Ricky Hyslop

Hyslop, Ricky (John Richmond). Violinist, conductor, composer, arranger, b Vancouver 26 Apr 1915, d Toronto 2 Jun 1998.

Hyslop, Ricky

Hyslop, Ricky (John Richmond). Violinist, conductor, composer, arranger, b Vancouver 26 Apr 1915, d Toronto 2 Jun 1998. A pupil of Allard de Ridder and of Jean de Rimanoczy, Hyslop in his teens was a soloist on CNRV radio, and later was a member, or the concertmaster, of a number of CRBC and CBC Vancouver orchestras. He was music director 1941-53 for CBC Vancouver's 'Harmony House' (heard in western Canada and featuring the singers Pat Morgan and Suzanne, and the pianist Bud Henderson) and conducted for other radio variety shows, including 'Here's Juliette,' 'String Along,' and 'Scored by Hyslop.'

In 1959 he moved to Toronto, where he was briefly music director of CBC TV's 'Talent Caravan.' Later he was music director for '1967 and All That' and 'CBC Song Market,' among other CBC radio series, and wrote the incidental music for many CBC TV drama series (including 'The Serial,' 'Opening of the West,' 'Gold - the Fabulous Years,' 'A Place for Everything,' and 'A Gift to Last') and for such CTV series as 'The Human Journey' and 'Being Human.'

He also composed scores for the feature film Why Shoot the Teacher (1977) and several TV specials. His commissioned works included the symphonic tone poems Toronto 1830 and Mizu Uni (for the Buffalo Philharmonic, premiered in 1966), Peanut Suite for solo clarinet (for Avrahm Galper), Ballet for 12 Strings for two guitars, and Barca for guitar and soprano (for Gregory Alliston). In 1982 Hyslop's one-act school operetta Sedna: An Arctic Legend(lyrics by Lorraine Johnson Hyslop) was published. He also wrote many pieces for violin, some published 1987-9 in three graded volumes for teaching purposes by Harris and 12 published in 1990 by his own Ellar Music Productions. He conducted a Vancouver orchestra for recordings with singers Juliette and Ernie Prentice (1951, RCI 59 and 60), and a Toronto orchestra for the LPs The Ricky Hyslop Orchestra ( 1967, RCI 261) and The Voice of the Stradivarius, the latter with Albert Pratz as soloist. He also directed the orchestra for Homer James' Songs of Inspiration (PCS 1074, RCA Victor Canada). His daughter Jane Child included his song 'Monument' on her 1993 album Here Not There, on which Hyslop also provided backup vocals. Hyslop composed the score for the CTV News video The Russian German War (141 min., Jerry Lawton, producer, 1995). Hyslop was married to the singer Lorraine Johnson. His archives were donated to the NL of C in 2000.


Further Reading

  • 'Writing background music,' CanComp, 23, Nov 1967

    Quill, Greg. 'Ricky Hyslop's gift to last: writing music for Canadian TV,' ibid, 151, May 1980

    'Ricky Hyslop gave CBC music,' Toronto Star, 5 May 1998