Wishing all my friends here in Canada a super-fantastic Canada Day!
There’s been a lot of hoopla around this one, it being #Canada150 and all. Some of that seems somewhat artificial, but that’s OK. Even though we have our share of issues to grapple with here in Canada, we have plenty to celebrate. Canada is a great place to live and I feel both thankful and fortunate.
I’ve been leading up to Canada Day on this blog by celebrating some of our Canadian fiddle traditions. I’ll continue that today by sharing some tunes by the late great Ward Allen, starting with his first recording, The Maple Leaf Two-Step. It was recorded in 1953 as a 78. The flip side had another great tune, the C.N.E. Breakdown.
Ward Allen was born in Kirkton Ontario, near London, in 1924 and passed in Hull Quebec in 1965. He started fiddling at 12 years old. He became a champion fiddle player, toured with Wilf Carter in the 50s and was even inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, in 1965. There are many of Mr. Allen’s tunes available to listen to on YouTube – check them out. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any film of him playing. If it exists I don’t think it is posted anywhere.
I’ll leave you with one more, Ward Allen’s most famous tune, which has become a fiddle standard everywhere – Maple Sugar.
Happy Canada Day everyone.