Bob Nolan was born on the Belleisle near Hatfield's Point on April 1, 1908 . In his teens, he moved to Arizona with his father. He was profoundly moved by the look and feel of the west, and wrote western poetry for both his high school and college newspapers. He drifted to Southern California in the late 1920's. There he set many of his poems to music. After appearing with several groups, he and two others formed The Pioneer Trio.
He changed his name from Robert Clarence Nobles to Bob Nolan. Another member of the group, Leonard Slye, also changed his name. He became famous as Roy Rogers. The third member of the trio was Tim Spencer. Later they were joined by Hugh and Karl Farr and the group became known as The Sons of the Pioneers.
Along with their harmony, the song writing of Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer made the group stand out. “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”, and “Cool Water” have become classics.
He left the world an exceptionally rich legacy of classic western songs, hundreds of records and radio transcriptions and over 100 movies in which he had acting and singing parts.
Bob Nolan died on June 16, 1980 , at his home in Southern California .
Charlie Russell was born on July 11, 1937 in Nelson-Miramichi. He came from a musical family. He began playing the harmonica at the age of nine and soon graduated to guitar and accordion. He sang and performed around his home town for years. As a teenager he helped form a dance band called “The Gators”. His first professional appearance came in 1958 when he played guitar behind folksinger Alan Mills who was giving a concert during the Miramichi Folk Song Festival.
In 1966, Charlie entered and won the Maine-MaritimesHootenay Championship in Woodstock . He was singing the satirical folksong, “Duffy's Hotel”. Charlie was to make an enviable reputation with satirical songs.
His debut as a disc jockey came in 1969 while working as comptroller of radio station CJCJ in Woodstock . He took over the shift when one of the DJ's left and continued doing this as well as his comptroller's job until 1983. During this period, he did a great deal to promote Canadian country music artists and in 1975 received the first Country DJ Of The Year for Canada award.
About this time he began to be recognized for his satirical song writing. He wrote and recorded “The Bricklin”. While the car failed, the song became a hit. Other hits include “On Parliament Hill”, and “Let's Bring the Ponies Back”. He has written more than 50 songs. A learned paper on “Goodtime Charlie and the Bricklin” was presented at the Canadian Historical Association in 1977.
Charlie's no longer a DJ, but he's still writing songs, and plans to do more performing and recording.
The Bunkhouse Boys were probably the most popular local country group ever to operate around Moncton . The long running radio and TV show spanned nearly two decades. It was one of the few Maritime shows ever to attract a national sponsor.
(Charlie has passed away since the writing of this bio)
The Bunkhouse Boys
The Bunkhouse Boys got their start in 1944 when brothers Len, Laurie and Gerry Myers organized their own band. They called themselves the Lone Star Boys and quickly became popular around the “Hub City ”.
In 1946 they were signed to a weekly radio show over CKCW Moncton. The Myers brothers changed their name to The Bunkhouse Boys for their new radio show. Later they began appearing at various centres as well as in rural community halls staging jamborees and dances.
By December, 1954, when CKCW began its first telecasting, it was natural the first live weekly music program would be The Bunkhouse Boys. Soon the program was carried on the CBC Atlantic Network and was sponsored by the Quaker Oats Company of Canada . This company produced several records, pictures and mementos of the Bunkhouse Boys which they offered for sale.
At the height of their popularity, the band featured Gerry Myers, guitar and vocals; Jimmy Chapman, vocals, mandolin and fiddle; Florence Brown, vocals; Angus Robichaud, fiddle; Pat Doiron, lead guitar; Bill Bud, steel guitar and Armand “Curly” Richard on accordion.
Perry W. Craft was born on March 30, 1928 , in Cambridge , Queens Co., NB. Perry first became interested in “Country Music” when he listened to Don Messer and His New Brunswick Lumberjacks on the radio. This influenced him to take violin lessons. He quickly became bored with classical music and decided to apply what he had learned to playing country music. By the time he was 16, he was playing for dances all around the country.
In 1948, he joined the Maritime Farmer Barn Dance Band in Saint John . They had a half-hour radio show each Saturday night and played for dances four to six nights a week. They also toured Nova Scotia playing at various locations throughout the province. In 1957, the band had a half-hour show on CHSJ-TV each week.
Perry's work forced him to give up band work in 1958, but he continued to play and enter competitions when his work permitted. He still plays for special functions and gatherings around the province.
Perry took first place in the Fiddle Contest at the Atlantic National Exhibition in 1967 and 1968 and second place in 1982 and 1983.
Perry and his wife Marilyn live in Quispamsis. They have two children, Mrs. Barbara Lowney and Dr. James Craft, both of Saint John .
Geraldine (Kennedy) Copeland
Geraldine remembers composing her first poem at age 10 for a school Christmas Play. It was called, Gift of God”. Since then she has written hundreds of poems, as well as books, and has over 500 songs placed with BMJ. A number of her songs have been recorded and performed by name artists. “Jerry” first heard her songs performed over radio when the late Karl Loftstrom sang them over his show on Radio Station CFNB. They included “Where The Stars in God's Crown Shine Forever”, “The Answer to You're Alone In Your Mansion On The Hilltop”, and “Once, Only Once”.
Her most famous song, “The Rose Upon the Bible”, was included on an LP by Stu Davis in the late 1950's and later was recorded by Don Messer and His Islanders. This song was always sung by Marg Osborne and Charlie Chamberlain on Messer's Mothers' Day TV Show. Some of the other artists to perform her songs are: Russ Wheeler, Allan Sherwood, Aubrey Hanson and Bob Rowan.
In 1941 she married Lewis Copeland and they have resided in the Chipman area for many years. The Copelands have four sons and one daughter.
Geraldine is active in church and community work. She has been an organizer of two Kindness Clubs and has had poems published in many publications. One of her books is called “Mellow Memories”. At present a complete manuscript of all her works is being published. It is titled, “Sunbeams, Dewdrops and Petals”.
The founder of the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame was born in Fredericton and has lived here all his life. He first started playing the guitar when he was six and has added the mouth organ, banjo and mandolin, plus a little on a few other instruments since then.
His first professional jobs were with Bert Creagan and Ned Landry, among others. He was a close friend and associate of the late Karl Lofstrom.
For many years, every Saturday night has found Aubrey playing for a dance somewhere in New Brunswick . He played the banjo with the Smokey Mokes Minstrel Show and toured with the group when they traveled. He also spent many years as a drummer with The Pipe Band of the Fredericton
St . Andrews Society.
For over twenty-five years, his 6:35 am Saturday radio show has gone forth over Radio Station CFNB and has listeners all over the Maritime Provinces.
One of the highlights of Aubrey's career was touring with Wilf Carter in 1978. He has also appeared with Don Messer, “Doc” Williams, and many others.
Still active with his band, The Country Ramblers, Aubrey plays many shows and dance dates. He has had three record albums released, the latest of which is, “Aubrey Hanson, A Maritime Legend”.
(Aubrey has passed away since the writing of this bio.)