- Fred Turner (musician)
C. F. (Fred) Turner (born Charles Frederick Turner,
16 October 1943in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is a rock bassist, vocalist and songwriter, and was a founding member of the 1970srock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
Fred Turner played in over a dozen bands in and around Winnipeg during his early adult years. Based upon advice
Randy Bachmanreceived from Neil Young, Turner was subsequently asked to join Randy's band Brave Beltin 1971. ["Driving Music: Bachman-Turner Overdrive," article at www.allpar.com] At the time, Turner was playing and singing in a cover band called the D-Drifters. The D-Drifters wanted to continue doing cover songs, and had repeatedly rejected Turner's original compositions. When the call came from Bachman, Turner jumped at the chance to join a band that would give him an opportunity to play original material.Gormley, Peter. "BTO (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) Frequently Asked Questions," 7/31/97.]
The lead vocalist for the first Brave Belt album was Chad Allan, Randy Bachman's former bandmate from
The Guess Who. When Allan departed shortly after the album's release, Turner stepped in as a full-time lead vocalist. Brave Belt would later become known as Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO). While Randy Bachman was the more widely-known name because of his years with The Guess Who, Robbie Bachmanaccurately stated for the record in numerous interviews that there could have been no "BTO sound" without Turner's contributions: "The first Brave Belt albums were very country-rock. Everything changed when Fred joined the band. We had Fred Turner's heavy, rough voice. Randy is not really a hard rock guy. Fred Turner's got the voice. We evolved because of Mr. Turner." ["Mark After Dark" interview with BTO drummer Rob Bachman, "Behind the Four Wheel Drive," on www.newyorkwaste.com]
When Randy Bachman quit BTO in late 1977, Turner switched from playing bass to rhythm guitar to make room for bassist–vocalist Jim Clench.
Fred Turner last played on stage in 2004 with Randy Murray, and was backed by members of the
Little River Bandbecause drummer Robbie Bachmanwas unable to make BTO's last show.
He was the lead vocalist on many of Bachman-Turner Overdrive's most memorable tracks. His powerful, soulful voice is heard impressively on songs such as "Not Fragile," "Roll on Down the Highway," "Let It Ride," "Blue Collar" and "
The House of the Rising Sun." His songwriting credits include BTO staples such as "Gimme Your Money Please," "Blue Collar," "Not Fragile," "Take It Like a Man," "Let it Ride" (with Randy Bachman) and "Roll on Down the Highway" (with Robbie Bachman).
Turner is currently retired.
* [http://www.btorocks.com Website for current version of BTO]
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