Ontario Pioneers

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

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 […]
August 11, 2023

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ron Sparling

// by Larry Delaney // (#77 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) The early formative years of the Canadian Country Music “industry” were built around the dreams and hard work of a few dedicated individuals – RON SPARLING was at the forefront of that movement. Ron was a musician, a manager, an advisor, a leader, a mentor… and much more. Born May 12, 1940, in Ottawa, Ron Sparling spent his early years in Campbells Bay, Quebec. As a youngster, he was intrigued by the glamour of small town fairs and festivals. At age 17, he became a drummer for the Ottawa Valley group The Blue Mountain Boys, and soon after, he played drums for Hank Rivers – at the time, one of Canada’s top […]
July 14, 2023

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Jerry Palmer

// by Larry Delaney // (#76 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) Country/Rock ‘n Roller JERRY PALMER was born Gerry Godick in Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay). He began his music career as a teenage rock ‘n roller, sharing the stage with Canadian teen idols Bobby Curtola, Paul Anka and U.S. stars Bobby Vee, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. In 1961, he crossed paths with famed Canadian producer/manager Don Grashey (of Myrna Lorrie and Carroll Baker management fame). Grashey signed him to his Gaiety Records label and suggested an identity change from Godick to “Palmer”, the surname of a Grashey business partner at that time. Early career recordings were produced in Hollywood studios and Jerry Palmer was touring the U.S., making appearances on […]

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