Join 3,494 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Who is this older male singer?
March 31, 2011 8:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to remember a male singer who is over 50, possibly Canadian, possibly with mostly white/grey hair. I remember that he has a very very good voice, and I believe he is famous bordering on legendary, though not popular among young people.

In my brain he goes in the same category as Roger Whittaker, Kenny Rogers, Michael McDonald, Tony Bennett... older white guys who could really sing, I guess. About a year ago I was watching videos on YouTube and I came across a clip of him. I clicked on it because I knew both his name and this one song that I think he is best known for. I'm pretty sure the song is really well known. I knew the song since my childhood, yet I no longer have any memory of the song or his name or exactly what he looks like.

The clip was of a live performance in an indoor theater/space, seemingly taped not that many years ago, probably decades after his heyday. It had the vibe of one of those PBS concert specials, but I don't think it was. Watching it, I was struck by just how awesome a singer he is, even if the style of music, his appearance, and the whole vibe of the show is probably rather unhip. I don't even remember anything about the sound of his voice, but I believe it has great power and probably also a pretty good range. The style of music is sort of "popular music" as it was defined maybe a few decades ago. I'm guessing the guy is in his 60s, but he could be as young as 50 or as old as 75.

I don't know why I've completely blanked on who this is, and I've been trying to remember off and on for months now. I've looked through lists of Canadian singers on Wikipedia (but he may not be Canadian...), lists of top 50 male singers of all time, etc, and can't seem to find him. I know my description is hopelessly vague, but I'm hoping AskMe will perform another miracle. Any ideas?
posted by edlundart to Media & Arts (216 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Leonard Cohen?
posted by mareli at 8:23 PM on March 31, 2011


Gordon Lightfoot?
posted by Ostara at 8:23 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gordon Lightfoot?
posted by Lucinda at 8:23 PM on March 31, 2011


Gordon Lightfoot?
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 8:23 PM on March 31, 2011


It's not Gordon Lightfoot, and not Leonard Cohen.
posted by edlundart at 8:29 PM on March 31, 2011


You should listen to Gordon anyway.

It wouldn't be Tom Cochrane, would it?
posted by Ostara at 8:33 PM on March 31, 2011


Stan Rogers, maybe?
posted by mhoye at 8:34 PM on March 31, 2011


Yeah, Gordon Lightfoot's got some great songs. It's not Tom Cochrane either, I'm afraid.
posted by edlundart at 8:35 PM on March 31, 2011


Not Canadian, but Loudon Wainwright?
posted by Asparagirl at 8:36 PM on March 31, 2011


Paul Anka?
posted by backwards guitar at 8:37 PM on March 31, 2011


Paul Anka?
posted by squid in a people suit at 8:38 PM on March 31, 2011


Paul Anka?
posted by droplet at 8:39 PM on March 31, 2011


Paul Anka? I mean, Bruce Cockburn?
posted by yellowbinder at 8:40 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Paul Anka?
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:41 PM on March 31, 2011


Burton Cummings?
posted by Yorrick at 8:41 PM on March 31, 2011


No, none of the mentioned singers. Thanks for trying everyone! I think the singer is less "vegas" than Paul Anka, and has more power in his voice than someone like Stan Rogers.
posted by edlundart at 8:43 PM on March 31, 2011


Gonna toss Bruce Cockburn out there.
posted by Sternmeyer at 8:43 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


BC on Youtube.
posted by Yorrick at 8:43 PM on March 31, 2011


Not really white-haired, but maybe Marc Jordan? And probably too young, but Roch Voisine?
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:45 PM on March 31, 2011


Reading this question all I can think of is Bob Seger. But he's American. Can you remember what he was wearing? Jeans? Suit and tie? Anything else?
posted by pink candy floss at 8:46 PM on March 31, 2011


Not Canadian but it made me think of Joe Cocker
posted by bitdamaged at 8:47 PM on March 31, 2011


Neil Young?
posted by pink candy floss at 8:47 PM on March 31, 2011


Perry Como?
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:48 PM on March 31, 2011


Here's a better look at what Perry Como looks like older.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:49 PM on March 31, 2011


