Ontario Pioneers

January 29, 2020

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Julie Lynn

Born: 1947 – Gaspe, Quebec Hometown: Mattawa, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Country singer Julie Lynn was born Julia Catherine FLYNN, of Irish heritage, in the Gaspe region of Quebec. She later relocated to Fort Coulonge in Western Quebec, and by her late teens was making her home in Mattawa, Ontario, where she began pursuing her career in music; first, as a member of the group Pauline Noland & Her Jamboree Pals, and later (1966) forming her own Julie Lynn Showband. The group featured Julie, her brother Bobby Flynn, Pete McCormick and Gary Spicer; the latter going on to become a member of the award-winning Family Brown group. Julie began her recording career in 1970, with the release of her album “The Nickel Song” on the […]
December 29, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Harold MacIntyre

Born: September 6, 1948 – Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia Hometown: Brampton, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Harold MacIntyre was born in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, and raised in nearby Sugarcamp, where he spent much of his childhood years singing at family gatherings. By his late teens, he had moved to Toronto, where he worked a day job at the General Electric Company and spent his evenings singing in local night clubs. He soon teamed up with fellow musician Albert MacDonald to form the country band Harold’s Super Service. In the late 1970s, Harold MacIntyre recorded a debut album, “MyCountry Way”, released on the Condor Records label. The album, produced by piano legend Bobby Munro, featured Harold singing classic country hits of the day. Soon afterwards, he […]
November 30, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ralph Carlson

Born: November 6, 1940 – Montreal, Quebec Died: October 10, 2002 – Ottawa, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Ralph Carlson is widely recognized as a country singer-songwriter, recording artist, bluegrass music performer and radio show host. Born in Montreal, he spent his early childhood years in Shediac Cape, New Brunswick, and by his pre-teens, the family had permanently relocated to Ottawa. While in high school, Ralph formed his first band, The Jive Rockets; a country/rockabilly group that also featured such notables as Vern Craig, Bob Anka (Paul’s cousin) and Dewey Midkiff, who later went on to fame as Dewey Martin with the country/rock group Buffalo Springfield. After the demise of the band, Ralph began to direct his musical interests to traditional country, making guest appearances with […]
October 31, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ross Allen

Born: Feb 27, 1937 – Toronto, ON Home: Cambridge, ON (by Larry Delaney)   Ross Allen was once described as a “music making machine”; an accurate statement, considering his career accomplishments as a singer, songwriter, entertainer, recording artist, producer, music publisher and record label founder/executive. Born in Toronto, Ross James Allen first worked the local cafe and cabaret music scene in a duo act for some ten years with musician Bill Gibbs. Their album “A Few Selections Of ???” lived up to its title by covering a variety of material – country, folk and pop; all recorded live from The Rivalda Club in Toronto. The duo worked dance halls throughout Southwest Ontario and Ross would eventually lean more towards the “country” side of things, including […]
September 25, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Neville Wells

Born: December 5, 1940 – St. John’s, Newfoundland Home: The Ottawa Valley (by Larry Delaney)   Neville Wells is one of Canada’s most accomplished country music artists, and he has achieved his career status with relatively little fanfare. While carving out a career as a recording artist, songwriter, performer… he later provided the Canadian country music industry and fans with a monthly newspaper that would become “The voice of country music in Canada”. Born in 1940 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Wells family moved to Ompah, Ontario, a small town in the Ottawa Valley, when he was a youngster. He soon developed a keen interest in music and as a teenager, performed in local dance halls and special events, influenced initially by the music of […]
July 29, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Terry Parker

“Canada’s Yodeling Sweetheart” Born: July 21, 1933 – Val Gagne, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Terry Parker is something of a “Mystery Lady” in Canadian country music. She earned the title of “Canada’s Yodeling Sweetheart,” and was the inspiration for many Canadian female vocalists that followed in her footsteps… yet very little is known about this talented country pioneer. Born Theresa Pacaud, July 21, 1933, in the small Ontario town of Val Gagne (near Timmins), she became “Terry Parker” when she launched her music career. One of Terry’s favourite artists at that time was Patsy Montana, fondly remembered for her yodeling singing style, and Terry began emulating her musical mentor’s vocal delivery. Terry began performing at various venues in Northern Ontario and eventually made her way […]
May 20, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Dallas Harms

Born: July 18, 1935 – Jansen, SK Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario (by Larry Delaney)   Dallas Leon Harms was born July 18, 1935, in Jansen, Saskatchewan, and moved to Hamilton, Ontario as a two-year old with his family. He began playing the local music scene in the mid-1950’s and was a frequent guest performer on the popular radio/TV series Main Street Jamboree. While working The Flamingo Club in Hamilton in 1957, Dallas met and performed with then-rising-star Conway Twitty, and helped introduce Ronnie “The Hawk” Hawkins to the local club scene. His friendship with Hawkins would later result in Dallas Harms paying tribute to the rocker with the song “Rockin’ The Hammer”; “The Hammer” referring to the steel-town of Hamilton. As a touring act, Dallas Harms […]
April 11, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ted Daigle

Born: January 16, 1937 – Jacquet River, NB Home – Ottawa, Ontario (by Larry Delaney)   Ted Daigle has enjoyed a career as a recording artist and performer, as well as being one of Canadian country music’s premier radio DJs and radio station managers. Ted Daigle launched his radio career in 1956 as a DJ at CKBC in Bathurst, NB, where he hosted the station’s Hillbilly Hayride Show, while he also emceed shows headlined by major touring acts of the day. He continued to hone his craft in radio, moving on to stations in Thunder Bay, Ontario (CJLX) where he was mentored by radio Hall of Famer Johnny Murphy; and CFGM in Toronto. In the late 1960s, Ted moved to CKOY in Ottawa, and in […]
March 12, 2019

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Don Cochrane

Born: April 23, 1944 – Kingston, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Don Cochrane first performed his music at high school dances and family gatherings. He later joined the Kingston-based group, The Fred Paquin Orchestra; and after meeting fellow songwriter Doug Ballard, formed the Murney Tower Singers, and eventually headed up his own country band, The Gamblers. A debut single, Don’t Count On Me, backed with Water To Wine, was released on the Canuck Records label, attracting local radio airplay. In 1971, Don became a member of the nationally-touring band, Ralph Carlson & Country Mile. By the mid-1970’s, Don Cochrane ventured out as a solo recording / performing artist, supported by his back-up band, Sweet Clover. Don toured extensively with his band and made appearances on many […]


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