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-   -   Red Shea has died-June 2008 (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//showthread.php?t=18595)

jj 06-12-2008 02:21 AM

Re: Red Shea
1 Attachment(s)
thank you for what you've shared, dave...the recent photo will be treasured by all

I also love his smile in the Toronto Star photo...the very best to you & dad

BILLW 06-12-2008 06:18 AM

Re: Red Shea
Thank you for sharing Dave ! Give our best to your Dad.


Jesse Joe 06-12-2008 08:07 AM

Re: Red Shea
Thanks for sharing this great photo of Red and your Dad Calgary Dave.

vlmagee 06-12-2008 08:33 AM

Re: Red Shea
The Toronto Star has a nice obit in today's paper here:


By:Greg QuillEntertainment Reporter, Published on Thu Jun 12 2008

Renowned Canadian guitarist Laurice Milton "Red" Shea, who helped define the groundbreaking musical styles of legendary Canadian folk artists Gordon Lightfoot and Ian and Sylvia Tyson and others, died Tuesday morning after being diagnosed two weeks ago with pancreatic cancer. He was 70.

A self-taught musician, Shea is noted in the Canadian Encyclopedia as one of Canada's most influential folk guitarists, along with Amos Garrett and David Rea. He played with the Good Brothers, hosted his own TV show, and was a staple on Canadian country music star Tommy Hunter's CBC-TV show.

"Red was irrepressible, he had boundless energy, and he was always ready to keep on picking when the rest of us were heading off to bed," Sylvia Tyson said.

Shea backed the Tysons in the pioneering country rock outfit Great Speckled Bird, and was musical director of the national CTV variety program, The Ian Tyson Show, in the 1970s. He also recorded with Ian in those years.

"He was the kind of guitarist I really love - inventive and rhythm-driven," Sylvia added. "And he was always telling jokes - great jokes."

Shea is universally credited with having been Lightfoot's most distinctive and original supporting player, adding his lucid filigree lead runs seamlessly into the famed singer's trademark finger-picking patterns to produce fluid, layered textures and crystal overtones that enhanced enhancing Lightfoot's recordings from 1966 through 1975. Shea was part of Lightfoot's touring band till 1971 and was an in-demand as a guitar teacher.

"He influenced so many guitarists," singer and multi-instrumentalist Bruce Good said. "He was the reason so many of us picked up guitars in the late 1960s and 70s and started fooling around with finger styles.

"(American folk-rock star) Dan Fogelberg dedicated on of his albums to Red, and the Guess Who paid tribute to him by naming him in their song `Lightfoot'."

Also an in-demand guitar teacher, Shea gave lessons "for many years" to Good's son, Travis, a member of Toronto neo-country rock band the Sadies.

"He instilled in Travis - much against his will - the importance of learning to read and playing classical styles. I can hear so much of Red in the Sadies.

"He was a unique musician, and always a student. He was always listening to other great guitarists and extending their ideas. Red was also an amazing human being, immediately likeable. He was more than a friend to us - he was like family."

Shea had a regular feature spot from the late 1970s till 1992 on the long-running country music program, The Tommy Hunter Show, ad-libbing tall stories and handing Hunter a guitar for his next song.

"His parts were never written, and we never knew what the joke was until the punch line came," Canada's "Country Gentleman" said. "He was a great and original musical stylist, but to me he was also a great television personality, a really good entertainer. He was a very happy and upbeat guy, a magnificent player and a generous teacher. He'll be sadly missed."

Shea is survived by his wife Lynn and children Colleen, Scott and Brett.

Visitation will take place at Thompson Funeral Home, 530 Industrial Pkwy. S., Aurora, Thursday from 7-9 p.m. A memorial servicewill be held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Bloomington Side Rd., Aurora, Friday, at 11 a.m.

