January 11, 2024

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ollie Strong

// by Larry Delaney // (#80 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) OLLIE STRONG was born William Oliver Steven Strong, July 2, 1935, in Bolton, Ontario. He is recognized as being among the first pedal steel guitar players on the Canadian music scene and has long been an influence on many of the steel guitar players who have since come on stream. As a teenager, Ollie Strong first performed with a local group, The Humber River Ranch Boys, which also included his sister, Edna (Richardson). Later, he was a member of the Chuck Joyce Ramblers, where he worked square dances and social events. By the mid-1950s, Ollie was gaining notice while playing at musical events staged at Fred Roden’s Record Corral in Toronto. He […]
January 11, 2024

In The Country with Dave Woods

In 2023, along with my monthly songwriters’ series, Country Nights In The City, at the Moonshine Cafe in Oakville, I created two new series. The Heart Of Country Songwriters Showcase took place 5 times last year at the Rec Room at Square One in Mississauga. Nashville 416 Writers Round will travel around to various Toronto venues, which so far have included The Cameron House & The Dakota Tavern. “Sold Out Show at The Moonshine Cafe”     Along with bringing back artists who have become part of the roster, it’s always exciting for me to showcase an artist that is new to our music community and, in some cases, playing their first writers’ round. That happened in 2023 with several artists and I look forward […]
December 6, 2023

In The News (December 2023)

This section of the newsletter is comprised of news stories, press releases and links to Internet articles that are sent in by our members who believe they will be of general interest to the membership.  We include them as a courtesy to our members but do not verify or edit their content.  Their inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the CMAOntario nor do their contents reflect the views or opinions of the CMAOntario. If you would like to have something included in the newsletter, please send us a short synopsis, a photo or graphic and the hotlink that can be included in the news listing. Submissions can be sent to verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
December 6, 2023

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ken Reynolds

// by Larry Delaney // (#79 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) KEN REYNOLDS The late KEN REYNOLDS was largely a “behind-the-scenes” personality in the Canadian Country Music world… but he certainly played a role that deserved top billing. Ken Reynolds was instrumental in the success of music legends Wilf Carter, Don Messer, The Happy Wanderers… and much more. Ken Reynolds was born August 9, 1929, in Brownsburg, Quebec. As a youngster, his family relocated to Leitrim, Ontario, in the Ottawa Valley; and while in his teens, he became a talented square dance caller. In the early 1950s, Ken acquired an entertainment booking license and became the exclusive booking agent and tour manager for the legendary Wilf Carter (Montana Slim), acquiring over 300 show […]
December 6, 2023

Artist of the Month: Callie McCullough

Labeled with her larger than life and vivacious personality, Dolly Parton-sized beauty, and angelic voice, singer/songwriter Callie McCullough is sure to grab your attention. Born 3rd generation into a musical family, her contemporary and alternative music style has made an impact in Country Music. It is a combo of traditional country, Celtic, folk and bluegrass. Her grassy textured sound is what we can expect in her forthcoming collection of new music. Callie explains, “I’m very much just organically letting the songs become what they want to become.” Having just come out of a long term relationship, and reflecting on the direction of her life, she thought her next few years might look really different. With confidence and sass came her latest single “What If I […]
September 11, 2023

Artist of the Month: Runaway Angel

Cadence Grace, Ann Chaplin and Stacey Zegers have been a powerhouse trio in the form of Runaway Angel for a decade. Their unwavering friendship forms the bedrock of Runaway Angel, and it’s through this genuine bond that their passion for music shines brightest. Over the years, Runaway Angel has garnered a loyal fan following and industry recognition, making them CCMA Discovery Artist Nominees and 7-Time CMAOntario Award nominees. Their albums, “No End In Sight” and “Zero” made significant impacts, debuting at #5 and #3 on the iTunes Canadian Country Charts. Their music, including the hit single “Witness”, has reached over 150,000 Spotify streams and graced the Top 50 on Canadian country radio. The trio have taken the stage among the likes of Dierks Bentley, Dallas […]
September 11, 2023

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Bobby Lalonde

// by Larry Delaney // (#78 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) Bobby Lalonde has been a lifelong resident of the Ottawa Valley, born May 22, 1958, in the small farming community of Fournier, Ontario. Until recently, in nearby Hawkesbury, he owned and managed his own music store, now a Long & McQuade regional outlet. Bobby first hit the stage as a nine-year-old, playing fiddle in a band with his three brothers (Gerry, Gilles and Marc), billed as The Four Sons. As a young teen, he won the Junior Fiddle Championship at the famed Shelburne Fiddling Competition and went on to the National Fiddling Championship in 1975. Bobby was inspired by many of Canada’s legendary fiddle players – the likes of Don Messer, Johnny […]
September 11, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Thunder Bay’s Tim Albertson

          My guest for this month’s column is Thunder Bay country artist Tim Albertson. Over the last few years, he’s won over new country fans with his energetic live shows and singles like “A Bar Like This”, “Spin That Bottle” and now, his latest release, “Did It For A Girl”. I first met Tim at the CMAOntario Awards weekend earlier this year. He made the long drive from Thunder Bay to Hamilton to experience the event and make new contacts. Enjoy my chat with Tim and be sure to follow him on his socials to keep up to date on his career. Dave: Tim, who are the artists that have influenced you the most in your music career? Tim: There have […]
September 11, 2023

In The News (September 2023)

This section of the newsletter is comprised of news stories, press releases and links to Internet articles that are sent in by our members who believe they will be of general interest to the membership.  We include them as a courtesy to our members but do not verify or edit their content.  Their inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the CMAOntario nor do their contents reflect the views or opinions of the CMAOntario. If you would like to have something included in the newsletter, please send us a short synopsis, a photo or graphic and the hotlink that can be included in the news listing. Submissions can be sent to verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]

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