Cheap Trick?
posted by Yorrick at 8:49 PM on March 31, 2011


Still no dice... pink candy floss, I'm not sure what he was wearing. Nothing flashy or trendy, I don't think. Could be jeans or suit-ish... wish I could remember more.
posted by edlundart at 8:50 PM on March 31, 2011


Neil Diamond?
posted by Yorrick at 8:56 PM on March 31, 2011


just a few thoughts possibly in the ballpark -
Neil Diamond
Christopher Cross
Neil Sedaka
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:58 PM on March 31, 2011


Barry Manilow
Bryan Adams
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:00 PM on March 31, 2011


Marty Robbins? Frankie Valli?
posted by Yorrick at 9:01 PM on March 31, 2011


Not anyone associated with Yacht Rock? And this is a bit laborious, but perhaps try plugging in those artists you mention into iTunes, clicking on their Biography section, and scan the list of contemporaries / followers?
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 9:02 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realize you don't remember the name of the song, but do you remember any lyrics or lyric fragments, or even what the song was about, or...something to go off of?
posted by criacow at 9:02 PM on March 31, 2011


Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad?
posted by Yorrick at 9:03 PM on March 31, 2011


Michael McDonald?
posted by loriginedumonde at 9:05 PM on March 31, 2011


I know it sounds ludicrous or like I have a weird brain disease, but no, I don't remember any lyrics or anything. It is possible that the guy is associated with sort of soft rock/yacht rock stuff, but it doesn't seem to be any of the people mentioned in miss_kitty_fantastico's link. I'll try your iTunes suggestion.
posted by edlundart at 9:07 PM on March 31, 2011


John Fogerty? Kim Mitchell? I give up.
posted by Yorrick at 9:09 PM on March 31, 2011


Andy Williams
Richard Harris
Perry Como

Or are they too old?
posted by iconomy at 9:10 PM on March 31, 2011


Randy Bachman or Randy Newman?
posted by Yorrick at 9:13 PM on March 31, 2011


Charlie Rich
posted by iconomy at 9:14 PM on March 31, 2011


iconomy, yes, those guys are a bit too old I think. Amazing singers though!
posted by edlundart at 9:14 PM on March 31, 2011


Englebert Humperdinck?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:14 PM on March 31, 2011


Longshot because it doesn't really match your description but:
Chris Smither? He's probably too good/broadly appealing to be the guy you're thinking of.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Robert Goulet? He's the only Canadian singer I can think of beside Gordon Lightfoot, and you may be disappointed to learn he's no longer with us. Robert G., I mean...Gordon is still alive and well as far as I know.
posted by motown missile at 9:19 PM on March 31, 2011


I got excited about it being Englebert Humperdinck because that is a name I've known forever, he is famous, and yet I haven't really known what he sounds like -- but I checked on YouTube and it's not him. It's not Chris Smither or Robert Goulet either.
posted by edlundart at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2011


Not Canadian, but... Tom Jones?
posted by prenominal at 9:24 PM on March 31, 2011


Ok, not all Canadian, but
Charlie Angus
Neil Young
Andy Kim
Rufus Wainwright
David Clayton-Thomas
Tom Jones
posted by iconomy at 9:24 PM on March 31, 2011


Brian Mulroney did sing When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
posted by KokuRyu at 9:25 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Johnny Maestro. Glen Campbell. Dion DiMucci.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:26 PM on March 31, 2011


Murray McLauchlan
Dan Hill
Ian Thomas
...?
posted by marylynn at 9:27 PM on March 31, 2011


Alan Thicke is Canadian.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:28 PM on March 31, 2011


Arlo Guthrie?
posted by Yorrick at 9:28 PM on March 31, 2011


Glen Campbell? Don Williams?
posted by Yorrick at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2011


Bobby Darrin
Bobby Vinton
Neil Diamond
posted by iconomy at 9:36 PM on March 31, 2011


Jack Jones?
Mel Torme?
Matt Monro?
Burt Bacharach (who's a terrible singer, but one of the greatest songwriters)?
Val Doonican?
Andy Williams?
posted by The Discredited Ape at 9:36 PM on March 31, 2011