Addition: Another article:


Calgary Dave 06-12-2008 08:48 AM

Re: Red Shea
A little fact about the obit picture in the Star; they cropped it...that smile is from him holding one of his grandkids, I think it was Brynn, when she was a baby. That was a few yrs ago.

charlene 06-12-2008 10:47 AM

Re: Red Shea

Red Shea, 70
Musician was Gordon Lightfoot's 'ultimate extra guitar'

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

June 12, 2008 at 12:37 AM EDT

TORONTO — Musician Red Shea, who played lead guitar with Gordon Lightfoot and later with Ian and Sylvia Tyson, has died of pancreatic cancer in Aurora, Ont. Mr. Shea, whose real name was Laurice Milton Shea, was 70.

With his brother Les Shea and bassist Bill Gibbs, Mr. Shea formed the Red and Les Trio in the late 1950s. They played on Country Hoedown, a popular musical variety show that launched in 1956 and ran for nine years on CBC.

It was on Country Hoedown, in 1960, that Mr. Shea met Gordon Lightfoot, who was a member of the Singin' Swingin' Eight. Mr. Shea began playing lead guitar in The Lightfoot Band in 1965 and “was a pivotal figure” in Mr. Lightfoot's early career, according to music journalist Larry Leblanc. He appeared on many albums including, The Way I Feel, Did She Mention My Name, Sit Down Young Stranger, Summer Side of Life, Sundown, Cold on the Shoulder and Gord's Gold.

Dedicated Lightfoot fans still talk about Mr. Shea's “breathtaking” guitar solo in The Canadian Railroad Trilogy, a performance that was recorded live at Massey Hall in 1969 and released on the album, Sunday Concert.

Mr. Shea left the band in 1971, and was replaced by Terry Clements, although he returned briefly for a time in 1975.

“Red Shea was the ultimate extra guitar on Gordon Lightfoot's records and stage performances,” guitarist Randy Bachman, formerly of The Guess Who and The Bachman Turner Overdrive, said in an e-mail Wednesday. “He augmented every song with some sparkle and magic and made Gordon sound and look good.”

It was Mr. Shea, he said, who inspired him to try his hand at songwriting. “He is mentioned in the song Lightfoot which Burton Cummings and I wrote after seeing Gordon, Red and John Stockfish at a night club in Montreal back in the sixties. It was an evening of magical, all-original Canadian music and it inspired Burton and I to write our own music” he said. “Red will be missed, but remembered every time one of those songs is played on the radio,” said Mr. Bachman, who hosts Vinyl Tap on CBC Radio.

In 1972, Mr. Shea replaced guitarist David Wilcox in Great Speckled Bird, the country rock band that Ian and Sylvia Tyson had formed in 1969. The band played on the weekly show that Mr. Tyson hosted on CTV in the early 1970s and also toured with the Tysons until they broke up as a couple and an act in 1977. “He was a dear friend and I will miss him very much,” Mr. Tyson said through his manager Wednesday. “We always had a lot of laughter together in our friendship.”

His former wife, Sylvia Tyson, echoed those sentiments. “Aside from being a great player, which he certainly was, he was just great to be around,” she said. “Red always had a joke or a story or a pun or something that he would come up that would just keep things on an up level.”

Mr. Shea also played with The Good Brothers and did a long gig in the band on The Tommy Hunter Show, which had replaced Country Hoedown in 1965 and ran until 1992. “ The Tommy Hunter Show was good for him,” said Ms. Tyson. “He had found it increasingly hard to be on the road. It wore him down too much. He was basically a home guy.”

In more recent years, Mr. Shea taught guitar.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn (née Claremont), three children and four grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Aurora.

charlene 06-12-2008 10:53 AM

Re: Red Shea

RIP Red Shea (June 10, 2008) Canadian Guitarist Played With Gordon Lightfoot
Posted by themusicsover on June 11, 2008

Red Shea
1938(?) - June 10, 2008

fyimusic.ca is reporting that Canadian guitar wizard, Red Shea as died:

