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Bachman, Cummings named into Canadian Songwriters Hall

The national anthem, O Canada, has been named to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Canuck staple is among 22 songs and seven songwriters receiving honours, the organization announced Tuesday.

From modern day artists like The Guess Who's Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings to pioneer entertainer Shelton Brooks, this year's inductees span more than 100 years.

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The seven craftsmen are rounded out by Claude Leveillee, Raymond Levesque, Bob Nolan and Serge Deyglun.

If some of their names don't grab your attention, some of their tunes might.

Winnipeg-native Nolan was a founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers western singing group which in the 1940s appeared in many films with Roy Rogers. In that capacity he penned Cool Water and Tumbling Tumbleweeds.

His songs have been recorded by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Bing Crosby, Willie Nelson, Hank Snow and Marty Robbins. He died in 1980.

Brooks, born in Amherstburg, Ont., and later raised in Detroit, was a forefather of the ragtime-piano style at the turn of the century. Some of his songs, including 1911's Some of These Days and The Darktown Strutters' Ball from 1917, are considered early jazz staples. He died in 1975.

Cummings and Bachman are better known songwriters, having inked American Woman, No Sugar Tonight and These Eyes.

If you're from Quebec, Deyglun, Leveillee and Levesque are mainstays of the music landscape, considered champions of la chanson Canadienne. Deyglun's most popular song was Retour des chantiers, recorded by Les Sinners and Marthe Fleurant. Leveillee wrote many songs for Parisian singer Edith Piaf such as Boulevard du crime and Ouragan. Other well-known compositions include Frederic and L'Etoile d'Amerique. Levesque's hits include Quand les hommes vivront d'amour and La Venus a Mimile.

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In addition to O Canada, penned by Calixa Lavallee and Adolphe-Basile Routhier, Universal Soldier by Buffy Saint-Marie, Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream by Ed McCurdy and When You and I Were Young, Maggie by George Johnson and James Butterfield were added to the classic well of Canadian-penned tunes.

The traditional, I's the B'y and A Huron Carol, were also singled out.

Stan Klees, the late Walt Grealis and Quebec folklorist Ernest Gagnon were named Legacy Award recipients.

It's the second year for the song and songwriter awards, founded by music publisher Frank Davies.

While there is no physical building to house memorabilia, the hall of fame's intention is to draw attention to often-unknown and underappreciated homegrown talent.

"Few people realize the immense impact Canadian songwriters have had on our culture," the group's president, and celebrated songwriter, Sylvia Tyson, said in a statement.

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A one-night salute to the honourees will take place Feb. 8 with performances by Cummings, Bachman and Buffy Saint-Marie.

A virtual museum of archival material exists at www.cansong.ca until a physical building can be erected.

The CSHF is a joint partnership between the Canadian Music Publishers Association and the Songwriters Association of Canada. The board of directors is composed of seven music publishers and seven songwriters.

The organization is in the midst of compiling a database of Canadian songwriters and their songs over the past 150 years.

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