Archive for December, 2009

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Bob Lucier 1978

December 17, 2009

Artist: Anne Murray
Release: Let’s Keep It That Way
Year: 1978
Chatham ConnectionAnne’s steel guitar player is Bob Lucier, who is originally from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe).

Notes: Let’s Keep It That Way is a 1978 studio album by Anne Murray. On the Canadian charts, the album topped both the country and pop album charts. In the U.S., the album returned Murray to the top ten on the country album charts, a place she had not been since 1974’s Highly Prized Possession; on the pop album charts, the album reached #12 (it would ultimately be the highest charting album of Murray’s career on the pop album charts).

  Two singles were released from the album: a cover of the Everly Brothers’ hit “Walk Right Back”, which reached #4 on the U.S. country singles charts. The second single released, “You Needed Me”, would ultimately become one of the biggest hits of Murray’s career, topping all three Canadian charts; in the U.S. it reached #1 on the U.S. pop singles charts (becoming Murray’s sole chart-topper on the Hot 100 charts), as well as #4 on the country singles charts, and #3 on the A/C charts.

Track listing
1
.Let’s Keep It That Way
2.Walk Right Back
3.Just To Feel This Love From You
4.We Don’t Make Love Anymore
5.I Still Wish The Very Best For You
6.You Needed Me
7.You’re A Part Of Me
8.Hold Me Tight
9.Tennessee Waltz
10.There’s Always A Goodbye

Musicians
Keyboards – Pat Riccio, Jr/Brian Gatto
Drums & Percussion – Jorn Anderson
Bass – Peter Cardinali
Guitars – Aidan Mason/Brian Russell/Bob Man
Steel Guitar & Dobro – Bob Lucier
Strings & Horns arranged by Rick Wilkins & Peter Cardinali

Bob Lucier also plays steel guitar on another album released this year. He is on Stormin’ Norman & Suzy’s 1974 release “Ocean of love”.

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Bobby Lucier 2005

December 17, 2009

Group: Bobby Lucier and Mel Aucoin
Release: 88 & 10
Circa: 2005
Genre: Country Music

Chatham-Kent Connection: Bob Lucier is originally from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe).

Notes: Bob and Mel played on the Tommy Hunter Show for many years. Their amazing musical talents have set the standard for country music throughout the years in Canada.

Chatham’s own Mike Francis (“Pepe”) plays acoustic and electric guitar. Mike has made a name for himself in the music business as a producer for major acts. His Father is Ray Francis, known for his solo records, and his days with the Whippoorwills.

Tracks
1.
Big Beaver 2. Tennessee waltz 3. So afraid of losing you again 4. Don’t know why
5. Silver wings 6. Behind closed doors 7. Song for Alice 8. King of the road
9. It Don’t hurt anymore 10. Some day soon 11. Blue eyes crying in the rain 12. Lonestar

John Hughey writes Liner Notes for this CD
Hi folks,
For those of you who don’t know Bob Lucier, don’t know what you’ve missed thru the years and for those of you who do know him know him as a great person and a very talented musician. 
I’ve known Bob for a great many years now and consider him a very good friend.
But, the main reason I am here is to tell you about Bob’s new CD. He sent me a preview copy and I am very impressed.  He is like a great wine, he gets better with age.
Bob, I think the CD is great and it’s one that everyone should have in their “play all of the time”
collection. I know it will be in mine. Good luck with your continued success.
“God Bless”…John Hughey

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Music Store Moves 2003

December 16, 2009

 

Store: Frank’s Music Centre
Established: 1961
Location: 75 King Street West, Chatham Ontario

Specializing in:
Large selection of sheet music
Comfortable and quiet lesson rooms
Full line instrument sales and service
PA rentals – Eyrespace Studios

  In 2003, Franks Music Centre moved just down the road on King Street to better serve their customers. The store has been serving Chatham since 1961. Frank’s is also a great place to take drum, piano or guitar lessons in Chatham Ontario.
 For more info about what the store has to offer you, call Steve and Bob at the store today
.
519-352-7370

  For further info, click on the photo above.

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Bob Lucier 2001

December 16, 2009

Artist: Anne Murray
Release: What a Wonderful Christmas
Release: I’ll Always Love You/Somebody’s Waiting
Year: 2001
Chatham ConnectionAnne’s steel guitar player is Bob Lucier who is originally from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe).

Notes: In 2001, Bob’s pedal steel playing was heard on two separate releases by Ann Murray. The beautiful Christmas album is where Ann shines.  The other release is a double release of ‘out of print’ albums recorded on Capitol Records in 1978 and 1980. It includes her hit “What’s Forever For”, and two popular 60’s covers including “Daydream Believer” and “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You.”

About Anne Murray: Over the years, Anne’s recordings have seldom been off the charts. She has sold close to 50 million albums and has won countless awards. However, Anne Murray is more than just a Canadian icon. Her warm voice and well-loved songs have become woven into the fabric of our lives.

About Bob Lucier: Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability.  Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show” while it aired on the CBC television network from the mid ’70’s until its demise. He was also the first steel guitarist with the famous Johnny Burke and Eastwind.  Before that, he played in Bill Anderson’s “Po’ Boys band”, “Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires”, and a few others. Bob’s steel guitar playing is on many of Ann Murrays albums recorded through the years.

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Bobby Lucier 2008

December 15, 2009


Artist
: Anne Murray
Release: Christmas Album
Year: 2008
Chatham ConnectionAnne’s steel guitar player is Bob Lucier who is originally from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe).

Album Description
The Canadian released CD also comes with a Bonus DVD
Anne Murray’s Christmas Album, a new collection features 10 of Anne Murray’s holiday favourites previously released on Anne’s other Christmas albums along with four new recordings, including “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, a brand new duet with Michael Buble. As an added bonus, this new collection includes a previously unreleased duet with Diana Krall.

About Anne Murray: Over the years, Anne’s recordings have seldom been off the charts. She has sold close to 50 million albums and has won countless awards. However, Anne Murray is more than just a Canadian icon. Her warm voice and well-loved songs have become woven into the fabric of our lives.

About Bob Lucier: Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability.  Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show” while it aired on the CBC television network from the mid ’70’s until its demise. He was also the first steel guitarist with the famous Johnny Burke and Eastwind.  Before that, he played in Bill Anderson’s “Po’ Boys band”, “Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires”, and a few others. Bob’s steel guitar playing is on many of Ann Murrays albums recorded through the years.

