Stanley Allison Rogers (November 29, 1949 – June 2, 1983) was a Canadian folk musician and songwriter. Rogers was noted for his rich, baritone voice and his traditional-sounding songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes. Rogers died in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on the ground at the Greater Cincinnati A...
Stanley Allison Rogers (November 29, 1949 – June 2, 1983) was a Canadian folk musician and songwriter.
Rogers was noted for his rich, baritone voice and his traditional-sounding songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes. Rogers died in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on the ground at the Greater Cincinnati Airport at the age of 33.
Rogers was born in Hamilton, Ontario, the eldest son of Nathan Allison Rogers and Valerie (née Bushell) Rogers, two Maritimers who had relocated to Ontario in search of work shortly after their marriage in July 1948. Although Rogers was raised in Binbrook, Ontario, he often spent summers visiting family in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.
It was there that he became familiar with the way of life in the Maritimes, an influence which was to have a profound impact on his subsequent musical development. He was interested in music from an early age, reportedly beginning to sing shortly after learning to speak. He received his first guitar, a miniature hand-built by his uncle Lee Bushell, when he was five years of age. He was exposed to a variety of music influences, but among the most lasting were the country and western tunes his uncles would sing during family get-togethers. Throughout his childhood, he would practice his singing and playing along with his brother Garnet, six years his junior.
While Rogers was attending Saltfleet High School, Stoney Creek, Ontario, he started to meet other young people interested in folk music, although at this time he was dabbling in rock and roll, singing and playing bass guitar in garage bands such as "Stanley and the Living Stones" and "The Hobbits". After high school, Rogers briefly attended both McMaster University and Trent University, where he performed in small venues with other student musicians, including Ian Tamblyn, Chris Ward and fellow Hobbit Nigel Russell. Russell wrote the song "White Collar Holler", which Rogers sang frequently on stage.
Rogers signed with RCA Records in 1970 and recorded two singles: "Here's to You Santa Claus" in 1970, and "The Fat Girl Rag" in 1971. In 1973, Rogers recorded three singles for Polygram: "Three Pennies", "Guysborough Train", and "Past Fifty."
In 1976, Rogers recorded his debut album, Fogarty's Cove, released in 1977 on Barnswallow Records. The album's subject matter dealt almost entirely with life in maritime Canada, and was an immediate success. Rogers then formed Fogarty's Cove Music, and bought Barnswallow during the production of Turnaround, allowing him to release his own albums. Posthumously, additional albums were released.
Rogers' songs often had a Celtic feel which was due, in part, to his frequent use of DADGAD guitar tuning. He regularly used his William 'Grit' Laskin built 12-string guitar in his performances. His best-known pieces include "Northwest Passage", "Barrett's Privateers", "The Mary Ellen Carter", "Make and Break Harbour", "The Idiot", "Fogarty's Cove", and "White Squall".
Rogers died alongside 22 other passengers most likely of smoke inhalation on June 2, 1983, while traveling on Air Canada Flight 797 (a McDonnell Douglas DC-9) after performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival. The airliner was flying from Dallas, Texas, to Toronto and Montreal when a fire of unknown ignition source within the vanity or toilet shroud of the aft washroom forced it to make an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport in northern Kentucky.
There were initially no visible flames, and after attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, smoke filled the cabin. Upon landing, the plane's doors were opened, allowing the five crew and 18 of the passengers to escape, but approximately 60 to 90 seconds into the evacuation the oxygen rushing in from outside caused a flash fire. Rogers had initially been one of the passengers to escape, but he at some point re-entered the plane to assist in the effort to help others escape.
Rogers' legacy includes his recordings, songbook, and plays for which he was commissioned to write music. His songs are still frequently covered by other musicians, and are perennial favourites at Canadian campfires and song circles. Members of Rogers' band, including his brother Garnet Rogers, continue to be active performers and form a significant part of the fabric of contemporary Canadian folk music. Following his death, he was nominated for the 1984 Juno Awards in the category for Best Male Vocalist. That same year, he was posthumously awarded the Diplôme d’Honneur of the Canadian Conference of the Arts. In 1994, his posthumous live album Home in Halifax was likewise nominated for Best Roots and Traditional Album.
Stan's son, Nathan Rogers, is also an established Canadian folk artist with a voice and lyrical acumen similar to his father's. He has released two critically acclaimed solo discs and tours internationally as a solo act and in the trio Dry Bones. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.