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Christopher Ward (songwriter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christopher Ward
Birth name Christopher William Ward
Born (1949-07-28) 28 July 1949 (age 69)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Pop
Occupation(s) Songwriter, broadcaster, judge, author
Instruments Piano, guitar
Labels Warner

Christopher William Ward (born 28 July 1949) is a Canadian songwriter and broadcaster, known as a former long-standing on-air personality at MuchMusic, Canada's music video network, where he and J. D. Roberts were among the first video jockeys in 1984. Ward was a judge on The Next Star which is a Canadian reality television show on YTV.

Early career

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Ward began his music career in the early 1970s while attending Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario where he was a member of the school's campus radio station.[1]


Some of Ward's early television appearances began in 1978 on the CBC children's series Catch Up, as leader of the show's band.[citation needed] He also played a minor role as a musician in an episode of The Kids of Degrassi Street alongside Alannah Myles in 1984.[citation needed]

Before MuchMusic launched, Ward hosted a weekend, all-night video program called City Limits on CITY-TV in Toronto.[citation needed] On Friday and Saturdays, from midnight to 6 a.m., Ward broke ground as Canada's first "veejay".[2] The show was broadcast from CITY-TV's old Queen Street East studios and apart from playing the latest music videos, hosted guests. Bands such as Bon Jovi and actors like Mike Myers—playing his Wayne's World character[citation needed] long before Saturday Night Live made it famous—added to the prototype of what MuchMusic would become.[2] The show also had "video clip" contest segments which gave winners prizes to special events like movie debuts.[citation needed] Broadcast only in the Toronto region, it was a major way music videos were introduced to the Southern Ontario public.[citation needed] (MTV, the American television network, was not broadcast in Canada due to regulatory laws protecting Canadian content until 2006.) When the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted a broadcast licence for an all-music channel to begin in 1984, CHUM-CITY won the lucrative rights. The application process to the Commission included Ward's current show as evidence of experience in broadcasting music video entertainment.[citation needed]

During five years on MuchMusic, Ward interviewed artists like Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, and Kate Bush.[citation needed] While with the network, he hosted another show titled City Limits that spotlighted alternative music.[citation needed] Even after his departure from MuchMusic in the late 1980s, he was still involved in the channel off-and-on, most notably as Charles de Camembert, host of the annual Fromage specials.[citation needed]

In 2008, Ward became a judge on YTV's The Next Star for its first four seasons until 2011.[citation needed]


Ward has written many songs for artists such as Hilary Duff, Diana Ross, Backstreet Boys, Wynonna Judd, Amanda Marshall, Tina Arena, Peter Cetera, Anne Murray and Meredith Brooks.[3] His best-known song is the Billboard number one single "Black Velvet",[4][5] recorded by Alannah Myles. "Black Velvet" was named the No. 49 song in Bob Mersereau's book The Top 100 Canadian Singles.[citation needed] Ward has released several of his own recordings, including the singles "Once in a Longtime" (1977) and "Maybe Your Heart" (1978) (both co-written with his longtime friend Stephen Stohn, executive producer of Degrassi: The Next Generation and Instant Star) and "Boys and Girls" (1987).[citation needed] The music video for "Boys and Girls" featured Alannah Myles, and Mike Myers in an early version of his "Wayne Campbell" character.[citation needed]

The promotional tour for Time Stands Still (released on House of Lords Records/distributed by WEA) included David Wipper on guitar and Billy Idol bassist Steven Webster, and featured pianist Antonio Salci on keyboards.[6][better source needed]

Starting in 1997, Ward became a member of Ming Tea, the tongue-in-cheek celebrity rock band assembled by fellow Canadian Mike Myers for the first and third Austin Powers films. Group members included Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet and performed the faux-sixties songs "BBC" and "Daddy Wasn't There".[citation needed]

Recent work (much of it in collaboration with Rob Wells Luke McMaster, Greg Johnston and Fred St-Gelais)[citation needed] includes songs for Alexz Johnson in the TV series Instant Star, with soundtrack albums for the four seasons of the show.[citation needed] Along with Rob Wells and Fred St-Gelais, he has worked with Lindsay Robins.[citation needed] Ward songs were featured on two Degrassi - The Next Generation projects, Degrassi Takes Manhattan and Degrassi Goes Hollywood.[citation needed] His songs were featured in Cirque du Soleil's tribute to Vaudeville, 'Banana Shpeel'.[citation needed]




Year Album
1975 CBC Broadcast Recording - 4 Songs
1978 Spark of Desire
1981 Time Stands Still
1987 Christopher Ward (EP)[7]


Year Single Chart Positions Album
1976 "Lost in a Love Song"[8] 9[9] 69 10 Spark of Desire
1977 "Once in a Long Time" 19 38
1978 "Maybe Your Heart" 17 47
"Imagine a Song" 16 96
"No Time to Cry" 26 74
1981 "So Long Baby Jane" 17 Time Stands Still

See also


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Christopher Ward Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Interview of Chris Ward by Donald Fraser, The Trent Talks on Trent University Radio, broadcast July 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "Artist: Ward, Christopher Biography". Jam!. 28 November 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  4. ^ ""Black Velvet" (music) : piano, vocal, guitar / words and music by Christopher Ward and David Tyson", Collections Canada, Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada, OCLC 262437702, AMICUS No. 21681114, retrieved 23 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Song Details (Song Number:  845394)". CMRRA. Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  6. ^ "". Antonio Salci. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  7. ^ ""Christopher Ward" (sound recording)", Collections Canada, Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada, OCLC 26765984, AMICUS No. 7463456, retrieved 23 April 2011.
  8. ^ ""Lost in a love song" (sound recording) ; "Play one for your mother" / Christopher Ward", Collections Canada, Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada, OCLC 666198012, AMICUS No. 37942546, retrieved 23 April 2011.
  9. ^ RPM (magazine) (31 March 2004). "Adult Contemporary - Volume 25, No. 3, April 17, 1976" (PDF). Collections Canada. (Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada). OCLC 352936026. Retrieved 23 April 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 October 2018, at 03:05
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