in Canada

Two song related events require particular mention Using a small reel to reel recorder I had submitted a tape to a station called CFPR which was located across the water to the east of Haida Gwaii, in Prince Rupert*  A letter relating to the songs on that tape is one of the four in the collage below Quoting the content it says 'We played the music extensively as you probably heard and found it most enjoyable'

I have no memory or record of what exactly was on the tape but can speculate with some confidence that one of them would have been WHERE THE LAST TIDE RUNS  
A tape of probably much the same material, was also sent to CBC Vancouver as a means of auditioning. The remaining three letters relate to that submission
The relevant text from each of them will be placed below it

The four letters as a collage only 

In letter one (top left) I am being informed that my tape was being returned, that my submission was successful and - again quoting -  'I am happy to add that one of the adjudicators was very enthusiastic about it, which is fairly unusual'.  It was signed by Hilda Wilson. There is no indication of her reponsibilities at the CBC

In the second letter (top right) with the heading Radio Audition - Popular Variety is the following paragraph ' Our Board of Judges who are hired on a per-occasion basis from a free lance pool of professionals and whose judgements reflect their estimate of the ability of the auditionee, gave the fullest attention to your performance, and we are pleased to advise that you have been found acceptable by the CBC' This one was signed by Raymond Whitehouse, Regional Program Director. B.C

The third letter (bottom left) is about an arrangement for lunch with Hilda Wilson She also chooses to add a PS in hand written words Again I will quote ' The Bob Smith* (who writes for the Sun and has been our 'Jazz' expert for many years - "Hot Air") is the adjudicator who liked you - and he would like to be included in our luncheon! So let me know. HW
It is pleasing to provide a separate copy of the post script


Recalling the fact Bob Smith had liked some of my material has provided much encouragement over the years And my pleasure has grown as I have became more fully aware of his knowledge and reputation

But returning to the main purpose of this communication: it is on the back of my distant and long ago contact with CBC Vancouver and CFPR that I recently decided to make a considered effort to bring two songs (at least) to the attention of some of the radio stations in British Columbia After all, the songs do belong there.

But while I wrote lots of songs during my time in Masset and have written many others which are closely associated with the islands, I have chosen only two. The first, WHERE THE LAST TIDE RUNS has been played on the radio in several other countries and I thought this song was most likely to have some appeal. The second one is entitled  ON THE ROAD TO HAIDA GWAII.  

The two songs come from different times. WHERE THE LAST TIDE RUNS was written in the summer of 1970 while camping between the river and the sea along the Beitush Road in Tlell.  ON THE ROAD TO HAIDA GWAII  was written in 2015 on returning to Vancouver from a trip to Masset where I had been staying along the Tow Hill Road. Although  it touches on the subject of love and mentions a Subaru car - it expresses, in the middle section, something of my deep affection for Haida Gwaii

The words from that section feature in the image which is alongside the song on Bandcamp

Both songs can be heard in wav format on the site using the following links https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/more-like-a-river-than-a-road-seven-songs-from-glasgow-and-haida-gwaiiIt is the last of seven songs on the CD MORE LIKE A RIVER THAN A ROAD

PS For anyone who is familiar with my material the delay is understandable and for anyone who might be interested in the reasons it got sidelined for a significant length of time, they can be found on the site at www.custtad.com

* http://www.jazzstreetvancouver.ca/artists/61