BIOGRAPHY- PERSONAL INTEREST and EARLY MEMORIES
LYNNE TAYLOR DONOVAN - BIOGRAPHY
Audiences can quickly recognize and relate to an artist who can sing a story as though she has lived it....every line of lyric. Lynne Taylor Donovan is one of those rare breeds of artists, one who can pin the sincerity meter into the red every time she steps up to a microphone. A recognized veteran of the Canadian country music scene, this Okanagan lass breathes believability, passion, and a heartfelt sense of understanding into everything she sings.
In for the long run, Donovan has been wooing, serenading, moving, and winning over fans around the globe since she was a teenager thanks not only to a dynamic and soulful vocal delivery that emerged at a very young age, but an undeniable drive to pursue all possibilities with her God given gift. These days Donovan has once again been reminding programmers and audiences who listen to country and adult contemporary music that her ability to inject personality and passion into a fresh song has not abandoned her. She’s done that with a red hot new single titled Sugar Lake that has lit up the charts in England, Europe, and Australia, and been championed by a long list of Canadian country stations from Quebec to British Columbia.But this is just the latest chapter in Lynne Taylor Donovan’s journey as a singer, entertainer and recording artist.
So here’s the Cole’s notes version of Lynne’s wonderful life in music. Shortly after being introduced to music and song the young teen singer was in short order hosting her own television show in the lower mainland of B.C., and in another blink of an eye, a barely out of high school Lynne Taylor Donovan was hearing her voice on commercial airwaves and impressing promoters as far away as Japan. Suddenly she was seeing worlds that most teens only dream about. Tours with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and opening slots at shows with stars like Alan Jackson were in the offing a few years later as were the opportunities to record with crackerjack studio musicians and offers to appear on major festival stages on bills with Wynnona Judd and Loretta Lynn.
Songs like Lies, Make It On My Own, Talk To Me, Soft Place, Don’t Make Me Lie which was a top ten single in Canada, and Back On The Line became the backbone of a strong and vital set of Donovan originals, and if one or two of those alluring tunes wasn’t in rotation at home you could bet that radio programmers from England to Australia had decided to pick up on the buzz that she had created in her homeland.In fact, Talk To Me was a Number One hit in Italy and Top Ten across Europe for the better part of 2007. Of course the tune, which was built around the combination of a great hook, a pulsating groove, one of Donovan’s finest studio moments as a vocalist and superb production, became a cornerstone of her live shows.
The one step at a time, one fan at a time, one market at a time approach to living in the ever changing music business has certainly worked in Donovan’s favour thru the years, as unlike many of her peers from the nineties, she’s still not only still in the business, but as inspired and relevant as ever.
“I’m just fiercely independent and I like the way we’ve approached things in the past. Pacific Records and myself have control on the artistic direction of the material and we’ve built great relationships with players who work with us, programmers who have been loyal, and audiences who support us,” says Donovan who continues to call the beautiful Okanagan home.
The journey has included chapters where creative relationships with songwriters like onetime star VJ Erica Ehm and her pal Tim Thorney, who were the toast of the scene during the heyday of CMT in the nineties, but life has also handed Lynne Taylor Donovan her share of challenges. A breast cancer survivor, Donovan knows full well how precious life is and this gifted Canadian artist has every intention of following the muse that has made her a resilient and respected artist whose sound seamlessly crosses musical and geographic borders. Yes borders, both geographical and musical borders and boundaries.
A quick glance at what has transpired with her seasonal hit Dear Santa backs that line of thought up again. Over 50 reporting stations in Australia have been playing Lynne’s moving and timely Christmas and holiday tune and in Canada it’s been a pick with a number of syndicated specials. “I don’t think I’d do anything differently and an artist can’t ask for anything more than audiences to respond in a positive fashion to what one is creating,” insists an artist who knows of what she speaks. Lynne Taylor Donovan, the story continues. Stay tuned for the next chapter.
