When the television show “Due South” began its five-year run in 1994, I found myself quickly captivated. I was, after all, an easy ‘get’ for any show based in Canada, even then. However, my late father also found the show incredibly enjoyable and so it became a weekly shared experience – a memory for which I’m especially grateful now. After my better half and I began dating, I discovered that he too had been a fan of the show when it aired in the United Kingdom.
While the show subtly educated viewers about Canadian history and culture (those who paid close enough attention, that is), it also introduced people like me to some vital artists in the Canadian music scene of the 1990s. As soon as I learned a soundtrack had been released, I ordered it. Through that CD, I became acquainted with artists such as Spirit of the West and Blue Rodeo, bands that had not yet achieved much airplay in the American South where I lived at the time.
I also heard the Innu duo Kashtin for the first time via the inclusion of “Akua Tuta” on the soundtrack, and found myself so taken with their music that I ordered their CDs as well. (Finding Innu music in Alabama in the mid-1990s was no easy task, let me tell you.)
The inclusion of selections from Due South’s soundtrack, composed by Jay Semko, should not be ignored either – not only the iconic theme heard during the opening credits, but great pieces such as “Horses,” “Victoria’s Secret,” and “Dief’s in Love,” all of which always bring fond memories of their respective episodes to mind.
Now that I’m much more familiar with Canadian music, I’m even more appreciative of this album. It has seldom left whatever vehicle, stereo, or device I’ve owned in the twenty years since it was released. I now find myself listening more carefully to songs to which I might not have paid as close attention, such as Klaatu’s “Calling All Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,” and I’ve also purchased albums unheard simply because I knew their artists from “Due South.” It’s hard to believe that twenty years have passed since the soundtrack’s release, but it’s been an integral staple of my listening ever since.
If you’ve never heard this soundtrack or (gasp) seen “Due South,” I encourage you to give them both a try. (Both “Due South” soundtracks are available on iTunes.) And to those who put this soundtrack together: thank you, and I hope I wasn’t the only non-Canadian who heard and appreciated the great music coming out of Canada as a result of your work.