Still no luck, I'm afraid... it's conceivable that this person is more famous in other parts of the world than in the US, I suppose. I was born and raised in Norway, where some American, British, and Canadian singers are big -- while they are less known in North America. But it's definitely not a Scandinavian singer or anything. Pretty sure he's North American, I guess he could be British... I have this vague memory of him being Canadian, but I think we must have exhausted almost every Canadian possibility...?
posted by edlundart at 9:42 PM on March 31, 2011


Harry Chapin?
posted by staggernation at 9:43 PM on March 31, 2011


John Cougar Mellencamp
Van Morrison
(this is fun)
posted by iconomy at 9:45 PM on March 31, 2011


Nick Lowe? Song 1 Song 2
posted by maudlin at 9:45 PM on March 31, 2011


Robert Palmer
Phil Collins
Lou Reed
posted by iconomy at 9:46 PM on March 31, 2011


Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip?
posted by barnone at 9:46 PM on March 31, 2011


Steve Winwood
Eric Clapton
Peter Gabriel
posted by iconomy at 9:47 PM on March 31, 2011


Trying to place your childhood so I can figure out who had a hit then: how old are you? Or was this a song that was a hit before your mother was born?
posted by maudlin at 9:47 PM on March 31, 2011


Michael Bolton? For the love of God, tell me it's not Michael Bolton.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:49 PM on March 31, 2011


It's not Michael Bolton.
posted by staggernation at 9:49 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm 33 and I'm guessing the song was a hit around when I was born +/-10ish years.
posted by edlundart at 9:50 PM on March 31, 2011


That's true. It's not Michael Bolton.
posted by edlundart at 9:50 PM on March 31, 2011


Billy Joel
posted by iconomy at 9:51 PM on March 31, 2011


Elton John
posted by iconomy at 9:51 PM on March 31, 2011


Eric Clapton? Steve Miller? Harry Chapin? John Denver?
posted by barnone at 9:52 PM on March 31, 2011


Stompin' Tom?

Other off-the-wall guesses:
Geddy Lee?
Kim Mitchell?
Crash Test Dummies?
The Rheostatics?
Voivod?
posted by spinifex23 at 9:52 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rod Stewart!
posted by barnone at 9:52 PM on March 31, 2011


Mickey Newbury?
posted by The Discredited Ape at 9:53 PM on March 31, 2011


James Taylor? Jackson Browne?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:53 PM on March 31, 2011


James Taylor
posted by barnone at 9:53 PM on March 31, 2011


Gerry Rafferty
James Taylor
posted by iconomy at 9:54 PM on March 31, 2011


Are you absolutely sure it's not Charlie Rich, as already suggested above? If the song was a hit between roughly between 1968 and 1988, that would include his countrypolitan years.

The Most Beautiful Girl
Feel Like Goin' Home (later, more gospelly)
posted by maudlin at 9:54 PM on March 31, 2011


More of a disco sound? More of a folk sound? More of a pop or rock sound? Crooner?
posted by barnone at 9:55 PM on March 31, 2011


Johnny Mathis?
posted by cgc373 at 9:56 PM on March 31, 2011


Don Cherry
Bing Crosby
Barry Manilow
posted by barnone at 9:57 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kris Krisofferson
posted by marylynn at 9:57 PM on March 31, 2011


Eddie Schwartz?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:00 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure it's not Charlie Rich. Not disco at all, not really rock in any true sense of the word, but it's got vocal oomph. Maybe slightly more folk-ish, pop-ish. I think the song I'm talking about may have been a way bigger success for him than anything else he did, but I'm on thin ice saying that.
posted by edlundart at 10:02 PM on March 31, 2011


Ooh, Kris Kristofferson. Except that he's not really a singer in the sense I got from the OP... I'm still not convinced it's not Neil Diamond or Harry Chapin.
posted by staggernation at 10:03 PM on March 31, 2011


I think the performance I saw was backed by a decent-sized band (like at least 5 people). So it's not like a guy with his accoustic guitar.
posted by edlundart at 10:03 PM on March 31, 2011


Don Cherry

You win the Internets.

John Cale?

