Remembering Ron Hynes

Where were you when you heard the news that Ron Hynes was gone?

Beloved Newfoundland musician Ron Hynes passed away on November 19, 2015, after a lengthy battle with throat cancer. The Man of a Thousand Songs will never be forgotten in his home province, as his legacy lives on through his music.

Upon Hynes’ passing, local musicians and music enthusiasts poured out their tributes to their fallen friend.

Chilling, Prophetic

One such tribute comes from Fred’s Records’ Anthony Ploughman, who, writing via Facebook one year later, recalled the moment he learned the news.

“One year has passed since the passing of Newfoundland and Labrador’s greatest songwriter and our friend, Ron Hynes,” Ploughman began.

“I received a phone call sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 that evening from my good pal, Andrew James O’Brien (Fortunate Ones). I was here at work. To close out the night shift I cranked Cryer’s Paradise, the messages contained in Ron’s lyrics chilling, prophetic and profoundly gripping.

As I prepared to close shop I stepped outside to take in our sign and looked down Duckworth Street West. The lights were out as far as the eye could see and evidently well beyond, except for Fred’s,” Ploughman wrote, retelling the eerie circumstances with poetic justice.

“When Ron sang the final verses of Atlantic Blue, I felt Ron’s presence, remembering my promise to him that I would get behind his final recording suitably entitled, Later That Same Life upon release not long after. I feel privileged to have taken every opportunity to fulfill my commitment to my friend.”

Later that Same Life

The 11-song album was recorded in April 2015, with minimum musical accompaniment. In the liner notes, Hynes’ describes the collection as “rare and bare.”

Later That Same Life came out over a month after Hynes’ death, quietly released the day before New Year’s Eve in 2015.

This year, local artist Ken Tizzard released his own tribute to Hynes, titled A Good Dog is Lost, a nod to a song of the same title from Hynes’ 2003 album, Get Back Change.

Tizzard’s new album – like Hynes’ final release – features 11 songs, including St. John’s Waltz, Sonny’s Dream, My Father’s Ghost, House, Boy From Old Perlican and more, with banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, acoustic guitar and drums.

The album is a gorgeous goodbye to the beloved Man of A Thousand Songs.

“We all miss you, Ron. You were indeed the master,” Ploughman said in conclusion. “Thank you for your gift of songs, each and every one of them.”

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