Tracks
1. Joy To the World 
2. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow 
3. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (new) 
4. Away In A Manger 
5. Silver Bells 
6. O Come All Ye Faithful 
7. Winter Wonderland 
8. Jingle Bell Rock (new) 
9. White Christmas 
10. O Holy Night 
11. Blue Christmas (new) 
12. Go Tell It On The Mountain 
13. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Michael Bublé) (new) 
14. Silent NightBonus Track: 
15. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Duet with Diana Krall)(previously un-released) 
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Shot Jackson and Bob Lucier 1985

December 15, 2009

Band: Shot Jackson and Bob Lucier
Release: Sail Along
Circa: 1985
Genre: Country
Label: Condor Records
Home: Bob is from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe)

Members:
Shot Jackson (Dobro)
Bob Lucier (Pedal Steel)

Tracks 
1 Straight ahead  2 Cold cold heart  3 Have I told you lately that I love you  4 Kentucky waltz  5 Love is no excuse  6 Funky cannonball  7 Take these chains  8 We could  9 Green green grass of home  10 There goes my everything  11 Until the next teardrop falls  12 Daydreams about night things  13 Sail along  14 Moonlight bay  15 Slowly  16 There’ll be no teardrops tonight  17 She thinks I still care  18 Sweet dreams  19 City lights

This hard to find album features these two fine dobro / sho-bro players. Various songs feature Bob Lucier on the Dual-16 String Sho-Bud.

About Bob Lucier: Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability.  Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show” while it aired on the CBC television network from the mid ’70’s until its demise. He was also the first steel guitarist with the famous Johnny Burke and Eastwind.  Before that, he played in Bill Anderson’s “Po’ Boys band”, “Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires”, and a few others. Bob’s steel guitar playing appears on countless records over the years, with his session work. Of note, is Bob’s many records done with the world famous Canadian singer Ann Murray.

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Dan Noordermeer 2009

December 15, 2009


Artist
: Jeff Healey
Release: Songs from the Road
Year: 2009
Genre: Blues Rock
Chatham ConnectionGuitarist Dan Noordermeer is from Chatham.

Band:
Jeff Healey (vocals, guitar)
Dan Noordermeer (vocals, guitar)
Dave Murphy (vocals, keyboards)
Alec Fraser (vocals)
Al Webster (drums).

Tracks:
I Think I Love You Too Much, I’m Ready, Stop Breaking Down, Angel Eyes, Come Together, Hoochie Coochie Man, White Room, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Whipping Post, Teach Your Children Well, Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me)

About Dan: Guitarist extraordinaire Dan Noordermeer has also been performing in the “Dave Murphy Band” for almost a decade, and continues to dazzle audiences with his formidable talents. Originally from Chatham, Dan now resides in Hamilton. Dan is known for his Samson-like mane of hair and his wicked sense of humour. Unlikely as it seems, Dan was a full time country musician for many years before joining the band. But for those familiar with his playing it’s no surprise, since he has an uncanny ability to play every style of music with incredible authenticity, passion and virtuosity. 

CD Notes:
Appearing almost 18 months after Jeff Healey’s death, Songs from the Road is the first posthumous disc from Jeff Healey. Collecting highlights from his 2006 performance at Norway’s Nottoden Blues Festival, plus 2007 gigs in London and Toronto (the latter in his hometown club, the Jeff Healey Roadhouse), Songs from the Road paints a good portrait of Healey the road warrior, playing old favorites, both of his own and a wide variety of classic rock and blues artists, including Muddy Waters and two from the Beatles. Healey doesn’t surprise here, either in repertoire or attack, but he does satisfy, both as a guitarist and an all-around entertainer, making this collection a nice coda to his career.   
* Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Watch the video below of Dan with Jeff in Norway, performing Jeff’s hit single “Angel Eyes”. Live at Notodden Blues Festival August 2006.

If video does not appear, watch it here.

Preview the CD here.
Visit Dan here.  
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Dan Noordermeer 2008

December 14, 2009

Artist: Jeff Healey
Release: Mess of Blues
Year: 2008
Genre: Blues Rock
Chatham ConnectionGuitarist Dan Noordermeer is from Chatham.

May 2009: Jeff Healey’s “Mess of Blues” wins Rock Blues Album Of The Year at the 30th Annual Blues Awards in Memphis, TN THE BLUES FOUNDATION.

2009 JUNO AWARDS : “Mess of Blues” Nominated for “Blues Album Of The Year”

  The band continues to perform and keeping Jeff’s music alive at festivals throughout the world.
Touring worldwide with Jeff Healey since 2002 Dave Murphy, Dan Nordermeer, Alec Fraser, & Al Webster recorded his final album in London England & Toronto Canada entitled “Mess of Blues”.

Tracks:
01. I’m Torn Down,  02. How Blue Can You Get  03. Sugar Sweet  04. Jambalaya  05. The Weight  06. Mess O’ Blues  07. It’s Only Money  08. Like A Hurricane  09. Sittin’ On Top Of The World 10. Shake, Ratte And Roll

About Dan: Guitarist extraordinaire Dan Noordermeer has also been performing in the “Dave Murphy Band” for almost a decade, and continues to dazzle audiences with his formidable talents. Originally from Chatham, Dan now resides in Hamilton. Dan is known for his Samson-like mane of hair and his wicked sense of humour. Unlikely as it seems, Dan was a full time country musician for many years before joining the band. But for those familiar with his playing it’s no surprise, since he has an uncanny ability to play every style of music with incredible authenticity, passion and virtuosity. www.davemurphyband.com

Notes: Mess of Blues contains ten cuts, all of them chosen by Healey from what he considered “audience favorites,” rather than his own or his fine band’s preferred tunes. Four of these were recorded in front of audiences at the Islington Academy in London and, appropriately enough, at Healey’s Roadhouse (his club) in Toronto. The other six were cut at Studio 92 in Canada by Norm Barker and Richard Uglow.

Click on video below to watch


If video does not appear, watch it here.

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Bob on Steel Guitar 1979

December 13, 2009

Anne Murray Album

Artist: Anne Murray
Release: New Kind of Feeling
Year: 1979
Genre: Country
Chatham ConnectionBob Lucier plays steel guitar on this album,  and many other Anne Murray albums. Bob is from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe).

Tracks: 1. Shadows In The Moonlight   2. You’ve Got What It Takes  3. I Just Fall In Love Again  4. Take This Heart  5. Yucatan Café  6. For No Reason At All  7. Rainin’ In My Heart  8. That’s Why I Love You  9. (He Can’t Help It If) He’s Not You 10. Heaven Is Here

About Anne Murray: Over the years, Anne’s recordings have seldom been off the charts. She has sold close to 50 million albums and has won countless awards. However, Anne Murray is more than just a Canadian icon. Her warm voice and well-loved songs have become woven into the fabric of our lives.

About Bob Lucier: Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability.  Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show” while it aired on the CBC television network from the mid ’70’s until its demise. He was also the first steel guitarist with the famous Johnny Burke and Eastwind.  Before that, he played in Bill Anderson’s “Po’ Boys band”, “Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires”, and a few others. Bob’s steel guitar playing is on many of Ann Murrays albums recorded through the years.

Buy or preview this release online here.

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Bob Lucier Steel Guitar 2002

December 13, 2009

Name: Bob Lucier
CD Release: Eleven Favorites
Circa: 2002
Genre: Country

Home: Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe)
Resides: Toronto area

About Bob: Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability. Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show”  when it aired  on the CBC television network in Canada for many years.

