The Best of Don Messer
I found it strange that, even though he wasn’t Irish, Don Messer’s name wasn’t on this site. And I figured that if you have Natalie MacMaster and Leahy and the like, you should, most definitely, have Don Messer. After all, he was the inspiration for most of Canada’s traditional fiddlers today.
I have recently requested a piece by Don Messer which was his opening tune on his radio and TV shows, I only know it by “Going to the Barndance Tonight. It may have a different title. Frank Leahy also has it on one of his albums by that name.
Does anyone have a copy of this tune to submit? It would be most appreciated.
Don Messer (1909-73) ~ & his Islanders
“We had 4 million people looking at that show back in the ’60s. No half-hour musical weekly show has ever attracted that since.” ~ Don Tremaine, emcee of Don Messer’s Jubilee
CBC Archives: OnThis Day: The World of Don Messer’s Jubilee
“‘Got my dancin’ boots on, got my Sunday best / Goin’ to the Barn Dance tonight….’ Two generations of Canadians grew up in the mid-20th century with the opening bars of Don Messer’s theme song humming in their heads. ~ “
“Don Messer and His Islanders. Old-time music group, the most popular in Canada during the mid-20th century, largely on the basis of its CBC radio and TV series. It was formed in 1939 for CFCY radio in Charlottetown by the fiddler Don (Donald Charles Frederick) Messer (b Tweedside, near Fredericton, 9 May 1909, d Halifax 26 Mar 1973). ~ “
“Don Messer was the star of his own music variety program, Don Messer’s Jubilee which ran on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s public broadcaster from 1958 to 1969. The program featured the “Down-East” fiddling style of Messer and his band as well as a medley of old-time favorite folk songs sung by the show’s two lead singers Marge Osborne and Charlie Chamberlain. During its run, it was one of the most popular television programs in Canada, and in the mid-1960s ranked second only to Hockey Night in Canada in national ratings. ~ “
“Canada’s Don Messer” by L. Sellick
Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada
Kentville Publishing, 1969
“Canadian Fiddle Tunes from Down East:
The Music of Don Messer and his Islanders”
Markham: JAL, 1991
“Don Messer Anthology of Favorite Fiddle Tunes”
Toronto: Thompson Music, 1981
“Don Messer’s Barn Dance Breakdowns”
Toronto: Gordon V. Thompson, 1954
“Don Messer’s Square Dance Tunes”
Toronto: Canadian Music Sales, 1952
“Don Messer’s Way Down East Fiddlin’ Tunes”
Toronto: Gordon V. Thompson, 1948.
Re: The Best Of Don Messer
I have Don Messer’s tunes in my blood. My dad played them as I was growing up. I love them. I can still see Don Messer’s Jubilee in my mind’s eye.