Brian Bergquist (1948-2013)
Brian Levi Bergquist, Western poet and songwriter (born Winnipeg, Feb. 16, 1948), fell in love with Shakespeare, Robert Service, and the word herdin' of Bob Nolan in high school. He was always encouraged by teachers in his creative writing, and by a loving mother, Laura, to read aloud to her anything new he had written.
Brian pursued a career in broadcasting for over 33 years. It was upon finishing his career in Whitehorse, Yukon, that he got closer to the works of Robert Service and got serious in his writing, producing his first book of poetry and two original albums of country songs.
He managed to get a copy of his last CD, COWBOY COTERIE, to the Sons of the Pioneers about a year ago and they encouraged him to continue in that vein. Now, of course, today he's well entrenched with all things Sons of the Pioneers and Bob Nolan.
Brian was instrumental in bringing the Sons of the Pioneers to Manitoba in October of 2012, realizing a hope he'd entertained ever since he discovered that Bob Nolan had been born there. He called it "Bringing Bob Nolan Home". Brian worked hard to make his dream come true and produce a wonderful experience for a grateful public. Many elderly Sons of the Pioneers fans put forth a great effort to see them perform once more. It was a monumental task for Brian and he brought to the notice of the public an almost forgotten genre of music - Western.
Brian also arranged a respectful and emotional memorial service for Bob Nolan in Winnipeg, the city of his birth in 1908. Mr. Bergquist is establishing a special scholarship (in February 2013) in Bob Nolan's name to encourage young entertainers interested in Western music: The Bob Nolan Western Music Scholarship.
On February 21, 2013, Brian was made an honorary member of the Sons of the Pioneers. Sadly, he passed away on May 7, 2013, after a short but gallant battle with cancer. The Sons of the Pioneers sent Gary LeMaster's great "Pioneer Heaven" in his memory. Celebration of Life on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
Creating verse came as naturally as breathing to Brian and he had another CD in the making. He wrote "Little Cowboy", a song about Bob Nolan.
COWBOY COTERIE (all songs written by Brian Bergquist)
Cowboys & Eskimos
Whispers in the Wind
The Levi Strauss Waltz
Quarter Moon Hangin'
Heart of the Desert
A Hundred Days, A Hundred Nights
They were One in the Same (Haimie Swartz - Geronimo)
Whiskey Flats Moon
Snowshoe Fiddler's Waltz
(He's) Just a Dancehall Girl's Mister
The Day My Memories Rode off into the Sunset
The End of the Trail
To order COWBOY COTERIE, contact Brian.
(by Brian Levi Bergquist ©2012)
Little Cowboy, leavin' on a train