Tim Canfield

2011 - Individual Artist

Tim Canfield has been performing in bands since 1964 and, at last count, has played in over 25 different groups.

There was always music in Tim’s home. His dad played guitar in a trio with Tim’s uncle and another friend. The band “Three Tower Rhythm” backed Fran Allison of Kula, Fran and Ollie on a radio program from WMT. When he was 12, Tim picked up his dad’s guitar and his father began showing him some basics. He still has that 1932 Regal Resonator guitar.

Canfield's first opportunity at playing in a band came when he was asked to join a group by Iowa promoter Steve Wilson (Hall of Fame 2006). Four friends had put a band together and had booked their first job, a school dance. About a month before the performance, one member had stopped coming to practice and Tim was asked to join the group playing bass.

According to Tim, the Bushmen had been together for less than a month when they landed their first job. “The group took the stage and everyone told me I was singing the first song. Imagine – my first gig on the first song and I’m singing ‘Johnny Be Good’!” When the song was over he was shaking like a leaf and sweating like crazy but hooked forever.

Canfield picked up the moniker ‘Grandpa Tim,’ given him at the ripe old age of 25 by younger members of one of the earlier bands he played in. Tim commented that “these guys were only two years younger than I was but I guess they thought of me as the grandpa.” He has now earned the name having inherited numerous grandchildren when he married a couple of years ago.

Tim calls himself a saver. “It was never a case of ‘lets put a band together’ but more me getting a call that I was needed as a bass player,” he noted.

Tim has played with groups showcasing a number of different musical styles; from Led Zeppelin to Grand Funk; from Simon and Garfunkel to the big horn sounds of Blood, Sweat & Tears; the country-rock of Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson to the folk music styling of Peter, Paul & Mary.

Canfield is proud to be going on the Hall of Fame stage to join contemporaries he has played with like: Ron DeWitte, Tom Giblin, Steve Hayes, Gary King, Danny Magarell, Brian Harmon, Glenn Goodwin, Don Daugherty, Craig Erickson and Mike Boddicker.

His own musical history includes stints with Brian’s Place, The Wandering Souls (rhythm guitar), Chicago Oz (Hammond B-3, harmonica & drums), WM Skinner. He played with a three-piece acoustic band called Austin & Garf that spent the summer of ’71 in San Francisco . Tim also produced commercials and a #8 single locally. He also enjoyed stints with an eight-piece horn band Brass Unlimited; Madness, the Silver Dollar Band, Fresh Start and was with the Night Owls for 13 years.

During his 46-year career, he has played in bands that opened for The Carpenters, 38 Special, The Association, Molly Hatchet and The Tokens. The list of ballrooms he played includes Matters, Lakeside, Gala, Prairie Moon, Highway Gardens , The Library, Armar, Danceland, Dance-Mor and the Col Ballroom.

Canfield currently plays with Richie Lee & the Fabulous Fifties and Iowa City based Touch Play. He is a regular at a Cedar Rapids bar that features weekly jam sessions. The Hall of Fame 2011 Class welcomes ‘Grandpa Tim’ Canfield – The Saver – to its esteemed ranks!

The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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