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Canadian Folk Great Ian Tyson Undergoes Open Heart Surgery

Iconic Canadian singer and songwriter Ian Tyson is resting comfortably in a hospital near his Longview, Alberta ranch, recovering from open-heart surgery.

A blockage required an aortic valve to be replaced; the operation took place two weeks ago in Calgary’s Foothills Hospital. Tyson, impatient to get back to his ranch, is wryly amused that the replacement valve came from a cow’s heart.

He is looking forward to a limited schedule of performances next year, and he hopes to perform at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada in January. Ian has played the event every year but one since 1981.

During his stay in the hospital, which will likely last a few more days, friends and neighbors have taken care of the Tyson Ranch.

Now 82, Tyson has followed dual careers as a rancher and singer since he moved to Alberta in the early ‘80s. Songs such as Four Strong Winds, Someday Soon and Summer Wages established him as one of Canada’s best-known artists.

He began his career in the duo Ian and Sylvia in the early ‘60s, but has long had a distinguished career as a solo artist. He released his 13th album, Carnero Vaquero, for Canadian-based independent roots music label Stony Plain Records earlier this year.