Gordie Tapp From ‘Hee Haw’ Writes Liner Notes For CD   In 1952, when we started Main Street Jamboree, I became deeply engrossed in Country Music.
I heard my first steel guitar in the hands of Bobby Wingrove and Lloyd Banks. It rapidly became my favorite instrument. In 1969 I arrived in Nashville to begin Hee Haw and thought I’d gone to steel guitar heaven. I worked with such famous names as Curly Chalker, Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, John Hughey etc… When I talked to them about their instruments and abilities they told me there was a guy up in Canada who had equal ability. 
  I returned to Canada to guest on a well received Country TV show and met the young man they were talking about. If you ask Bobby Lucier for a sixteen bar turnaround he makes it sound like a symphony but not at the expense of your vocal presentation and the audience leaves thinking how great you are because of the intricate steel guitar background he provides.
  He features four string harmony melodies with just a touch of two of his favorites, Jimmy Day and Weldon Myrick, but it’s his own interpretations that makes him unique.
  A master steel guitar technician. A master of Cabinetry (his real income). I’m glad he’s presenting this new C.D.. May I introduce to you Bobby Lucier.
Enjoy!    Gordie Tapp

Tracks
1.
Pick Me Up (On Your Way Down) C. Walker
2. Fraulein (Lawton Williams)
3. Workin’ Man Blues (Merle Haggard)
4. I Fall To Pieces (H. Cochrane & H. Howard)
5. Fool Such As I (William Trader)
6. Magnum (Bob Lucier, SOCAN)
7. Pass Me By (Hillman Hall)
8. Blues For Felix (C. Byrd)
9. Alright I’ll Sign The Papers (M. Tillis)
10. My Special Angel (Jimmy Duncan)
11. Lonesome 77203 (Justin Tubb)

Engineered & Mixed by: Doug Deveaux
Cover photo: Brian Carnahan
Produced By : Bob Lucier & Mel Aucoin 
All Arrangements By: Bob Lucier

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Bob Lucier 1991

December 12, 2009

Northern Steel CD

Compilation CD: Northern Steel
Release: Northern Steel  1
Date: 1991
Genre: Country (Steel Guitar)

  Brilliant steel guitar player Bob Lucier, from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe),  leads off this CD produced by Bob Taillefer. The disc contains performances by some of Canada’s top steel guitarists.

Tracks:
1. Lonesome 77203 – Bob Lucier
2.
Honky Tonk Night Time Man – Dale Rivard, Andy Schick
3. Desperado – Steve Smith
4. All My Loving – Al Brisco
5. Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – John Lacey
6. Raisin’ The Dickins – Rusty Walker
7. Kindly Keep It Country – Doug Johnson
8. Chasing Paul – Roy Thomson
9. I’d Rather Have You Fat And Happy – Al Bragg
10. Cry – Burke Carroll
11. One Smokey Rose – Bob Taillefer
12. Moonglow – Bob Wingrove
13. Silver Haired Daddy of Mine – Mike Holder
14. PC Blues – Paul Cockburn, Doug Johnson, Steve Smith
15. Hot Burrito #1 – Neil Flanz
16. Freddie the Freeloader – Bob Taillefer
17. Ghostbusters – Ed Ringwald (PeeWee Charles)
18. Canadian Farewell – Roy Thomson

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Bob Lucier Album Nerves of Steel

December 12, 2009

Click on pictures to enlarge them

Artist: Bob Lucier
Album: Nerves of Steel
Circa: 1976
Genre: Country
Instrument: Steel guitar
Home: Bob is from Chatham Ontario (Grande Pointe)

Note: Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability.  Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show” when it aired  on the CBC television network in Canada for many years.

This album contains original works and material by other artists.

1. HEY GOOD LOOKIN’ 
2. YOU AND ME B
3. CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
4. C’MON SON (Bob Lucier)
5. THE HOMECOMING
6. FLOWERS ON THE WALL
7. HAPPY WORLD (Bob Lucier)
8. THE WAY WE WERE
9. JAMAICAN STEEL
10. MY PLEASURE (Bob Lucier)
11. I CAN’T HELP IT
12. TOO HIGH Stevie Wonder

Click on the video below to play the album preview.

If video does not appear, watch it here.

* Bob also plays steel guitar this year on:
Jesse Winchester’s album “Let the Rough Side Drag”, 1976
.

Bill Amesbury – Can You Feel It – Bill signed with Yorkville Records in 1973 and made  several singles in 1973-1974. After one non-charting single, the second – “Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do)” – went to #1 in Canada and did well in many countries. In 1999, it received a SOCAN Classic award for 100,000 radio plays. Bill’s success attracted Neil Bogart, who was starting up the Casablanca label. While KISS were the first signing, Bill Amesbury had the first record on the label, with the US issue of “Virginia.” This led to an album, “Jus’ A Taste Of The Kid” (1974). In 1976, Bill signed with Capitol and made one album, “Can You Feel It,” featuring the contributions of some of the finest session musicians in Canada. Bill had great success in England with his records on the Power Exchange label. His songs were discovered by other artists such as Long John Baldry, Natalie Cole and Mitch Ryder, who covered them on their albums. There were no further records by Bill Amesbury. He underwent sex-reassignment surgery and has been Barbara Amesbury for a quarter-century now. Barbara is a patron of the arts in Toronto, a filmmaker and social activist.

Visit Bob, or buy his music online here.
http://www.ambrec.com/boblucier/

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Shot Jackson and Bob Lucier 1974

December 12, 2009

Click pic to enlarge

Artists: Shot Jackson and Bob Lucier
Release:  Straight Ahead (Instrumental Sho-Bro and Steel Guitar)
Circa: 1974
Genre: Country Instrumental Music

Home: Bob Lucier is from Chatham-Kent (Grande Pointe).

Members:
Bob Lucier – Steel Guitar
Shot Jackson – Dobro

Tracks:
1. THE FUNKY WABASH CANNONBALL
2. TAKE THESE CHAINS
3. THE TENNESSEE WALTZ
4. WE COULD
5. GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME
6. STRAIGHT AHEAD
7. COLD COLD HEART
8. SHE THINKS I STILL CARE
9. KENTUCKY WALTZ
10. LOVE IS NO EXCUSE

  Bobby Lucier has been a leader in steel guitar and is world renowned for his unique style and ability. 
Bob was the resident Steel Player for “The Tommy Hunter Show” from the mid 70’s until its demise.  The popular show aired on CBC in Canada. 
 Bob was also the first steel guitarist with the famous Johnny Burke and Eastwind, before that, he played in Bill Anderson’s “Po’ Boys band”, Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires, among a few others. He performed and recorded on several of Country Star Anne Murray’s releases. As a session player, Bob’s steel  playing  appears on a countless number of releases by various artists over the years.

  Shot Jackson (born Harold Jackson, September 4, 1920–January 24, 1991) was a country music guitarist best known for playing Dobro and pedal steel guitar. He also designed and manufactured guitars under the name Sho-Bud. He became known as the “King of the Dobro”.

Recordings: In 1974, Bob Lucier also played steel guitar on David Essig’s  debut album entitled “Redbird Country”.

Preview the album in the video below.

If video does not appear, watch it here.