David Clayton-Thomas (from Blood Sweat and Tears)?
posted by maudlin at 10:06 PM on March 31, 2011


Robert Palmer
Don Henley
Iggy Pop
Rick Astley
David Bowie
Joe Walsh

You'd better not even think of going to sleep until we come up with the answer.
posted by iconomy at 10:06 PM on March 31, 2011


Barry Manilow!
posted by bumblebeat at 10:08 PM on March 31, 2011


John Denver
Willie Nelson
John Mellencamp
Johnny Cash
David Allen Coe
Steve Earl
posted by barnone at 10:09 PM on March 31, 2011


Chilliwack?
April Wine?
posted by spinifex23 at 10:09 PM on March 31, 2011


What other videos were you watching when you stumbled on this one?

(I still can't believe it's not Burton Cummings, if you're talking about a distinctive voice. Also, anyone else want to join me down the Kris Kristofferson hole I've stumbled into?)...
posted by marylynn at 10:10 PM on March 31, 2011


Tom Petty??
posted by barnone at 10:10 PM on March 31, 2011


Ahahaah, Rick-rolling! I may need to take a shower soon to stay awake, iconomy. Also, I feel like pretty soon people will start to think I'm just messing with them. I swear this is a real thing!
posted by edlundart at 10:10 PM on March 31, 2011


Jim Cuddy
posted by KokuRyu at 10:10 PM on March 31, 2011


(this thread could be the greatest mixtape ever)
Lyle Lovett
Hoyt Axton!
posted by barnone at 10:12 PM on March 31, 2011


Or Greg Keelor (who seems physically more likely)
posted by marylynn at 10:12 PM on March 31, 2011


Red Rider with Tom Cochrane?
posted by spinifex23 at 10:13 PM on March 31, 2011


What other videos were you watching when you stumbled on this one?

That's a really good thought, but unfortunately I've tried to trace my steps already and I apparently have amnesia... I think it was likely one of those things where I fell into a rabbit hole of "parents' choice" music.
posted by edlundart at 10:13 PM on March 31, 2011


Daniel Lanois?

Warren Zevon! (Hey, he got grey later.)
posted by maudlin at 10:14 PM on March 31, 2011


Mark Knopfler of the Dire Straits
Roy Orbison?
posted by barnone at 10:16 PM on March 31, 2011


Gene Autry (died in 1998!)
posted by barnone at 10:18 PM on March 31, 2011


Roy Orbison?

It would be funny if this turns out to be correct, because that's pretty much the opposite of the hair color initially described. Memory works in funny ways...
posted by staggernation at 10:19 PM on March 31, 2011


Steve Lawrence
Jack Scott
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:19 PM on March 31, 2011


Bobby Rydell
Neil Sedeka
Vic Damone
Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Jack Jones
posted by iconomy at 10:20 PM on March 31, 2011


Lee Hazlewood!
posted by gyusan at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2011


Memory works in funny ways...
staggernation, I know, I'm terrified of discovering that actually the guy I'm thinking of is 40 and from Germany and doesn't really have much of a voice. But it's not Orbison.
posted by edlundart at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2011


George Jones?
Frank Sinatra?
posted by The Discredited Ape at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2011


Scott Walker?
posted by Scram at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Older style of singing, but only in his 40s - Harry Connick Jr.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:23 PM on March 31, 2011


Any chance it's Ronnie Hawkins? Here he is in Who Do You Love with The Band.

Or Bobby Vinton, who had a Canadian TV show?
posted by wdenton at 10:24 PM on March 31, 2011


Serge Gainsbourg
Elvis Costello
Bryan Ferry
Bob Seger
posted by iconomy at 10:27 PM on March 31, 2011


I was born and raised in Norway

Lee Hazlewood did a TV show in Sweden in the 60s/70s...

one
two
posted by gyusan at 10:29 PM on March 31, 2011


Even if it isn't Lee, you gotta listen to his hit duet with Nancy Sinatra: Some Velvet Morning.
posted by gyusan at 10:33 PM on March 31, 2011


Sorry, still no bullseye... I need to go take a shower, but I'll check in afterwards before going to bed... it's not Lee Hazlewood, but I will listen to the duet when I return! Thanks so much to everyone who's been trying.
posted by edlundart at 10:35 PM on March 31, 2011


Richard Thompson? more folky and cool probably than you want.

