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Brothers, Bill, Larry and Kenny are the third generation of the
famous family of country and bluegrass musicians. Their grandfather,
John David Boutilier and their father William David Boutilier were well
known oldtime fiddlers. Bill and Larry made their first
professional appearances with their father at the Gaiety Theatre in
Halifax around 1950. They did a lot of Johnny & Jack material and were
exceptional at the brother duet style singing that was so popular in
United States at the time.
Around 1967 the Boutilier Brothers reached Number Three on the local hit parade with their recording of, "Where the Wild, Wild Roses Bloom." Bill Boutilier has had Lou Gehrig's disease for several years now and has not been able to perform. Larry and Ken keep the band active and are extremely popular on the festival circuit. For many years in the 1960s and early 1970s The Boutilier Brothers were the only bluegrass band active in Nova Scotia and were a great influence on the many bands that are active in the province today.
Billy Whelan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1919. He stated singing at a very early age and got his first guitar when he was fifteen. He soon began making personal appearances around the Maritime Provinces.
Billy spent the second world war in the armed forces but resumed his medical career in 1945. He was billed as "Halifax's Singing Cowboy" and was appearing on CBC Radio. He also appeared on CHNS Halifax as a member of The Four Kings of Western Swing. For many years during the 1940s and 1950s, he had his own band, Billy Whelan & His Western Serenaders, and appeared on many radio stations including CJCH Halifax, CKBW Bridgewater and CKCW Moncton.
Billy also made several tours in United States. Around 1949 he went
to Chicago and appeared on the National Barn Dance on WLS while there he
recorded for Hart/Van Records in LaGeange, Elisois and some of the songs
were his own compositions such as "Trusting in You", "I don't Want to
Feel Blue" and "If I Had a Million Dreams."
Angus Chisholm was born in Margaree Forks, Nova Scotia in 1908 and became one of the best known Cape Breton fiddlers of all time. He started playing fiddle by ear at age eight and began playing for dances while still a child. At age 14 he learned to read music. Angus taught school in Cape Breton for several years while continuing his music. During the 1930’s Angus had a radio program on CJCB Sydney and in 1934 went to United States to record on Decca Records, being one of the early Nova Scotians on commercial records. The next year he recorded on Brunswick in Montreal. His later recordings were on the Celtic label in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Shanachie Records of Bronx, New York have re-issued all his recordings.Angus was extremely popular in upper Canada and the eastern United States. He had a radio program in Boston and eventually moved there as did several other Cape Breton fiddlers. However he returned to Canada many times to do concerts and television shows. Of his own compositions the only one he recorded commercially was “Tea Gardens”. He wrote it while waiting for a bus in front of a Chinese restaurant by the same name in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Angus passed away in United States in 1979 but id buried in his native Margaree, Cape Breton.
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