Myles Goodwyn, Founding April Wine Singer, Dead at 75

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Myles Goodwyn, the founding singer of Canadian band April Wine, died at age 75 on Sunday, his publicist Eric Alper said in a statement to Rolling Stone. His cause of death was not disclosed.

“Myles Goodwyn, singer, guitarist, writer, producer and leader of the multi-Platinum selling rock band April Wine, who shaped and directed the group from its earliest beginnings, has died today at the age of 75 at Noon Atlantic Time. No further details on cause of death, location or funeral details will be disclosed at this time. The family asks for privacy,” Alper said.

The band posted, “So long old friend” with a photo of their former singer.

Goodwyn fronted the band for more than five decades. In March, he performed his final show with the band, though he continued to help manage them and write for their new album, as CBC reports. “The lifestyle is not healthy for me anymore,” Goodwyn, who had diabetes, told CBC.

The band formed in 1969 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with original members vocalist/guitarist Goodwyn, guitarist David Henman, drummer Ritchie Henman, and bassist Jimmy Henman moving to Montreal shortly after. They released their self-titled debut album in 1971, which housed their first single, “Fast Train.” But it was their sophomore set, On Record, released a year later that spawned the group’s first Canadian Number One single, their cover of Hot Chocolate’s “You Could Have Been a Lady” and Top 20 single, their cover of Elton John’s “Bad Side of the Moon.” By their next album, Electric Jewels, all three Henmans had left. It was 1976’s The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy, their fifth, which spawned the hit “Like a Lover, Like a Song,” that earned the band platinum status. Their follow-up, Forever for Now, which contained their biggest single to date “You Won’t Dance With Me,” also went platinum.

While their music resonated on the charts in Canada, April Wine’s international success came late in the Seventies, following their charity concert with the Rolling Stones in Toronto at El Mocambo Club, which produced the live effort, 1977’s Live at the El Mocombo, and a tour with the Stones, Styx, and Rush. Their 1978 album First Glance’s single “Roller” remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks and the album was the first to go gold outside of Canada.

Once the Eighties arrived, the group’s international status had grown, and 1981’s The Nature of the Beast’s single yielded them their biggest U.S. hit with “Just Between You and Me.” They put out two more albums in that era (1982’s Power Play and 1984’s Animal Grace) and Goodwyn moved to the Bahamas. They embarked on a farewell tour in 1984, and he pursued a solo career — releasing his first self-titled solo album in 1988 — before reuniting the band in 1992.

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In all, the arena rockers — who Rolling Stone named Number 47 in the “Greatest Canadian Artists of All Time” list, sold more than 10 million records worldwide and the band received 11 Juno Award nominations.

Goodwyn was the recipient of the East Coast Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the SOCAN National Achievement Award in 2002. In 2016, he released his memoir, Just Between You and Me. His follow-up was a work of fiction in 2018 called Elvis and Tiger. He released solo albums Myles Goldwyn and Friends of the Blues in 2018 and Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues 2 in 2019.

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