Blue Northern
Vancouver, British Columbia
1977 - 1982


Garry Comeau ~ Fiddle, Vocals
Billy Cowsill ~ Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Brady Gustafson ~ Drums
Larry McGillivray ~ Drums, Vocals
Ray O'Toole ~ Lead Guitar, Vocals
Lee Roy Stephens ~ Bass, Vocals
Jimmy Wilson ~ Pedal Steel, Guitar, Synthisizer, Accordion, Dobro

In Memory of

Billy Cowsill


45    Can't Make No Sense/Chain Ya Down/Missin' You/Too Late To Turn Back (45 rpm 12" EP) (1979)
45    Too Late To Turn Back/Half As Much (1980)
45    You're Not The Same Girl/You Got Me Where You Want Me (1980)
45    100%/ (1981)
45    Can't Stop/Be My Girl (1981)

All the recordings were on Polydor Records, except the EP which was on Quintessence Records.

   The core of the group at first was centered around bassist Lee Roy Stephens, fiddler-singer Garry Comeau, steel guitar/ keyboard-man Jimmy Wilson, and drummer Brady Gustafson.  By late 1978 guitarist Ray O'Toole had joined the group, who were now getting a lot of attention from the media.  A new arrival (from the USA) became a fan, and began sitting in on a regular basis, and he too became a member of Blue Northern.  His name is Billy Cowsill, from The Cowsill family band in the late 1960's ("Hair", "Indian Lake" "The Rain, The Park, & Other Things" and all that, proto Partridge Family).  He was a perfect fit.

    The group recorded a few tracks at Don Tarris' Buttertree Studio, in Richmond, and released 4 songs on a 12" blue vinyl EP in 1980, complete with a blue-tinted cover.  Two of the songs were by Ray O'Toole, and two were by Billy Cowsill.  The radio picked Ray's "Can't Make No Sense" as the one to play, and the group had a national hit on it's hand.  Polydor Records scooped up the band, and sent them back into the studio while a second single was released.  It was Ray's "Too Late To Turn Back", a song he had done when he was a member of Shakedown a couple of years or so earlier.  It too was a hit.  The group toured, and played concerts in halls like the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver and other similar halls across Canada.  The group did some TV show (this was before MTV) Polydor released the self-titled album in early 1981, and a couple of more singles followed.  Both were O'Toole's songs, and both were hits.

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Last Update:  18 November 2009
Credits: Roger Stomperud, Harry Doupe, Larry McGillivray, Basil Watson
Band # 813