Peter North - Award-winning music journalist and host of CKUA Radio Network’s Points North and Dead Ends and Detours.
PERSONAL STATS: BORN: April 12 WHERE: Vancouver, Canada
LIKES: Shopping, white wine, gourmet cooking, long walks, Jaguar XKEs, and, well, SHOPPING!
DISLIKES: Red wine and not being able to SHOP!
FAV COLOR: Peach
HOBBIES: The beach in summer, tennis, pilates, song writing, and SHOPPING!
FAV MOVIE: Doctor Zhivago
INSTRUMENTS: Guitar MUSICAL
INFLUENCES: Just about everybody from The Zombies to Faith Hill.
What are your most satisfying moments? "Spending time with my son and performing live in concert for my fans".
Lynne's interest in music began when she was very young and by her own admission, it was an interesting beginning. One of her first songs was "Drinking Shirley Temples and Eating Cherry Pie". "I got a guitar when I was 9 and was writing songs pretty quickly after that, pretty awful ones too. [laughs] But it was something that didn't matter. It was just something that I wanted to be. My family were very frustrated for many years, but I think they're happy now. [laughs]"
PERFORMANCE/RECORDING HISTORY At the ripe old age of 16, she had her own television show on Vancouver cable. The "Lynne Donovan Show" ran for 12 weeks. Her first big break came in 1980 when she released a cover of a Gene Pitney song, "Half Heaven, Half Heartache" in England. It was picked up by the BBC station in Oxford, England and became her first number one song.
Several years passed and Lynne performed as a single act until 1985 when she became part of the top 40 cover band "The Cynics". The band opened at Expo '86 in Vancouver, Canada. She then teamed up with DMT Records and began releasing a series of singles. "Don't Make Me Lie" and "Weekend Sinner" were both released in 1989. "Don't Make Me Lie" became a top 10 single in Canada and the video received substantial airplay on CMT.
Televison followed with several appearances including the national "Jimmy Ferguson Show" hosted by the Irish Rovers' Jimmy Ferguson (R.I.P.1997). The success of the singles spawned a tour with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the release of two more singles, "Never Comin' Back"(1990), and "Back On the Line"(1992). That same year, DMT Records closed and Lynne was left with no label.
Through a chance meeting, she teamed up with Gord Bridgewater and they formed Lynne Donovan Music in 1994. She appeared at the Merrit Mountain Festival and recorded the first versions of "Angel In Your Eyes" and "One Hell At A Time"(released in 1995).
In 1997 they made their first contact with Erica Ehm, of MuchMusic fame, a contact that was to prove instrumental in the future. In 1999, she released "Angel In Your Eyes" in Canada.
A little break to spend time with her young son and then in 2000, they created Pacific Records Ltd. Lynne recorded another two singles, "Silence Says It All" and the demo for "I Don't Wanna Mention Any Names".
In 2001-2002 she was back on television hosting a six part mini-series, produced by Sherana Productions for Access Television, entitled "Anything Is Possible". That same year, she released a re-done "Angel In Your Eyes" to Europe and Australia. "Angel..." was an instant success. These two songs carried Lynne through 2002 and she began appearing in major European magazines. She recorded two more singles in 2002, "Speechless" and the first version of "Turn To Stone" and re-released the newly mastered "Weekend Sinner".
In January 2003, Lynne released "Speechless". In February 2003, another chance meeting through an old high school friend introduced Pacific Records to Starfire Studio. They formed a joint venture which gave Lynne the support she needed to record a full length CD. That same year, Lynne teamed up with Erica Ehm (remember 1997?). Erica put together a very talented team of writers and with Lynne, they wrote the songs for Lynne's first commercial CD "Talk To Me". She went into Greenhouse Studios, with "Angel In Your Eyes" producer Allan Rodger, and recorded the CD.
