Inductees: 2020 - 2021
2020 - 2021 - Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the inductions
of 2020 were postponed and moved to 2021.
FLO DURELLE - Flo Durelle, one of five children, was born August 19, 1960 to Raymond and Marguerite Durelle of Baie Ste Anne. By the age of 5, she was singing at local venues and talent shows. Her major influence was traditional country music, her favourite female country artists being Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn.
In the 1980’s, Flo toured extensively with such country groups as Calico, Joey Knight Band and Morning Sun with whom she recorded at Music Mills Studios in Nashville at the age of 19.
In 1984, Flo represented New Brunswick in the Great Atlantic Canada Talent Contest.
In the 90’s and onwards, Flo performed locally in a popular duo with her brother Buff Durelle.
In 2016, she recorded a solo CD entitled, “To Daddy”. A song written by her uncle, Marc Durelle called Haunting Memories, was her first single release which made it to #1 on the countdown as did Ma Chère Maman co-written with her friend Linda Arsenault and written about her Mom. On this first CD, Flo was honoured to do a duet with well respected member of NBCMHF, Johnny Burke.
A second CD, “Listen to your Heart”, featured twelve songs (nine English songs and three French songs), some written and co-written by Flo. Renowned New Brunswick artists, Brian Mallery and Gerald Delhuanty, each joined Flo on a duet.
Over the last few years, she has performed and recorded with local bands enjoying success with some of the songs making it to #1 on the local radio countdowns. She also devotes many hours volunteering at benefits for people in need.
Flo is known for her strong vocal style, bubbly personality and her love of traditional country music.
CHERYL ELLIS - Cheryl Brown Ellis was born in 1958 in Alliston, Ontario, where her dad was stationed as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1962, the family was transferred to the Air Force Base in Chatham, New Brunswick and, upon her Dad’s retirement from service, in 1963, the family moved to his childhood homestead farm on the Poodiac Road, a very small community just outside of Sussex, NB.
Music was a big part of her life as all her family played and sang. Cheryl began her musical career in the family kitchen and soon she and two of her older brothers started performing at small community events when she was eight years old. Over the next several years Cheryl performed with her family and as a solo act at many events throughout Southern New Brunswick.
In 1986, an opportunity came up that saw Cheryl join Gary & Gene Morris and Pat Paterson as original members of the Sussex Valley Jamboree. The Jamboree has performed all over New Brunswick and had a television special on CHSJ in 1992 and released two well received recordings. Cheryl has also performed with Valley Jamboree on various large stages at Exhibitions in Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton and Miramichi areas.
Cheryl released a self-titled album in July 2009 selling several hundred CDs and having over 1700 digital sales, primarily in Europe. Her music has received air play on the CHSJ Radio show Sunday Night Jamboree.
Cheryl also has displayed her organizational skills, serving on two Hall of Fame committees in the past. Since retirement from her position with the Province of New Brunswick in 2011, Cheryl has continued to perform with the Valley Jamboree and in Largo, Florida where she and her husband Harvey spend their winters.
GARY HOOPER - Gary Hooper was born in the tiny village of L’Etete on New Brunswick’s east coast. He decided he wanted a career in music after performing at a fundraiser for his high school during a visit to New Brunswick from Ontario where he worked. In 1963 he formed a band and played venues throughout Ontario.
In 1969 Gary started the Hayloft Jamboree, a popular venue for professional and amateur artists. He also had a live radio program over CHOO Radio in Ajax, Ontario. He recorded his first album in 1970 at the famous RCA studio in Nashville produced by Chet Atkins. He had five hits from it and toured with his band The Whips across the United States and Canada. Next he joined the Metropolitan Toronto Police force and started a new band called The Coppertones. Their first performance and biggest gig was before a crowd of 22,000 at the Canadian National Exhibition.
