Peter Pringle

Peter Pringle. Singer-songwriter, composer, actor, thereminist, b Halifax, NS, 7 Sep 1945. He studied at the University of Toronto. At six, he was a soprano in the children's choir of the Canadian Opera Company.

Pringle, Peter

Peter Pringle. Singer-songwriter, composer, actor, thereminist, b Halifax, NS, 7 Sep 1945. He studied at the University of Toronto. At six, he was a soprano in the children's choir of the Canadian Opera Company. He later visited Europe and the Orient, where he studied sitar with Ravi Shankar, prior to showing his songs to Brian Aherne. The latter passed them on to Anne Murray, who recorded several of them, including 'Please Don't Sell Nova Scotia,' 'Drown Me,' and 'Honey, Wheat and Laughter'; she also hired him as a back-up singer. Other female singers, such as Mary Travers, also began performing his songs.

Pringle is one of few Canadian singers to have pursued a career in both French and English. In 1975, Aherne invited him to record for Warner Brothers, in Los Angeles. His appearances on many television shows introduced him to a large audience. He himself wrote half the songs on the album Rain Upon the Sea (1981). 'I Could Have Been a Sailor,' 'You Really Got Me Needing You,' and 'It Just Occurred To Me' were great hits. Pringle also recorded a French version of the latter song that sold over 25 000 copies and topped hit parades for several weeks. He was nominated for Juno awards in 1978 and 1982.

In 1987, he wrote a theatre play, Noel Coward: A Portrait, starring in the title role at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Charlottetown Festival and the Bathurst Street Theater in Toronto. He subsequently appeared in the show Le Secret du Cantique des Cantiques, for which he wrote the music. Pringle also composed the music for Milos Forman's film Selling Out, and the musical Off Off-Broadway. He hosted several television programs, among them the 'Miss Canada Pageant' and 'Pringle,' on the TVA network. After living in Toronto for a number of years, he settled in Montreal. In 1996 Pringle withdrew from the pop music business. He learned to play the theremin (an electronic instrument that the player does not touch; it employs radio-frequency oscillators, an antenna and loudspeaker amplification). He has performed on it often, eg with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, and made recordings.


Further Reading

  • Charters, Sam. 'Pringle: getting a foot inside the pop music business,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 16 Aug 1976

    Kelly, Deirde. 'A courageous Coward,' ibid, 30 Jun 1987

    Whitfield, Eileen. 'Private lives,' Saturday Night, Sep 1988

    Ricard, Jean-Paul. "La dernière histoire d'amour de Pringle tirée de la Bible," La Tribune, 14 Jun 1993

    Drouin, Serge. "Peter Pringle se plaît dans les projets modestes," Le Journal de Québec, 23 Jan 1997