Gene MacLellan's second LP, If It's Alright with You (Cap ST-11535) was released in 1977, and included 'Shilo Song,' a popular duet with Anne Murray. A third LP, Gene & Marty (Pilgrim PMC-7005), a collection of gospel songs with Marty Reno, was issued in 1979. MacLellan won a Juno award in 1970 as composer of the year and received The Performing Rights Organization of Canada's William Harold Moon Award in 1987 for international achievement. MacLellan was based for a time in Burlington, Ont, and after 1992 in Summerside, PEI. An unassuming, compassionate, and spiritual person, MacLellan eschewed the spotlight for more intimate settings. He performed on occasion during the 1980s and 1990s in churches, penitentiaries, retirement homes, and at benefits. He appeared on gospel broadcasts and PEI cable TV programs, as well as providing counselling to prison inmates. He made a few formal appearances, such as with Anne Murray at her induction into the Juno Hall of Fame, 1993, and at a SOCAN ceremony the same year at which 'Snowbird,' 'The Call,' and 'Put Your Hand in the Hand' were declared Canadian classics. The PEI Songwriters Association made him an honorary life member.
After Gene MacLellan's death in 1995, he was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association's Hall of Honour, received the East Coast Music Association's (ECMA's) Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award (1996), and was honoured at the ECMA awards in both 1995 and 1996. John Gracie released the album A Gene MacLellan Tribute (1995, 02 50492 Atlantica Music). Several Gene MacLellan Song Festivals have been held at Victoria, PEI.
Gene MacLellan's songs have been recorded in over 25 countries. 'Snowbird' and 'Put Your Hand in the Hand' remain his most successful songs. The latter, recorded by more than 100 artists, including Elvis Presley, Joan Baez, and Bing Crosby with Count Basie, has become a standard of the gospel repertoire. 'The Call' has also been popular with other singers.
Author (Betty Nygaard King)
MacDonald, Dick. 'So little snowbird take me with you when you go,' Weekend Magazine, 23 Jan 1971
Kareda, Urjo. 'Snowbird's composer, a born loner, will face the hoards at the CNE,' Toronto Star, 15 Aug 1971
LeBlanc, Larry. 'Country music, country living are Gene MacLellan's life,' The Music Scene, 261, Sep - Oct 1971
Hopkins, Tom. 'Orpheus ascending,' Maclean's, 18 Apr 1977
MacDonald, Dick. 'Singer lost pot and found God,' Toronto Star, 30 Jul 1983
Delaney, Larry. "Gene MacLellan: Through the pages of time," Country Music News, Nov 1992
MacAndrews, Barbara. "Songwriter 'born with a thorn' in his shoe," Toronto Globe and Mail, 28 Jan 1995