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PODCAST: Skylark’s B.J. Cook honoured on B.C. ‘StarWalk’

TODAY IN B.C.: David Foster, Cook last 2 remaining members of ‘Wildflower’ band
Skylark members B. J. Cook and David Foster were presented with a star on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame’s StarWalk. (Quinn Bender photo)

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2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the album Wildflower as members B. J. Cook and David Foster were presented with a star on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame’s StarWalk.

Host Peter McCully chats with Cook who talks about being a showgirl at The Cave Supper Club in Vancouver, before leaving to play the Elegant Parlour nightclub run by Tommy Chong.

Foster and Cook were members of the Ronnie Hawkins Band, before Cook founded Skylark.

“I suggested that we put our own band together. And this is before we were married,” said Cook. “We want to be together, so let’s put a band together. And David said, ‘if you can get Doug Edwards, Steve Pugsley and Cat Hendricks, I’ll put a band together’. When we came back, David went to Victoria. I had to stay in Vancouver. They were all available. So, I called David and I said, ‘you better come back, we’ve got our band.’”

McCully asked Cook about the origin of the song.

“Dave Richardson was David’s really good friend,” said Cook. “He was a cop and he used to sit in his patrol car and write lyrics. Then he took it over to Doug Edwards with a stack of lyrics, or poems. Doug looked at Wildflower, and he said, ‘I wrote it in 20 minutes’. He said, ‘I just felt it. I loved it I just thought it was the most beautiful song.’”

The song ‘Wildflower’ has been covered more than 200 times.

“The combination of David’s amazing arrangement, he was 23 years old. He was a kid,” said Cook. “And the magic of his arrangement of ‘Wildflower’, the beautiful song that it is, and then on top of it, Donnie Gerard’s magnificent voice. If anybody else could have sung it, I don’t think it would have been the hit that it was. I think the combination of all those things made it a hit record.”

Cook talks about a run-in with Johnny Cash in her early nightclub days, dating Robin Williams and her daughter Amy Foster’s success writing songs for Michael Buble.

The podcast contains the song ‘Wildflower’, as recorded by Skylark.

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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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