Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 45 > Page 69 - With Fr. John Angus Rankin, Glendale

Page 69 - With Fr. John Angus Rankin, Glendale

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1 (213 reads)

out in the music. And then as he began to come out of it, drinking--I'm sure he drank a pitcher full of buttermilk before he had a bite to eat. And. then the music started coming back, getting into the joy? ous stuff, and strathspeys and reels. If it wasn't for the fiddlers, I'd be no? body. They know I like music; they know I know a little bit about music. They know I'll never stick them anywhere. Even if I have a hundred of them, I have a pretty good idea of all the tunes they have. Any fame that I have in the line of music, it's not mine, it's the violin players that did it. It just happens that they'll play their hearts out for me, I've always been fortunate that way. No matter who the violin player is. Just not so long ago in a session, there was talking around, and Buddy played like his--oh, he played his heart--terrific mu? sic. Finally everybody stopped talking and started listening, you know. "That's for you," he said, "I knew you were listening." They've been very, very good to me, I've tried to do the little bit I have. Oh, the CBC put on a program, about the time of "The Vanishing Fiddler" (a film a- bout Cape Breton fiddling; it became the focus of a,tremendous rebirth of interest in and playing of the music), So they got me so mad, eh--I'll get like (Fr, Moses) Coady at times--I'll hold on, see, but onnie and Beverage Room Home of Scottish Hospitality REEVES ST. Home Cooked Meals Steaks a Specialty 562-4484 SYDNEY then, if I blow, I'm going to blow. So I told the CBC I didn't give a darn whether every Scotch fiddler would die, or every Irish fiddler. I said, "The French have picked it up, the Micmacs have picked it up," I said, "It's going to go on," That was on a Saturday night. And then Sun? day we were down in Broad Cove, and they were down there taping, Sandy MacLean was there--God bless Sandy, I've know Sandy since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. So they called me up, which they generally do if they see me at a concert and they want a finale--they'11 just callFr, Rankin to come up on stage, see. And while I'm leav? ing where I was when I heard my name called, till I get on, I'm lining up tunes on a piece of paper. And I just go in, I say, "Okay, fellows, what about this line of tunes?" "Well, we're not too sure of this one." "Okay, we'll drop that out, put another one in. What one do you want?" So like that I'll get about 5 jigs, 5 strath? speys, 6 reels--I've got 16 tunes, that's good for 20 minutes. And we just come out. Maybe you go through, just get onto the start of each one of them, you know. They come out on the stage. So this is what I did in Broad Cove. And they really play.. They know that, okay, "He's listening. If we make a mistake, he'll soon catch it." So we put on a big finale. And I stepped off the stage, and this fel? low from the CBC came along. He said, "How long were you practising that?" "What do you mean?" "How many weeks did you have the group together to get them,,,?" I said, "I had no weeks-." He said, "Who are you trying to kid?" I said, "You can believe it or not." I said, "You heard my name be? ing called?" He said, "Yes," "Well," I said, "here's a piece of paper, I jotted down tunes--there's only one I scratched out, that 3 or 4 of them didn't know. So they gave me a tune they all knew and I put that in its place. And we went up on stage and did it," "Well," he said, "I find it kind of hard to believe that," Gas Tank Replacements & Repairs For Personal Efficient Service: Call: 539-2122 Sydney Radiator 20 Years a Family Business 2 Years Warranty on All Parts * We Accept VISA New Heaters & Radiators or Repairs Or Come See Us at 121 Prince Street, Sydney Next to Ron May Pontiac We Service and Ship Anywhere on Cape Breton Island 562 0018 Boutiliers* Music Sliops Limited Cape Breton's Newest Musical Outlet Dealers for SAMICK - FENDER - AKAI - STEIGERMAN We sell a complete line of top quality nnusical instruments and accessories. Visit our showroom and try the products for yourself. You will like the variety and price. Store hours are 10:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. - Monday through Saturday 39 Keltic Drive -- Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney River, Sydney, Nova Scotia B1S1P4 Keyboards Guitars Reeds Horns Strings > Cape Breton Shopping Centre Sydney River, N. S. (69:
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