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Before Shania Twain skyrocketed to stardom, she was a poor, struggling, big-hair resort act whose idea of a real treat was hot tea with lemon.
Those memories burn brightly with Toronto record producer Harry Hinde, who cut some of the first tracks on Shania in the late 1980s -- under her real name, Eilleen Twain. And he can truly say, "I knew her when ... "
"I first met her when she was probably around 21," says Harry. "She definitely had a natural-born talent and believed in herself."
Shania and Harry cut an album in 1989, which was released only in Canada. Those original recordings are now available on the CD Eilleen Shania Twain: The Complete Limelight Sessions, which features 17 tracks.
Harry recalls some golden nuggets from those early years with Shania -- before she went on to sell over 30 million albums and become a global superstar.
"What I immediately noticed was her commitment to music," says Harry, who first spotted her at the rural Deerhurst resort in Huntsville, Ontario, where she performed as a low-paid club singer. "She would take a four-hour bus ride from Deerhurst to the studio in Toronto at least once a week. But I never heard her complain about it."
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