by Penny Johnson, GGF contributing author
With the inauguration of United States President, Barack Obama on 20 January, 2009, CBC Radio 2 unveiled the winners of a recent poll titled: "49 Songs from North of the 49th Parallel" (otherwise known as "Obama’s Playlist.") From January 5-16, Canadians were invited to select 49 songs that would best define the country to President Obama. Announced yesterday in coordination with the festivities ‘south’ of the 49th parallel, a few of the winners included The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip, K.D. Lang, Rush, Ben Heppner, the Oscar Peterson Trio, Measha Brueggergosman, Neil Young, the Barenaked Ladies, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Joni Mitchell, and…Glenn Gould, whose 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations topped the Classical section of the playlist.
Encompassing four sections in total, listeners had the opportunity to cast their votes for their favourite songs/artists in the following fields: English Pop, Folk, etc.; Jazz; Classical; French Pop, Folk, etc. Other winners of the Classical section (in order) included I’m Going Up a Yonder (Measha Brueggergosman, performer), Affairs of the Heart (Marjan Mozetich, composer), We’ll Gather Lilacs (Ben Heppner, performer) and James Ehnes’ recording of the Barber Violin Concerto. For a complete listing of all forty-nine winners, please visit
With our passion here at The Glenn Gould Foundation for promoting the awareness of Glenn Gould not only as a brilliant pianist, writer, philosopher, and radio producer, but also as a deeply heartfelt and sincere individual, with a special commitment to playing an active role as a humanitarian, it pleases us to know that Canadians still regard this ‘homegrown boy’ as an icon of our times. May we continue to be inspired by all artists in their efforts to make us see things in new and meaningful ways.