Tribute to Terry McManus

Happy New Year, S.A.C. members. We hope everyone is keeping as well as can be hoped during a frozen January in a pandemic. We start 2022 on a sombre note, as we bid farewell to S.A.C. founder Terry McManus who passed away December 18th at the age of 75.Terry led the charge in demanding a voice for songwriters at the Canadian music business table, and co-founded the Canadian Songwriters Association, which became the S.A.C. in the late 1980’s.By that time, he was a veteran of the Canadian music business. The British born McManus, American-raised in several states by Canadian parents, found his way to Canada in 1968 where he worked at Arc Records writing, and at the smaller Trend record label as an recording engineer.

He released a few singles in the early 1970’s on A&M before joining Edmonton’s Century II label, as A+R Director, where he worked with jazz musicians including Lenny Breau. McManus released a few more singles for the label under the name
SkipperSession bass player Bob Walker has a few Terry McManus songs from 1975 posted online here.

A 1971 album finally saw the light of day in 2009 when McManus released Sunshine Pop. Here are songs Carolyn and Sunshower (In The Spring) from that album. In the mid 1970’s he relocated to London, Ontario and began a 40 year teaching career at Fanshawe College where he was remembered as “an unbelievable mentor” in the London Free Press. When he wasn’t teaching, McManus kept himself busy recording music, particularly with children’s music records. He released an album, “Scrubadub U.”(sic) in 1979. An album with Mr. Dress-Up followed, and later in the 1980’s he worked on The Magic Ring, a kids’ show on Calgary television. Frustrated with songwriters’ non-representation in the Canadian music business, McManus set out to rectify that situation. McManus teamed up with music
business lawyer Stephen Sohn, Donna Murphy of the then CMPA (now Music Publishers Canada), and songwriters Eddie Schwartz and Rich Dodson to assemble the Songwriters Association of Canada and was the organization’s first president.

President Emeritus Eddie Schwartz described Terry’s vision for the S.A.C. “to bring songwriters together so (we) could represent and speak for ourselves to government, the industry, the press and the wider world.”

In 2013, a couple of years after retiring from Fanshawe, McManus released “I Thought It Was Worth a Song,” a collection of songs he’d recorded over the years. The title track went back to 1975 and there were new cuts like “Vancouver Rain Song,” slated for the album.
When asked about Terry’s commitment to songwriters, Eddie Schwartz commented “he was a great friend to his fellow music creators, and the feeling of warmth, camaraderie and acceptance that he shared is something he passed down… to all of us who got to know him. That wonderful legacy Terry gave us lives on in the S.A.C. today.”
Terry passed away December 18th, 2021, leaving his wife Irene, their three children and three grandchildren. Rest In Power, Terry.

Picture courtesy of CBC. (Provided by Forest City London Music Awards)

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Note: The Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

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