Later that year, she opened shows for Loretta Lynn and Alan Jackson in Canada and toured England and Scotland. In 2004, Lynne was diagnosed with breast cancer and she stopped touring. She made several high profile public non-performance appearances in 2004 including signing autographs and doing interviews at Fanfair and appearing on several TV shows in Nashville.
A visit to Country Music Week in Edmonton, Canada followed. In May of 2004, Lynne was introduced to video producer Jon Rosenbaum. This led to the filming of two videos(August-September-October) for "Turn To Stone" and "Make It On My Own". The "Talk To Me" CD continued to have major success everywhere with the release of 6 songs as singles in Europe and Australia/New Zealand and to date has 5 top 10 European singles and 3 Canadian Top 40 singles. Lynne was declared cancer free and in 2009, she began performing and recording again.
In December 2009, she recorded her first Christmas song titled "Dear Santa". An original track written by Tony Koenen and produced by acclaimed producer George Blondheim, the song went top 10 in the UK and is a repeat performer on radio around the world. In 2011, Lynne went into the studio to record a new mainstream single entitled "Sugar Lake". The original Talk To Me CD band was reformed to record the song with Allan Rodger in Greenhouse studios. The reviews are excellent and the song went Top 10 in the UK in 2012. It broke Lynne in Canada on it's release in July of 2012 garnering play on over 50 stations. It was released to Australia in January 2013 and to the USA between July and November 2013.
Lynne released the re-mastered "Turn To Stone" to Canada in July 2013. The release garnered her a Canadian Country Spotlight national radio special which aired across Canada in July of 2013.
HISTORY - DETAIL - 2003-2005 Mountainfest, Merritt, Canada, (mainstage - w/Loretta Lynn)
July 20,2003 Heartland Festival, Kelowna, Canada, (mainstage - w/Alan Jackson)
August 2,2003 BBC Radio tour of United Kingdom - (August 15-25,2003) "Blazing Boots Magazine" - England (Cover - Sept.- Oct. 2003) "Country Music News" - Canada - (article/review Dec.2003) "Country Music and Dance" - UK (feature article January 2004)
Performs on two television shows in Nashville - USA (March 2004) "Canadian Cowboy Country" - Canada (article April 2004) "Event Magazine" - Canada (cover and article April 15,2004) Personal appearances at CMA Fanfair, Nashville - USA (June 10-13,2004)
Films two videos "Turn To Stone","Make it On My Own" - (Aug/Sept-2004)
Global Television Canada feature (Aug.2004) CHBC (CBC) TV - Canada - special ( aired Dec. 18,2004)
"Turn To Stone" video airs at Planete Hollywood in Disneyworld, Paris (Feb.16,2005) "Turn To Stone" video goes on air across Australia on CMC(added March 20,2005)
Mountainfest (Mainstage w/Chely Wright) - July 14,2005 Half hour radio special - Hot'n'Gold radio-London, England - August 2005
Country Music Roundup Magazine - UK(Cover and article September 2005)
Films Christmas special for NORAD-USA and CHBC-Canada (Dec.15,2005)
HISTORY- DETAIL - 2006-2009 "Country Music News"-Canada-January 2006 (article) "Turn To Stone" charts as one of the Canadian TOP 100 country songs for 2005 "Turn To Stone" video begins airing "Country 2" network South America(Jan 2006) Wins "Female Entertainer of the Year" at the British Jukebox Awards (Nov 2006) Lynne featured in Martin guitar "Sounding Board" magazine January-June 2007. "Talk To Me" CD moves to daily multiplay on TLC Radio (107.7 FM Otahuhu, Auckland 107.7 FM Stratford, Taranaki, 107.1 FM Huntly, Waikato, 107.1 FM Napier, Hawkes Bay, 88.1 FM Marton, Rangitikei 106.9 FM Te Atatu Sth, Waitakere City), across New Zealand.