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RIP Kenny Shields of Streetheart

If you grew up in Winnipeg in the late 70s and early 80s, Streetheart were one of the city’s local heroes. Given tons of local radio support by CITI-FM, Streetheart sold a substantial number of albums through a career that extended about a decade. They even survived the departure of guitarist Paul Dean and drummer Matt Frenette who bailed to create a new band called Loverboy.

Here’s the title track of their debut album. This one got a lot of play on the Roadstar cassette deck in my ’79 Firebird.

Sadly, singer Kenny Shields died this morning (July 21). He’d been ill for some time and the band had been forced to cancel their entire 2017 tour. Kenny’s heart just wasn’t working as it should, its efficiency down to 20% on the left side. This caused damaged to the right side of the heart, which in turn resulted in a dangerous buildup of fluid in his lungs. Earlier this month, he was rushed into emergency surgery but was left very weakened. There was no chance of him ever being able to fly or endure the rigors of a live show.

From Facebook:

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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3 thoughts on “RIP Kenny Shields of Streetheart

  • Streetheart was a great band. Lots of talented Canadian bands in the 70s (Prism, Harlequin, Trooper) that should’ve got more global recognition

  • Another musician from that golden era of rock. Thanks to classic rock for playing Streetheart during my high school years—in the ’90s! (Yes I’m young; I can still dream of those days I was too young to remember firsthand.) Can only project what I imagine was Winnipeg pride and contemporary living with Streetheart as the soundtrack—really, could be anywhere in Canada, right? Well now we have their records (more LPs than CDs) to listen on with! Thank you, Alan, for commemorating a homegrown group outside of “new” music!

  • I saw Streetheart quite a few times growing up in Regina in the late 70’s. I still play Back in Paris 40 years later. They were talented and fun and I guess this means I really am getting old.


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