One of Canada’s most respected guitarists, Red Shea’s inventive and often times complex finger picking held many fellow guitarists in awe. His contributions to the met as a member of the [Gordon] Lightfoot “sound” have been a source of discussion in music circles for years, many arguing that his departure from the band altered the melodic structure and fluid ensemble performance that characterized much of Lightfoot’s best work. The highly respected dobro player and guitarist passed away Tuesday, June 10, at the age of 70 of pancreatic cancer. Red first came to prominence with “Moon Boogie Twist”, an early and long out-of-print Canadian rock classic. He joined CBC TV show Music Hop in the early ‘60s, an after-school show modeled after Dick Clark’s sanitized American Bandstand. Staff announcer Alex Trebek, who also worked as the quizmaster on Reach For The Top, presided over the show (and would be replaced by an up-start disc jockey by the name of Dave Mickie). The house band was Norm Amadio and the Rhythm Rockers, comprised of Norman Amadio on piano, John Stockfish on bass, Red Shea on guitar, Don Thompson on tenor saxophone, and Alex Lazaroff on drums. Shea, with a pompadour and duck’s-ass haircut had a James Dean/juvenile delinquent look someone once said. Music Hop, originated in the period of the girl group, featured its own vocal trio, the Girlfriends, who were Diane Miller, Rhonda Silver, and Stephanie Taylor. Not long after their Music Hop gig, Shea and Stockfish took up jobs as Gordon Lightfoot’s regular backup musicians. From 1965-1970 Shea was in the famed trio that cut several timeless albums for United Artists and went on to record with Lightfoot during his even more celebrated Reprise Records era. Shea left the touring band in 1970, but continued to record with Lightfoot until 1975. He hosted his own Canadian variety show, played with Ian Tyson, and became band leader for Tommy Hunter’s TV show in the 1980s on CBC. Lightfoot met Red Shea in 1960 while they both worked on the CBC country series, Country Hoedown, LightfootSingin’ Swingin’ Eight and Shea as a member of the Red & Les Trio. The trio was made up of Red, his brother Les and bassist Bill Gibbs.

Cathy 06-12-2008 05:25 PM

Re: Red Shea
I'm so sad to hear of Red's passing. He's quite possibly my favorite guitarist, and throughout my adult life, I always unsuccessfully strived to learn lead riffs. I love to put old Lightfoot tunes on the stereo and crank it and just let his guitar work echo through the house. I'm not sure how much my neighbors like it.

I was very touched to receive a letter from Red shortly after I had the aneurysm, giving me words of encouragement. I'm still in awe when I read it.

Rest in peace, Red.


dad2mak 06-12-2008 09:15 PM

Re: Red Shea
When I first started listening to Lightoot in the 60's, Red Shea was the Lightfoot sound for me. The first album I heard was "Did She Mention My Name," and I am to this day mesmerized by what he did on that song, and to this day am still unable to reproduce it.

Sheesh, I bought a Martin D-28 30 years ago and still can't make it do the things he did. I too am glad that his playing is preserved for us on albums and cd's.


vlmagee 06-12-2008 09:41 PM

Re: Red Shea
I just added a nice new photo to the article on Red on my web site. Take a look. I'm sure you will recognize the other two people in the photo too, but for now I left the caption just as the photographer wrote it. gordonlightfoot.com

musky_man 06-12-2008 10:55 PM

Re: Red Shea
Indeed this is very sad news. Red added so much to Lightfoot's music -- he seemd to know just exactly what was needed at every turn in a song to make it really memorable.

As many of you know, my brother, Paul, was one of the 'very lucky" ones who studied with Red for about 4 years. Interestingly, they both had the same classical guitar teacher at U of T too. I can tell you that Paul thought very highly of Red and had nothing but good things to say about him; I know he will miss him a great deal.

My sincere condolences to the family for their loss -- know that it is felt by many.

Best to all Corfidians,


lighthead2toe 06-13-2008 02:34 AM

Re: Red Shea
Mark, thank you so much for your post. This is a most difficult time for many of us and I know that Paul must be wounded severely. The loss of such a powerful presence that we tend to take for granted will be with us forever is just completely devastating. I didn't know Paul very well until we played together during the pub sessions although we did meet during the 2005 concerts but this time he and I had many wonderful discussions, so many shared moments that still are left unfulfilled. I know that he had a strong bond with Red because he's that kind of person. When he and I played the tunes together I could hear the sound of the Master coming through. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my lifetime. I want to share with Paul the burden of sorrow that he must be experiencing at this time together with the friends and family of Red. Sincerely, Ron Jones.

Jesse Joe 06-13-2008 07:58 AM

Re: Red Shea

Originally Posted by Cathy (Post 139292)
I'm so sad to hear of Red's passing. He's quite possibly my favorite guitarist, and throughout my adult life, I always unsuccessfully strived to learn lead riffs. I love to put old Lightfoot tunes on the stereo and crank it and just let his guitar work echo through the house. I'm not sure how much my neighbors like it.

I was very touched to receive a letter from Red shortly after I had the aneurysm, giving me words of encouragement. I'm still in awe when I read it.

Rest in peace, Red.


Hi Cathy nice to see you post, it's been a while, (too long). Red Shea sending a letter, giving you words of encouragement... Just goes to show the "Class Act" he was.

Yuri 06-13-2008 08:49 AM

Re: Red Shea
Finally the Toronto Sun acknowledges Red's passing.

June 13, 2008
Guitarist Red Shea dies
Played with Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Tommy Hunter



Respected guitarist Red Shea, whose accomplished playing supported Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson and Tommy Hunter, has died. He was 70.
A death notice on a newspaper website says Shea died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer.
Shea's relationship with Lightfoot began in 1960 when they met while working on the CBC-TV music series Country Hoedown.
He toured with Lightfoot from 1965 to 1970, returning briefly in 1975 and then joining Tyson's band.
Through the 1980s, Shea served as band leader for Hunter's long-running CBC-TV show.
Shea is survived by his wife Lynn, three children and four grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for today in Aurora.

Jesse Joe 06-13-2008 09:12 AM

Re: Red Shea
I did not know he was the same age as Gord. He will never be forgotten, especially listening to his magical fingers playing guitar on those early Lightfoot Albums... Man they sure had a sound !

Peter Bro10 06-14-2008 07:38 AM

Re: Red Shea
My condolences to Red's family.... immediate and extended.

May he rest in peace.

charlene 06-14-2008 09:10 AM

Re: Red Shea

Red Shea one of Canada’s top guitar pickers
Jun 14, 2008 10:30 PM

By: Simone Joseph

Aurora resident Laurice Milton Shea was a talented guitar player who had a great sense of humour and became a Jehovah’s Witness several years ago.

Mr. Shea died Tuesday in Aurora of pancreatic cancer. He was 70.

Mr. Shea moved to Aurora in 1968.

“Red” Shea played lead guitar with Gordon Lightfoot and later performed with Ian and Sylvia Tyson.

He was one of the top guitar pickers in the Canadian music industry, according to jazz pianist Norman Amadio.

Mr. Amadio met Mr. Shea in the 1960s when the two played in the house band of the TV show Music Hop, an after-school program of rock ’n’ roll and pop that aired on the CBC.

The musician’s natural talent was obvious, Mr. Amadio said.

“He could pick up (music) quickly. He was a good sight reader.”

Mr. Shea also had a great sense of humour, he said.

Someone would say, “Wow, your guitar sounds great.” Mr. Shea would rest the guitar in a chair and say, “How does it sound now?” Mr. Anadio said.

Markham resident and singer/pianist Rhonda Silver remembers being impressed by Mr. Shea’s personality. She was in a vocal trio, the Girlfriends that performed on the TV show Music Hop in the late ’60s at the same time as Mr. Shea performed on the show.

“He was a great guy. Very cheerful. I have not seen him since I was a teenager,” she said.

Dale Russell, lead guitarist for The Guess Who from 1983 to 2000, lamented what he believes was a lack of recognition of Mr. Shea’s talent.

“He was such a good player that perhaps he deserved more recognition. It is the nature of the business. In a rock band, the lead singer gets all the attention.”

Mr. Shea had a natural music ability, Mr. Russell said. He was a good, intuitive player, meaning he played more by feeling than thinking about what he was playing, he said.