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Nexus 1969

December 11, 2009

Band: Nexus
Year: 1969
Style: local original rock music and covers

Note: Popular local band of the time.

Members:
Mark Tremblay – Organ
Byron Stoehr – Bass
Raymond Violot – Vocals, Harmonica
Rick Chrysler – Drums
Tom Lockwood – Gibson Guitar

    Nexus is a very young band who writes their own music and performs songs by other artists including Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jeff Beck, Hendrix, and more.
    The band chose not to write your typical popular commercial radio music, they enjoyed experimenting and creating jam sessions.
 Nexus did some original recording in a Toronto studio.

The members would go on to become some of the most highly respected and talented musicians from Chatham.
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Wilf Lancaster Retires 1970

December 11, 2009

Click the pictures above to enlarge

Musician: Wilf Lancaster
Position: Band leader and drummer
Year: 1970

The following news was written in the CDN Monday November 2nd 1970. The concert advertisement ran in the CDN around the same period. No Author name posted.

Wilf Lancaster Retiring Big Band Sound Goes On

   Wilf Lancaster is retiring as leader of Chatham’s best known orchestral group, but the “big band sound” he initiated will linger on.
  Mr. Lancaster, who will pack up his drums following the band’s engagement at the Pyranon Ballroom Nov. 13th, has decided to listen to his physician, who told him “You will have to give up something”. His work at the International Harvester and Chatham Blueprinting has precedence, he says, so the band work has to be curtailed.
    However, his name will still be connected with the band, which was reactivated four years ago following a long lay off. Fred Foster has been named musical director and Dr. W. Pritchard business manager.
    During the last four years the band has played 27 engagements to more than 13,000 fans.
    “I’m glad the band will carry on and I am flattered they are going to use my name”. Mr. Lancaster said today.  “But it is going to be hard to quit because it has been  a tremendous thrill having such a grand group and playing for the best audiences in the world”.
     Mr. Lancaster said he played his first summer engagement at a resort on Lake of Bays in 1930, which makes more than 40 years of music.

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River Road 1983

December 11, 2009

Click on above photos to enlarge them

Band: River Road
Year: 1983
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Uptown Country Music

Members:
Ray Violot – Keyboards and Guitar
Mike Crone – Bass
Dan Noordermeer – Guitar
Ron Baldwin – Drums

  River Road performed at the Kingsway allot and were all highly skilled players.
  At about this time, Ray began to slow down with the band performances and took on single shows in piano bars. Ray was very talented and played several instruments. He began playing in the Chatham Concert band in 1985 playing the stand up sting bass, percussion, and guitar. He also became busy with University.

  Mike Crone would join Manpower in 1985, who would become one of the longest running bands in Chatham.

  Dan chose to leave town to pursue music full time. He eventually joined Jeff Healey’s blues band touring Europe and elsewhere. He was the second guitar player on a couple Jeff Healy CD’s released before Jeff’s tragic loss to cancer in 2008. Dan was also in the house band at Jeff Healy’s bar in Toronto which saw famous special musical guests almost every weekend. Noted as one of the best bar bands in the world for their diversity and skill in musicianship, Dan’s skill has landed him some of the finest jams with many stars.

2007 – Dan Noordermeer in the Jeff Healey Blues Band

If video does not appear, watch it here.

2009 Update: Guitarist extraordinaire Dan Noordermeer continues to dazzle audiences with his formidable talents. Originally from Chatham, Dan now resides in Hamilton. Dan is known for his Samson-like mane of hair and his wicked sense of humour. Unlikely as it seems, Dan was a full time country musician for many years before joining the band. But for those familiar with his playing it’s no surprise, since he has an uncanny ability to play every style of music with incredible authenticity, passion and virtuosity. Dan Noordermeer has been with The Dave Murphy Band for almost a decade.

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Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires Debut LP 1968

December 9, 2009

Click on above pictures to enlarge

Band: The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires
Release: Self Titled
Format: LP Album
Year: 1968
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country Music

Members: (L-R on album cover)
Roland Myers – Bass and vocal harmonies
Roland Lozon – Violin and second lead guitar
Oscar Demers – Lead guitar
Ray Trahan – Drummer
Ray Myers – Lead singer and rhythm guitar

This is the groups debut record and contains four original songs and six covers. Original songs are #2,3,7, and 9.

Songs:
01. Okie from Muskogee 02. Karen 03. Waiting 04. Down on the bayou 05. Country road 06. Kiss an angel good morning 07. Once in awhile 08. Woman woman 09. People People People 10. Me and Bobby McGee

Album notes:

The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires have been together since 1960 and have enjoyed playing with such artists as: Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Hank Snow, David Houston, Skeeter Davis (back-up) , Merna Lorrie, and Charlie Walker (back-up). They also made a guest appearance on the Ernest Tubb Record Show in Nashville, Tennessee, The Group are all members of Local 582, A.F. of M. Chatham, Ontario.

The Myers Brothers

Ray Myers: Born Sept. 22, 1937
Roland Myers: Born August 2, 1940
    The Myers Brothers, Ray and Roland, started singing together at the ages of ten and seven respectively. They won a talent contest in their early teens and then made regular guest appearances on the Casey Clarke Jamboree for two years. They formed their own country group which played many engagements around their home town of Chatham, Ontario. They joined the Jubilaires in 1960. Many memorable appearances followed including several on the CKNX Barn Dance out of Wingham, Ontario.

The Jubilaires

Oscar Demers: Born Nov. 9, 1942
    Oscar started playing guitar at 13 years of age and has developed an unusual style of making a Spanish guitar sound like a steel guitar. Many people are puzzled at this steel sound until he shows them how it’s done. He is equally at home on bass and drums, and a fine vocalist as well.

Roland Lozon: Born Mar. 3, 1940
    Roland started in guitar at 12 years of age and Violin a year later. He joined with Oscar in 1956 to form the original Jubilaires. His favourite Violinist is Frank Rogers and he also likes hearing and playing Chet Atkins. He played piano on this record.

Ray Trahan: Born Dec. 12, 1943
    Ray started playing drums in High School. He joined the Jubilaires in 1963 and since then learned to do vocals and play rhythm guitar. Out of the five Ray is the only one who is sports minded, which varies from: Hockey, Baseball, Guitar, Cars, Golf etc.

(The album notes Ray as being the only “sports minded” member may be misleading, as others are also involved in sports.)


If video does not appear, watch it here.

Engineered by: Ken Friesen
Recorded at Sound Canada
Cover photography by: Jayne Carroll
Album coordinator: Jeff Snider
Vintage Records

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Front Page News Circa 1987

December 9, 2009

Click on photo to enlarge

Band: Front Page News
Year: 1987
Circa: 1984-1989
Home: Chatham-Kent
Live: Performs covers of Country and popular music.

