White, Nancy

Nancy (Adele) White. Songwriter, singer, guitarist, b Charlottetown 11 Nov 1944; BA English (Dalhousie) 1967. She sang in choirs, studied piano as a child and later, while attending Dalhousie University, performed in musical comedy. She began her professional life as a journalist in Charlottetown and Halifax but also sang in Halifax coffeehouses, introducing novelty songs into her repertoire at this time. In 1970 she moved to Toronto where she appeared in a Young People's Theatre production of Under Milkwood, created the role of Ophelia in Kronborg: 1582 in 1973 for CBC radio, and co-wrote and participated in the revues Hey Seester, You Want My Sailor?and Ice Folly. Her talent in the topical/satirical genre established, she was heard regularly 1976-9 on CBC radio's 'Sunday Morning,' returning to the program in 1984. A lyricist of trenchant wit, she has won several ACTRA awards for her radio work, which has found her providing songs on the newsmakers and events of the week, be they politicians ('T-T-T-T-Tories') and their scandals ('How Blind Was Our Trust,' 'Unimpeachable'), social mores ('Yuppie Love'), and the Canadian identity '(Hubba Hubba Newfoundland,' 'Welded at the Hip').

Concurrently, White has pursued a concert career, performing at summer and folk festivals, for political benefits and, beginning in 1985, with symphony orchestras - in particular, with the Hamilton Philharmonic. For her concert appearances she invented the 'alter-ego,' Fiona Freud, 'Canada's Second Lady of the Guitar'. White also has given individual performances in Germany, Nicaragua, and Scotland. Her topical songs have been collected on the LP Civil Service Songwriter (1978, Attic LAT-1057) and on four cassettes and/or LPs recorded 1982-8 for her own Mouton label: What Should I Wear to the Revolution?, The Sunday Morning Tapes, Unimpeachable, and Bimbolandia and other songs of the '80s. A fifth, Unexpected, from 1984, found her singing 'non-topical' material and a sixth album, the CD Momnipotent (Songs for Weary Parents) (The Childrens Group SANCD-1025), first issued in 1990, was devoted to the 'joys' of parenthood. Lyrics to 54 of White's songs, and music for 12, were published in Topical Punch: Saucy Songs by Nancy White (Toronto 1986).