Foster Marr was born in Chatham in 1914 and educated at St. Thomas College , Chatham and the Halifax Academy.
He came to Saint John shortly after graduation and was a tenor soloist at St. David's, St. Andrews and Centenary Queen Square churches until 1939 when he joined the First Canadian Division Signal Corps at the beginning of World War II. In October that year he married Molly Gray and in December sailed for England . He served there and in Sicily , Italy and continental Europe until VE Day.
Following the war he joined the staff of CFNB Fredericton as an announcer. A year and a half later he moved to CHSJ Radio and TV in Saint John and hosted the Maritime Farmers Barn Dance, the Kidd Baker and Earl Mitton TV Shows. During that time he traveled all over New Brunswick and Maine emceeing the Maritime Farmers live performances as well.
After retiring from radio, Foster dropped out of the public eye for a few years but recently resurfaced as emcee of the Ned Landry Show on cable TV. He is currently the official emcee of the monthly Fundy Jamboree at the Bayside Junior High School.
Malcolm "Mac" Brogan
Mac was born in 1930 at Chipman, New Brunswick and grew up in that mining town on the banks of Grand Lake . He started playing for dances at the age of 12 as a guitar picker and switched to fiddle at 16 to become leader of the Casa Lomo Dance Band and was soon playing on CFNB's Capitol Co-op Jamboree over radio as well.
Mac's father, Hiram, was his first fiddle instructor but Mac makes no secret of the fact that he loved and practiced Don Messer's style.
Mac and his wife, Gladys, are proud parents of eight children. Their living room is decorated with over 50 trophies he has won over the years as well as many cash prizes and gifts. The trophies are from nearly every yearly fiddle contest this province has offered in the past forty years.
The trophies include five wins at The Provincial in St. Antoine , New Brunswick . He was winner of the Don Messer Trophy for the years 1986 and 1989; it is awarded yearly to the resident Maritime Fiddler with the most points in every category. The point of his competing was winning the Maritime Open at Dartmouth in 1986.
In recent years, Mac has appeared on Chipman and Minto TV for Christmas telethons, firemen, cancer research, minor hockey and other benefits.
Mac cut an album in 1984 of 14 favorite tunes entitled: Grand Lake Fiddling. He has composed a number of tunes as well, one of which, the Wilfred Bishop Breakdown was included on the lp.
He was one of the few Maritime fiddlers asked to compete in the Canadian Grand Masters Championship in Nepean , Ontario last year.
(Mac has passed away since the time of this bio)
The Marionettes, Jean and Nan Irvine with Bobby Foster, two sisters and a “younger” aunt, came together in one house when Colby Irvine, the sisters' father, a fine musician, died in 1941 at the age of 39. At that time they went to live with their grandmother.
All three girls made musical appearances previously but now they began singing together with Bobbie supplying guitar accompaniment.
They appeared on amateur shows and went to Saint John for CHSJ Radio's Uncle Bill show. Appearances on CFNB Fredericton followed; they sang Bob Nolan's “Cool Water” and after the switch board “lit up”, they were asked to do a twice weekly 15 minute program over the station.
Their theme song became “There's An Old Windmill By a Waterfall” and each program featured a song from the pop charts, one oldie, one country and western song and each closed with a hymn.
The Marionettes were the first trio in Fredericton to “go professional” but it all came to an end gradually as the two sisters Jean and Nan graduated and all three girls married in the early fifties. During their four years of live performances and radio broadcasting they made a lasting impression on hundreds of fans.
(The Marionettes have passed away since the time of this bio)
Harold O'Donnell was born at Millstream in 1925. He began playing at the age of seven and a year later was entertaining at fairs, concerts and in kitchens for miles around.
From 14 years of age, until 26, Harold worked in the woods, then moved to Ontario where he played clubs, dance halls and social gatherings at nights while working regularly at construction. He married while there and in the early sixties moved back to Norton, New Brunswick.
A band he formed, the Northern Lights, played around southern New Brunswick for several years before changing their name to Country Clover. In 1970 Harold took a regular job that restricted his playing time and two of his sons...he is the father of eight musical sons and daughters...took over the band and for five years in the eighties played backup for Joan Kennedy.
In 1984, Harold entered open competitions for the first time, taking prizes at the ANE, N.B. Old Time Fiddling and Maritime Old Time Fiddling contests. A year later, he won the Maritime Open Fiddling title.
In recent years, because of ill health, Harold has confined his personal appearances to the Norton-Sussex area.
(Harold has passed away since the time of this bio)
Winston Crawford was born at Parlee Brook near Sussex in 1941. His father played accordion, harmonica and fiddle and Winston began playing guitar at eight to accompany him. He received his first fiddle as a gift just before his twelfth birthday. With the help of his father, a neighbour Sammy Stephenson and others Winston developed a very distinctive style
In his mid-teens while a family band he had formed with three brothers were playing dances on weekends in and around Sussex, Winston taught himself to play bagpipes making the band suddenly very popular at parades as well.
In 1965, Winston married and his wife Edie began backing the group on piano. Three children, two boys and a girl were born to them. Following the tragic death of their daughter Ann Marie aged three and a half, Winston and Edie immersed themselves even more in music and in the seventies Winston was in a constant whirl of dances and shows. But in the 80's he decided to extend his horizons and entered a number of fiddling contests. He won the prestigious Johnny Mooring Memorial trophy two years in a row, an ANE first and several others.
In 1982 the group cut their first LP and Winston won the Maritime Open in Dartmouth . In 1983 he dropped out of competitions to spend more time composing and recording. He also traveled more extensively doing mini-tours of Ontario and Eastern Canada . He released his second LP in 1984; this one included three original tunes, the first had included six. In 1989 he released an 8-tune cassette side on a tape shared with a young PEI fiddler.
Winston also started a new musical involvement: he began teaching a class of eight aspiring fiddlers. That class has grown until presently it numbers 62, ages five to 75. He accepts little remuneration for this; it is simply his way of helping keep old-time music alive. "Pat" O'Hara was raised in