Over the next twelve years, The Coppertones entertained at various public service events, on TV shows and by invitation at an FBI convention in the United States. After his police career he continued in music with Ambassador Records and made a compilation CD in 1994 with one of the songs Where the Blue Waters Foam reaching #5 on country charts in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Gary released three CD’s titled Just for You, Among Angels and She Is My Rock. He also released albums on Marathon, Paragon and Dominion Records as well as his own label, Hillside Records. I Wouldn’t Take a Million Dollars For a Single Maple Leaf, written by Roy Payne, was recorded by Gary on the Dominion label and went to #3 on the charts. Gary also produced half-hour cable TV shows in Lindsay, Ontario and was a founding member of the Classic Country Music Reunion serving on its Board and is a life-time member.
Gary has appeared on hundreds of stages, sung thousands of songs, met many loyal fans and received many accolades. But he has never forgotten where it all started….in the tiny village of L’Etete, New Brunswick.
ELMO MACDONALD - Elmo MacDonald was born on December 7, 1938 in Temperance Vale, NB. His family moved to Fredericton Junction in 1942 where he soon taught himself to play guitar. At the age of 18, he moved to Montreal to work for the CPR as a signal repairman and boarded with a family who had a piano which he learned to play by ear.
In 1959, Elmo married his high school sweetheart, Leah, who accompanied him to Montreal where they set up their home and had three children: Heather, David and Danny. In Montreal he discovered his favorite instrument to play, the mandolin, which also led him to making his first mandolin.
In 1976, Elmo returned to Fredericton Junction and began to play with several local groups: “The Coming Home Boys”, the “Villageaires”, a mandolin group in Fredericton, and the “Classical Mandolin Group” in Nashville which required him to learn to read music in order to play in their orchestra.
He wrote over twenty-five songs and instrumentals and recorded several CDs. Elmo performed and attended many bluegrass festivals throughout the Maritimes and was instrumental in starting the “Rusagonis Gospel Festival” and the “Route 101 Music Weekend in Hoyt”, NB. He also performed for charities, church services and senior homes.
Elmo made over 100 instruments, mostly mandolins and guitars but also a cello, a ukulele and a few others that are too unique to name! His luthier skills became known and musicians across the Maritimes and internationally sought his advice and bought his instruments. He conducted luthier workshops in Bermuda and was featured on the CBC documentary “Land and Sea”.
After Elmo’s passing in 2015, his family discovered pictures of his instruments and comments about his craftsmanship posted on Websites, Twitter and Instagram. Many of the comments referred to the unbelievable rich tone and projection his mandolins achieved, the fine workmanship and the uniqueness of his instruments, including the fact that he would tailor his design to accommodate how an individual played.
Although he was many things, Elmo is remembered most as the music man who loved the woods and his God.
BLAINE MORRISON - Blaine Morrison, born in Newcastle, NB, became immersed in music at an early age by his grandmother, Irene Estey, a well-known voice and piano teacher. Her insistence that “musicians are always happy”, was the seed that would result in a long career.
In the early 50’s, inspired by “the new train” of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, he set out on a journey of a lifetime. He was not able to afford a guitar like that of his mentor, Luther Perkins, (Johnny Cash’s guitar slinging side man), but he was determined to get that million dollar sound which virtually consumed him.
Luckily, his high school woodworking teacher allowed him to build his first guitar at age 16. He would later become a full time luthier, instrument repair technician and founded a full service music store, Miramichi Music.
Blaine taught himself to play many iconic hits that defined country music from its inception in the 1920’s up until today. He played in several bands – The Limelighters, The Ranch Rockers, Big Iron and his family band with sons Richard and Eddie, The Morrisons.
Over the span of 60 plus years, Blaine has played countless benefits and gigs, voluntarily sharing his love of music. People spoke of his generosity, humility and painstaking attention to detail. A tinsmith and Jack of all trades, he was described as having golden hands.
When Blaine became concerned in later years with what he called, “the death of traditional country music”, he decided not to sit by and let it happen, but teamed up with his son, Richard and created a website and You Tube channel with over 70 instructional videos, so future generations would have a link to country music’s past. In 2014 Blaine launched CowboyMusic.com online. He felt “We must keep country music alive”.
Through both his sons, Richard and Eddie, Blaine’s music torch will continue to shine for the coming generations and to think this all came about by wanting to play like Luther Perkins!