Members
(L-R)
Roland Lozon – Lead guitar, fiddle
Ernie Jenkins – Drums
Doug Colletti – Synthesizer guitar 
J.P. Marchand – Vocals, rhythm guitar
Brad James – Vocals, rhythm guitar
John MacTavish – Vocals, keyboards
Floyd Bobier – Vocals, bass

    The band is mainly the final incarnation of the Jubilaires II. They changed their name to ‘Front Page News’ to fit their change in musical direction and current song list. Roland Lozon retires in the coming years but has been through all phases of this groups roots including “The Jubilaires”, “The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires”, “Jubilaires II”, and “Front Page News”.

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Jubilaires II circa 1985

December 9, 2009


Click on the pictures above to enlarge

Band: The Jubilaires II
Circa: 1985
Genre: Country, pop
Home: Chatham

Members:
(L-R back row)
J.P. Marchand – Rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals
Marc Lozon – Drums
John MacTavish – Keyboards,  vocals
(L-R front row)
Roland Lozon – Lead guitar, Violin, occasionally banjo
Brad James – Rhythm Guitar, vocals
Doug Colletti – Vocals, bass

  Doug is from London and joins the band on bass guitar. He is another great player and has previously played in the local band Maple Shade.

  The band continues to play several clubs, bars, and dances. One of the  high lights include the Mohawk Country Jamboree in 1983, where they share the stage with acts such as Tommy Hunter, Rudy Davis, and Conway Twitty.
  A long lasting tradition for the members is to perform at the Belle River Singing and Fiddle Contest. The Jubilaires II performed this event from 1982 to around 1987. The event draws thousands of people from all around.
  The band goes on to change their name to “Front Page News” around 1987-88.

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Jubilaires II 1982

December 9, 2009

Jubilaires II

Click on the pictures above to enlarge

Band: The Jubilaires II
Year: 1981
Genre: Country, pop
Home: Chatham

Members:
(L-R back row)
Floyd Bobier – Bass, vocals
J.P. Marchand – R. guitar, harmonica, vocals
John MacTavish – Keyboards, Synthesizer, strings, vocals
(L-R middle row)
Brad James – R. guitar, vocals
Marc Lozon – Drums
(L-R front row)
Roland Lozon – L. guitar, Violin, banjo, mandolin

Note: Roland’s son becomes the drummer.
  The group performs in the “Stars of the Grand Ole Opry Show” that includes acts such as Ray Price, Charlie McCoy, and Faron Young. The Jubilaires II also back up Jan Howard and Ronnie Robbins for many of the Opry shows.  Another great show the band does is The Mohawk Country Jamboree in Shelburne Ontario which featured The Oak Ridge Boys and Don Williams.

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Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires 1969

December 8, 2009

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.

Band: The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires
Year: 1969
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country .

Members:
Ray Myers – Vocals and acoustic Guitar
Ray Trahan – Drums
Oscar Demers – Lead guitar
Roland Myers – Bass and vocals
Roland Lozon – Second lead guitar, fiddle

 The group release a bunch of singles on record this year including originals such as “I Don’t Need You Anymore”, “I’m So Lonely”, Teardrops-Heartaches”, and “I Can’t Stand This Silence Any Longer”.

  In 1973 they completed an eleven day tour with the Donna Fargo Show as back-up band for Jan Howard. Miss Howard was noted as saying “The Myers Bros. And the Jubilaires” were one of the best Canadian Country and Western groups she has had the pleasure of working with. It  is references such as this that keep the group in constant demand.
  Circa 1969-1974, the band has performed with or backed up such artists as Marty Robbins (over 20 times), Hank Snow (over 20 times),  Skeeter Davis, Charlie Walker, Minnie Pearl, Gordy Tapp, and Ronnie Robbins.

Click on video below to play it.

If video does not appear, watch it here.

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Jubilaires II album 1981

December 8, 2009

Click on the pictures above to enlarge

Band: The Jubilaires II
Release: Country Horizons
Year: 1981
Home: Chatham Ontario

Note: The band chose to record some of their favourite cover songs for this album. They played a lot in 1981, including shows with Charlie Pride and some radio concert series for BX.93 Country Roads.

Members:
(L-R in band photo)
Brad James – R. guitar, vocals (Highgate)
J.P. Marchand – R. guitar, harmonica, vocals (Tilbury)
Roland Lozon – L. guitar, Violin, banjo, mandolin (Pain Court)
Ray Trahan – Drums, vocals (Grande Point)
John MacTavish – Keyboards, Synthesizer, strings, vocals (Glencoe)
Floyd Bobier – Bass, vocals (St. Thomas)

Tracks:
01. Workin’ man blues
02. Last cheater’s waltz
03. Colour my word
04. Rocky top
05. Drivin’ my life away
06. The devil went down to Georgia
07. Blue eyes crying in the rain
08. She believes in me
09. We can’t go on (Living like this)
10. Dig a little deeper (In the well)

Engineered by: Richard Janik. Recorded and mixed in Windsor.

Notes on back cover of LP:
    The Jubilaires II aren’t your “every day” country group. Their variety of musical tastes and stylings stem from years of individual experience. Two years ago, these fine musicians and singers set out on the long road to creating that “new” country sound.
    Performing on numerous instruments and topping it all with dynamic vocal deliveries, these six entertainers have made the Jubilaires II favourites everywhere they appear.
    Listen to their album; feel the energy and vitality of their stage performances captured in a studio environment.
  Listen, and add yourself to the quickly growing number of Jubilaires fans.
Bob Bean, Vice President Joy-Bean Records.

  The group is the second carnation of the Jubilaires. The original Jubilaires formed in 1956, then around 1960 the Myers brothers joined them which led to the name change “The Myers Brothers and The Jubilaires. Around 1978-79 the Myers Brothers left and the Jubilaires continued on as the Jubilaires II. 

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Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires 1978

December 8, 2009

Click photo to enlarge

Band: The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires
Year: 1978-1979
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country.

Members:
Ray Trahan – Drums
Patricia-Gail Lozon – Vocals
Ray Myers – Vocals and  rhythm guitar
Ernie Marchand – Pedal steel
Roland Myers – Bass and vocals
Roland Lozon – Lead guitar, fiddle

  While the band continues to perform at local clubs and events, they have been landing big shows and new experiences to their enjoyment of being musicians.
 
  In 1978 and 1979, the band was on the bill for some of the biggest country music shows in Canada. They were Canadian guests for the travelling “Grand Ole Opry Show. In 1978, they played Halifax, Moncton and Fredericton in (June 16, 17, 18). In March of 1979, they played Kitchener and the London Gardens. The big show included Grant Turner, MINNIE PEARL, Stonewall Jackson, Archie Campbell, Jeanne Pruett, Red Sovine, Jim and Jesse, The Stonemans, Jack Greene, Jeanne Seely, Marie Bottrell, Jimmy C. Newman, Penny DeHaven, Ray Pillow, Charlie Walker, Roy Drusky, Ronny Robbins, Tammy Wynette, The Stoney Mountain Cloggers. Canadian Guests included “Roger Quick and the Rainbows”, and “The Myers Brothers and The Jubilaires”.

  1979 also marked when the guys became involved with the Belle River Singing and Fiddle Contest held annually. The event consistently draws thousands of people and involves musicians from far and wide.
From 1979 to 1981 they performed under their current band name. They would go on to play the event until 1989 under their future band names “Jubilaires II” and “Front Page News”.