Lawrence Welk
Steve Gorman
Liberace

Another tactic to try would be to check the guest lists of the Muppet Show and Sesame Street from around the right era.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:39 PM on March 31, 2011


Nick Gilder
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:40 PM on March 31, 2011


Chad Allan
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:43 PM on March 31, 2011


Johnny Mathis? another reach.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:48 PM on March 31, 2011


Your description sounds like Anne Murray to me (well, except for the gender!).
posted by smilingtiger at 10:50 PM on March 31, 2011


Ricky Valance
posted by unliteral at 10:50 PM on March 31, 2011


Don McLean
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:53 PM on March 31, 2011


Merle Haggard? Buck Owens?
posted by lisa g at 10:53 PM on March 31, 2011


Raffi?

Ooh, I hope it's Raffi.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:57 PM on March 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm disappointed that it's not Charlie Rich. I feel like if I say it enough it will make it so: Charlie Rich! Charlie Rich! Charlie Rich!

super long-shot: Cliff Richard?
another one: Gilbert O'Sullivan?
Scott Walker (here with the Walker Brothers)?
posted by scody at 11:00 PM on March 31, 2011


Chad Allan of the Guess Who? Well, he's Canadian. And I couldn't pass up on the chance in this free-for-all to reference a person who's birth name is Allan Kowbel.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:01 PM on March 31, 2011


Not Canadian, and definitely not a one-hit wonder, but Bruce Springsteen?
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:01 PM on March 31, 2011


Looks like Don McLean is popular in Norway.

On preview: I see someone else thought of it first! And....Don McLean is on a tv infomercial here right this second. Flanked by Rick Springfield and Peabo Bryson.
posted by iconomy at 11:01 PM on March 31, 2011


Oh wait, is it BJ THOMAS?!?? Suddenly I'm convinced it's BJ Thomas, because I just remembered seeing him on this Marvin Hamlisch PBS special sometime in the past year and remembering how much I loved him when I was really little.
posted by scody at 11:04 PM on March 31, 2011


Paolo Conte!

Neither Canadian nor Norwegian, but a distinguished voice nonetheless.
posted by gyusan at 11:04 PM on March 31, 2011


Not old but I'll throw it out there, Michael Buble?
posted by arha at 11:04 PM on March 31, 2011


Bram Morrison of Sharon, Lois, and Bram fame?

Ooh, if it's not Raffi, I hope it's Bram!
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:06 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Gary
John Davidson
Harry Nilsson
Pete Townsend
Bing Crosby
Stephen Stills
posted by Ellemeno at 11:08 PM on March 31, 2011


Tommy Hunter.
posted by gyusan at 11:09 PM on March 31, 2011


Madonna?
posted by dancestoblue at 11:09 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lawrence Gowan
posted by marylynn at 11:10 PM on March 31, 2011


Kenny Loggins

and, almost certainly not but:
Jimmy Buffett
Meat Loaf
Van Morrison
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:10 PM on March 31, 2011


Geddy Lee

He's got the distinctive voice, anyway.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:12 PM on March 31, 2011


Paul Shaffer
posted by gyusan at 11:12 PM on March 31, 2011


Oh marylynn's right on with Lawrence Gowan - hit records at the right time, adult contemporary, Canadian, did an orchestra-accompanied concert series in 2008.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:13 PM on March 31, 2011


Howard Jones
Thomas Dolby
posted by iconomy at 11:13 PM on March 31, 2011


I also just came running back to suggest B.J. Thomas of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" fame.
posted by Ellemeno at 11:14 PM on March 31, 2011


I'm back... Don McLean is a great guess, I'm starting to wonder if it could simply be a live performance of American Pie. I'm checking some videos and his voice is much better than I "want to think" -- I'm looking to see if I can find a clip that matches my memory.
posted by edlundart at 11:15 PM on March 31, 2011


If it's not Don McLean I want it to be Corey Hart. I Wear My Sunglasses at Night is "famous, bordering on legendary" for sure. An American classic.
posted by iconomy at 11:19 PM on March 31, 2011


Keith Hampshire? He had three top 10 hits in Canada (I used to hear him all the time on CKLW in the 1970s).
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:20 PM on March 31, 2011


It's not anyone from the Rat Pack, right? i.e., can we rule out Sinatra, Dino, and Sammy?

another long shot: Mel Torme?
posted by scody at 11:24 PM on March 31, 2011


Australian?

