Born: February 9, 1931 – Eberts, Ontario Died: June 30, 2010 – Chatham, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Based out of Chatham, Ontario, Ray Francis formed his first band The Whippoorwills in the late 1950’s (with John Tangelis, Max Dauphin, Ray Dauphin, and Bill Taylor) and they quickly earned a solid reputation by backing up touring Nashville stars like Ray Price, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, etc., and making appearances on major stages. The Whippoorwills also hosted a “live” show, aired weekly for more than five years over CFCO radio in Chatham. The act recorded two albums in the mid 1960’s: “The Whippoorwills” released on Canatal Records; and “Country Jamboree” on Arc Records. After the demise of The Whippoorwills group, Ray Francis joined […]
During PotashCorp Country Music Week 2017 in Saskatoon, ole will be hosting “on the spot” – a premiere event that delivers instant artist/songwriter development, and a contract with ole’s red dot valued up to $40,000 USD – that includes music publishing, EP recorded production, YouTube SRAV management, and support from ole’s world-class Creative Staff. Simply submit YouTube videos of yourself singing one of the approved hit songs from the ole catalog, as well as an original composition, and you could earn a chance to perform in Saskatoon during PotashCorp Country Music Week in front of some of Country music’s top A&Rs. Join the ranks of Charlie Worsham, Josh Dorr, Sam Grow, Katia Zuccarelli and Jordan Davis, whose careers have been launched by ole’s red dot artist development program. Enter before August 14 […]
Born: December 13, 1931 – Pembroke, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Quite likely the “most heard” and “least credited” musician on the Canadian country music scene during the 1960’s-80’s was Pembroke, Ontario-born guitarist Mickey McGivern. His tasty guitar talents were featured on hundreds of albums released by the popular Canadian indie label Arc Records, but many of these releases were issued in an era when session musicians were not credited on the back cover liner notes. Mickey McGivern’s guitar work played a key role on Arc Records albums released by such Canadian artists as Dick Nolan, Jimmy James, Dusty King, Irwin Prescott, Freddy McKenna, etc.; as well as on Arc albums featuring Nashville artists Red Sovine, Donna Darlene, Ramblin’ Lou Shriver, etc. At the time, Mickey […]
Congratulations to Ben Hudson on being selected as a finalist in the 2017 CCMA Spotlight Performance Contest. Ben was selected among numerous submissions to the CMAOntario to represent Ontario and the Association in the national competition. Voting is now open. To vote for Ben, click here to access the CCMA Spotlight Performance online voting poll. The finalist that receives the most votes on the poll by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, June 16, 2017 will win one performance spot during PotashCorp Country Music Week 2017. Only one (1) vote per IP address will register with the online polling system – so make your one (1) vote count!
Born: April 4, 1950 – Kapuskasing, Ontario Died: November 9, 2010 – Aylmer, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) David Thompson’s career in the spotlight was relatively short, but quite productive. Born in the Northern Ontario town of Kapuskasing, the family moved to Detroit when he was 5 years old… and while there, he absorbed various styles of music. During his teenage years, he played with local bands. At age 20, he returned to his hometown in Ontario, where he further developed his songwriting skills and performed with various local bands, most notably, The Richard Gordon Trio. David Thompson’s songwriting talents took him to Thunder Bay, Ontario, in an effort to pitch his tunes and secure a recording contract. In 1977, he was signed to RCA Canada, […]
Congratulations to Amanda Jordan, Ben Hudson, Brea Lawrenson, Sacha and Steve Rivers on being selected to perform at the New Faces Showcase & Concert being held at Market Square on Saturday, June 10th in London, Ontario during CMAOntario RoundUp 2017. Capping off the showcase will be a concert performance by River Town Saints with Eric Ethridge. This is a free concert with performances starting at 7:00pm. See you there! For more details on CMAOntario RoundUp 2017 events, click here.
(Born: November 14, 1950 – Peterborough, Ontario) (Died: October 9, 1996 – Toronto, Ontario) (by Larry Delaney) Born in Peterborough and raised in Ottawa, Colleen Peterson’s early career years (1966-1974) were spent on the Ontario folk music scene, performing in the group 3’s A Crowd with Bruce Cockburn and David Wiffen; and later, as part of the duo Spriggs & Bringle with Kingston-based musician Mark Haines. By the mid-1970’s, Colleen was pursuing a solo career in country music, and was signed to Capitol/EMI, recording albums in Los Angeles and Nashville. She earned a Billboard chart hit with her debut single “Souvenirs.” While in Nashville, Colleen joined on as a back-up vocalist for The Charlie Daniels Band and was also featured as a background vocalist on albums […]
(Born: October 3, 1944 – Toronto, Ontario) (Died : August 18, 1993 – London, Ontario) (by Larry Delaney) Toronto-born Mike Graham was one of the more versatile and popular artists on the Canadian country music scene during the 1970’s through the early 1990’s. He was a recording artist, songwriter, TV series host, record label owner, radio station DJ… and a “showman” with a fabulous stage show that included a lively mix of his own songs, his versions of popular country hits, and a comedic side that featured dynamic impersonations of country’s top stars. Mike Graham also showed great versatility. He began his career out of Toronto as a pure country singer. Later, while working as a popular DJ on Montreal radio station CHOM, he pursued […]
Larry Mercey – (born Dec. 12, 1939 – Hanover, Ontario) Ray Mercey – (born Nov. 21, 1940 – Hanover, Ontario) Lloyd Mercey – (born Dec. 12, 1945 – Hanover, Ontario) (by Larry Delaney) One of Canada’s most decorated country groups, THE MERCEY BROTHERS were perennial award winners for Group Of The Year, including the Canadian Country Music Association’s 1985 Group Of The Year award and six-time (1970-74 and 1976) Juno Award winners as Best Country Group. Led vocally by Larry Mercey, who also wrote several of their top hits, the group released albums on Columbia, RCA and their own MBS Records label. Larry Mercey (on guitar) and brother Ray (on bass guitar) began their music careers in the mid-1950’s as members of The Town And […]