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Cyrene “Cye” Steele was born May 31, 1930 in Halifax, Nova Scotia but grew up in Scotch Hill, Pictou County, surrounded by music - his grandmother and two uncles played fiddle. Cye’s musical career began at age five when he joined a group that entertained at a Christmas Concert in the Scotch Hill school. By age eight he was playing for local dances.
In 1947 at age seventeen Cye moved to Truro. In September of that year CKCL Radio went on the air and Cye became the first fiddle player to perform on that station. He continued to perform on CKCL until the 1970’s.
Cye had his own band, “Stealaway”, as well as playing with other bands including sixteen years with the CNRA Quintette. His television appearances included four appearances on Don Messer’s Jubilee, appearances “Gazette”, “Countrytime”, “Cross Canada Jamboree” and “Up Home Tonight”. He was also host of “Studio Party” a local cable program on channel 4 out of Truro.
Cye competed in The Maritime Fiddling Contest in Dartmouth beginning in 1955 until 1975, winning the championship five times. He was always among the top ten finalists, quite often among the top three.
Cye has written about thirty-five fiddle tunes including, Cye Steele’s Breakdown, Salmon River Breakdown, Mitch’s Jig, Jack Armstrong’s Polka, Ferguson Breakdown and Pictou County Polka to name but a few. A number of his compositions were recorded by Don Messer. Cye recorded five LP’s including “Fifty Fiddle Favorites”, “Cye Steele” and “Fiddle Champ”.
Cye has owned a number of fiddles over the years. Perhaps the most un-usual was a walking cane fiddle (shown in photo) made in Germany in 1865.
George "Hank" MacDonald
George “Hank” MacDonald is a talented singer and songwriter from the old railroad town of Mulgrave, Nova Scotia. As a child, Hank performed with his musical family at amateur shows in and around the Mulgrave area. It wasn’t long until he was picking and singing, especially the songs of another Nova Scotia native and Hall of Fame Inductee, the late great Hank Snow.
Hank was a popular performer not only singing Hank Snow’s songs but also his own compositions. After recording an album of railroad classics,he decided to move to Ontario. He was featured on CKCR radio in Kitchener, Ontario, toured with Kidd Baker and eventually joined the cast of the CKNX Barn Dance in Wingham, Ontario. On May 25, 2002, Hank was given the Pioneer Award by the Barn Dance Historical Society and Entertainment Museum.
Later Hank formed his own band and played the club circuit. He appeared on shows with such international stars as Minnie Pearl, Cowboy Copas, Mac Wiseman and Grandpa Jones.
Hank has released two LP’s, a 45 and a 78rpm. He will always be remembered for his compositions “I’ll Remember You Darling”, “Your Memory Haunts Me” and “The Bachelor’s Train”. “The Bachelor’s Train” reached number ten on the Canadian country music charts.
Hank lived in British Columbia for a number of years. He eventually returned to Nova Scotia, settling in Auld’s Cove where he still lives, playing his guitar and singing country songs.
Johnny Gold was born in
Newfoundland. Johnny came to Nova Scotia in 1959 and has made it his
home ever since. He attended Hants West Rural High before continuing his
education at NSIT where he studied to be a
All during this time, Johnny pursued his true passion, singing, writing and performing country music. In 1970 the band “Johnny Gold and the Gold-diggers” began performing much to the delight of audiences throughout Nova Scotia.
Johnny Gold and the Golddiggers opened for such acts as Ray Price, Tom T. Hall, Roy Drusky, Eddie Eastman, Ronnie Prophet, the Mercey Brothers, Stompin’ Tom Connors, the Good Brothers, The Family Brown, Anne Murray, the list goes on. Johnny recorded two albums which included the hits, “Hello Out There”, “The Key To Your Apartment” and “You’re Still On My Mind”.
Johnny served as President of the Canadian Country Music Association in 1984 –1985. He coached high school football for eighteen years and high school hockey for ten years. He was involved with the Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club in various capacities including President. He was a member of the Dartmouth Rotary Club where he also served as President.
Despite a very busy schedule, Johnny was also a loving and committed family man to his wonderful wife Marilyn, his son John Michael and daughter Jacqueline. Johnny was recently blessed with the arrival of Braden, his first grandchild.
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