Ontario Pioneers

June 8, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Wendell Ferguson

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: February 28, 1954 – Streetsville, Ontario) (#50 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   Wendell Ferguson is the “Mr. Do-It-All” of Canadian country music. A guitar player, a singer, a songwriter, a producer, a band leader, a comedian, an industry executive… and probably a whole lot more. Born and still residing in Streetsville (Mississauga), Ontario, Wendell became fixated on being a guitar player after hearing Chet Atkins play the instrument. Although he took several years of formal guitar lessons, Wendell was off-and-running as a guitar player, fueled more by listening to and emulating the recordings of some of his guitar idols: Chet Atkins, Les Paul, The Ventures and other guitar gods. In 1987, after years of practice and dues-paying, Wendell […]
June 8, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Wendell Ferguson

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: February 28, 1954 – Streetsville, Ontario) (#50 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   Wendell Ferguson is the “Mr. Do-It-All” of Canadian country music. A guitar player, a singer, a songwriter, a producer, a band leader, a comedian, an industry executive… and probably a whole lot more. Born and still residing in Streetsville (Mississauga), Ontario, Wendell became fixated on being a guitar player after hearing Chet Atkins play the instrument. Although he took several years of formal guitar lessons, Wendell was off-and-running as a guitar player, fueled more by listening to and emulating the recordings of some of his guitar idols: Chet Atkins, Les Paul, The Ventures and other guitar gods. In 1987, after years of practice and dues-paying, Wendell […]
May 12, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: George Fox

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: March 23,1960 — Calgary, AB [Raised in Cochrane, AB]) Home: Ancaster, Ontario (#49 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) George Fox was a farm boy with a dream. Living on his parents’ farm in Cochrane, Alberta, George spent much of his younger life working the farm, baling hay and milking cows… all the while dreaming about becoming the next Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly – two of his early music idols. After spending time in Sweden on a “farm exchange” program, George’s musical interests turned to more traditional country artists, and he began writing songs himself. By the mid-1980s, and after playing the local community events scene in and around Cochrane, George began recording several demo sessions of his music, […]
April 16, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Gordon Lightfoot

// by Larry Delaney // (THE “COUNTRY” SIDE OF GORDON LIGHTFOOT) Born: November 17, 1938 – Orillia, Ontario (#48 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   Gordon Lightfoot, one of Canada’s most renowned singer/songwriters, has seen his compositions recorded by artists from around the globe… and from all musical genres. Lightfoot’s own recordings of many of his songs have become permanently etched in our musical memories. While Gordon Lightfoot is most often regarded as a “Folk” artist, his “Country” roots run just as deep. His songs have been recorded by the Who’s Who of country music, many of them becoming major chart hits for those artists. During the 1970s and mid 80s, Lightfoot placed eight of his recordings of original songs on the Billboard Country Charts, […]