John Farnham
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:27 PM on March 31, 2011


Hmm... losing faith in Don McLean, as I can't find a live clip that could be the one I saw. If it's him, it would definitely be "American Pie."

The muppet show idea was very clever. I did a cursory search, but not finding any clues so far. We can rule out the Rat Pack.
posted by edlundart at 11:29 PM on March 31, 2011


Ian Tyson? (I'll never forget, we had to sing "Four Strong Winds" in Grade Three. That's an awfully...world-weary song for eight-year-olds. "But my good times are all gone/ and I'm bound for movin' on/ I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way.")

Ronnie Hawkins?

Robbie Robertson from The Band?
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:36 PM on March 31, 2011


pete seger?
posted by anodyne88 at 11:36 PM on March 31, 2011


I'm terrified of discovering that actually the guy I'm thinking of is 40 and from Germany and doesn't really have much of a voice.

Heino? I hope it's Heino.
posted by StopMakingSense at 11:40 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roger Miller?
posted by scody at 11:41 PM on March 31, 2011


Australian? -- it's possible... Don McLean is the closest guess so far, and it's still possible he is the one. But if it's not him, he is a good example of the kind of dude this guy is in terms of his capacity and technical skill as a singer. Also, the fact that he has that one big song makes him a good candidate.

I'm going to have to get some sleep, pretending that it is Don McLean so I can rest.

Thanks again, everybody. I'm sorry for such maddeningly vague hints.
posted by edlundart at 11:42 PM on March 31, 2011


Heino? I hope it's Heino.
OMG. I do remember this song. But sadly this is not it.
posted by edlundart at 11:43 PM on March 31, 2011


I'm sad it's not BJ Thomas... I thought I'd cracked the mystery with that Marvin Hamlisch special. And god knows it can't be Bobby Goldsboro.
posted by scody at 11:45 PM on March 31, 2011


Don McLean also had a few other biggies - Vincent (Starry Starry Night), Castles in the Air.

And god knows it can't be Bobby Goldsboro.

Ugh, just forced myself to watch Honey to remember what the hell the big deal was. I couldn't concentrate because of his hair.

What about the Feelings guy?
posted by iconomy at 11:48 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Morris Albert)
posted by iconomy at 11:48 PM on March 31, 2011


Tony Christie? British but had a minor comeback in the last 10 years
posted by handybitesize at 11:54 PM on March 31, 2011


John Farnham?
posted by the fish formerly known as sarcastic fringehead at 2:20 AM on April 1, 2011


Hold up y'all. I got this one.

Eddie Rabbitt. Driving my Life Away
posted by at the crossroads at 3:04 AM on April 1, 2011


(Speaking of Canadians, there is a Kids in The Hall skit based on this discussion).
posted by ovvl at 4:24 AM on April 1, 2011


Scott Walker?
posted by chinston at 4:34 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gene Pitney?
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 4:48 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Steve Tyrell ?
posted by adamfunman at 5:13 AM on April 1, 2011


Mac Davis?

Noel Paul Stookey?
posted by lemniskate at 5:37 AM on April 1, 2011


The horrifyingly creepy Paul Todd?

(Whoever suggested Eddie Schwartz is evil. HA! Hell of a voice.)
posted by gjc at 5:57 AM on April 1, 2011


Jerry Vale?
Al Martino?
Jack Jones? (the other one)
Pat Boone?
posted by thinkpiece at 6:21 AM on April 1, 2011


Holly Holy! Did anyone say Neil Diamond yet? Obvi, not Canadian, but but ...
posted by thinkpiece at 6:25 AM on April 1, 2011


thinkpiece beat me... but Pat Boone?
posted by kimdog at 6:27 AM on April 1, 2011


Holly Holy! Did anyone say Neil Diamond yet?

