As written in The Frontenac News, October 10, 2019 by Craig Bakay
The Verona Lions Hall was packed Sunday afternoon as the Land O’Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame members gathered to honour their own with a full slate of inductees.
From 171 ballots turned in, the HOF chose to add Battersea’s Wayne Eves, Yarker’s Barry Calthorpe, Foxboro’s Sid Prescott as the representatives from Frontenac, Lennox & Addington and Hastings Counties respectively. Fiddler Don Johnson was elected posthumously. Trenton’s Bob McQuaid was named in the songwriter category. Ellis Wolfreys was elected in the promoters category, Cloyne’s Odie Snider was named for the lifetime achievement award and Bancroft’s John Foreman was a directors’ pick.
The Horizon Award, which goes to an up and coming act, went to Stirling’s The Tebworth Brothers.
The format departed somewhat from previous years. Instead of inductees performing after receiving their plaques and platitudes as in previous years, performances from both inductees and invited guests preceded the actual inductions.
Inductees who did perform included peddle steel player Prescott, whose Heartland Band provided backup for the other performers, Eves and Calthorpe (who performed with Calthorpe’s wife Sheila, who is also a HOF member), Foreman (who performed with his daughter Tammy), McQuaid and The Tebworth Brothers.
Guest performers included Dieter Bohme, Darlene Brooks, Brad and Jeff Young, and June Nixon.
The afternoon began with emcee Francis Woodcock asking for a moment of silence to honour musicians who’ve passed on including: Harold Perry, Lionel Grimard, Margie Lloyd, Jack Weber, Don Abrams and Linda Faith.
The mayors of North Frontenac, Central Frontenac, (Ron Higgins, Francis Smith), Stone Mills Reeve Eric Smith and South Frontenac Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth presented the plaques as well as congratulatory citations from both MP Scott Reid and MPP Randy Hillier.
“Traditional music comes from traditional people,” said Woodcock in his opening remarks. Wherever you draw the line, it includes country, bluegrass, folk . . .”
None of the inductees chose to speak upon receiving their awards but perhaps the most poignant moment came from HOF president Bob Taylor when he said this about Johnson: “Don Johnson grew up in Perth Road and he raised a family just playing the fiddle.”
HOF member Ross Clow also remembered Johnson, having listened to and played with him for many years. “He was a rascal but he loved to help people,” Clow said. “He helped me.”
HOF member Neville Wells closed out the ceremonies, speaking on behalf of the members by saying: “I’m honoured to be a member of this and the Ottawa Valley Hall of Fame.
“I’m just a kid from Ompah who grew up wanting to be like Hank Williams and Elvis Presley but I got to be me.
“When you know that your name has been raised (for the HOF), you are truly honoured.”
For more on this year’s inductees, visit the HOF website: www.lolmusichof.ca