The Voice of Country Music in Canada April 03/08


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Aaron Pritchett wins 4 major awards in 2004 BCCMA's, including Entertainer Of Year and Top Male Vocalist. Gary Fjellgaard, recovering from heart surgery, is inducted into BCCMA Hall Of Fame.
Tommy Vaden, 79, fiddle player in Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch Boys band, dies in Nashville. Canada loses Bellamy Brothers' steel guitarist Dannie Jones / Buffalo Springfield's Bruce Palmer and Willie Nelson tribute artist E.J. Cooper. See obits in November CMN.
80's hitmakers Eddie Eastman, Terry Sumsion and Anita Perras release new singles. Brad Johner gets U.S. record deal, re-issues "Free" album to U.S. market on Infinity Records. Paul Brandt to tour Canada with opening act, Deric Rutttan. 16-city Huron Carole tour to feature Aaron Pritchett
NASHVILLE STAR 3 "auditions" set for November 13th in CALGARY.
CCMA announces impending resignation of longtime Exec. Director Sheila Hamilton. Names Jan Cody as new President.









Stay Tuned!!



Vinyl Flashback - BOB RUZICKA

Cold Hands, Warm Heart
(MCA Records - #319) - Released: 1973

(Researched and Written
by Larry Delaney / CMN)

Bob Ruzicka was often billed as “The Singing Dentist”, an appropriate title since his main profession was dentistry, specializing in children’s dentistry, which he practiced everywhere from the Northwest Territories, to Edmonton, Alberta and eventually on Vancouver Island, where he now makes his home. All the while, he also practiced a ‘second love’…his music, and during the 1970’s excelled as one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters, and a recording artist charting seven singles on the RPM Country Charts and releasing seven albums on the, Signpost, MCA, RCA and Mustard Records labels.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart was Bob Ruzicka’s second album, the first of two for MCA Records. Released in 1973, it was a follow-up to a ground breaking 1972 album, What The World’s All About, on the independent Signpost Records, which yielded two Top 10 hits in 1972, Storm Warning and Down And Losing. Like the debut album, Cold Hands, Warm Heart was recorded in Nashville studios, featuring many of Nashville’s top session players including Grady Martin, Pete Wade, Dale Sellers, Billy Sanford and Troy Seals on guitar, Charlie McCoy on harmonica, Bobby Emmons and David Briggs on keyboards, Kenny Malone and Farrell Morris on percussion and Mike Leech on bass. David Briggs produced the album.

The album served up several major hits on Canadian country charts including Cardboard Cowboys (#14 RPM– 1974), and Lately Love (#21 RPM-1973). The Lately Love song was particularly infectious, with a rhythmic touch that was ahead of its time, and a tune that likely could be a hit again today.

Like most of his albums, all of the songs on Cold Hands, Warm Heart featured songs composed by Bob Ruzicka. His songwriting was a main focus of his talent, and he had several of his songs recorded by Nashville artist, most notably George Hamilton IV who recorded three Ruzicka tunes, Can’t Remember, Can’t Forget, It Must Be Love, and Time Runs Out On You. Pop/folk artist Judy Collins also had a major hit with the Ruzicka song Down And Losing (The Dealer); and more recently the late Henson Cargill recorded Leaving Ain’t The Only Way To Go, a song Ruzicka co-wrote with fellow-Canuck Valdy.

Valdy in fact, during his early career years, was a heavy user of Bob Ruzicka compositions, and included many Ruzicka songs in his albums, including such notables as Dirty Old Man, Yes I Can, Peace Of Mind, Easy Money, Shining Times, and several others. Many other Canadian recording artists also included Bob Ruzicka pennings in their albums, most notably Ted Wesley who recorded numerous Ruzicka songs in his albums not the least being the popular northern saga Ballad Of Muk-Tuk Annie, which was also cut by Stompin’ Tom Connors and by Jimmy Arthur Ordge who had equal success with the Ruzicka song Mail Order Bride. R. Harlan Smith, a noted producer and songwriter in his own right who would eventually earn entry into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame (2005), was another Canadian who made good use of Bob Ruzicka songs, recording such winners as Cold Day In October, My Old Daddy, I’ve Been Through This Before and In The Candlelight. Other artists who have recorded Bob Ruzicka songs include Anne Murray (Hey Daddy), Mike Graham (Cardboard Cowboys), The Rhythm Pals (Can’t Remember, Can’t Forget), Diamond Joe White (The Dealer aka Down & Losing / Rodeo Red), Paul Hann (Play Me A Song), John Allan Cameron (Dirty Old Man), as well as cuts by Brian Sklar, Cormier Country, Valdy & Fjellgaard, Carlene Friesen, Thomas Alexander, etc.

In addition to the hit singles charted from his first two albums, Bob Ruzicka also enjoyed substantial national airplay with several hits from his subsequent album releases, including such tunes as Sunshine Lady (1975), Golden Oldie (1980) and Can’t Remember, Can’t Forget (1981).

The Thorsby, Alberta-bred Ruzicka also enjoyed considerable success on television first appearing on the 1971 Homemade Jam show, and in 1972 hosted his own TV series “Ruzicka” in 1972, which featured a wide array of Canadian country and folk stars of the day. He also worked with Peter Gzowski on the CBC Radio show, This Country In The Morning; and frequently guested on national TV shows hosted by Tommy Hunter, Ronnie Prophet, etc.

Despite all of his success with his songs, his recordings and his exposure on Canadian television and radio, Bob Ruzicka basically shunned the spotlight, and after his heydays of the 1970’s and early 80’s, he returned to his ‘other’ lifestyle, and once again became “The Singing Dentist”.

BOB RUZICKA – Album Discography
What The World’s All About – Signpost Records (1972)
Cold Hands, Warm Heart – MCA Records (1973)
Soft Rocker – MCA Records (1973)
Dude – RCA Records (1975)
Fresh Tracks – RCA Records (1976)
Landfall – Mustard Records (1979)
Loose Talk – Mustard Records (1982)


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Listen to 3 Songs sung by Bob Ruzicka:

Barge Song

Big River

Heros Of The Northern Sky


Return to Tribute to Ted Wesley