Rockabilly Part 5 – Canada

The Series (Part 5 Canada)

Rockabilly or Rock and Roll, was very prevalent in my era of the Fifties, in Toronto.  The only problem we had was distribution. 

The small labels like Chess, Specialty took a little longer to be released, so cover records by the big companies were every where, but it was not Rock and Roll.  The First time I heard Tutti Frutti, I just had to have it, but the first recording that was available was by “Pat Boone”, but I waited for the Little Richard version, because it was Rock and Roll.

I guess if Country music is part of the source of the “Rockabilly” then the first Country music I can remember really enjoying and playing over and over was about 1950.  I would be 10. 

Was it the start of Rockabilly? I do not know, but I really loved this singer from Nova Scotia.  He would eventually go to the United States, be a huge part of the Grand Old Oprey, have Elvis and an opening act and introduce Elvis to Col. Tom Parker.  Now the Col. Tom Parker item, I’m still not convinced was great for Elvis.  I found the two songs I listened to, when I was 10, so here is Hank Snow.

Hank Snow
(May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999)
The two songs I remember from 1950, were both #1 on the Country Hit Parade, but I loved them.  Was this part of the Rockabilly sound?
I’m Movin On/ 1950 / Hank Snow
The Golden Rocket / 1950 (my dad played this one all the time and I loved it / Hank Snow
I’ve been Everywhere / recorded in 1962 an Australian Song from 1959 / Hank Snow (another favourite)
Bob and Lucille
/ Lucille Savoie (St. Boniface Manitoba) / Robert Fredericksen (Rolla British Columbia)
Eeny Meeny Miney Moe / 1959 /
(Edmonton Alberta)
Woman Fever / 1957/ Rock-a-Tunes
You’re Some Kind of Nice / 1959 / Rock-a-Tunes
R. Dean Taylor
At the High School Dance / 1960 Toronto / He would of course record Indiana Wants Me, and write Love Child for the Supremes
Jack Bailey & the Naturals
Oh What Love Is / 1961 / Jack Bailey (Peterborough Ontario)
Jim Morrison & the Stripes
Ready to Rock / 1958 Vancouver British Columbia / Jim Morrison (this single is on ebay for $500; it is rare)
The Blue Tones
Shake Shake / 1957 Toronto / (Gary I owned this 45)
Buddy Burke & the Canadian Meteors
That Big Old Moon / 1957 from Toronto (recorded in New York) / again, I bought this one.
The Rhythm Jesters
Rock to the Music / Montreal Quebec 1956 / recorded in New York

Dickie Damron’s 1957 debut single is considered by many to be one of the best and rarest in first generation Rockabilly.  He was born in Bentley Alberta and his father was an old time Fiddler.

Gonna Have a Party / 1959 / apparently the value of the single is around $2000.
Rockin’ Baby / late 1959 /

Born in Jacquet River, NB, in 1937, Ted Daigle has enjoyed successful careers on the Canadian music scene as a recording artist/performer, Radio Personality, Music Director and Program Director.

Ted’s radio career began in Canada at CKBC in Bathurst in 1956, and it was here, in the station’s studios that his very first recording session took place.

After stints at CJLX in Thunder Bay and CFGM in Toronto, Ted settled in at CKOY and CKBY in Ottawa, where, in 1972, he founded the first full-time country radio station in the Nation’s Capital. CKBY-FM would go on to become the most listened to country music station in Canada.

His 25-year tenure at CKBY included the introduction of many special projects benefiting Canadian country music artists and the music industry, as well as the community at large, and he is recognized for his outstanding leadership in the visioning, creation, production and execution of the award-winning Christmas In The Valley radio series and album releases.

Ted’s relentless efforts to promote country music in Canada have made him one of the Nation’s most honored broadcasters, with these awards from the Canadian Country Music Association

  • Program Director of the Year,
  • Music Director of the Year,
  • Deejay of the Year and
  • Radio Station of the Year

as well as induction into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame.

He is also a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Half Century Club.

In his dual role as both performer (numerous albums, charted singles) and radio personality, Ted has interviewed and shared the stage with most of country music’s legendary artists, many of whom credit him for their own early career radio success.

Ted currently programs Country Classics for CBC’s continuous music network, now heard in over six million homes across Canada.

This is a very small look at some very rare songs, that came from Canadian Musicians at the start
of the Rock and Roll Era. 

2 responses to “Rockabilly Part 5 – Canada

  1. Great to see some recognition of Canadian artists………Thanks Gary.

  2. Nice work, Gary. Most of the stuff was a couple of years before my interest in rock. Russ told me that Buddy Burke ran a ‘Lighting Unlimited’ store in Barrie but apparently, it closed down. Don Doyle who lives in Nobleton played guitar on ‘At The High School Dance’ and worked extensively with R. Dean Taylor until he left for Motown. I vaguely recall Dick Damron. Jack Bailey And The Bailiffs were at The Edison many times in the 70’s. Apparently there is a park named after him in his native Peterborough. He died quite a while back. I remember The Count Victors with Danny Harrison on lead vocal with ‘ Baby, What You Want Me To Do’ , a Jimmy Reed cover. Also, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice ?’ by Johhny Rhythm was a good tune for 1962. A lot of guys emerged in the 60’s. I always wanted to track down Bob Drysdale of The Atlantics. I mentioned them in my book. T hey reheared at 967 Weston Rd and they were fabulous to my young ears. Let me know about part 6. All the best, Gary…………Ron.

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