" I have always believed that creativity of all kinds is what lends perspective to our existence. Creativity is the end point of experience that allows us to summarize a moment, a year or even a life. There are, of course, varying degrees of skill that allow the creative thoughts to be shared or not. But ultimately, art that is done for anyone other than the artist is opaque while art made solely for the creator is translucent."
I Thought It Was
Worth A Song
Out Vancouver Way
My first place to "land"; the beginning of me. This was a time of unprecedented creativity. I was 25 and thanks to Gerry Lacoursiere, I had a record deal with a great label, (something I had been striving for for years). I was writing every day all day long and in most of the songs I can hear myself working my way through questions about love and life that I had not had before. Years later, I have had time to go back and collect all the ideas from the papers I managed to keep with song titles or lyrics.It was probably the most extended, emotionally charged time in my life that I was able to capture in song. In the same way that a photograph of good times can put the viewer in the picture; Perhaps a recording of discovered moments can do the same thing for the listener. Vancouver in 1972 was a magical place in a magical time and I was lucky to be there and in love
The World Don't Care FULL MIX(1).mp3
This photo was taken Looking West from the balcony at 711 Broughton in 1972.
Edmonton 1973 - 1975
When I moved into my new empty apartment in Edmonton I sat down around noon and tried to write a song about my experience of falling in love, moving to Vancouver and then leaving Vancouver for Edmonton. Ironically the first song ended up in consideration to be my first single for Portrait Records a couple of years later. I almost feel that this song was the height of my power as a singer songwriter. I kept the cassette recorder going all day trying ideas but nothing worked. Finally about 10:00 pm I turned on the cassette for one more try.... and this song, music and lyrics, came out just as you hear it here. When I finished, I was amazed because it captured the present , the past and even the future. It still makes sense today!
Apartment 1909 College Plaza Edmonton
The Boardwalk Office Building in Edmonton where Century II Records was located. It was a great place to work!
If Vancouver was a dream, then Edmonton was a surprise. During a music conference in November of 72 in Vancouver , I was approached by Tommy Banks to see if I was interested in recording for his new record company and also to act as the A&R person for the label .I was!. And so in March of 1973, I left Vancouver! Just a year earlier I could not see myself living anywhere else but where I was, but my career came first and so, I left. The most important thing about Edmonton for me was the chance that it gave me to grow as a writer. The songs that I recorded there ultimately got me to New York City and gave me an in with one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century, George David Weiss. But first, Tommy!
I can't say enough about this man, Tommy Banks.He wss the reason that I moved to Edmonton. His list of musical and civic accomplishments is almost endless and he has rightly been given most of the honors that a person can get from being at the top of his field. But for me, Tommy was one of the finest and one of the most decent men that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. The opportunity that he gave me to grow my talent was invaluable to all that came after including my teaching career. I have few regrets but one of them is that outside of these couple of years in Edmonton, I did not get to spend more time with him. I am sure that I would have continued to learn many valuable music and life lessons in his presence.
It's a bit of a convoluted story that I am going to simplify by saying that Century 2 ran into financial problems and with a new wife and baby on the way, it was time to move on. A friend of mine, Bruce Sperling, was the head of Top 40 promotion for Capitol Records and he sent some of my songs to Al Coury who was then head of A&R for Capitol in LA and we got to the point of lawyers meeting when Al left to join RSO where he took the Bee Gees to superstar status. So,start over again.Bruce, who covered the NYC market ran into George David Weiss who told Bruce he was looking for a singer songwriter to co-write with and to Produce for his production company.By this time I had moved to London, Ontario but my music focus was NYC. Click here to read about George and his credits. New York Times
New York City 1975 - 1977
George David Weiss
A Letter From Paris
They Were Singin'Mr.Blue.
This song is about the first girl I loved, and the realization that it wasn't going to be all that easy for or on me. In the late fall of 1959 I went to a dance at my brother's high school and as I walked home, the genesis of this song was born. It took me many years to express those feelings, but I began to write the song in 1983 and part of the recording you hear was done in 1984. I came back to this recording in 2014 and added a new vocal (including back ups) changed the lyrics a bit and added a recitation. (Recitations were much more common in the 50's) After a few remixes I felt that I had musically and lyrically captured the feelings I had that night. Birmingham Alabama, late October and walking up MIlner Crescent after I left the dance. It took me over 50 years to say it right.
They Were Singin' Mr. Blue - TerryMcManus
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OTHER SONGS: Here is a collection of songs from down through the years and the stories that go with them!
You're The Only Reason
In 1968 I was living in Maryland when I was signed by Arc Records / Canint Music to write for 3 of their Artists; Ronnie Hawkins, Cathernine McKinnon and Anne Murray. It was Anne's What About Me record that I really liked and was who I wanted to write for most. Unfortunately, (for me), she moved on to Capitol before I had a chance to give her some songs. 6 years later I was in Edmonton working with Tommy Banks when Anne came to do a concert with the Edmonton Symphony. I walked into the Jubilee Auditorium in the afternoon when there was a rehearsal going on. Anne was sitting by herself out in the "audience" waiting for her turn. I thought about sitting down next to her and telling her that the only reason I ended up in the music business and Edmonton was that I wanted to write for her. But I figured she must have had a lot of people tell her those kinds of stories so, I went home and wrote this song and then came back with the lyrics for her show. I was going to give her a copy of the lyrics after but she was surrounded and so I just went on home to my apartment a couple of blocks away. (Ironically, the next person that signed me to a contract after Canint was Barry Keane when he was A&R for Quality Records. He later became Anne Murray's drummer!)
The World Don't Care Dennis DeMIlle.mp3Dennis DeMille