J. Chalmers Doane Week - Ukulele Yes!
During a trip to Halifax over the Canada Day weekend, I visited Taz Records and dropped about sixty dollars into their cash register. Amongst my haul were Ukulele Yes! (1973) and Ukulele Magic (1975), which means that, along with Ukuleles On Tour (1974), I now own the entire J. Chalmers Doane trilogy of albums performed by the "A" Ukulele Group from the Music Department of the Halifax School Board.
Mr. Doane, otherwise known as "The Father of Canadian Ukulele" and "The Pied Piper of Halifax", casts a long shadow across the musical history of Halifax and Canada, as thousands of students across the country received musical instruction either from him or according to the ukulele teaching method he devised. Today, retired as an educator and administrator, he plays piano, fiddle, clarinet and ukulele with the Chalmers Doane Trio every Tuesday and Thursday evening at The Soho Bar & Grill on Argyle St. in Halifax and in 2005 was inducted into The Ukulele Hall of Fame in Halifax and the Order of Canada.
"Spinning Wheel" and "Country Roads" are versions of the oft-covered Blood, Sweat and Tears and John Denver hits. "Roads" has vocals, while "Wheel" is straight-up ukulele and nothing but. "Roads" is especially great; it's strange how the original version sucks, but has nonetheless inspired a number of great covers (Toots and the Maytals, I'm looking in your direction). Lastly, the imaginatively-titled "ABA-DA-BA" is a very short instrumental based on that chord progression. Tune in later this week for more J. Chalmers Doane goodness.
Note: These songs have been archived at It Came From Canada.