Born, February 20, 1941 (age 81), Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. I was a little reluctant to include Buffy in the series of Canadian Artists being covered due to the fact that she has spent little if any time actually living in Canada. She apparently identifies with being Canadian but was adopted by an American couple at just a few months old and raised in Massachusetts. She had a son and raised him in Hawaii and as far as I can tell still lives there at age 77.
She has certainly been well recognized in Canada for her many achievements, she really is a remarkable person, but I will stick with the music here. If she identifies with Canada (she is a dual American and Canadian citizen) I guess that gives me licence to blog about her here. So apart from her obvious vocal talents she plays guitar, mouthbow, piano, ukulele, autoharp, harmonica and some percussion instruments.
She has written some epic songs.
“Up Where We Belong”, written by Will Jennings (lyrics), Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie (composers), released in 1982. Covered 57 times
If you recognize the name Will Jennings I mentioned him in the Celine Dion blog as he wrote the lyrics for “My Heart Will Go On”. Jack Nitzsche married Buffy in 1982 (separated in 1992) he is also an accomplished composer/producer.
Originally recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” the song won the Oscar for best song.
Buffy Sainte-Marie recorded it in 1996, Bebe & Cece Winans (1984) A sister/brother gospel duo.
“Universal Soldier” written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, covered over 30 times
Originally recorded by The Highwaymen (1963), a folk group from the sixties who had a hit with “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and not to be confused with the supergroup of Johnny Cash et al who would adopt the same name.
“Until It’s Time for You to Go” written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, covered over 100 times originally recorded and released in 1965. Elvis Presley in 1972, The Four Pennies would have a top 20 hit in the UK (1965). Other notable songs from Buffy include; “Cod’ine”, “Take My Hand for Awhile”, “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” and “I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl(Boy) Again”.
Update: I had the good fortune to see Buffy perform in London, Ontario at the Aeolian Hall on November 27, 2021. She was amazing and in great form, certainly near the top of the list for my live music experiences. On Friday September 30, 2022 Canada held its first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. This was to allow us to reflect on the Residential School system that once existed as well as other past and present wrongdoings resulting in harm and disadvantages to our Indigenous population. A TV special was presented via APTN and CBC featuring and honouring Buffy and I have to say it was quite the experience to watch.
References; https://secondhandsongs.com/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffy_Sainte-Marie, https://www.youtube.com/, http://buffysainte-marie.com/, https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/music-popular-and-jazz-biographies/buffy-sainte-marie, image from http://buffysainte-marie.com/