'Seasons In The Sun' By Terry Jacks: A Melancholy, Catchy Classic
Photo of Terry Jacks - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Terry Jacks Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
In 1973, Canadian musicians hadn't had much luck penetrating the U.S. market, but Terry Jacks' "Seasons In The Sun" bucked the trend. The folky rock song went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, the second rock song by a Canadian solo artist (behind Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold") to make it to #1.
Jacks' "Seasons In The Sun" ranked #2 on the year-end chart for 1974, and Jacks never managed to duplicate that song's massive success in the States. In that sense, he's a one-hit wonder, although he had other top-ten singles in Canada and the U.K., and he almost reached the top spot in the U.S. as a member of the Poppy Family.
Terry Jacks Had His First Success With The Chessmen
Jacks was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He began playing guitar as a teenager and eventually formed his first band at the age of 18. Terry Jacks’s first band was called The Chessmen and they boasted four top-ten hits in their native Canada between 1964 and 1968.
After The Chessmen went their separate ways, Jacks and Susan Pesklevits (who he later married) formed another group called The Poppy Family. Also included in that group were Craig McCaw and Satwant Singh. This group was on the road to success as The Chessmen had been at one time. They had several international hits, one of the biggest hits being "Which Way You Goin’ Billy?"
The Poppy Family Had A Massive Hit
"Which Way You Goin’ Billy?" Earned Terry Jacks a Gold Leaf award in 1970.
Terry Jacks was and is a talented man who wore many hats. He chose to pursue a career in music, much to his parents’ disliking. They had their minds set on their son becoming an architect. That, however, did not interest him. He pursued the thing he loved, music!
Jacks Intended To Produce 'Seasons In The Sun' For The Beach Boys
Jacks, at one time, was a hippie and environmentalist in addition to being a singer, songwriter, and record producer but is probably best remembered for his hit "Seasons In The Sun."
Ironically, "Seasons In The Sun" was initially a record production project for Terry Jacks. The song was initially meant for the Beach Boys. The group actually went as far as to record it but, for some reason, decided not to release it. Later, in 1973, Jacks decided he would record the now iconic song under is own record label, Goldfish Records.
Jacks released his version of "Seasons In The Sun" in December 1973 and it hit the Billboard Hot 100 just one month later.
'Seasons In The Sun' Was A Chart Topper In The U.S., Canada, And U.K.
"Seasons In The Sun" sold 14 million copies worldwide and was the most successful international single by a Canadian artist at the time.
This folksy song hit it big with fans and music lovers all over the world. It actually earned Terry Jacks two Juno awards, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. "Seasons In The Sun" became one of the best-selling Canadian singles ever released.
Jacks’s version of "Seasons In The Sun" was ranked the No. 2 song of the year for 1974 by Billboard.
The song was created as a result of a re-write of Jacques Brel's "Le moribund." It was written in 1962 by the influential Belgian songwriter and reworked in English by American poet and songwriter Rod McKuen in 1965. At the time, no one could have known how successful it would become. After being recorded twice, once by McKuen and once by Jacks, it bore little resemblance to the original version.
Terry Jacks is much older now. No worries though because he still has that passion. Jacks even released a German version of "Seasons In The Sun." He reportedly still gets requests for the song that made him famous.
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