Four Strong Winds

Four Strong Winds

Ian & Sylvia

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
An acclaimed music historian brings us the long-awaited story of Ian & Sylvia - marking the first time that the legendary folk duo has endorsed a biography of their groundbreaking career.

Their classic "Four Strong Winds" is widely considered to be one of the great songs of all time. Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell count among their admirers. Their music, including hits like "You Were On My Mind" and "Someday Soon," has been recorded by everyone from Dylan, Joan Baez, and Johnny Cash to Sarah McLachlan and The Tragically Hip. Their influence on music - both in Canada and the United States - has endured over generations and surpassed genres. Yet until now, we have known little of the story behind the folk sensations Ian & Sylvia. In Four Strong Winds , John Einarson takes us back to Ian & Sylvia's early days in Toronto coffeehouses, to their experiences at the heart of the vibrant 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, and beyond, as their personal and musical partnership continued to change and evolve. Based on Ian and Sylvia Tyson's own personal reflections as well as on the recollections of contemporaries, associates, and admirers, Four Strong Winds is the definitive account of this iconic musical duo and a window on a fascinating period in music history.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2011.
ISBN: 9780771030383
Characteristics: 330 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., ports. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Tyson, Ian 1933-
Tyson, Sylvia 1940-
Alternative Title: Ian & Sylvia


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 10, 2012

I Really enjoyed this book. I hadn't realized how influential Ian & Sylvia really were in their early years; having a big influence on the early Bob Dylan for example. Very exciting and creative times starting out in New York City amongst so many others who were later to make names for themselves.

Cdnbookworm Nov 04, 2011

This is the first authorized history of the singing and songwriting duo and Einarson has accomplished it well. He is careful to give both sides their opportunities to give their take on different moments in history and has interviewed a number of others whose lives touched theirs to show circumstance and how their careers were seen by others. This book concentrates on the musical history of the pair, particularly of the duo together and how their subsequent musical careers touched each others. It does not go deeply into their personal lives, but does include mention of other relationships during their time together.
It is a nice juxtoposition to a previous memoir I read by Ian Tyson, The Long Trail, which gave his take on his life and where he ended up. This book relies on many interviews and other research and is much more factually based as opposed to the personal narrative of Tyson's memoir

debwalker Sep 10, 2011

"Sylvia's cool eye and Ian's unfiltered irascibility are part of what make Four Strong Winds such a good read."
Li Robbins
Globe and Mail

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top