(April 2008) "Talk To me" CD starts airing across Australia on syndicated (over 300 stations) ZFM Radio (April 2008). "Turn To Stone" video airs Ireland TV (April 2008). "Turn To Stone" video airs ZTV Syndicated Digital and satellite TV across Australia (October 2008). Lynne added to CRS in Switzerland. 24 hour continuous music (January 2009). "Turn To Stone" released to previously eastern block countries, Russia, Greece, Kenya, and new Australian stations.(May-June 2009). "Make It On My Own" video begins airing on SKY Digital 279 and Freesat 403 in Ireland, U.K., and across Europe. (October 18, 2009) Records "Dear Santa", her first Christmas song, with noted arranger George Blondheim. (November 3 2009). Releases "Dear Santa" to country radio worldwide. (November 20-27,2009). HISTORY - DETAIL - 2010- PRESENT JUNE 2012 - Lynne goes into Greenhouse studios with Al Rodger to record "SUGAR LAKE". JULY 2012 - Releases "Sugar Lake" to country radio in Canada and UK/Europe. AUGUST 2012-Releases "Sugar Lake" to AC/HOT AC radio in Canada. DECEMBER 2012-Re-release of "Dear Santa" to AC and HOT AC radio in Canada and Australia. JANUARY 2013-Releases "Sugar Lake" to Australia. JUNE 2013-Releases re-mastered "Turn To Stone" to AC/HOT AC radio in Canada and Australia. JULY 2013-Releases "Turn To Stone video Canada wide. Video appears on CMT,TNT and CTV specialty channels. JULY 2013- Canadian Country Spotlight features Lynne in a half-hour national radio special heard in over 32 major markets in Canada. December 2013-Releases "Dear Santa" worldwide. January 2014-releases 6 song 'best of' CD to the UK and Europe. The Cd featured 6 European/UK TOP 10 tracks as well as interview material for radio. July-November 2014- "Sugar Lake" appears across the USA on numerous shows including the national "Ed Tyll Show". The single was released to and additional 400 University and college stations in the USA and saw stations from New York to Tenessee to Los Angeles adding the track. At the same time, it was released to University radio in Canada and was added from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. December 2015- Lynne surpasses 30,000 plays on the subscriber-driven Jango radio network out of New York. JANUARY 2016 - Records "The Strong One". Her first traditional country song in over 10 years. APRIL 2016 - Releases 'The Strong One" to radio in the United Kingdom and Europe. Enters UK/EU charts April 9 at #10. MAY 2016 - Releases "The Strong One" to radio in Canada and the USA. Two days into release, the song is the 4th most downloaded songs by Canadian program directors. MAY 8, 2016 - "The Strong One" hits number 1 on the European Cherts and stays there for 3 weeks. It stayed in the TOP 5 for 11 weeks and finished 2016 as the number 9 most popular song of 2016 in Europe and the UK. The song hit number 75 in the Top 100 Country songs on iTunes. SEPTEMBER 9, 2016 - Releases "Am I Dreaming" to Radio. The second track from the Nashville sessions recorded in January. Song enters the Euro/UK charts at number 8. Climbs to number 2 and stays there for 5 weeks. Stays in the TOP 10 for 9 weeks and finishes 2016 at the number 20 spot in the TOP 30 most popular songs of 2016 in Europe. FEBRUARY 2017 - Lynne puts the finishing touches on the third song from the Nashville sessions. The song will be the next release and follows the #1 hit "The Strong One" and the #2 hit "Am I Dreaming". September 2017 - Releases "Sooner or Later" (the third song from the Nashville sessions) to Radio. Song hits Euro TOP 10. May 2018 - Lynne releases "Sugar Lake" and "Strong One" to radio in Hong Kong. Both songs hit TOP 5. August 2018 - Lynne releases "Sugar lake" and "Angel In Your Eyes" to radio in Japan for the first time. December 2018 - "Dear Santa" re-release garners rave reviews and hits 31,000 streams. June 2010 - "Strong One" re-release in Europe gets Lynne Billboards' "Artist of the Month" for June.