For Rich Dodson, there were many good things about being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on the back of Sweet City Woman, the seminal hit he wrote for his Calgary-born band The Stampeders.
One was getting the opportunity to play the song during a gala event and concert last month, which was recorded with some of the highlights — including performances by kd lang, Willie Nelson and Rufus Wainwright — airing in a special Words to Music Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Even better was the party thrown for all of this year’s inductees, which allowed him to touch base and hang out with familiar faces and fellow Canuck legends such as Anne Murray and Leonard Cohen.
It also allowed Dodson to recall the first time he met Cohen, who very much lived up to his status of ‘Ladies Man.’
“We did a date with him in the ’70s at a college in Antigonish,” Dodson says from his home in Toronto.
“I was still young and single and met this rather cute little girl and I thought maybe it was going to be phone numbers and connect and all of that kind of stuff. And at the end of the gig she was gone.
“Then the next day we bumped into Leonard — he was sitting there having breakfast with the girl.
“(Stampeders drummer) Kim Berly looked at him, and Leonard looked back up at Kim and said, ‘Seniority.’ ”
Maybe with Dodson’s induction alongside Cohen the playing field will be level.
Sweet City Woman, is after all, considered a quintessentially Canadian song and deserves its place in the Hall.
“It’s gotten so much play, it’s so rooted — it’s such a Canadian entity, I guess,” says Dodson of the 1971 classic.
The track was the band’s biggest hit — earning them awards, accolades and touring opportunities around the globe.
In fact, the song was even covered by The Dave Clark Five prior to The Stampeders’ arrival in the U.K.
Although it was written in Toronto after the band packed up a U-Haul and made its way East in the mid-’60s, Dodson admits the song was inspired by the home he left.
Unfortunately, The Stampeders’ performance of Sweet City Woman didn’t make the CBC special, but local fans will get the opportunity to hear it live when the band performs at Frank Sisson’s in early June.