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The Cooper Brot BLINKED, got older, came back: The dream didn’t die By FRANCIE HEALY


They were different. Opposites, you might say. Dick was a serious student who excelled


at school. He was a reader, a thinker. He graduated with a degree in English Lit when he was only 20. Brian, two years younger, didn’t have


much use for reading, and school didn’t turn his crank, either. He was a party boy. But he could sing like an angel. Different, these boys are, and yet musically


matched to perfection. Both brilliantly talented. One writes. One sings. The result is the sweet sound of The


Cooper Brothers. If you were around in the 70s and early


80s, you’ll probably remember their exquisite harmonies and down-home, country-rock sound. You might have their original chart- topping albums or recall hearing them on the radio every day. These guys were a sensation. Well, guess what. They’re back. They’re


older. They’re better. They have a brand-new album, and there’s more to come. What strikes you most about these fellows


is the fact that they seem so unaffected by all the excitement they’ve caused in their musical lives. They’re regular, warm, friendly guys. They’re humble about their achievements. Each tends to give his brother credit for the band’s success. There’s no sign of the ego you might expect from people who have hobnobbed with the greats. “Back in the day”, as they like to say –


back when they were two talented Ottawa kids in their 20s -- they gained international fame on the music scene and signed a contract with Capricorn Records. The Cooper Brothers, including their friend Terry King, became a


10 BOUNDER MAGAZINE


sensation in the U.S. as well as Canada. They toured extensively, opened for people like The Doobie Brothers and Joe Cocker, worked with Chuck Leavell (keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton), and won major musical awards. One of their hits, The Dream Never Dies, written by Dick Cooper, was played constantly on Canadian and U.S. radio stations and is still a classic, much-loved tune that seems to surpass ages or generations. There they were, at the top of the musical


world and about to climb much higher – about to fly right over the top, in fact – when life came crashing down. Almost as fast as they had risen to fame, their careers were over. Without warning, Capricorn Records


folded. The boys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and moved on to other studios. They produced two more albums, and then those record companies folded, too. By 1983, despite their best efforts, the Cooper Brothers were no more. They had to find other lives, and they did that successfully. Still, it was a hard blow. When you ask him


about it, Brian Cooper responds more with a facial expression than words. It was miserable. It hurt. It was a terrible disappointment. Brian took a job with the federal


government (where he still works). In his off-hours for many years, he played with Les Emmerson and Terry King. He married, had children, and now he’s a young grandfather. Dick Cooper, the songwriter, kept on


writing. He wrote extensively for TV (including award-winning, syndicated series and children’s television), taught screenwriting at Algonquin College, and wrote more than 50 best-selling video games. He also created soundtracks for


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