After seeing Don Sawchuk perform while she was in Toronto attending the Toronto International Film Festival this past summer, Rita Calile was touched by his music particularly two songs “My Home” and “Where Are You Now” both from his album titled “Underdog”. Noting his honest delivery and the heart felt message in his music, she thought he would be a great guest on her program to mark Armistice Day. Upon return to France she presented the Album she purchased to her colleagues and the consensus was unanimous so she arranged an interview with him which aired in Europe and The Middle East on Sunday, November 11th, 2018. The interview and presentation were right on the heels of his “SOLD OUT” concert at Heritage Hall on Saturday, November 10th in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The Concert was set up to mark the Launch of Don’s “Underdog” Album, Produced by JK Gulley and being released on Trilogy Records International distributed World-Wide by The Orchard.
Here is the interview in English:
Rita Calile: Joining us today is Singer Songwriter Don Sawchuk who I happened to meet at The Toronto International Film Festival this past summer where he was performing. Don has a new Album out titled Underdog. We played the title track earlier this week. Don, we are very pleased to welcome you to our Broadcast.
Don Sawchuk: I’m very glad to be here!
Rita Calile: Your album is full of great songs and when we listened to ‘My Home’, we felt it was perfect for our program this week as it marks the hundredth Anniversary of Armistice and Remembrance Day. Tell us about the song, what’s the back story?
Don Sawchuk: The song ‘My Home’ is based on a true story of a Canadian missionary working overseas that was captured and imprisoned by a terrorist organization known for starving, torturing and even killing their POW’s. His friends and family were worried sick, but all I could think about was how he endured the isolation and suffering by holding on to the memory of all that he had left behind back home in Canada. After many months of mistreatment he was finally released and was able to return to his home and family, but, at the time of writing the song ‘My Home’, no one knew, especially him, if he’d ever see his home again. Currently the song ‘My Home’ is being considered for national recognition and adoption as an anthem for the Legions across Canada. It may even be taken up internationally, much like the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae who coincidentally, like myself, was also from Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Rita Calile: I understand the Underdog album has a personal family connection as your sister was the one who inspired and encouraged you to write music and follow your dreams. Earlier you told me a very sad story, would you mind sharing that story with our listeners as the song is very appropriate for today given the Me Too Movement…
Don Sawchuk: My ‘big sister’ Judy was in an abusive relationship for several years that took a tragic toll on her physically, as seen by the bruises she tried to hide, emotionally, when her vibrant zest for life was replaced with fear and despondency, and mentally, when she tried to end her life by jumping out her 3rd floor apartment window with her cat in her arms. Ultimately, at the age of 25, after ending the abusive relationship and making a new start working and attending university, she was found murdered in her living room. A violent scene described by police as “a beating that went too far”. I’ve dedicated the Underdog album to my late sister Judy and included the song ‘Where Are You Now?’ as a call out to all the protectors of women to hopefully help put an end to the abuse of women.