Billy Whelan

Inducted in 1999

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."
After returning to Canada he had several more recording session during the 1950s and 1960s, mostly on the Rodco-Banff label. In 1934 Castle Records in Germany releases some of his material. In later years Billy works as a county constable and as a guide for the Department of Lands and Forests. However he never completely retired from music and still made many personal appearances as country and western music singer. Billy passed at his home on December 2, 1987 at the age of 68.


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