Balfour "Balf" Bailey
Balfour "Balf" Bailey was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick on April 29, 1929. He began playing drums in 1945 with the Air Cadet Band at age 16. About this time, Aubrey Hanson formed a band and Balf has been with him all these years.
Balf and Aubrey played for many country dances, shows, jamborees, radio, TV and public ceremonies. He has been drumming about 55 years, mostly in country music.
He has performed with many fiddle players including Earl Mitton and Ned Landry and has backed up celebrities like Marg Osbourne, Gordie Tapp, Freddy McKenna and Doc Williams, to name a few. He also played drums with the St. Andrews Pipe Band for seventeen years.
Other part-time bands Balf has played in were: Walter McGinn, Garnet Kelly, Audrey Barker, Paul Yerxa, Jimmy Foster, Gordon McAllister, Don McCAusland and Nick Devries. These were in big dance bands, jazz trio work, vaudeville, German oompa and Dixieland music.
Balf is married to the former Mavis Morehouse and they have three children – Peter, Heather and Karen.
Robert "Bob" Barry
Robert "Bob" Barry was born in Cross Creek, NB on June 23, 1927. His music career began when he started piano lessons at age 12 with the Sisters of Charity at Rosary Hall. He spent one year with them and then the next four and a half years he studied the Mill Conservatory Classical Music Program under Professor Smith. It was during this time that his love for country music started to emerge as he would turn on the radio and chord along with The Don Messer Show. Professor Smith soon realized that Bob’s interest was not in Classical studies, so he encouraged Bob to pursue his passion for country music.
Bob played with many local groups during the war years including his first country dance in Boiestown with Johnnie Larsen.
At age 21, Bob became the Director of St. Anthony’s Church Choir, a position he held for over 50 years. In 1948 he joined the Earl Mitton band and enjoyed many happy years playing for dances and jamborees as well as performing on TV and radio. In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, Bob formed a trio with Al Goguen and Al Troy. They played at various clubs throughout Fredericton until the mid ‘70’s when he joined Lloyd Crawford’s five-piece band.
In 1977 Bob’s work with the CNR took him out of the Fredericton area and for the next four years, he didn’t touch a piano until Aubrey Hanson “dug him out of the mothballs” in 198. Bob has enjoyed the past 17 fun-filled years playing with the group at various functions and finds it very rewarding when entertaining the shut-ins at nursing homes and hospitals.
Bob is married to the former Valerie Nearin and they have six children – Theresa, Susan, Brian, Sharon, David and Maureen.
Roy M. Alward
Roy M. Alward was born on a farm in Lower Ridge in the Havelock area of New Brunswick on October 10, 1910.
Roy learned to play the Jews Harp as a young boy and later bought his first guitar for ten dollars and learned to play it in any spare time he could find. Later he was able to play the guitar, mouth organ and drums as a one-man band.
In 1939 when war broke out, he formed a small band. They played for entertainment and raised money for the war effort. They later increased the number to eleven and called themselves, “The Rainbow Ranch”. With his guidance they played for dances, concerts and many community events. Roy gave of his time and musical abilities to help others to become involved in the musical field.
He also had a love for horses and from scratch trained a pinto to do numerous tricks, kneeling, counting by stomping his hoof and answering numerous questions by nodding his head. He travelled and was a special attraction at many shows in the Maritimes with the logo, “Roy and his Famous Trick Horse, Scout”. During his lifetime he entertained many people with his music and trick horse.
Roy died on August 25, 1978.
Don Cluffwas born in Woodstock, NB and spent most of his early life on a farm in Richmond Corner, about six miles from Woodstock. Don loved fiddle music from an early age. He especially liked Don Messer's fiddling. When he was 12, Don got his first fiddle from the Eaton's Catalogue. He taught himself how to play from the tunes he had heard and memorized.
For years he played only for his own enjoyment among family and friends. It was not until the 1960's that he got involved in playing for dances. Don, along with his late brother, Allan, who played the piano, formed a dance band. Joining them in the band was Jack Sibley, who had moved to Woodstock from Nova Scotia. As part of the band, Don played different instruments: fiddle, guitar, drums and saxophone.
Don was also a member of the Woodstock Militia Band in the 1960's playing saxophone as well as in the Woodstock Town Band while it existed. As a band member, Don participated in various parades in New Brunswick and Maine. In his many years of music, Don also sang at weddings, funerals and is presently a member of Saint James United Church Choir, where he has sung tenor for 30 years. He was also a member of the Woodstock Barbershoppers and was a part of a quartet who were Maritime Champions in 1978.
He and his daughters sing together on occasion as well. Don love to entertain with his fiddle. He has played at various functions including church suppers, for senior citizens at the Carleton Manor and for special fund-raisers.
He has also been a contestant as well as a judge in many fiddle contests. He was twice a winner in the Woodstock OHW Fiddle Contest and has also won the Nackawic Fiddle Contest twice. Most recently, he placed first in the Open Class at the Chipman Fair, and several times has entered the Maritime Open Fiddle Contest in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. During the winter of 1997, Don and five other musicians recorded musical segments for a local Cable Channel 10 program entitled, "Don's Old Time Fiddle Music".
Presently, Don lives in Woodstock with his wife, Lorna. They have been married 40 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. He still works at his business, Cluff's Clothing, in downtown Woodstock. Don never says no when asked to play the fiddle!!
Dean Mott & Frank Hartt
Dean & Frank were born and raised in the Fredericton Junction/Tracy area. Both have been involved in performing individually since their late teen years, however in the early 1980's, they decided to join together for some local fund-raisers. After entertaining for several years, "Old Bob and Uncle Teddy from Piskahagen" were born to add a little humor to the act. As their popularity grew, so did the requests to perform outside their community.
They have entertained extensively in the Western, Central and Southern parts of New Brunswick for fund-raisers, fairs, benefits, clubs, variety shows and special events. They have also become regulars on the New Brunswick Country Showcase. Their blend for music, songs, skits and humor have entertained young and old alike.
Frank and Dean would especially like to thank their family, friends and loyal fans for all their patience, words of encouragement and support they have received over the years. Without it, none of this would be possible.
Providing they joy and laughter of good old country music is their motivation to entertain. It is not only an honor but a very special gift to be recognized for something you love to do and be in the company of so many talented people. .