Today on “Days to Remember” we celebrate Neil Young birthday!
Shortly after Neil’s birth on November 12th 1945, the Young family moved to the rural town of Omemee, Ontario, which Neil would later fondly describe as a “sleepy little place”.
Young suffered from a bout of polio in 1951, in what was the last major outbreak of the disease in Ontario.
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, then aged nine, also contracted the virus in this epidemic.
It wasn’t until 1955 that polio vaccine was introduced to the public, most people infected with the polio virus have no symptoms; however, for the less than 1% who develop paralysis it may result in permanent disability and even death.
After his recovery, the Young family vacationed to Florida in the United States in 1952, and upon returning to Canada soon decided to move away from Omemee and into the city of Toronto, before relocating to Pickering, which is just east of Toronto, and then again to north Toronto soon afterward.
It was during this period that Young began to take an interest in popular music that he heard on the radio, and also began to raise chickens in order to sell their eggs.
When Young was twelve, his father, who had been having a number of extra-marital affairs, left his mother and she asked for and received a divorce some years later, in 1960.
Due to the breakup of the family, Neil went to live with his mother, who moved back to Winnipeg, while his brother Bob stayed with his father in Toronto. It was then that his musical drive really kicked in.
Neil Young started a band called, “Buffalo Springfield,” in 1966, which was a mixture of folk, country, psychedelic, and rock, lent a hard edge by the twin lead guitars of Stills and Young, made Buffalo Springfield a critical success, and their first sold well after Stills’ topical song “For What It’s Worth” became a hit, aided by Young’s melodic harmonics played on electric guitar.
The only song that I remember from Buffalo Springfield is the song called, Mr. Soul. Todays YouTube video presented by user name smurfstool oldies treasure is that song called Mr. Soul performed by Buffalo Springfield, in 1967, as we celebrate Neil Young’s birthday today on November 12th.
According to Rolling Stone, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other sources, Buffalo Springfield helped create the genres of folk rock and country rock.
After the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, Young signed a solo deal with Reprise Records, home of his colleague and friend Joni Mitchell, with whom he shared a manager, Elliot Roberts, who manages Young to this day. Young and Roberts immediately began work on Young’s first solo record.
Neil Young has made an album taking aim at huge corporations and powerful politicians, but he knows that his mission of changing the world faces an even more formidable enemy: listeners. “People want to hear about love,” he sings over and over again on the third track of his new record this year in 2015 called The Monsanto Years.
Neil Young has launched a new website, GoEarth.org, with the aim of motivating people toward global conservation. The site offers information on earth ecology, banning GMOs, the future of farming, climate change and social causes, among other topics. Taking inspiration from the “Village” of activist organizations that have been traveling with Young on his current tour, the site’s motto is, “It takes a village to keep the free world rockin’.”
“GoEarth.org is a powerful resource for finding services and organizations dedicated to helping you live a healthy, vital and informed life, while participating in Earth’s flourishing sustainability movement,” a statement for the site reads. “[The site] is a reliable portal for information on common sense, innovative and creative solutions too many of the crises we face for more information regarding this site (click here).
As we celebrate Neil Young’s birthday today, there’s a little rebel in all of us, which can make this world we live in a better place.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell