Friday, January 29, 2010

Lorence Hud: Sign Of The Gypsy Queen

In 1981, Canadian rockers April Wine recorded a song that was moderate Canadian hit in 1973 by Lorence Hud – a name unfamiliar to most outside of Canada. Here on Friday Firsts, I am please to present the original version of “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” by Lorence Hud.

Due to Canadian Content laws, Canadian radio is required to play a certain percentage of Canadian artists. During the 1970s, 25% of all music played had to be Canadian in origin; currently, the percentage is 35%. This created numerous opportunities for Canadian artists to be signed to record labels and to have their music played via numerous broadcast outlets in the world’s second largest country (by land mass). Unfortunately, many artists who were signed to Canadian labels never had the opportunity to break through internationally – so their music may be unknown elsewhere.

In 1972, Canadian Lorence Hud was signed to a two album deal with A&M Canada. On his eponymous debut album Hud played on all the of instruments and the opening cut, “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” was released as a single the very next year – topping the Canadian charts at #16.

Lorence Hud's Self Titled Debut LP

While obviously known within his homeland, Hud’s “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” was virtually unknown elsewhere until it was released in 1981 by fellow Canadian’s April Wine on their “Nature of the Beast” LP. The song was the band’s second American single from the album and followed the release of the rock ballad, “Just Between You and Me.” While Hud’s original was a hit in Canada, April Wine’s version became an album rock favorite elsewhere. Although the single’s performance on Billboard’s Hot 100 was lackluster at best - #57, “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” peaked at #19 on airplay charts in 1981.

April Wine Covering the Hud Original


  1. Does anyone know what Mr. Hud is doing these days?

    1. He seems to have some mental health issues look him up on facebook

  2. Btw, I do rarely recall hearing 1 or 2 of his songs on the radio as a small kid, not really knowing what I was listening to. .

  3. Yes severe mental issues. Currently stand-off with police in rural northern ontario town.