Note: The group released an LP in 1968 and many singles (45rpm’s) the following year.

By S.Beaulieu

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Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires 1976

December 7, 2009

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.

Band: The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires
Year: 1976
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country.

Members:
Ray Trahan – Drums
Patricia-Gail Lozon – Vocals
Ray Myers – Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Ernie Marchand – Pedal Steel
Roland Myers – Bass and vocals
Roland Lozon – Lead Guitar, Fiddle

    In 1975 and 1976 at the Clinton Fair, The Myers Bros. and The Jubilaires backed up Jamey Ryan, Jan Howard and also Canadian stars, Al Cherny and Maurice Bolyer. (Canada’s king of the banjo) They also appeared at Canadian Centennials in Wallaceburg, Palmerston and Ridgetown. Along with Hank Snow, they opened a new arena at Thamesford, Ontario.
    In June of 1976, the group did the Marty Robbins Tour. This included the Leamington Arena, Owen Sound Arena, Brantford Civic Centre, London Gardens, Guthrie, and Pt. Edward Memorial Arena. Other high lights included backing up  Don Gibson at the Windsor Arena.

  In 1977, The Myers Brothers and The Jubilaires played the Marty Robbins Show and Dance for the second year in a row. The night also included singer Diane Jordon. The dates were as follows:
Sept. 7th Chatham Memorial Arena
Sept. 8thNorth Middlesex Arena, Parkhill
Sept. 9thTillsonburg Memorial Arena

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The Jubilaires Form

December 7, 2009

Click on the pictures above to enlarge

Band: The Jubilaires
Year: 1956
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country
Formed: 1956

Members (L-R)
Lionel Richie – Drums
Oscar Demers – Rhythm guitar
Roland Lozon – Fiddle
Oscar Benoit – Lead guitar.

Circa: 1956 – 1961

  The Jubilaires have a long history that lasted through many decades.

 The original line-up was an instrumental group that put on their own dances in order to perform live.
They rented an old hall, which was originally for hay storage on the second floor of a horse stable in Pain Court, next to the Dover Hotel. Posters were made, a bouncer was hired and a refreshment booth was set up. When the “Bunny Hop” was played, the floor would bounce and it was concern for the band that the crowd would go through the floor. Lots of dust would fly up at each hop. There were no chairs and tables, just a board along the side walls.

  For the very first dance, the boys cleaned the hall on Wednesday, decorated it on Thursday, played it on Friday night, and cleaned it up on Saturday. They took the profit of $18 and split it 6 ways. These go getters put on a dance every Friday from June 30th to November 30, 1956. 
 
Sam Lozon did join the band as the singer and guitarist circa 1957 and decided to retire from music.

 During performances, the band would usually spot two female singers. Doreen Lecuyer and Louella Demers (Oscar’s sister)

In 1960, The Myers Brothers joined the band resulting in a name change toMyers Brothers and the Jubilaires (The)”.  After that long run, they became known as the Jubilaires II, followed by a brief and final line-up called “Front Page News”.

By: S Beaulieu and R. Lozon

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Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires 1964

December 7, 2009

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.

Band: The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires
Year: 1964
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country.

Members:
Ray Myers – Vocals and acoustic Guitar
Ray Trahan – Drums
Oscar Demers – Lead guitar
Roland Myers – Bass and vocals
Roland Lozon – Second lead guitar

Notes: In 1963,  the drummer retired and Ray Trahan took over the position for the group.
  The band continues to host their own radio show every Saturday night on CFCO radio.
  In 1967, the band does seven consecutive Saturdays Nights doing a one hour radio show for CKNX in Wingham, followed by a show and dance. The band begins to rack up shows supporting major acts from Nashville and the popularity of the band is growing in their live show attendance.

 Pedal steel player Bob Lucier (Grande Pointe), moved to Toronto, and then learned to play the instrument, and within a year he had recorded an album with Nashville Dobro player Shot Jackson. Bob then went on the road with Bill Anderson (approx. one to one and a half years), then came back and joined The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires for the year of 1967. He moved back to Toronto and joined the Tommy Hunter Show for roughly 20 years.

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Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires Begin

December 7, 2009

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.

Band: The Myers Brothers and the Jubilaires
Circa: 1960-1963
Home: Chatham Ontario

Members:
Ray Myers , Lionel Richie, Oscar Demers, Roland Myers, Roland Lozon

   Ray and Roland Myers joined the Jubilaires in circa 1960/1961. Ray and Roland started singing together at the ages of ten and seven respectively.

  This group had their own half hour radio show on CFCO that ran from Oct. 13th 1962 to June 6th 1965. This was a broadcast that happened every Saturday night along side Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills show.

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Harvest circa 1980

December 6, 2009

 

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.

Band: Harvest
Home: Chatham Ontario
Circa: 1980
Formed: 1979

Genre: popular rock songs of the day along with some older material (60s, 70s).

Members:
Tom Lockwood – guitar
John McMahon – drums
Marc Haslip  – Bass/vocals
Ray Violot – keyboards/guitar/vocals

The above pictures are circa 1979-81.
Ray and Marc joined after ‘Maple Shade’.
Around this time, Tom became a guitar teacher at Musical Strings ‘N’ Things.
The original guitar player in Harvest was Tony Bandoni. Tom Lockwood replaced Tony in 1980.
The band is made up of some of the top players in town. The roots of the band was made up of “Maple Shade”.

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Rockstock 2008

December 5, 2009

(Click on above pictures to enlarge)

Event: Rockstock
Place: Chatham Airport
City: Chatham Ontario Canada
Date: Saturday August 16th 2008

 “We’re shutting down the airport to bring you the biggest concert that Chatham Kent has ever seen!
Presented on over one million square feet of land, with a one and a half acre beer tent, 10+ big name bands, and a massive licenced drinking area for all you beer monsters.
Don’t miss the biggest party this summer!”

 2008 was the inaugural concert, with headliners such as Finger Eleven, Sloan, The Trews and Thornley. Around 6,000 people attended this event.

Line Up Main Stage
• 1:45-2:15 – Miclordz (main stage)
• 2:45-3:15 – The Peace Leeches (main) (local band)
• 3:45-4:15 – Flatlined (main)
• 4:45-5:15 – Rides Again (main)
• 5:45-6:30 – Thornley (main)
• 7-7:45 – The Trews (main)
• 8:15-9 – Sloan (main)
• 9:30-10:30 – Finger Eleven (main)

Line Up Side Stage
• 1:10-1:35 – Silvercade (side stage)
• 2:15-2:40 – Finding Core (side) (Local Band)
• 3:15-3:40 – Dead End Charlie (side) (Local Band)
• 4:15-4:40 – Punish Them (side)
• 5:15-5:40 – Kid Gib (side)
• 6:30-6:55 – Bury The Bully (side)
• 7:45-8:10 – Mean Tangerine (side)
• 9-9:30 – Citizen Erased (side)

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Ray Francis and Lucy Schaefer 2009

December 4, 2009

Click on picture to enlarge it

Duo: Ray Francis and Lucy Schaefer
Year: 2009
Genre: Country Music

The musically talented duo performs at Churches and nursing homes around Chatham Ontario.

