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February 7, 2022

Canadian Country Artist Discovery: Tyler Joe Miller (BC)

Signed to MDM Recordings Inc. in 2019, Surrey, BC’s Tyler Joe Miller has swiftly begun to make a name for himself in Canadian country music. After releasing his gold-certified debut single, ‘Pillow Talkin’’ at the end of 2019, the catchy tune quickly earned him the title of iHeartRadio Future Star at the beginning of 2020, and became his first #1 single at Canadian country radio. What followed was an unprecedented and record breaking climb with follow-up single ‘I Would Be Over Me Too’, also gold-certified, which steadily rose on the charts and earned Miller the title of the first independent Canadian country artist to reach #1 at radio with his first two singles. Ending 2020 on a high, Miller was nominated for the CCMA ‘Rising Star’ Award, and […]
January 12, 2022

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Jimmy Phair

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: February 26, 1941 – Froomfield [Sarnia], Ontario) (Died: December 31, 2020 – Sarnia, Ontario) (#59 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Jimmy Phair was born February 26, 1941, in Froomfield (near Sarnia, Ontario). He received his first guitar – made from a cigar box – at age four and has never looked back. By the time he was 14, he was guesting on his first radio show, aired out of Marine City, Michigan. Soon afterwards, he was appearing regularly on his hometown radio station CHOK, which led to the hosting of his own radio show on the station. In 1962, Phair took his live show on the road, touring extensively in Ontario, Quebec and into the USA. He often shared […]
January 12, 2022

Canadian Country Artist Discovery: Nice Horse (AB)

Nice Horse is wild: wildly talented, wildly entertaining, fun, fresh, fierce and feisty, and they’ve established themselves as one of the most buzzed-about and fast-rising groups in the Canadian music industry. A live act to be reckoned with, the self-contained all-female group has played high-profile festivals across Canada including Boots & Hearts, Big Valley Jamboree, and the Calgary Stampede, and has performed in Spain and France. They have also toured as direct support for legendary artists such as Tom Cochrane and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The band, made up of Katie Rox (vocals / banjo / acoustic guitar), Brandi Sidoryk (vocals / bass), Tara McLeod (vocals / electric guitar), and Krista Wodelet (vocals / drums), has garnered significant accolades since forming in 2015, including […]
December 17, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Randall Prescott

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: February 6, 1955 – North Bay, Ontario) (#58 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Randall Prescott is in the middle of a rare Canadian country music generational family tree: his father is Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Famer, Irwin Prescott; Randall is himself a multiple Hall of Fame inductee; and more recently, Randall and his wife Tracey Brown (of Family Brown) celebrate with great pride the emergence of their daughter, Kelly Prescott, on the Canadian music scene. That’s three generations of music-makin’ Prescotts. Randall Isaac Prescott was born in North Bay, Ontario. He and brother Ron Prescott followed their father Irwin Prescott when he relocated to Ottawa in 1971. Irwin Prescott founded and operated the famous Golden Rail club […]
November 9, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Tommy Hunter

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: March 20, 1937 – London, Ontario) (#57 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Tommy Hunter has affectionately been dubbed “The Country Gentleman”, thanks largely to a legion of fans he developed through his 27 years of hosting “The Tommy Hunter TV Show” on CBC-TV (1965- 1992). Many of the faithful who followed him on the television show also attended his concerts during his almost-annual tours across Canada. The TV show was unceremoniously cancelled by CBC after 27 years, to the dismay of his fans, who petitioned the CBC for its return, to no avail. Several seasons of the show were also televised on The Nashville Network. At its peak in Canada, the show was drawing a weekly audience in excess […]
November 9, 2021

Canadian Country Artist Discovery: Jade Turner (MB)

With a natural talent for telling stories through music, rising Canadian country artist Jade Turner continues to share and support the Indigenous culture that inspires her. Recognized for her original songwriting and stunning music videos, the member of Misipawistik Cree Nation has already established a diverse audience attracted to her energetic stage presence and singles like “Somehow Someone,” “Hangover Blues,” and “Worth.” “I can only have my own stories, so if I want the music to be true to me, it all has to be coming from my point of view. The stories I tell will be different but I feel we’re all the same in different ways,” she says. “In the communities where I grew up, we’re storytellers and we’ve always been storytellers. Country […]
October 13, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Wayne Rostad

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: October 28, 1947 – Ottawa, Ontario) (#56 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Wayne Rostad has long been one of Canada’s most visible country music entertainers, thanks to his long-running TV series “On The Road Again” – a homespun weekly show that featured vignettes on everyday people and places from all corners of the country. In fact, the TV series was so popular that it interrupted Wayne’s career as a country music recording artist and songwriter. Born October 28, 1947, in Ottawa, Wayne Rostad paid his dues in Canadian country music as a radio DJ at stations in Smiths Falls, Ottawa, and Kingston, Ontario and in Grand Falls, NL. During the 1970s, while in Ontario, Wayne was also the front-man […]
September 14, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Sylvia Tyson

// by Larry Delaney // (born: September 19, 1940 – Chatham, Ontario) (#53 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Sylvia Fricker was born September 19, 1940, in Chatham, Ontario. While still a teenager, she moved to Toronto to pursue her interests in singing and soon crossedpaths with Ian Tyson. Shortly after they met in 1959, they began collaborating vocally and as songwriters, composing songs together and individually. Within the year, they launched the duo Ian & Sylvia, attracting attention to their folk/country music throughout North America, highlighted by what would become a Canadian classic: Four Strong Winds. Sylvia and Ian were married June 26, 1964. They recorded a dozen albums and by the late 1960s, were fronting the country/rock band Great Speckled Bird. During this time, […]
August 5, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: JK Gulley

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: John Ken Gulley – October 11, 1955 – Toronto, Ontario) (#52 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   A guitar whiz since early childhood, JK Gulley first performed professionally in support of Canadian artist Alfie Fromager, then became a founding member of the country group Dusty Road (with Les Childs and Brian Callan). The trio released a self-titled LP (Thunderbird Records) which featured five songs written by Gulley. JK Gulley next joined the Ontario-based group Whiskey River, and by the late 1970s, was playing lead guitar in Billie Jo Spear’s Nashville touring band, with his first show date with the band taking place at the 1979 Wembley Festival in England. Following a near three-year stint with Spears, JK moved on […]

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