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> Issue 53 > Page 8 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Page 8 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (309 reads)

player. And they'd be playing duets, you know, at dances. And he said Sandy would always treat him well--"He'd never play a tune that I didn't know." The fellow he said was the greatest fid? dler he ever heard in his life--Big Ronald MacLellan. He used to listen to him a lot. He'd go over to that area, the Glendale area, and stay in one place for a certain period of time, you know. He'd come to visit his aunt down in Judique--Katie. She told me that he'd stay for awhile, and then he'd have to move on. When he was getting ardund like that, he was hearing a lot of fiddlers. Like Big Ronald. They no doubt had a great influence on him. Big Ronald was a fine composer, too, you know. He certainly was. I guess probably, it's just the way he got into it. Then he used to come back--when he'd come to Judique--he used to visit at the Mac- Donnell home. Alexander was a fine fid? dler. And some of the other fiddlers at the time used to gather there. Peter Mac- Phee, and Archie Neil Chisholm, who was teaching at that time--back in .the '30s, I suppose--in the area. Archie Neil was CONNORS 'Si'l' Typewriters * Typewriter Rentals * Photo Copy Service Drafting Supplies * Office Supplies * Calculators Artist Supplies * Laminating Service * Office Furniture GBC Punch & Bind Machines * Canon Personal Copiers Your One-Stop Shop in Cape Breton! Phone (902) 562-7900 Fax #539-8672 350 Charlotte Street, Sydney telling me that Dan R.--he didn't know Dan R. then. But the first time he went there, Alexander told him, "There's a MacDonald, a young fellow, comes here to visit. And he composes his own tunes, and I think he's going to be good!" So, I guess his prophecy was okay! (And this was his school, clearly, this home-to-home learning....) Oh, for sure. He worked in the woods, you know, around the Glendale area and Melford--he'd be over at Gordon MacQuarrie's. He was over there at Melford at Gordon MacQuarrie's when Gordon composed "The Bonny Lass of Head Lake." So he was in with all those fine players at the time. And Bill Lamey. Bill Lamey ran a radio program from Sydney--CJCB--back in the late '30s, I guess it was. And he brought Dan R. on as a guest one night, to play on a program. And he was the first person to put Dan R. on radio. Bill Lamey was. Of course, he was an excellent fiddler, too. So Dan R. was in with these people. And you know, I suppose--he enjoyed having a drink, too, of course. And he was a friendly fellow, you know. And he liked to be with people. And that's the way he was all his life, you know.... (I get the sense, right from the begin? ning- -with his mother having died, he Rollie's (Wharf) Restaurant and Lounge -- Specializing in Fresh Seafood and Steaks -- LICENSED RESTAURANT LOUNGE Near Lifeguard Supervised Recreation Lunch and Dinner 11:30 a. m. to 10 p.m. 7 Days a Week 411 Purvis Street in North Sydney on the NORTHSIDE WATERFRONT near MARINE ATLANTIC Monday to Saturday * 7 p. m. to 2 a. m. Large Video Screen and Dance Floor Live Entertainment Newly Remodelled Wharf for Pleasure Craft
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