  Ray Francis, 78, has been writing and performing music for over 60 years. He has released six records and earned success in the 1960’S and 1970’S as a recording artist, entertainer, and radio star.
  Ray is a true world class musician and human being who lives and breathes music with a passion that cannot be denied. He continues to bring smiles to his audiences with his talent, sincerity, humour, and just plain likeability.

To learn more about Ray’s music, please visit previous posts in the Chatham Music Archive.

Ray’s Discography:
Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963 – Country Jamboree
The Whippoorwills – 1964 – The Whippoorwills
Ray Francis – 1973 – The Country Way
Ray Francis – 1973 – An Olde Tyme Christmas
Ray Francis – 1974 – Two Sides of Country
Ray Francis – 1975 – The Good Old Days

Ray also played with The Rancheros.

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Ray Francis The Good Old Days 1975

December 4, 2009

Click on the above picture to enlarge

Artist: Ray Francis
Release: The Good Old Days
Format: LP Album
Year: 1975
Home: Chatham Ontario Canada
Label: Condor
Number: A-977-1450
Genre: Country Music

    The record includes four original songs by Ray Francis. Rays son Mike (Pepe) Francis is a noted producer on this record and plays guitar on it. Mike is one of Canada’s most accomplished studio musicians.

Discography:
Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963 – Country Jamboree
The Whippoorwills – 1964 – The Whippoorwills
Ray Francis – 1973 – The Country Way
Ray Francis – 1973 – An Olde Tyme Christmas
Ray Francis – 1974 – Two Sides of Country
Ray Francis – 1975 – The Good Old Days

Cover Photo: Marjon Studios

Tracks
01
. Little bit of Heaven (Ray Francis)
02. Movin’ on (Merle Haggard)
03. Never gone to stay (Larry Douglas)
04. Good Old Days (Ray Francis)
05. Hell hath no fury (Shirl Milette)
06. Out of my mind (Ray Francis)
07. Here’s your roses Mary Ann (R. Schiafe/D. Hogan)
08. Only too glad (Ray Francis)
09. Cryin’ every night (Shirl Milette)
10. Before the next teardrop falls (V. Keith/B. Peters)

Producer: Bob Spooner and Mike Francis.

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Ray Francis Two Sides of Country LP

December 4, 2009

Click on the above picture to enlarge

Artist: Ray Francis
Release: Two Sides of Country
Format: LP Album
Year: Circa 1974
Home: Chatham Ontario Canada

Label: Condor
Distribution: Marathon Music INC.
Number: 977-1404
Genre: Country Music

Notes: Ray Francis was born Feb 9th 1931 in Chatham.

Back Cover Notes:
    Outside the city of Chatham, Ontario, on a small farm, a thirteen year old boy by the name of Ray Francis started strumming chords on his first guitar.
    Ray’s love of country music was greatly influenced by picking up from his radio the famous ‘Grand Ole Opry’ show from WSM Nashville, Tennessee, every Saturday night.
    By the time Ray was in his twenties, he had formed his own band. With his increasing popularity with the fans, Ray was constantly being booked for club and stage appearances. Later the youngster who had only heard the stars of ‘The Grand Ole Opry’ on radio, now found himself appearing onstage with many of these same stars.
    Ray’s versatility as a performer, musician, comedian, and writer has brought him recognition on both sides of the border.
    As a performer myself, I would hate to follow Ray’s show onstage. His ability to impersonate many of the Nashville artists plus come back and sing his own originals, is the true sign of a great overall performer.
    The makings of a great entertainer is like baking a cake. You take a handful of sincerity, a touch of comedy, a warm personality, and a great love for country music and you have my friend, Ray Francis.
 Columbia Recording Artist Dallas Harms

Tracks
01
. Forbidden lovers (Stanton-Walker)
02. I knew her then (R. Francis – Doug Springsted)
03. Who’s Julie
04. One nite stand (R.ay Francis)
05. Laura
06. Just let me know (Ray Francis)
07. Margie’s at the Lincoln Park Inn
08. Sweet misery (Ray Francis – Mike Francis)
09. Anita you’re dreaming
10. The downward side of lonesome (R. Francis)
11. If Ginny knew (Ray Francis)
12. In a mansion

Discography as of 1973:
Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963 – Country Jamboree
The Whippoorwills – 1964 – The Whippoorwills
Ray Francis – 1973 – The Countrey Way
Ray Francis – 1973 – An Olde Tyme Christmas
Ray Francis – 1974 – Two Sides of Country

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Ray Francis Christmas Album

December 4, 2009

Click on the above picture to enlarge

Artist: Ray Francis
Release: An Olde Tyme Christmas
Format: LP Album
Year: 1973

Home: Chatham Ontario Canada
Label: Marathon Music INC.
Genre: Country Music
Cover photo by: John Haslip

Discography as of 1973:
Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963 – Country Jamboree
The Whippoorwills – 1964 – The Whippoorwills
Ray Francis -1973 – The Countrey Way
Ray Francis – 1973 – An Olde Tyme Christmas

Liner Notes from Ray Francis.
  Here is a selection of Christmas Songs that have long been favourites of mine year after year.
  In this album you will experience the many moods of Christmas from Joy and Hope, Love and Laughter, to Peace on Earth and Good Will to all men.
  I hope there is something for everyone in the twelve songs of Christams I have chosen for both the young and the old.
  A Merry Christmas to one and all.
Ray Francis

Ray was born Feb. 9th 1931.

Album Cover: The sisters on the album cover are Angela (Front) and Denise (Back). They are the daughters of Roland Lozon (The Jubilaires).

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Ray Francis The Country Way Album

December 4, 2009

Ray Francis Cover

Click on the above picture to enlarge

Band: Ray Francis
Release: The Country Way
Format: LP Album
Year: 1973
Label: Marathon Music
Genre: Country Music

This is the first solo record from Ray Francis. He had recorded two records previously under the name “Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills”.

Tracks
Side one
:
01. Grazing in the greener pastures
02. Drinking champagne
03. Deep water
04. I’ll be there
05. Happy tracks
06. Running gun
Side two:
07. Restless woman
08. If you leave me
09. Son of hickory holler’s tramp
10. You can take the boy out of the country
11. Four in the morning
12. Black jack

Cover Photo by: John Haslip

  This debut solo record charted number one on radio. From coast to coast, the first single “Restless Women” did very well especially on the east coast. This song was an original that Ray had co-wrote and was not sure if it would make it on the album, but the record label liked it and rightfully so.
  Ray had told me how he first heard it on the radio while driving home on the 401. He pulled over. He called his record company to see if they knew it was being played. He was informed that it was tracked and being played all over the country. The musician is always the last to know, and this is the perfect example. S. Beaulieu.

