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April 9, 2018

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Al Brisco

(by Larry Delaney) Al Brisco’s tasty steel guitar work has been featured on countless albums recorded by many of Canada’s top country recording acts. You can hear his stylish “steelin’” on albums by such notables as Ian Tyson, Tommy Hunter, George Hamilton IV, The Good Brothers, The Cooper Brothers, Gary Buck, Smiley Bates, Gordie Tapp, Sylvia Tyson, Wayne Rostad, Joe Firth, Artie MacLaren, Johnny Burke… and the list goes on and on; with not the least being his steel guitar contribution to the Dick Damron classic, “Countryfied.” Perhaps one of Al Brisco’s more illustrious appearances on a recording goes back to 1972, when he was called upon to add his steel work on the Pure Prairie League album “Bustin’ Out”, recorded at RCA Studios in […]
March 6, 2018

Ronnie Prophet, Canada’s “International” Country Star, Passes On

(by Larry Delaney) One of Canada’s true “international” country music stars has passed away. Ronnie Prophet died March 2, 2018 in Tavares, Florida, following cardiac and kidney failure. He was 80. Ronnie Prophet was born December 26, 1937, in Hawkesbury, Ontario and raised in nearby Calumet, Quebec. His father passed away at age 7, leaving 120 acres and 50 head of cattle for the surviving family to manage. He earned spending money by creating the character Woody The Country Kid, a take-off on the popular cartoon Woody Woodpecker. His talent as an impressionist would later become a focal part of his stage act. While still a teenager he began entertaining at small venues in Montreal, and soon became a highly sought after entertainer working clubs […]
March 6, 2018

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Irwin Prescott

Born: January 17, 1932 – Widdifield (North Bay), Ontario Died: August 8, 1977 – Ottawa, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Irwin Prescott was calling square dances at age 9 and in his late teens, was heading up his own band, The Mell-O-Tones, and hosting his own radio show over CFCN radio in his hometown of North Bay, Ontario. As a recording artist, Irwin Prescott released six albums on the Rodeo/Banff, London and Cheyenne labels, and released singles in the USA on Ambassador Records, while his Canadian releases were largely on the Melbourne Records label. Three of his singles earned national chart action, including his lively version of the Leroy Van Dyke classic “The Auctioneer”, which was a #1 hit in Canada for Prescott in 1966. His […]
January 25, 2018

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Mary Bailey

Born: Evelyn (Mary) Bailey – December 24, 1946 – Toronto, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Mary Bailey earned early experience as a child performer working the Ontario music scene, including guest appearances on the Earl Heywood Show (Wingham) and The Ken Soble Amateur Hour Show (Hamilton). By her early teens, she put the entertainment world on hold, and later, began working as a jewellery fashion designer and Ontario regional manager for the Sarah Coventry Jewellery company. During this time, Mary developed keen skills as a songwriter and by the mid-1970’s, was signed to a recording contract with RCA Victor (Canada), releasing several singles, which earned national airplay and chart positions from 1976-79. These early career hits resulted in a 1977 nomination for Best New Female Artist […]
December 21, 2017

Winners Selected to Open for Brett Kissel on His “We Were That Song” Tour

Countless fans have uploaded videos of themselves performing their favourite Brett Kissel song to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook entering for their chance to #KickItWithKissel this Winter on his ‘We Were That Song’ national tour. The winners have now been selected! Congratulations to our members chosen to open for Brett on the tour dates below: •    Fri, Feb 2 – Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay Community Auditorium – Augusta Ray •    Thu, Feb 22 – Barrie, ON – Georgian Theatre – Nicole Rayy •    Fri, Feb 23 – North Bay, ON – Capitol Centre – The Small Town Girls and Ben Hudson •    Sat, Feb 24 – Sudbury, ON – Fraser Auditorium – Amanda Jordan •    Sun, Feb 25 – Sault Ste Marie, ON – The Machine […]
December 21, 2017

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Jack Kingston

Born: October 4, 1925 – St. Catharines, Ontario Died: May 18, 1996 – St. Catharines, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) As a youngster, Jack Kingston sang in church choirs in his hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario and by his late teens, was performing on CKTB radio (St. Catharines) and formed the country band The Kingston Brothers with his brother Alex Kingston and friend Alex Dalgleish. After the break-up of the group in the late 1940’s, Jack Kingston joined the Wingham, Ontario-based CKNX “Traveling Barn Dance”, where he was nicknamed “The Yodeling Cowboy”. By the early 1950’s, Jack Kingston became the first Canadian country artist to be signed to Capitol Records (Canada), releasing two singles. Soon afterwards, Jack Kingston became a member of the famed Main Street […]
November 17, 2017

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Donna Moon

Born: June 5, 1951 – Madoc, Ontario (by Larry Delaney) Donna Moon was born in the Central Ontario town of Madoc, and launched her singing career as a young teenager with performances at the Lakehead Barndance staged in nearby Peterborough. Donna became affectionately dubbed “The Moon Of Madoc”, and after moving to Toronto in the early 1970’s to pursue her career at the professional level, she soon attracted the attention of Jack Hosier who signed Donna to his Marathon Records label. In 1973, Donna Moon released her debut album with the title track single, “Bittersweet”, quickly attracting radio airplay and the single reaching #2 on the RPM Hit Charts. A follow-up single, “Baby And Me”, also charted, peaking at #29. Donna’s second album on Marathon, a self-titled collection, […]
November 13, 2017

CMAOntario RoadShow Hits Peterborough

CMAONTARIO ROADSHOW: LEARNING EXCHANGE IN PETERBOROUGH Saturday, November 25, 2017 Kawartha Trade & Technology Centre at Fleming College Room 1129 – 599 Brealey Dr., Peterborough, ON On Saturday, November 25th, the CMAOntario RoadShow will be pulling into Fleming College, to host a daylong program of educational seminars. For aspiring music professionals, artists and songwriters, it is a unique opportunity to network with peers and access industry experts with the potential to impact your career. SEND US YOUR DEMO A perennial favourite, the DEMORAMA LISTENING SESSION, provides you with the captive audience you’ve always wanted. Send a demo and get direct feedback from industry professionals – both from a craft and business point of view. Find out what these experts have to say about song structure, lyric writing and generally […]
October 31, 2017

Kick It With Kissel Contest Returns

Want to open for Brett Kissel on his “We Were That Song” tour? Here’s your chance! Submit a video of you performing your favourite Brett Kissel song to win an opportunity to open for him on his We Were That Song tour. Simply record yourself, stating your name, location, and why you want to open for Brett, then rip into your rendition of your favourite Kissel tune. Upload your video to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook by November 26, 2017 using the hashtag “#KickItWithKissel” and tagging CMAOntario. Winners will be announced on December 4, 2017. Contest open to current CMAOntario members for the Ontario dates on the tour.  Brought to you by the Country Music Association of Ontario, Invictus Entertainment, and BK himself. Contest Rules: 1) Winner will […]

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