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PODCAST: Barney Bentall is B.C.’s ‘Cosmic Dreamer’

TODAY IN B.C.: His Charity Concerts last year raised over $500,000
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Host Peter McCully chats with Barney Bentall, known for his work with the band ‘The Legendary Hearts’, which he formed in the mid-1980s. The band released several albums and had a string of hits, including ‘Something to Live For’.

‘(The Lyrics) Almost seem as appropriate today, except the making four bucks an hour, but somebody living at home and just trying to find their way and making their way in the world. I always hear people say, or when the audience is singing it. They feel that it’s an inspiring emotion that comes out’, says Bentall.

The Legendary Hearts disbanded in 1997, but Bentall continued to perform and record as a solo artist then becoming a partner in a cattle ranch in 1997 in the Cariboo.

‘I was never intending to give up music, but I thought, wouldn’t it be great to be a cowboy? It just ended up taking up so much of our time, but such an interesting, rewarding experience. I think I’d like to write about that or incorporate it in things that I do’. Bentall tells McCully.

‘There’s certainly lots of songs were influenced from that time. Ballad of old Tom Jones, Ballad of Johnny Hook, just back up on the horse and wrote that after I got bucked off and broke a few ribs’.

In 2009, Bentall joined Shari Ulrich and Tom Taylor (BTU) and the next year joined the two as a member of the ‘High Bar Gang’, a bluegrass-styled band.

Over the years, Bentall has won numerous awards and accolades for his music, including several Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Association Awards. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame. His son Dustin Bentall is also a professional musician, and the two perform together.

Beyond his music career, Bentall is also a committed philanthropist and has been involved in various charitable organizations and causes over the years. The annual Barney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Opry Charity Concerts last year raised over $500,000 for various charities.

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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