Top Toronto Maple Leafs Pop Culture Moments of All-Time

Eddie Shack of the Toronto Maple Leafs 1975 (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
Eddie Shack of the Toronto Maple Leafs 1975 (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – 1974: Eddie Shack #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – 1974: Eddie Shack #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /

Clear the Track Here Comes Shack

No individual Toronto Maple Leaf has being so well remembered in song as the animated Toronto Maple Leafs forward of the 1960s and 70s, Eddie the Entertainer Shack.  In a song titled, “Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack,”  Eddie Shack became the topic of a hugely successful local novelty hit song.

The song  was the brainchild of Brian McFarland of Hockey Night in Canada.

McFarland wanted to have a song recorded for his friend, Leafs agitator, Eddie Shack. McFarland had no musical training or connections, but managed to get a song written with the help of his brother-in-law who did possess some musical ability and was able to come up with some music to accompany words written by McFarland.

McFarland found a local Toronto bar band called The Secrets to record the song in early 1966.

The song was released shortly thereafter on Toronto radio stations and Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack became the number one record in Toronto for two weeks in 1966 outperforming singles by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

As the song goes: “Clear the track, here comes Shack. He knocks them down and he gives them a whack.  He can score a goal, he’s got a knack…Eddie, Eddie Shack.”

The local success of the song led to a rift between Shack and McFarland. For several years Shack was upset that he had never received any royalty from the recording. McFarland had provided Shack with a number of free records to give to his friends, but Shack truly believed he had some legal right to a royalty.

Despite bickering about the royalty issue for 30 years Shack and McFarland managed to put the royalty issue behind them and remain friends to this day. (With some info from Wikipedia)