While Mr. Russell never met Mr. Shea, he did see Mr. Shea play as part of Gordon Lightfoot’s band in a Winnipeg concert more than 20 years ago. Mr. Shea was mentioned in a Guess Who song called Lightfoot, but this was well before Mr. Russell joined the band.

Mr. Russell is hopeful Mr. Shea’s death will finally bring the musician the recognition he deserves.

“I would like to think people live on in their art. Maybe the old adage that people become more well-known when they pass on (is true). Maybe young people will look to do research and learn about him.”

According to one of Mr. Shea’s sons, the guitar player became a Jehovah’s Witness a few years ago. The musician was an intensely private man and the media attention his death has brought was “the last thing he would have wanted,” he said, speaking from Mr. Shea’s Aurora home Thursday evening.

Visitation was at Thompson Funeral Home in Aurora Thursday. A memorial service was held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Bloomington Sideroad in Aurora Friday.

Mr. Shea is survived by his wife, Lynn (née Claremont), three children and four grandchildren.

Some of Red’s accomplishments
• Formed the Red and Les Trio in the late 1950s, alongside his brother Les Shea and bassist Bill Gibbs. The trio played on musical variety show Country Hoedown, which launched in 1956 on the CBC.
• First met Mr. Lightfoot on the show Country Hoedown and began playing lead guitar in The Lightfoot Band in 1965.
• Left The Lightfoot Band in 1971 and returned briefly in 1975.
• Replaced guitarist David Wilcox in 1972 in Great Speckled Bird, the country rock band that Ian and Sylvia Tyson formed in 1969.
• Played with The Good Brothers.

Yuri 06-14-2008 11:20 AM

Re: Red Shea
1 Attachment(s)
It certainly is sad that it takes a death to once again appreciate all that an individual has contributed to our world, whether musical or otherwise. I had always wondered what Red was up to in the post Lightfoot years and would only rarely hear his name mentioned.

Not having heard of John Stockfish’s demise, is anyone aware of his current whereabouts and endeavours?

jj 06-14-2008 12:28 PM

Re: Red Shea

Originally Posted by charlene (Post 139285)
He hosted his own Canadian variety show

so this was post 1975... what was it called?

vlmagee 06-14-2008 05:12 PM

Re: Red Shea
Another view of Red Shea, from his original home town:


Particularly interesting is the confirmation (although the article doesn't mention it) that the mysterious "Les Pouliot" whose songs Lightfoot recorded is indeed Red's brother.

brink- 06-14-2008 07:02 PM

Re: Red Shea
Very sad to hear about Red Shea dying. He seemed to be quite a family man besides being a fantastic musician.
My condolences to his family, and the many friends he had. What a great man he was.

JohnStinson 06-16-2008 04:19 PM

Re: Red Shea
Last week was a very sad week.. to hear of the passing of Red Shea. He would always help me out with my limited guitar playing. He lived very close to me here in Aurora. He'd always have a joke to tell either on the phone or when I would run into him at the grocery store or some other shop in town. My last conversation with him was about my new puppy and how he wanted me to bring him around so he could see her. He loved animals. I never did get around to show him. I can't remember what the last song we worked on.. but I think it was the guitar lick for Cold On The Shoulder sometime in March. I will miss him and think of him often. He was a very special kind person.


BILLW 06-16-2008 05:50 PM

Re: Red Shea
Last night at the show at the Keswick I sort of expected a "moment of silence" or a song "in memory of" or something along those lines. However there was no mention. Has anything been said from the stage at any of the other recent shows ?


charlene 06-16-2008 08:54 PM

Re: Red Shea
I don't think it's the Lightfoot style- there never was a mention of Barry at Massey..altho he was never far from my thoughts..

Nightingale 06-17-2008 12:10 AM

Re: Red Shea
It's nice to read all the memories that his friends are left with.

Thanks for posting the pictures and obituaries....the little snippets of what he was like are nice to know. I especially like it that he loved animals and had a sense of humor...that's great to hear.

He sounds as though he was a wonderful man and gracious friend as well as an admired musician.
The world has lost another great soul....

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