(for a promotion-type summary, formerly
in this space, click here)
Watch for more details to be added to this bio.
For more than 30 years, Toronto-based determinedly-indie
songwriter Norm Hacking has been winning loyal fans and critical acclaim
for his beautifully crafted songs, with their moving and often humorous
insights into life, love, songwriting - and cats!
A Scarborough (Toronto) native, Norm Hacking first performed
paid gigs and recorded original songs as a student at Scarborough College
(a campus of the University of Toronto). He returned to record 1976
and 1977 concerts which became his first solo album Norm Hacking
Live (1977). Critically acclaimed albums Cut Roses
(1980) and Stubborn Ghost (1988) followed and led to many
festival and concert appearances. A video of one song ("Sammy")
aired on Nashville Network. He cut back touring when he became the single
caregiving parent to his young son.
In 1996 with his son now a teen, Norm released a "best
of" his vinyl on CD (with four new songs), Skysongs... A
Writer's Collection (remastered and reissued in 2001) and returned
to more active performing. In 1996-97 Norm was Caledon Folk Festival
Artistic Director. His more recent CDs are The Ache (with
Ontario Arts Council assistance; to be released in 2004) and Orange
Cats (with Kirk
Elliott; see below), which resonates with all ages. A Day
in the Studio (a 1993 solo tape recorded in one day) and tracks
on several benefit and compilation CDs were also available to fans.
A stellar group of U.S. and Canadian songwriters recorded
18 of his songs for a tribute album One Voice: A Tribute to Norm
Hacking, Vol. 1 (released late 2001). Wayne Marshall of Three
Flamingos Music initiated the concert / recording project. The songwriters
performing Norm's songs include Chicago's Michael
Smith, Nashville's Alan
Rhody, Whitehorse's Mikel
Miller, Kingston's Roger
James and from Toronto Nancy
Nash, Slowpoke, Jason
Fowler and many others. Volume 2 (in progress) will
include Tom Paxton and a song Rick Fielding wrote about Norm.
Norm is known for hosting high quality open stage series
at a number of Toronto venues for more than a decade, helping create
a real sense of community among aspiring and experienced folk artists.
He has also nurtured many by conducting songwriting workshops.
Norm's artistic hats also include stage actor (musical,
dramatic and comic), poet, soundtrack writer and journalistic columnist.
A season with the Picton (Ontario) Area Players included a co-lead role
(Oscar) in "The Odd Couple" and direction of "The American
Dream" (Edward Albee). He also performed the prominent Balladeer
role (originated by Cedric Smith) in Barry Broadfoot's "Ten Lost
Years" with TWP in the On Stage 1981 international theatre festival
in Toronto. He has written "to spec" for TV (Great Canadian
Parks series) and the 2003 Back to School with Franklin
feature video. Since 1992, Norm has written a popular monthly column,
"Race Track Hack" in Taxi
His latest CD (with multi-instrumentalist Kirk
Elliott) Orange Cats Make the Very Best Friends is
winning a wider spectrum of fans with frequent CBC and other radio play,
inclusion of "Cats Everywhere" on Jurgen Gothe's (CBC DiscDrive)
List of 2002" and over a year later is still on Festival
Distribution's top titles list. The album brought Norm and Kirk
a 2004 Canadian Indie Music
Award nomination in the Favourite Children's Artist / Group category.
Norm enjoys getting email with cat stories from fans. For the story
of his first song about cats, "Syd and The Flea" written 20
years ago, see his Catman
column for Taxi News.
Info / Management: Shirley Gibson, Toronto, Ontario,
Send an email to contact Norm through his manager or to
subscribe to Norm's email newsletter.
Flamingos Music, Brantford, Ontario
CD distribution: Festival
Distribution, Vancouver, B.C., Canada 1-800-633-8282 (web or phone
credit card orders) or through stores.
Last updated May 27, 2004