BRUCE RAWLINS (1987 Inductee)

Bruce Rawlins was born in Ottawa, the third youngest in a family of ten. He was an incredibly gifted graphic artist, successful businessman, inventor, painter and poet. During his years at Fisher Park High School, he was one of the city’s foremost football players, and he dreamed of a career in the Canadian Football League. He was a realist, however, who knew that his slight build would be a deterrent in the pro leagues. But Bruce was also a dreamer who fantasized about seeing his poetry set to music. This dream became a reality when he met Terry Carisse and embarked on a songwriting partnership that would last for over a quarter of a century and produce over a thousand songs.

Bruce and Terry pitched some of their first material to The Mercey Brothers who ultimately recorded an entire album of Carisse-Rawlins songs. When the Canadian movie, "The Rowdyman", went into production, three of Bruce and Terry’s compositions were recorded for the movie. Over the years, Bruce and Terry were honored with Songwriters of the Year, Publishers of the Year, Song of the Year, eight ProCan Awards and, eventually, every major country music award in Canada. At the time of his death, Bruce left an active publishing catalogue of almost 200 songs, including Terry’s very successful "Sparkle in Her Eyes", "Love Blind" and "The Closest Thing to You".

Bruce also rose to the top of Ottawa’s creative arts community. Self-taught, he held senior positions in a number of studios before become Vice-president and Creative Director of Banfield-Seguin Limited. As a designer, he was responsible for "The Picker" - the annual Academy of Country Music Entertainment award, the CKBY-FM logo, cover art on 57 albums for the Snocan record label, and the first set for the Family Brown’s highly-rated TV show. As with music, Bruce’s designs garnered local and national acclaim and the awards to go with it. Bruce also found time to serve his community by designing art for the United Way, CHEO and the 15th World Congress of Scouting. Together, Bruce and Terry wrote the official scouting song for the 15th World Congress and also penned "A Time for Others" for the United Appeal, donating the song and waiving their rights to any earnings from broadcast or sheet music sales in the Ottawa area.

In his memory, the Bruce G. Rawlins Scholarship fund was established to assist deserving graphic artists in their post-secondary education.


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