Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Harvey Family

Like father - Larry Harvey.

Like son - Shane Harvey.

Like daughter - Gail Harvey.

Like daughter - Robin Harvey.

Four talented Canadians, two of them former Toronto Sun photographers.

Shane and Gail have been in the spotlight during their post-Sun years, Shane for his music and Gail for her film making. Robin worked for the Toronto Star for years before retiring.

Now, it's their dad's turn, with Shane's new documentary, Paper Promises, highlighting the musical talents of his 82-year-old father and what might have been in Nashville so long ago.

(The 82-minute documentary is being aired exclusively on Super Channel for the next year. The DVD and soundtrack CD can be purchased here.) 

"It's a love story," Shane told TSF during a conversation from Vancouver. "I love my father. He's the real deal."

Shane began working on the documentary in 2007, with his ex, Shelley Gillen, (a former Toronto Sun reporter) as the producer, and acclaimed songwriter Jim Vallance as music supervisor.

Shane says Vallance, a veteran songwriter with Bryan Adams on his resume, calls his father a world class songwriter.

The goal, says Shane, was to get his father on stage at the Grand Ole Opry with the song list he would have used had he made his Opry debut in the 1950s.

And, on Oct. 21, 2008, Larry Harvey did just that - performing live, on stage at the Opry, singing eight songs to a full house, including his three children and four grandchildren. His wife was too ill to make the journey.

"It was like he never left the stage," says Shane, who has since booked recording studio time for his father.

Shane's documentary made its debut on Super Channel on Nov. 28 and the word is spreading fast.

Joe Warmington wrote a column about Shane's father recently and Shane set up a Facebook page yesterday for updates on the documentary and his father.

Father and son have appeared on CBC's As It Happens and the Telegram in St. John's published a lengthy article, with links to several songs.

Shane says he is thankful he had the opportunity to complete his dad's journey to the Opry, a journey interrupted to raise a family.

More on Shane here and more on Gail here

One talented family.

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