The Stan Rogers Blog

So Stan


In the early days, it was hard to find folk music albums. Some of the larger stores had a good collection, like Sam the Record Man in Toronto, but it was almost an embarrassment of riches! Of all the unknown artists, who to pick? The saving grace was the folk program on CJRT on Saturday afternoons. On the organized days (not too often) I might manage to set up a tape player so I could listen to the music again later, but most of the time I was damn lucky if I had a pen and paper and the wherewithal to copy down a name or two. Before long I came to realize that one performer made me stop in my tracks every time I heard him. It took me a while to finally put a name to that deep, dark as a dungeon voice, but of course it was Stan Rogers.

One time CJRT, now thrown to the wolves by the government of the day, was fundraising by putting on all-day shows at Harbourfront. It was here that I saw Stan Rogers sing, for the first and only time. As I recall he played in the middle of the day; he just sort of sauntered to the stage and spoke a word or two and the room was his. He was in such command of everything: his voice, guitar, singing, the room. People stopped dead in their tracks. Throughout his set, not a soul left the room, but many, many came into the room. The applause was thunderous; no other word for it. He smiled, waved and off he went. I’m sure he mingled with the crowd afterward. I probably would have wanted to go and say hello but I was so young and he was so . . . Stan.

—James Porteous, Toronto



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