January 28, 2017

A Message from the President (January 2017)

The Country Music Association of Ontario would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. We hope that 2017 will be the best year of your life. From the beginning of December to the New Year it can only be described as the most joyous of all holidays. Family gatherings and the joy of giving is an important part of this wonderful season. We cherish time spent with friends and loved ones. It’s a time we feel the spirit of the holiday and the joy we feel seems magnified. It’s also a time to reflect on some of the moments from the past year. Unfortunately, this sometimes includes the passing of loved ones and friends. The passing of Gordie Tapp last month is an example […]
January 9, 2017

Kick It With Kissel Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to all of the acts selected to open for award winning country artist, Brett Kissel, on the Ontario leg of his upcoming tour. The winners were selected from close to 100 entries vying to perform with Kissel through the “Kick It With Kissel” contest supported by the CMAO. Participants were asked to record a video of themselves performing their favourite original, cover, or Kissel songs and to post it to social media using the “#KickItWithKissel” hashtag. The winners were chosen by a panel comprised of Country Music Association of Ontario board members, Invictus Entertainment, and Kissel himself. “The response to the contest was tremendous,” commented Kissel. “I wish I had room to add more talent.” The winners include: Kansas Stone January 12, 2017 Kiwanis […]
January 9, 2017

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Gordie Tapp

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO GORDIE TAPP (1922-2016) (by Larry Delaney)  Gordie Tapp, a legend in Canadian country music, even though he has had few record releases to speak of, passed away December 18, 2016, at his home in Burlington, Ontario. He was 94. Tapp, who was equally known as “Cousin Clem”, is best recognized worldwide for his comedy character skits performed on the long-running “Hee Haw” TV series taped in Nashville studios. Gordie Tapp was born June 4, 1922 in London, Ontario. His early years were spent as a member of the Main Street Jamboree, one of Canadian country’s most popular radio shows. He then moved on, becoming a regular on the CBC’s Country Hoedown show, which aired for 13 years before transitioning into The […]
January 9, 2017

In The Country with Dave Woods: Best of 2016

Best of In The Country Columns 2016 The CMAO and the Ontario Country Music scene are stronger than ever. I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for our established acts as well as the new voices ready to make their mark. It is my great pleasure to host my online radio show In The Country and to contribute monthly columns to the CMAO Newsletter. I hope you enjoy the following highlights from columns that were published in 2016. Brian Vain of Kansas Stone: What advice do you have for artists who are just beginning their journey? I always like to tell artists to “stick to your guns” if you want it bad enough. Some musicians treat music as a hobby. I have made music my life. I eat, breathe […]
January 9, 2017

Patrice’s Pick: Ryan Laird

This month, our feature video from Patrice Whiffen at Country Music Junkies profiles Canadian country music artist, Ryan Laird! Ryan talks about his new single, Wear Me Out, and how his beautiful bride was the inspiration for the song. He also talks about his busy cross-Canada tour, and the amazing work he’s doing with #BiggerThanThat in Canadian schools. To find out more about Ryan Laird, visit: For more on Country Music Junkies, visit Check out the exclusive interview with Ryan Laird below: About Patrice: To Patrice Whiffen, country music is a lifestyle. As the appropriately deemed, “Country Music Junkie,” she strives to share her passion for country music with the world. As a radio broadcaster with an inside view of the world of country music, […]
January 9, 2017

In The News (January)

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 CMAO nor do their contents reflect the views or opinions of the CMAO. CIMA ROAD GOLD CERTIFICATION: APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN Launched in 2015, The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) Road Gold certification program shines a spotlight on Canada’s touring artists and bands. Road Gold was created to acknowledge the dedication and drive artists must have to achieve success, broaden their fan base, and express […]
December 6, 2016

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Diane Leigh

// by Larry Delaney // Toronto-born singer Diane Leigh can be credited with opening the doors for female singers in Canadian country music. She was the first Canadian female artist to be featured as a regular performer on a country TV series and the first female to be recognized with major awards for her recordings, earning her the distinction of being dubbed “The First Lady Of Canadian Country Music.” Diane Leigh began her music career performing with the Pop band The Sapphires, influenced heavily by the recordings of American Pop stars Joni James, Peggy Lee and Julie London. In the early 1960’s, Diane was ‘discovered’ by Vic Siebert of the famed country & western group Sons Of The Saddle and for a short time, she […]
November 9, 2016

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Terry Carisse

// by Larry Delaney // Born: July 11, 1942 – Ottawa, Ontario Died: May 22, 2005 – Ottawa, Ontario Terry Carisse is among Canada’s most decorated Country singer/songwriters, with numerous Male Artist of the Year, Song and Album of the Year awards presented to him by the Canadian Country Music Association during the height of his career in the early-to-mid 1980’s. As a recording artist, Terry Carisse released six albums and over 30 charted singles on Canadian country hit charts, including ten Top 10 hits; highlighted by such Canadian classics as the #1 hit “Sparkle In Her Eyes”, “All Her Letters”, “We Could Make Beautiful Music Together”, “Windship”, and many more. In addition to his solo recordings, Terry also enjoyed chart success with the 1987 […]
October 5, 2016

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Myrna Lorrie

// by Larry Delaney // Born: (Myrna Lorraine Petrunka), August 6, 1940 – Cloud Bay (Fort William), ONTARIO At age 15, Myrna Lorrie became only the second Canadian (after Hank Snow) and second Canadian-born female (after Betty Cody) to chart a hit on the Billboard Charts in the USA with her 1955 hit “Are You Mine”, recorded as a duet with Buddy DeVal (a/k/a Jim Amadeo). The song, co/written by Myrna Lorrie with Jim Amadeo and Don Grashey, reached #6 on the Billboard charts and was also a hit in 1955 for Ginny Wright & Tom Tall (#2), and Red Sovine & Goldie Hill (#14). The chart hit breakthrough earned Myrna Lorrie a Most Promising Female Artist award from the US-based Jamboree magazine. The “Are […]