memories of the ’70s – Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks

This Canadian singer/songwriter had achieved fame with his work with The Poppy Family, but his single in the early 1970s focused the spotlight on him with the single Seasons in the Sun.

Born in Winnipeg, Terry Jacks moved to Vancouver in the early 1960s with his family and formed his first band The Chessmen, who did well in the burgeoning music scene of the west coast, scoring local hits on radio.

Forming a new band with his future wife Susan Pesklevits and Craig McCaw, Jacks created The Poppy Family, adding tabla player Satwant Singh as their fourth member.

Recording an album, the lead single became their biggest hit “Which way you going Billy?”, propelling the group to top number one status across Canada, and hitting the #2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the US in 1969.

Written and produced by Jacks, the song attracted the attention of fans and fellow musicians, leading Jacks to go to Los Angeles and work with The Beach Boys on a solo project in 1970.

The song “Seasons in the Sun” was result of this collaboration, but the intense spotlight of fame was too much for Jacks, who returned to Vancouver, possibly on the edge of a nervous breakdown, the project unfinished.

Three years later, Jacks released the single on his label, Goldfish Records, and the song catapulted to the top of the charts on both sides of the border, earning Jacks radio airplay worldwide, as well as two Juno Awards for the song in 1974.

Seasons in the Sun became the biggest selling international single by a Canadian artist at the time. His fame led Jacks to work with other artists including Valdy, Chilliwack and Nana Mouskouri.

But the focus of fame was of no interest by Jacks, who took himself out of the spotlight and continued his music work and became active in the environmental movement.

Yet his songs live on, as classics of the 1970s pop music scene.

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About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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