Born in 1947, Peter Pringle was the lead soprano in the children’s choir of the Canadian Opera Company by the time he was six, but began exploring life on the piano when nature changed him from a soprano to a baritone. After moving from Halifax after graduation, he studied music at the University of Toronto, taking an interest in the lute, sitar, and the subahar.
He also studied with Ravi Shankar while visiting Europe, and He later visited Europe and the Orient, where he studied sitar with Ravi Shankar, He was writing and pitching songs to help finance college, several of which were pitched to Anne Murray through her manager, Brian Aherne.
Aherne produced the single, “Gonna Get A Lady” and some other sessions prior to Pringle moving to LA in ’75. His eponymous debut album was out a year later on Reprise Records. Full of sap and dripping with sentiment, Pringle wrote the majority of the material, except Willie P Bennett’s “White Line” and Rodney Crowell’s “Seeing Is Believing.” Along with the second single in late ’77, “You Really Got Me Needing You Now,” it also featured his own version of “Please Don’t Sell Nova Scotia,” recorded by Murray a year earlier.
Pringle spent the rest of the decade touring with Murray as a backup singer while also releasing the single, “The Songs Sound Different To Me Now” on Warner in ’77, and was nominated for a Most Promising Male Vocalist Juno a year later, but lost out to David Bradstreet.
After moving to Montreal, he signed with A&M and released RAIN UPON THE SEA in ’81. Recorded at Toronto’s Manta Sound with producer Harry Hinde (Copper Penny, Charity Brown, Ronnie Prophet, etc), outside writers accounted for half the record, including Roy Orbison’s “Running Scared,” Skip Prokop‘s “It Just Occurred To Me,” and the single, “I Could Have Been A Sailor” by Peter Allen. Two other singles followed but neither cracked the top 40 – “Hold On To The Night” and “Stranger.”
He also released the special promo single, “Outside & Inside” b/w “Sweet Lightnin’,” with proceeds going to the Canadian Liver Foundation. That same year also saw his dabblings in French – MAGICIEN, followed by POUR UNE FEMME a year later – both produced again by Hinde. The singles “Je Viens de Decouvrir,” “Madame,” Si J’etais Magicien,” and “Vivre Avec Toi” kept him on the Quebec and international French charts, and he was nominated again in ’82 for a Most Promising Male Vocalist Juno, but came up short – this time to Eddie Schwartz.
“Deeper Than Love” and “Outta My Sight” were released as singles when he returned to English records in ’81 with FIFTH AVENUE BLUE, but were met with little fanfare. The follow-up FANTASIES fared no better and he was back to French for his last record with A&M, ’84’s SOURIS-MOI, recorded in Montreal and in Paris.
Along with such French stars as Rene and Nathalie Simard and Patsy Gallant, and Andre Gagnon, he contributed to the recording of “Les Yeux de la faim,” for Ethiopian famine relief in ’85. He again utilized the top writers in Quebec for the bulk of the indie release in from ’84 to ’85 – CHANSONS D’AMOUR and PAUVRE CASANOVA, including Mario Parent and Michel Fateux, and paid homage to a couple of classics from Gilles Vigneault.
By this point, he was recording less and rarely performing live. After he appeared at an HIV/AIDS benefit concert in Montreal (one of the first major shows of its kind in Canada), he dabbled in film work, earning a Genie nomination for “Cold As Ice” from the Toby McTeague soundtrack. A minor controversy resulted though, when the song was inadvertently ommitted from the first round of balloting.
He also kept himself busy during this period, serving as host for the Miss Teen Canada pageant. Aquarius released his brief return to English recording, 1987’s NOEL COWARD: A PORTRAIT – ten covers, including “Mad Dog & Englishment,” “Mrs Worthington,” and “Twentieth Century Blues.” He portrayed Coward in a mix of monolgues and music, touring the show across Canada several times over the next few years. He also dabbled in his other pet projects – the musical reviews “From Irving Berlin to Gilles Vigneault,” the biblical “Song of Songs,” and “New York to Paris – A Musical Voyage.”
He returned to the studios as the 1990s began, and released LE JEU D’AMOUR and LE SECRET DU CANTIQUE DES CANTIQUES over the next couple of years. He also took to the stage again in ’94 when he appeared in a production of Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Sisters Rosensweig.” He all but retired from recording or performing pop music all together, following the comilation album, COMME J’ETAIS – COMME JE SUIS, and didn’t resurface until the end of the decade.
Having become an avid enthusiast of the theramin (the kewl synthesizer you don’t actually touch made famous by the original Star Trek theme song), he released a pair of indie albums, MANY VOICES in 2003 and A THEREMIN JEWEL BOX in ’08. Mixing both classical and modern pieces, his new love also brought him back to the stage for the next few years to rave reviews. He performed solo shows, as well as with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, over the next several years, and even had to turn down a tour of Japan because of conflicting dates.