Wildflower by Skylark (Capitol, 1973)

Skylark was a Canadian band that benefited from a Canadian law and a Victoria police officer to have a Top 10 hit in the US. It was also the first taste of success for future songwriter/producer, David Foster, who played keyboards int the band. David had a friend who was a cop named David Richardson. He had written a poem about his girlfriend and passed it along to the band. Guitarist Doug Edwards wrote some music to the tenders lyrics and Skylark recorded it for their debut LP in 1972.

Another track, What Would I Do Without You, was released as the first single from their album, but it flopped. But Skylark has the Canadian law on their side. In 1971 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission made it a requirement for radio & TV broadcasters to play a certain percentage of Canadian produced entertainment. At AM radio station, CKLW, program director Roaslie Trombley decided to satisfy this requirement by playing this song constantly for 3 months when no one else was which made Capitol think about releasing it across the fence in Detroit. And from there it spread across the country like wildflower…see, AM radio used to have the power!

In the wrong hands this song could’ve sounded like a sad Hallmark card. But singer Donny Gerard wraps his soulful voice, slinking around and through the words like an acrobat, wringing every bit of emotion that Dave the Policeman felt when writing those lyrics. Many folks have covered this song, but no one comes close to Donny’s delivery. One unintended lyrical faux-pas: after a sympathetic plea to understand the hard life this woman has, he refers to her as his ‘one possession’ – can’t imagine that went over well with the Feminist movement.

Plus if you have it in you, it’s a great song to wow the crowds at your local karaoke haunt.

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1 Comment

  1. Linda White

     /  April 30, 2013

    When I was a little girl very eariy teen I wrote a song poem titled Wildflower. The words are an exact copy tot the Dave Richardson version, I don’t know what magical power would have two minds scratching out the exact poem on the ends of their pencils. I was always running for the dictionary checking for correct spellings and finding the words I wanted in each of my poems so it took me longer than15 minutes! Yea lots longer because I was crying sobbing between verses! Yea lots longer because I was crying sobbing between verses. My Wildflower was my own personal emotions of my thus far life! I finished my exact copy of the world known words to Wildflower and I did what would be one of my greatest debt I never owed! I mailed my Wildflower poem to a supposed music company! My poem wad mailed back to me with a fancy document saying how this was not what they were looking for at this time. “Thank-you But we are not interested.” I think Dave Richardson and I have met in the worst of circumstances. I have this dream being still a child that we can one day meet again converse comply admit discuss confess agree make amends. I have cried being a lady! The rain has fallen swelling my eyes to closure! Wanting wanting wanting to hear my name out of silence also near next to Wildflower! Wow! Linda White. There is another name entitled under the writers of this song Wildflower.


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