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Valdy performing in 1976.jpg
Background information
Paul Valdemar Horsdal
Born (1945-09-01) 1 September 1945 (age 73)
Ottawa, Ontario
GenresFolk, country
Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar

Paul Valdemar Horsdal, CM (born 1 September 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario[1]), commonly known as Valdy, is a Canadian folk and country musician whose solo career began in the early 1970s. He is known for "Rock and Roll Song", his first mainstream single.[2][3] Valdy is the winner of two Juno Awards for Folk Singer of the Year and Folk Entertainer of the Year, and has received seven additional Juno nominations. His fourteen albums have achieved sales of nearly half a million copies, four of which are certified gold.

Early life and education

Valdy was born and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario,[4] the third child of Danish portrait photographer Paul Horsdal and English Lillian Horsdal (née West), a nurse and writer.[5] He studied guitar and piano,[6] and attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute.


Early career

Valdy was a member of the London Town Criers during the 1960s and subsequently joined Montreal band The Prodigal Sons. He then moved to Victoria, where he worked with various rock and country musicians, including Blake Emmons.[2]

When he was 25 Valdy bought several acres of land in Sooke and began farming.[7] He began performing as a solo artists, and in 1972 recorded his "Rock and Roll Song" on Haida/A&M; it became a hit.[8][9] His music was featured in the 1972 Steve McQueen film The Getaway. In 1973 he won a Juno Award for Outstanding Folk Performance.[10]

Valdy recorded a live album, Family Gathering, through A&M; it was recorded at Massey Hall in Toronto and released in 1974.

Valdy appeared on the CBC TV show The Beachcombers as the environmental activist "Halibut" Stu. He also secured a part in the reunion production of The New Beachcombers performing a song he wrote, "It's The Water," as part of a jug band.


In 1986, Valdy made a guest appearance as himself in the popular 1980's Canadian children's television show, Today's Special (episode entitled: "trash"). He also guest appeared as himself on Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show in the third season episode titled "Growing Up".


In 2000 Valdy released the album Contenders with country musician Gary Fjellgaard.[11] He continued to tour with Fjellgaard for many years.[12]

Valdy recorded 2003's Viva Valdy: Live at Last during the Rack-On-Tour. On November 21, 2005, Valdy was awarded the National Achievement Award by SOCAN at the 2005 SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[13]


Valdy was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in June 2011.[14][15] In 2012, he released his 18th album, Read Between the Lines, and toured across Canada in support.[16][17]

In 2013 Valdy toured in Canada with New Zealand guitarist Graham Wardrop.[15] In 2014 he continued to perform at folk festivals, including KIngsville Folk with jazz pianist Karel Roessingh and Nadina Mackie-Jackson on bassoon. [18]

As of 2018, Valdy continues to regularly tour across Canada, including a performance on the main stage at the Mariposa Folk Festival.[19]


His daughter Chelah Horsdal is an actress.



Year Album CAN
1972 Country Man 39
1973 Landscapes 39
1974 Family Gathering 35
1975 See How the Years Have Gone By --
1976 Valdy and the Hometown Band 40
1978 Hot Rocks 65
1979 1001 --
1980 Passport: Best of Valdy --
1981 Valdy's Kids Record --
1986 Notes from Places --
1988 Classic Collection --
1993 Heart at Work --
1996 Smorgasbard --
1999 Contenders (with Gary Fjellgaard) --
2001 Valdy: Millennium Collection --
2003 Viva Valdy: Live at Last --
2007 Contenders Two: Still in the Running
(with Gary Fjellgaard)
2012 Read Between The Lines --


Year Single Chart Positions Album
1972 "Rock and Roll Song" 31 17 -- Country Man
1973 "A Good Song" 9 9 --
"Simple Life" 22 16 -- Landscapes
1974 "Landscapes" 87 -- --
"Renaissance" -- 23 -- Family Gathering
1976 "Yes I Can" 12 63 -- Valdy and the Hometown Band
"Peter and Lou" 15 58 --
1978 "Dirty Old Man" 38 -- -- singles only
1981 "Easy Money" 17 -- --
"Thank God He's a Stranger" 28 -- --
1985 "Sonny's Dream" -- -- 17 Notes from Places
1993 "Link in a Chain" -- -- 36 Heart at Work
1994 "Dreams About You" -- -- 48


  1. ^ "Want Ads: Births". Ottawa Journal. 3 September 1945. p. 12.
    "Want Ads: Births". Ottawa Citizen. 3 September 1945. p. 12.
  2. ^ a b "Valdy (biography)". The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. Jam!/Canoe. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Michael Bennett (30 September 1972). "Western Canada:Activity abounds on all fronts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 48-. ISSN 0006-2510.
  4. ^ "Valdy". The Canadian Encyclopedia, by Holly Quan, February 7, 2006
  5. ^ "Your Country, Your Story: Canadian Folk Singer Legend, Valdy". CHEK News, Veronica Cooperon: March 15, 2017
  6. ^ " Valdy". AllMusic, biography by John Bush
  7. ^ :Legendary folk singer "Valdy returns to Sidney for fourth show in four years". Sooke News Mirror, Hugo WongDec. 29, 2017
  8. ^ "Valdy performs to sell out crowd at the Grist Mill". Keremeos Review, Sep. 2, 2014
  9. ^ David Makin (5 October 2015). Reantasy, Montreal: The Book to Read, the Place to Be. AuthorHouse. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-5049-5071-8.
  10. ^ This Year's Winners. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 7 April 1973. pp. 56-. ISSN 0006-2510.
  11. ^ "Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard Contenders". Exclaim!, By Eric Thom Apr 01, 2000
  12. ^ "Contenders, still: Valdy on why he's still on the road". Sean Brady Kamloops This Week, October 26, 2018
  13. ^ "2005 SOCAN Awards". SOCAN website
  14. ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Folk stalwart Valdy at home on the coast". Mike Devlin, Times Colonist, October 8, 2013
  16. ^ "Street Sounds: Folk troubadour remains relevant". Vernon Morning Star, Dean Gordon-Smith, Nov. 9, 2012
  17. ^ "Valdy in Province For Tour, New Album". CBC East Coast Music, Bob Mersereau, Oct 4, 2012.
  18. ^ "Review: Kingsville Folk 2014". Folk Roots Radio, JAN HALL
  19. ^ "Mariposa Folk Festival a record breaker". Barrie Today, Jul 7, 2018 Nathan Taylor

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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