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BRUCE COCKBURN > News > Bill Usher

Bill Usher recalls radio production from tour with Bruce Cockburn

Bill Usher, Bruce Cockburn, Jenny Scheinman, Gary Craig - 2013 - Golden, CO
Bill Usher (left) poses with renowned Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn (centre, left) and members of Cockburn’s backing band, Jenny Scheinman and Gary Craig, following Cockburn’s 2013 show in Golden

Mar 24, 2016 – Long before he arrived in Golden, Colorado and began to have an impact on what is now a bustling arts and culture scene, Bill Usher was a radio documentary producer and musician, with one of his proudest works coming in the form of a two-hour documentary titled On Tour with Bruce Cockburn.

Usher had worked with the Canadian folk icon on his 1976 release In the Falling Dark and toured across Canada with him on the subsequent tour. The idea to document the cross country tour with Cockburn seemed like a winner, and Usher took his idea to CBC, having produced documentaries for them previously.

“As soon as I knew that I had the gig…I basically went into one of the producers (at CBC) and said ‘I’m going out on the road with Cockburn for 12 weeks. I have this idea that I could do an on the road back stage documentary, are you interested?’,” he remembered.

The producer was interested, and Usher proceeded to round up all of the five inch reels of tape that he could before hitting the road for the tour.

Film and radio was a different animal back then. The days of digital recording were but a pipe dream, making production a lengthy, time-intensive process compared to contemporary standards.


Circles In The Stream – On Tour With Bruce Cockburn in 1977

February 2016 – Daniel Keebler, over at the Gavin’s Woodpile, has put together a wonderful article, including a 2 hour audio documentary which was made in 1977.

Special Occasion presents – ON TOUR WITH BRUCE COCKBURN

A two-hour program produced for the CBC in 1977. Bill Usher documents aspects of the Circles In The Stream tour of which he was a part. Included are intimate conversations with Bruce Cockburn about himself, his music and those who listen to it.

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