Donald Charles Frederick (Don) Messer (May 9, 1909 – March 26, 1973) was a Canadian musician and defining icon of folk music during the 1960s.
Born in Tweedside, New Brunswick, Messer began playing the violin at age five, learning fiddle tunes with Irish and Scottish influences. As a young boy, Messer would play concerts in the local area and later throughout southwestern New Brunswick.
During the 1920s, Messer moved to Boston, Massachusetts for three years where he received his only formal instruction in music. Upon his return to the Maritimes, he began his radio career on CFBO in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1929 when he joined the station staff. Messer had organized a small studio band of musicians by that point and in 1934, they began a regular radio show for the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (forerunner to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or CBC), broadcasting from CHSJ in Saint John under the name the New Brunswick Lumberjacks. Messer also began to make personal appearances throughout the Maritimes and New England using a smaller group named the “Backwoods Breakdown”.
Messer left Saint John in 1939 and moved to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island where he joined CFCY as music director. Here he formed the “Islanders” and by 1944 the group was airing a show nationally on CBC radio. The show established itself as the most popular on Canadian radio during the 1940s-1960s and Don Messer and His Islanders began to tour outside of the Maritimes.
Don Messer’s Jubilee was cancelled by CBC television in 1969, raising a national protest among viewers and fans and even raising questions from the floor of the House of Commons. Messer and his band continued Don Messer’s Jubilee in syndication on CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ontario following the 1969 CBC cancellation until Messer’s death four years later.
Marg Osburne (December 29, 1927-July 16, 1977) was a Canadian country, folk and gospel singer. Recipient (posthumously) of the ECMA Stompin’ Tom Connors award.
Charlie Chamberlain (14 July 1911 in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada- 16 July 1972) was a featured entertainer on Don Messer’s Jubilee, which ran from 1957 through 1969 on CBC Television. Recipient (posthumously) of the ECMA Stompin’ Tom Connors Award.
My list of of interesting books about Canada (to date).
- Sam Steele: The Wild Adventures of Canada’s Most Famous Mountie, by Holly Quan
- Real Justice: Guilty of Being Weird: The story of Guy Paul Morin, by Cynthia J. Faryon
- The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Expedition (Twentieth-Century Battles), by Robin Neillands
- To Wawa With Love, by Tom Douglas
- Wild Canadian West, by E.C. (Ted) Meyers
- Tecumseh: Diplomat and Warrior in the War of 1812, by Irene Gordon
- Klondike Cattle Drive – Norman Lee
- Blazing the Old Cattle Trail, by Grant MacEwan
- Secrets of Lake Simcoe: Fascinating Stories From Ontario’s Past, by Andrew Hind & Maria Da Silva
- Amazing stories of WWI, WWII, and the Canadian Navy
- Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent, by Richmond P. Hobson, Jr.
- Jimmy Simpson: Legend of the Rockies, by E.J. Hart
- Men in Eden: William Drummond Stewart and Same-Sex Desire in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade, by William Benemann
- Northern Lights, by James Matthew Green
- To Every Thing There Is a Season: A Cape Breton Christmas Story, by Alistair MacLeod
- Christmas in Ontario: Heartwarming Legends, Tales, and Traditions, by Cheryl MacDonald
- Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder by Lee Mellor
- The Canadian Rockies: Pioneers, Legends and True Tales by Roger W. Patillo
- Convoys of World War II: Dangerous Missions on the North Atlantic, by Dorothy Pederson.
- Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock, Mark Tewksbury
- Valour At Vimy Ridge: Canadian Heroes of World War I, by Tom Douglas
- True-life Adventures of Canadian Bush Pilots, by Bill Zuk
- Billy Bishop: Top Canadian Flying Ace, by Dan McCaffery
- A Scattering of Seeds, “First Lady of the Yukon: Martha black