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Brent Williams the youngest of 8 children was born on a small farm in Hassetts, Nova Scotia on March 25, 1940. Influenced by his mother’s love of music and encouraged by his brother to begin playing guitar, Brent went on to have a professional musical career spanning over 55 years.
He was an original member of the bluegrass band “The Birch Mountain Boys” who toured the Maritime Provinces. Brent, along with singing partner Harry Cromwell, created the “Brent & Harry Show” and while on the Gaspé Coast in 1963 joined up with the “Marcel Martel Show” from Drummondville, Quebec. A few years later Brent moved to Toronto and began a solo career in mainstream country. Whether playing at the Matador Club in Dartmouth, on stage at Seneca College in Toronto, as a guest on: CJCH Jamboree, Maritime Playboys Show, or recording at RCA Studios in Nashville, Brent’s musical talent and charisma leaves his listeners in awe. During the 90's, Brent’s cross-Canada tours became a regular with the biggest chain store in the world, Wal-Mart. Hosting his own stage shows gave him the opportunity to perform his award winning songs, many of which were top 20 chart busters.
During his career, Brent has shared the stage with numerous well-known artists including:
Brent was one of the founding members of the Canadian Country Music Association, won the “Bon Soo” open fiddle competition, recorded over 20 albums, received a Certificate of Merit from Condor/Marathon Music, and Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1976 and 1977 and has been nominated for a CCMA Award.
Brent continues to tour throughout the Maritimes and Canada.
Edward Irvine Melanson, known by the stage name “Eddy M. Melanson” was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and taught himself to play a guitar given to him by his uncle.
Gerald (Jerry) Murphy
Gerald (better known as “Jerry”) Murphy was born in St. John, New Brunswick moving to Nova Scotia in 1992. He has been a music promoter since the late 1970's.
With his love of music and in particular bluegrass music Jerry has been active in many organizations, holding offices including: President, Ways and Means Director, Band Selection of the South Eastern New Brunswick Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association, Director, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President of the Downeast Bluegrass and Old-time Music Society that produces the oldest bluegrass festival in Canada and the Eastern Canada Bluegrass Music Awards - Jerry has been involved with this Society for more than 30 years.
He initiated the forming of the East Hants Bluegrass & Old-time Music Association in November, 1992 and has been President of the Association for most of its existence.
Jerry has hosted many of the summer bluegrass festivals and indoor events across the Maritimes providing festival flyers at many of these events. He has an information website displaying music information, produces flyers and sends information to the media for other venues. He updates the Bluegrass Canada website calendar for the eastern region.
Each year Jerry organizes a country and western jamboree for the Milford Recreation Winter Carnival. On occasion he has hosted a country & bluegrass TV show live on Milford cable.
His many awards include being a five-time winner along with master awards in both MC & promoter categories at the Eastern Canada Bluegrass Music Awards.
He has received volunteer recognition from the Municipality of East Hants, the South Eastern New Brunswick Bluegrass & Old-time Music Association, Maritime Bluegrass Magazine, Bluegrass Diamonds Band, T.O.P.S. New Brunswick, Canada’s 125th anniversary, Pictou Bluegrass Festival and the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown Eastern Division.
Jerry is a volunteer extra-ordinaire and a lifetime organizer and promoter of the genre he loves.
Robert (commonly known as Bob) Fralic was born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1937.
At the Ottawa Coliseum in 1948, Bob met Hank Snow who inspired him to seek a career in country music. Bob dreamed of having a singing career in cowboy movies. His life path changed when he joined the navy in 1956 serving for 33 years as an aircraft technician and crewman flying naval aircraft. After the navy he served with the Canadian Coast Guard.
His love of music and performing were still a part of his life and Bob continued singing in Canada, the UK, Europe, the Caribbean and the USA dedicating his talent to children’s orphanages, hospital burn units, TB hospitals and NATO concerts. Over the years Bob was a member of several bands: The Bonaventure Drifters, Annapolis Country Cut-Ups, Nova Scotia Grass and Eastern Ridge.
Bob has written many songs and poems. He has received many trophies for his singing, including the Anna Wolfe Margoshes Award - highest vocal award in Ottawa High Schools and was awarded the Order of Military Merit.
Through his good friends and pen-pals, the late Gene Autry and Monte Hale, Bob and his late wife Marie had many invitations to events in Hollywood. To this day, he is good friends with Mrs. Autry and Mrs. Hale.
Many cowboy and country singers have inspired Bob. Among them are: Wilf Carter, Roy Rogers, The Sons of the Pioneers, George Strait, Bob Wills, and Ian Tyson.
He has met many Grand Ole Opry stars such as: George Hamilton IV, Billy Byrd, Mel Price (Santa Fe Rangers), John Macateer, Billy Thompson (New Mexico Playboys), Willis Brothers, Tommy Hunter and Stompin’ Tom Connors.
Bob has been a member of the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame, Friends of the Hank Snow Society, George Strait Fan Club, Nova Scotia Music Association, Coastal Country Music Association and North American Musicians Union.
He has invested 63 years in his music, with an extensive library of scrapbooks, records, music, movies and western memorabilia.
A self taught fiddler, Cliff Manley began playing at age 9 and performed at his first dance at age 14 in Noel, Nova Scotia, where he was born in 1947.
Along with his wife Maxine who sings, plays bass and keyboard, Cliff played with several bands including:
Cliff has competed in fiddle contests for over 50 years. A highlight of his career is that he won the Canadian open old time fiddlers contest in Shelburne, Ontario three years in a row in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and again in 2006 in the fiddle class 45 - 65.
He has several recordings including: an 8-tract with Cye Steele in the early 70's; “Welcome to Mountain Country” cassette done in 1985; “Fiddlin’ around - Cliff Manley with C & M Country” in 2011.
Cliff’s composition, “Florence Killen’s Waltz” has been recorded by many fiddlers including Mark Sullivan, Scott Woods and NSCMHF inductee - Ivan Hicks. This composition has been published in three music books - “The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island”, “New Tradition Presents Canadian Old-time Fiddle Hits” and Chord Charts for 200 Fiddle Tunes”. He has several other compositions - “Judy’s Jig”, Truro Centennial Waltz”, “White Trillium Waltz”, “Mountain Country Jig” Betty-Ann and Wayne’s Two Step” and “Maxine’s Reel”. His fiddle tunes have been heard on CKCL, CIFA and 106.9 fm Sackville, Nova Scotia.
Cliff and his wife Maxine reside in Maitland, Nova Scotia. He loves to take his fiddle out to perform his special music and continues to entertain for appreciative audiences.
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