Candye Kane – Great Big Heart
Candye Kane was an equal opportunist and could do anything she set her mind to, and she did! This Los Angeles native had a voice that could raise the roof like it was nobody’s business. Furthermore, she had this fearless approach when it came to performing in front of an audience. When she was finished, the fans yelled for more.
Also, she was a lot of things in life, from a mother and serious student to a pinup girl and actress, and she even did a stint as a serious, full-tilt punk rocker. What isn’t there to like about this woman? She had Chutzpah, a great voice, and the emotional muscle to get her through anything. Which she did for years performing from 1986 to 2016, until she succumbs to cancer at age 54.
The Early Years
Candye starts out at USC’s music conservatory’s junior opera program in 1976, but she dislikes opera and drops out. She becomes part of the punk rock music scene of the early 1980s. She starts country punk bands and befriends and shares the stage with musicians as diverse as Black Flag, Social Distortion. Along with James Harman, The Circle Jerks, Los Lobos, The Blasters and Lone Justice just to name a few.
Kane majors in women’s studies at Palomar Community College while continuing to write songs. Shortly after, she discovers the brash blues stylings of Big Maybelle, Ruth Brown, Big Mama Thornton, Etta James, and Bessie Smith. She found her calling and it was the Blues!
In 1985, she signs a deal and records her first demo with CBS/Epic Records. She goes on to record nearly two dozen albums, among them ‘A Town South of Bakersfield’ (1986), ‘Texas Rocks!’ (1995), ‘Diva La Grande’ (1997), ‘The Toughest Girl Alive’ (2000), ‘Whole Lotta Love’ (2003), ‘White Trash Girl’ (2005), ‘Guitar’s and Feathered’ (2007), ‘Superhero’ (2009) and ‘Coming Out Swinging’ (2013). She’s also one of the many women in Blues that have paved the way for the next generation of artists. And we can’t thank them enough!
Accolades & Interesting facts
Kane is nominated for two “Blues Music Awards” by the Blues Foundation in 2011, “BB King Entertainer of the Year”, and “Best Contemporary Blues Female”. Also, includes “Best Blues CD of 2005” at the San Diego Music Awards; the “Trophies France International Award” “2004 for Best International Blues Chanteuse and Artist of the Year”.
In 2007, Kane wins an award for “Best Original Blues” composition by the West Coast Songwriters Association for her song, “I’m My Own Worst Enemy.” In 2012, Miss Kane receives a special Courage in Music Award at the San Diego Music Awards ceremonies.
In 2014, Kane is nominated for a Blues Music Award in the ‘Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year’ category. There was even a musical about her titled ““The Toughest Girl Alive” she was also a big advocate for, women, the LGBT community, and many other worthy causes. Check out this audio track to understand the range of her voice:
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