Few musicians have had career trajectories as long or colourful as Bobby Bare, who performs next month at the Ivan Daines Country Music Pick-Nic.
Bare, a Country Music Hall of Famer, is expected to share his hits Detroit City and 500 Miles Away From Home, when he plays at the 41st-annual outdoor Pick-nick.
The outdoor event, which runs from Aug. 9 to 13 at the Daines Ranch, six km north of Innisfail , also features entertainment from about 35 other artists. These include Hugh McLennon, Denver Daines, Steve Newsome, Sean Gristwood, Carol Lynn, Krissy Feniak — and Ivan Daines himself, who recently put our the original song Yes, I Am A Canadian.
Bare is an old-time country singer who’s had many brushes with stardom. Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Bobby Darin, and Rodney Crowell all touched his life and career, which delved at various times into county, rock, pop and folk.
After building his first guitar as a teenager, Bare moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. He might have been an overnight success, since his debut single, The All American Boy, became the second-biggest in the U.S., crossing over to the pop charts and also making the charts in the U.K.
But Bare was drafted into the U.S. army instead. After serving his stint in the military, he became roommates with Nelson, and decided to switch to becoming a pop singer. He went on several tours with Darin and Orbison, and recorded for several California labels — with modest success.
Not finding this genre overly fulfilling, Bare developed a unique sound that blended country with folk and pop elements. He was soon was signed by Chet Atkins in 1962 to RCA. Bare turned out a series of hits: Shame on You, (Mel Tillis and Danny Dill’s) Detroit City, and 500 Miles from Home.
Although he explored American folk music and was influenced by Bob Dylan in the mid-1960s, he put out some popular country songs in the 1970s, including How I Got To Memphis, Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends, and Come Sundown. His double album of Shel Silverstein songs in 1973 was a hit with country and rock audiences. And the following year, Bare had his first No. 1 success with Marie Laveau.
After being called “the Springsteen of country” by the legendary promoter Bill Graham, Bare developed new audiences at college campuses. In 1977, he helped launch Rosanne Cash’s career with their duet, No Memories Hangin’ Round, which went Top 20. He also worked with Crowell, who contributed to Bare’s 1978 album Sleeper Whenever I Fall.
Although Bare’s hits dried up in the 1980s, he was coaxed out of retirement in 2005 to record the album The Moon was Blue, produced by his son, Bobby Bare Jr. More recently, he released the CD, Things Change, containing a duet with Chris Stapleton.
Tickets to the Ivan Daines Country Music Pick-Nic are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.