Monday, 13 February 2023

In Memoriam: Jim Lewis

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Jim Lewis at age 77 over the weekend. Lewis had previously cleared a long battle with cancer, only for it to return over the past few months.

Lewis was truly an icon in the Calgary music scene, and meant different things to each generation of our city. As a part of the city's later 60's/early 70's rock scene, he was known by many for his work playing with Barry Allen and in the Cheyenne Winter, and later in Cannonball, Black and White Affair, and Crackerjack, with his distinctive Ampeg Scroll bass guitar solidly holding down the low end.

In the late 70's and early 80's, Lewis ran Handlebar productions, a mobile recording facility that helped record the live bands for CJAY-92/CFCN's Home Cookin'. He was also engineer for LPs by lounge pop act the Stardells (featuring future Buckshot Show collaborator Ron Barge), pianist Doug Warren, and country singer Ron Paxton, and was the pre-production engineer Fosterchild's first LP.

For a lot of people my age, he was known as the voice of Benny the Bear on the long-running Buckshot Show, working alongside Ron Barge to bring delight to many of us (as well introducing us to "13 Chickens and a Tambourine"). When it came time to put out a record for the duo, Lewis capably held the reigns as engineer.

To say Lewis was an admired and loved part of our city's scene is an understatement. My thoughts go out to Casey and the rest of Jim's family and former bandmates.

- Arif

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