If you do not know who Ron Hynes is, then let me give you a few lines about him. Read on, then keep reading on beyond these pages. Open a new browser and find some of his songs to listen to. Go to iTunes and buy ones that you like.
Ron Hynes was a true hero. A true contributor to the fabric of the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, and indeed the rest of Canada.
Ron really was the man of a thousand songs. An artist who wrote well, sang well and reached millions in the process. Anyone who grew up in Atlantic Canada knows the song “Sonny’s Dream”. Whether they heard it on the radio or in their school music classes. They’ve heard it. They may have been forced to sing it, and not even realize the importance of it. There are several hundred covers of this great classic around the world now. Still, no one sang it better than the man who wrote it. The song was taught to me as a kid by my Dad. I have a fond memory of Dad and I playing the song from start to finish in a Prince Edward Island music store. It was where my Dad really could see that I played bass rather well. So that song forever attaches to a great personal memory. Frankly, I could make a mix CD of just versions of this song.
As a founding member of The Wonderful Grand Band, Ron and his colleagues brought a great mix of comedy and music to the television screen and radio. The short-lived variety show in my opinion, is the very absolute root of Newfoundland and Labrador comedy. There are many clips of this show on YouTube, and it is worth a watch.
Ron’s singing and playing crossed over into different music genres. That never really mattered considering he reached people from all walks of life. Other artists will speak highly of him. He was known for his generosity and appreciation of the people he worked with.
Ron’s passing this week has been felt across the country and indeed across the world. His music is important, his words deep and far-reaching. He is an icon of folk music, and of music in general.