The Hillbilly Jewels

Inducted in 2001

The Hillbilly Jewels was formed in 1948 by Joe and Vivian Brown of West Leicester and Amherst, Nova Scotia and George Seymour (aka Randy Stewart) of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They worked briefly with Don Diamond, an American who soon returned to the United States so the trio started on their own at CJFX Antigonish. The worked the area to sellout crowds with a family show including comedian Tiny played by Joe. In 1949 they moved to CJCB Sydney and in four months received over 4,000 fan letters. They first started signing their monster hit "I Love My Rooster" on CJCB. Later in 1949 they were asked by Tex Curry to appear with name artists coming to the Maritimes such as Grandpa Jones, Elton Britt, etc. However they were going to Newfoundland and were the first country group to entertain in Canada's newest province. They appeared daily on VOCM St. John's and played nightly shows to packed houses including the American service bases. The Jewels next moved to CKNB Campbellton from where they toured New Brunswick and eastern Quebec. In 1950 they moved to Kingston, Ontario and did several tours with The Riders Of The Southern Trails, a band that included their Amherst friend Ron Scott. They were joined on some of these tours by Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and others from WWVA Wheeling. They later did guest spots on WWVA. By 1951 they were at CFOS Owen Sound and Freddy Lang had joined on fiddle. They soon moved to CHML Hamilton to headline the Main Street Jamboree, Canada's top Saturday night jamboree, which went coast to coast on the Dominion Network. In 1952 Windy Wingrove joined on steel guitar. Freddy Lang left and was replaced on fiddle by Sam Learning who was also an excellent singer. The Jewels recorded for Biltmore and Arrow in Canada and Decca in the United States. After the Jewels disbanded Joe joined The Happy Wanderers for several years and later with his children in The Family Brown. Vivian and Sam were married and have for many years presented the gospel as The Learnings. Randy Stewart passed away several years ago. Joe died in 1986.
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