Including you, 5 people ;P

Eddie Rabbitt. Driving my Life Away


I think I Love a Rainy Night is the definitive work in the huge Eddie Rabbitt arsenal of megahits.

How about Eddie Money - Two Tickets to Paradise?
posted by iconomy at 6:36 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Morrissey? While he doesn't really match the style of music you're describing, he does have an amazing voice. IMHO
posted by elisebeth at 6:53 AM on April 1, 2011


Can't believe nobody's suggested the late, great, Dan Fogelberg -- either Same Auld Lang Syne or Leader of the Band?
posted by themissy at 7:11 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:28 AM on April 1, 2011


Wait - he might be Norwegian?

Gaahl.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:46 AM on April 1, 2011


(You might want to remove your "best answer" mark or people might think this has been answered if they don't click "more inside"...and this BEST get answered.)
posted by tristeza at 8:09 AM on April 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Terry Jacks
Bill Henderson
posted by canoehead at 8:18 AM on April 1, 2011


Eddy Arnold?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:53 AM on April 1, 2011


EDLUNDART! WAKE UP!
posted by thinkpiece at 8:57 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Michael Crawford? He isn't Canadian, but wow, what a voice (does the best rendition of "Oh Holy Night" ever)
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 9:01 AM on April 1, 2011


Stompin' Tom doesn't fit your description at all. But he's the only Canadian who hasn't been guessed.
posted by dobbs at 9:51 AM on April 1, 2011


Paul Williams?
posted by spicynuts at 9:57 AM on April 1, 2011


Please tell us this was not an April Fool's Day joke, a few hours too early.
posted by barnone at 10:14 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


edlundart: we have pitchforks.

*sigh* Does anyone here seem likely?
posted by maudlin at 10:22 AM on April 1, 2011


Has anyone said Conway Twitty yet?
posted by spicynuts at 10:49 AM on April 1, 2011


It turned out to be about a magic horse.

Michael Martin Murphey. Wildfire
posted by at the crossroads at 11:05 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Valdy?
posted by Brodiggitty at 11:23 AM on April 1, 2011


I'm still voting for Tom Jones, even though he was suggested already. And he's Welsh, I believe.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:23 AM on April 1, 2011


It's going to end up being Sammy Davis, Jr., I just know it.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:32 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's probably not Don Williams* but he should be on the mixtape of older dudes who sing well.

*link to 70s era Williams pre-gray hair.
posted by vespabelle at 11:39 AM on April 1, 2011


Bryan Adams?

BTO?
posted by chugg at 1:13 PM on April 1, 2011


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Bachman

Randy Bachman. White, white hair, big beard. Legendary!
posted by csmithrim at 1:39 PM on April 1, 2011


Oh wait: Klaus Nomi! Obviously. Duh.
posted by scody at 2:07 PM on April 1, 2011


I'm sure you didn't miss it, but just in case you did - could it have been Arlo Guthrie singing the gorgeous song City of New Orleans, which was a huge hit? That's the first one that came to mind for me.

Also, watching that video, I realized that while he's in tune, Arlo Guthrie doesn't have the greatest voice I've ever heard and that made me realize, again, how American Idol and similar shows have it so so very wrong.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:37 PM on April 1, 2011


I'm with barnone on John Denver for this.

(I'm also really loving the YouTube tour of Branson in this thread!)
posted by travertina at 3:49 PM on April 1, 2011


Tom Waits.


obviously.
posted by timory at 4:23 PM on April 1, 2011


Chris Isaak?
posted by kpht at 6:53 PM on April 1, 2011


It's not an April Fool's joke, I just have a job. I will go through your latest suggestions! It's not John Farnham, but that was an interesting guess, and the voice is powerful.
posted by edlundart at 7:36 PM on April 1, 2011


*sigh* Does anyone here seem likely?

maudlin, the list seemed promising, but sadly did not yield results. I'm starting to feel like every singer in the world has been mentioned or considered.