Liner Notes:
      In a world of music, there is the entertainer and there is the singer, Ray Francis is both.
     Ray Francis the entertainer, is a well known name throughout Southern Ontario…where he has been performing since the late 1950’s. He formed his first band, The Whippoorwills which soon gained the reputation of the best country band throughout the area. The group often appeared on “Opry” shows and for awhile the boys toured the U.S.A.
     Ray was offered a job playing drums and fronting the Gary Buck band, so he moved his wife and son to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Being constantly on the road and away from his family wasn’t the life for Ray so after a few months he moved back to Southern Ontario taking a job outside the music business. However his love of entertaining soon became strong again, so he formed another band and with his teenaged son, Mike, as lead guitarist. Shortly after Mike was offered a full time job in the music industry, so the band was dissolved. Ray joined another local group, The Rancheros (1973). The band enjoys a great success and is constantly in demand.
    As one of the best “Front men” in the business today, Ray is always in demand to M.C. and his impersonations are always a hit of any show. As an entertainer he is superb.
    This is Ray’s first album and listening to his beautiful rendition of “If you leave me tonight I’ll cry”, you’ll hear Ray the ballad singer. He’s equally at home with Country as witness, “Running Gun”. Listen to Ray the composer as he does his own “Restless Woman”. In face just buy this album and give yourself a treat.
     I’m proud to have had this chance to introduce you to my friend, Ray Francis… all ‘round great person…husband…father…singer…composer and most of all entertainer.
Marilynne Caswell, M.C. Talent Agency. London Ontario.

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The Whippoorwills 1964

December 3, 2009

Click on the above picture to enlarge

Band: The Whippoorwills
Release: The Whippoorwills
Format: LP Album
Year: 1964
Formed: 1958
Disbanded: late 1964
Home: Chatham Ontario Canada

Label: Canatal Records
Genre: Country Music

Members:
Ray Francis – Rythm guitar
Bill Taylor – Drums
John Tangelis – Bass
Ray Dauphin – Tenor guitar
Max Dauphin – Steel guitar and fiddle

Tracks:
01.Honey lovin’ (Bollington)
02.When two worlds collide (Roger Miller and Bill Anderson)
03.Lost in the islands (Reg Dauphin)
04.A wound time can’t erase (B. Johnson)
05.Ridin’ high (Max Dauphin)
06.Little darlin’ (John Tangelis)
07.Drivin’ nails in my coffin (Jerry Irby)
08.Dead end twist ( William S. Taylor)
09.What would you do (Jim Reeves)
10.South of the border ( Carr and Kennedy)
11.Tears broke out on me ( Hank Cochrane)
12.Tears will fall ( Ray Francis)

This is the second of two releases.

Liner Notes:
    Most country music lovers in Canada and the U.S. have heard of Ray Francis and his western group – “The Whippoorwills”.

    Ray and “The Whippoorwills” have appeared on the best loved country shows, including “Grand Old Opry”, with such well known artists as Brenda Lee, Ferlin Husky, Minnie Pearl, Tex Ritter and others of equal fame.
   
    This versatile country and western group are constantly touring and making personal appearances, in both counties.

    The vocal and instrumental selections recorded were carefully chosen and they feature the melodic sound of the steel guitar, which adds greatly to the rounded blend of this album. The groups first love is the type of music they recorded on this album.

    Standing in the studio in their stocking feet, Ray Francis and his men played one of the finest western and country sessions we have ever heard. Why not share it with us?
Art Snider – Canatal Records.

Note: After this second album, Ray chose a solo career, recording four more albums and appeared on many TV shows.

Recorded at: Newberry Sound Studio LTD.
Engineer: Dave Newberry and Art Snider
Produced by: Art Snider
Cover Photo: Robert Ragsdale, assisted by Margaret Epp
 
About Ray:
  Ray bought his first guitar at the age of 13 and taught himself how to play by watching others in his area, including men living in railroad cars. Ray lived on Edgar Street which was behind the rail road station in Chatham. These train carts were home to men who worked for the rail road but travelled from city to city with their work. Ray would watch them play guitar then ask them to show him how to play that new chord he never saw before. He would then rush home and practice it until he got it down.

  After a long run of it, the road took its toll on him and he decided to walk away from it all to be home with family and take on a job in his home town. Ray’s son Michael is one of Canada’s most accomplished studio musicians and carries the legacy on. S. Beaulieu

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Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963

December 3, 2009


Click on the above picture to enlarge

Band: Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills
Release: Country Jamboree
Format: LP Album
Year: 1963
Formed: 1958
Label: Arc Records
Genre: Country Music

Ray Francis on vocals on side one.
01
. Crying In The Deep Blue Sea
02. I’ve Got A Right To Know
03. A House With Everything But Love
04. I’ll Kiss The Fast GoodBye
05. The Same Old Me
06. All Over Again

John Tengelis on vocals on side two.
07
. Toujour Moi
08. I Can’t Run Away From Myself
09. Three Hearts In A Triangle
10. Anymore
11. A Dime Worth Of Dreams
12. Carribean

Band members:
Ray Francis, Bill Taylor, John Tangelis, Ray Dauphin, Max Dauphin

 This is the first of two albums Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills recorded. Ray went on to record four solo records also.

Liner Notes:
  “A recording company in the run of a year auditions many artists in order to find the top talent required for recording. As soon as Arc Records heard Ray Francis and The Whippoorwills they immediately recognized that here was one of the most professional sounding country bands in the land. This long play album is the result”
  The Whippoorwills have been together as a unit for five years and for the past three years have been heard regularly on radio station C.F.C.O. in Chatham, Ontario, the group’s home base. The band has toured with Grand Ole Opry, stars such as Ray Price; Johnny Cash; Brenda Lee and many others, both in Canada and the United States.
  The next goal that Ray Francis and his talented band are aiming for is their own weekly television show, and if talent and showmanship is the key to their goal, they are certain to succeed.

2009 Update by S. Beaulieu
  The band started out making $3 a night in the late 1950’s. They went on to do a weekly radio show for CFCO which ran for five years, beginning in 1960. Francis worked hard and persistently to promote the band to people with connections in the industry. Country star Jim Reeves was quick to help the band when he heard them, stating that they were the best he had heard anywhere in Canada.
  In 1963 they recorded their first LP ‘Country Jamboree’ in Toronto.  In those days, recordings were simply the band circled around a single microphone. There were no overdubs or room for error on a take.  Musicianship mattered.
By researching Ray
   I found and bought this album one day before going to interview Ray. It turns out Ray had a copy of all his albums except this first one. It was posted online from a Holland Street home in Chatham, so I drove over and bought it and then gave it to Ray. I thought that was pretty cool. He gets a copy of his first album, and I get to meet and learn about a local musician who was a real go-getter and made things happen for his music and love of it.

Photography: Des Dollery

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1955 Musical Instrument Teachers

December 1, 2009

    In 1955, Mid-City Music Centre was the host to many high quality musical instructors. The Centre was located on 37 Fourth Street, in Chatham.

    You could go there to learn how to play a variety of instruments including piano (classical and modern) , drums, saxophone, clarinet,  guitar, accordion, trumpet, trombone (several brass instruments), string bass, and violin.

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