Inductees Page



2005 Inductees

James (Jim) Hamilton was born on January 14, 1937 on McNabs Island, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. The family moved to Rockingham when he was in his teens.Jim’s interest in music and promotion started to show at an early age. While in his teens, he started to organize and promote minstrel shows with the proceeds going to the church where the shows were held. The shows proved so popular that they soon outgrew the church and Jim had to find larger accommodations. It was about this time Jim received a call from the Royal Canadian Legion in Sackville suggesting he organize Sunday hootenannies to be held at the Legion. The shows were successful with two shows being held on some Sundays. The monies raised went to the IWK Hospital and the Children’s Wish Foundation. Jim met a country band in the early 1960’s called “The Nashville Sound” which included Vic Alders and Bill Uloth.Jim and the band started to do talent shows which led them to Windsor, Kentville, New Minas, Wolfville, Berwick, etc. This led Jim to Nine Mile River and in 1968 he started his now famous jamborees at the Nine Mile River Community Hall. The rest is history! Jim’s monthly Sunday night jamborees are as popular as ever. Over the years many local entertainers, as well as well-known artists such as Smiley Bates, Hal Bruce and Carroll Baker have performed at this venue. Many aspiring young artists have gotten their start at Nine Mile River, thanks to Jim. He has organized many benefit shows for people who were victims of sickness, accidents, fires, etc. In October of this year, Jim will host his thirteenth annual cancer benefit show. Jim Hamilton, a true builder in the country music industry.

Lorimer Higgins was born in Westchester Station, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia on June 13, 1934. He comes from a family of eleven brothers and sisters, eight of whom played the fiddle. Lorimer has been playing since age 14 and played “live” on radio station CKCL, Truro at age 17. He also played in a popular group known as “Lorimer Higgins and the Bible Hill Swingers.” Lorimer has represented Nova Scotia at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling championships in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999. On three occasions, while at this competition he participated in the CGMFC judging workshop and Judge Certification process. He has won the Maritime Fiddle Contest for 60 years of age and over, three years in succession. Lorimer now judges at various fiddle competitions including the Maritime Fiddle Championship. Lorimer was one of the founders of the Lunenburg County Fiddle Club and served as President in 1989 and 1990. He served as President of the Maritime Fiddle Association in 1991 and 1992. In recognition of his contributions to the fiddle community, Lorimer received the Curtis Hicks Memorial Award in 1999. In 2001 he received the Tara Lynne Touesnard Award given for dedication to the preservation and enhancement of old-time fiddling and service to his community. Lorimer has composed twenty-six fiddle tunes which have been published in his book “Fiddle Tunes by Lorimer Higgins.” In 1998 he released a recording “Lorimer Higgins and Friends” and in 2004 he released his newest CD “Old Time Fiddling From The Heart” featuring twelve of his own compositions.

Merlin (Joe) Anthony Waye

Merlin (Joe) Waye has been playing the guitar for over sixty years. He was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia on September 5, 1933 and picked up his first guitar at age 9. Self taught, he was quickly hooked on the guitar and was playing on CJCB Radio by age 14. Since that time he has played all over Nova Scotia, as well as other parts of Canada, pleasing crowds wherever he performed. Having a wife and six children, Joe was a welder/construction worker by day and a musician by night. Joe was a member of the TR Ranch Boys who had a weekly radio show in 1956 and 1957. The TR Ranch Boys went on to a weekly television show starting in 1958. This show ran until 1963 and earned the band a Stompin' Tom Connors Award. Through the years Joe has played with countless artists including Hall of Fame performers Alonzo Marsh, Angus Chisholm, Ken Davidson and Vic Mullen to name a few, as well as Winnie Chafe, Matt Minglewood and Scotty Fitzgerald. He has performed as the opening act for Tommy Hunter and as backup band member for Johnny Carver, Katherine MacKinnon, Gordie Tapp and Tommy Commons. Joe recorded an album, "Joe Waye - Guitar Great" in 1968 and in 2004 released a CD, "Still Pickin' and Grinnin' with Papa Joe Waye." He has written the instrumental, "Sweetgrass", "Donovan Waltz" and co-wrote "Steel Town." He also wrote and recorded "Mr. Hank", an instrumental honoring the late great Hank Snow. Today at age 71, Joe is still performing and entertaining audiences around Cape Breton.


Robert Enos Joudrey, “The Fiddlin’ Farmer” was born on January 5, 1929 at Lower Northfield, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. He received his first fiddle from his grandmother in his teens. He taught himself how to play by listening to the Don Messer Show on the radio and was soon playing for local dances, jamborees andentering old-time fiddling contests. When Robert was not busy working his small beef farm in Lower Northfield he was playing his fiddle, hence the name “The Fiddlin’ Farmer.” Robert had a weekly radio show in the 1950’s and appeared as a guest on the Up Home Tonight show. A highlight for Robert was appearing on stage with Don Messer at the Big Ex in Bridgewater in 1960. It is interesting to note that Don Messer helped Robert learn how to put his music on paper. He competed in the Shelburne Old-Time Fiddling Championship in 1975. In 1983 Robert started his annual Harvest Moon Jamboree and Pumpkin Show which fast became a crowd pleaser and raised countless dollars for area fire departments. He also organized a Springtime Country Music Jamboree, as well as numerous other variety shows, and benefits for those in need. Robert has composed over one hundred fiddle tunes, as well as about a dozen songs. A number of his tunes are compiled in his two books of music, “Bluenose Facts and Fiddle Tunes” and “Fiddling Along Nova Scotia South Shore.” In 1999 he released his one and only CD, “Barn Dance Fiddling Along Nova Scotia South Shore.” Ivan Hicks, Buddy MacMaster, Tony Burtnik, Natalie MacMaster, and Jennifer Roland are but some of the fiddlers who have recorded fiddle tunes written by Robert. Don Messer played some of Robert’s tunes on his CFCY radio show. Lt. Gov. Myra Freeman visited Robert at his home on February 23, 2005 to present Provincial honors for his many contributions to the community and to old-time fiddling. Robert passed away on February 26, 2005.


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