Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 53 > Page 12 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Page 12 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (334 reads)

They got to the house, and went in through the little picket fence, the gate. And they knocked at the door. There was no sign of life at all, nobody home at all. Perhaps they were in church, I don't know, but there was no sign of life at all. They came back in the car, wondering what they were going to do, you know. "Will we leave, or what?" And he had a little gate there, you know, a little picket fence and a gate. And the fellow in the back seat, the Islander, hollered, "Rattle your bot? tles at Wallace's gate!" So Dan R. said, "That'd be a good title for a tune!" So he wrote a tune called "Rattle Your Bottles at Wallace Gate." And it's a good tune.... John Allan: I'll give you a wonderful story. I started a television show called "Ceilidh." We were in the board room at Bell Road at CBC Halifax. And we were taping live to tape that night at the Olympic Gardens in Halifax. I had, I believe, Ryan's Fancy were in as guests. And then we had these wonderful Cape Breton fiddlers. I think Theresa MacLellan was there, and Buddy MacMaster, and Dan R. And of course, (this fellow) said (changing his voice), "Okay, listen, you guys," he said. "Listen, you guys. We're going to have the show tonight and we're going to have"-- and (he) was brash, and all that stuff. And he said, "You have a couple of spots for fiddle tunes." And I'm thinking to myself, hosting this thing, I said, "Well, gosh, it's unfortu? nate Fr. Rankin isn't here to say, 'We do this and this and this.'" So I turned to Dan R. I said, "Dan R., will you look af? ter the picking of the fiddle tunes?" And he looked at Buddy and he said, "Well, why don't we do this type of tune?" And he started whistling. And he brought the fid? dle out. He said, "We'll play this. We'll play this. And we'll play this." And I said, "Keep it to about three minutes. Be? cause television has those demands. Keep Your Commercial and Home Entertainment Headquarters Young's Sight & Sound Centre ud 306 Charlotte Street Sydney, N.S. B1P1C7 539-5634 - Video Taping for all Occasions - Cellular Phones - Televisions - Stereos -Components - Pianos - Home Organs - Church Organs - P. A. Services & Installations it to three minutes." He said , "We'll play...." (John Allan whistles the tune.) And he went through that. And then he went to another tune. Whistling and fiddling. "And we'll play this selection on G." He knew the tunes to pick, a heck of a lot better than I did. I said I wanted just, you know, march and strathspeys and reels, and just lay them low. And he picked out great tunes.... And later on, during the tapings, Dan R. was so happy playing, and getting paid for this, that he wanted to share his joy with everybody. And he made remarks one day, "By God," he said, "I haven't made so much mon? ey in all my life!" He said, "I'm getting $259 a show!" He said, "And apparently they're using some of my tunes and I'll be getting more royalties from that. And," he said, "they're paying for my room, and they're paying for my food." He said, "I've never made so much money in all my life!" ) ASHBY MEDICAL SUPPLY We Rent. Sell & Repair Hospital Equipment: wheelchairs, commode chairs, walkers, beds, canes (WALTER'S RENTALS) 4 SHERIFF AVE., SYDNEY (539-9616) J our services ' 'rVne''?'f|.'ces 181 Charlotte St. 539-4800 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Young & Son Maritime mSA Marlin 'S'f/ Travel OR TOLL FREE 1-800-565-1538 exevN' oo • 'YxC'-'N|OV>-'Yxe As'ce Mayflower Mall 564-0600 Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
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