Updated: Jun 23, 2018
In 1988 Tom Cochrane and Red Rider had a hit single with ‘Big League’. Off their album Victory Day the song became one of the band’s most successful singles peaking at #4 in Canada and #9 in the U.S. The song tells the story of a young up-and-coming hockey player who is killed in a vehicle accident shortly before a hockey scholarship would take him south of the border to play for a “big U. S team".
Although Cochrane says the story is a work of fiction, the song, unfortunately, took on a whole new meaning for Canadians in April of 2018. That month 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos Saskatchewan Junior Hockey Team were killed when their bus collided with a semi-trailer while on their way to a hockey tournament. As well, 13 other people were injured in the crash.
Many Canadians began associating the lyrics of ‘Big League’ with this tragedy and Cochrane was eventually asked to perform it during a nationally televised tribute to the Humboldt players, staff and family members. He added a new verse to the song that drew a parallel to the Broncos story and played an acoustic version that left most viewers teary-eyed to say the least. Here is the video of that performance along with a photo montage of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey Team members. Grab a tissue.
You can listen to songs from Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, plus hundreds of other artists from the 70s & 80s, 24/7 on Dusty Discs Radio.