Soul Survivor Story: Photographer of The Times

In relation to, Soul Survivor, the long-lost film on the late Canadian singer, Dianne Heatherington, about which I wrote previously, photographer Phil Morris commented as follows (reproduced with permission):

At the time, I was a photographer on the Toronto music circuit, and took hundreds of photos, including some of Dianne at one of her gigs at the Colonial Tavern on Yonge Street. I continued to follow and photograph her, as Soul Survivor was being filmed.

The filmmakers were female, which was still comparatively rare for that time. I don’t remember their names. They did not want me to take any photos during the filming, because they thought the flash would ruin the film. I refused; you could barely see the flash, as it lasted less than a second, and Dianne didn’t mind. Made the film better to my viewing. CBC put it out.

In terms of what happened to the film, I would be asking Dianne’s husband, Gary Taylor, who is on the web. Dianne had built a nice basement recording studio and I heard a tape or two (cassette) that they had made. Great material. Unfortunately, Dianne’s husband did nothing to promote her legend, saying the tapes were too old. Maybe the same thing happened to the film, as well as her one and only album release, in 1981, Heatherington Rocks. None of this can be too old; people still are interested in my photos of Dianne and the Toronto music scene at that time.

A regrettable aspect to the movie is that Dianne’s untreated throat polyps didn’t show her voice at its best. Later on, she had an operation to remove them. The film also showed some old clips, when her voice was in full form, such as during the time of her television show. That was amazing. Following her operation, her voice sounded great and at its best, around 1981.

Fortunately, someone has uploaded some material from Heatherington Rocks: her definitive rearrangement of “Helter Skelter“, which also contains a number of Phil Morris photographs:

Plus someone else has posted a nice live version:


About brucelarochelle
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One Response to Soul Survivor Story: Photographer of The Times

  1. Val Fullard says:

    Soul Survivor was made by Dianne Corbin and Janis Lundman. Dianne Corbin died in 2014. Janis is a partner in Back Alley Films.

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