(You might want to remove your "best answer" mark or people might think this has been answered if they don't click "more inside"...and this BEST get answered.)

tristeza, that makes sense. I'm removing them now.
posted by edlundart at 7:46 PM on April 1, 2011


Not old, but old-fashioned, and Canadian: Michael Buble.
posted by ovvl at 8:36 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is not the right kind of singer, I don't think, and he's not Canadian, so it's totally random... but could you possibly be thinking of Colm Wilkinson?

(I always think he is Canadian because I get him mixed up with Colm Feore.)
posted by cider at 9:04 AM on April 2, 2011


Boz Scaggs? :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 11:24 AM on April 2, 2011


Townes Van Zandt?
The Cooper Brothers?
Rick Danko?
posted by dustyasymptotes at 5:42 AM on April 3, 2011


Apologies, Michael Buble was previously mentioned by arha..

Also previously mentioned: Ian Thomas, David Clayton Thomas, Paul Anka...
posted by ovvl at 7:42 AM on April 3, 2011


At this point, I think we all get to vote on who it was.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:55 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just because he hasn't been listed yet, and you said maybe British: Robert Plant.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:14 PM on April 3, 2011


I woke up in the middle of the night (yeah, I know) and wondered if instead of an individual singer like Don McLean it might have actually been a group around the same time... which made me wonder if it could be Three Dog Night?
posted by scody at 2:48 PM on April 3, 2011


Come on, we're all getting a bit desperate now.

John Parr?
Jim Diamond?
Peter Cetera?
Andrew Gold?
Al Stewart?
posted by The Discredited Ape at 4:24 PM on April 3, 2011


If it is group, like scody says, perhaps it wasn't a magic horse, but A Horse with No Name?
posted by at the crossroads at 7:54 PM on April 3, 2011


I'm afraid we still don't have a "winner," and I'm pretty much giving up. I'm 99% sure it's not a group. I apologize for starting a thread that likely will not have a feel-good resolution! Should I somehow think of him or come across the clip again or something, I'll update this thread. And I'll check in from time to time in case someone suddenly has an epiphany. Thanks again to everyone who participated.
posted by edlundart at 8:06 PM on April 3, 2011


No, god damn it.

There are still old white guy singers out there that we haven't named yet!

I think perhaps that in Norway there may have been a skewed perception of how popular this singer was in other countries. You said he was "bordering on legendary" but I think that may not be the case, at least not for most of us answering this. I also found it interesting that you really seemed to pounce on the name Englebert Humperdink, which leads me to believe your singer also has a crazypants name.
posted by iconomy at 9:06 PM on April 3, 2011


Alright, if edlundart is giving up, I'm just going to go ahead and say it was Bill Monroe.
posted by at the crossroads at 9:21 PM on April 3, 2011


Rodney Brown?
posted by empatterson at 9:50 PM on April 3, 2011


ok he's not a superstar or anything, but he is more popular other places than here.
posted by empatterson at 9:53 PM on April 3, 2011


Simon and/or Garfunkel!
Andrea Bocelli!
Julio Iglesias!
Ivan Lins!
Rod Stewart!
Sting!
Richard Marx!
Annie Lennox!
William Shatner doing a spoken-word version of Rocket Man!
Your mom!

Gah. Sorry. I got nothin'.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 11:50 PM on April 3, 2011


I just checked in to see if this was ever solved, and wanted to make one recommendation. Have you ever seen those commercials that used to air all the time on weekends or during the daytime (and still rarely do) for hits of the 50s, 60s, 70s, AM Gold, etc. They were usually some Time Life subscription thing, but they would show people singing and the song names would scroll by (with whatever was being sung at that moment shown in yellow)....I feel like if you could dig up the AM Gold commercials for that era on YouTube or if you just scroll through the album listings you will find what you are looking for...
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 10:03 PM on April 5, 2011


Now I hope it was Annie Lennox.
posted by Ellemeno at 7:01 AM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


God grief, there is only one other singer on the planet that hasn't be named here but don't tell me it's The Hof.
posted by unliteral at 3:36 PM on April 10, 2011


I'm happy to report The Hof is not the man in question.
posted by edlundart at 10:41 PM on April 25, 2011


« Older Model ship kit building help. ...   |  What is this musical....thing ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.