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 […]
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 […]
June 12, 2023

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Fred Dixon

// by Larry Delaney // (#75 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) FRED DIXON was born August 8, 1943 in Perth, Ontario, He was a long-time favourite on the Ottawa Valley country music scene. Fred (sometimes billed as Freddy) Dixon was a gifted songwriter with many of his songs relating to Canadiana and specifically Ottawa Valley folklore. His song “Last Fatal Duel” was recorded by Stompin’ Tom Connors and was featured on the Connors album and movie soundtrack of “Across This Land”. The film featured performances at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto by Stompin’ Tom Connors, with special guests Sharon Lowness, Chris Scott, Kent Brockwell, Bobby Lalonde and Joey Tardif. Fred Dixon worked the Ottawa Valley country music club and festival circuit for four […]
May 10, 2023

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Nancy Ryan

// by Larry Delaney // (#74 in the Ontario Country Music Pioneers Series) Nancy Ryan has enjoyed a long and successful career on the Canadian country music scene as a recording artist, songwriter and performing artist. She is also a professional horse trainer/rider/owner – horses and music top Nancy’s “been there…done that” list.     Nancy was born March 13, 1947, in Toronto. On her 10th birthday, the family home burned to the ground… they relocated to Sturgeon Falls and later moved to Timmins. She currently makes her home in Belleville.       Nancy Ryan’s first recording, in 1957, was a piano piece – a Mozart sonata in C-Major. It got a little more Country after that… she wrote some early career tunes: “I Told Her”, and […]

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