Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 53 > Page 14 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Page 14 - Our Uncle, Dan R. MacDonald From Talks with John Donald and John Allan Cameron

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (286 reads)

But a lot of the tunes get different names--titles that are wrong.... I've heard some of Dan R.'s music referred to as being traditional (that is. both old and anonymous--ed). Which, it certainly is not traditional. Even "The Glencoe March" --he only composed that in 1970. I've seen it written out. called "traditional," you know. In fact, being published. That's to? tally wrong. Perhaps it might be his fault, to a de? gree, but then ag.ain, I think people should be more careful. (Why would it be his fault?) Well, I think that Dan R.--he was a very kind man, you , know. And he just I liked to hear his mu? sic played. So he gave it out freely. In the sense that he wrote out the tunes for somebody and passed them on to them, gave them. He always put his name after the tunes he wrote out on paper. They learned it, but then they'd play it, and someone else would pick it up on a tape recorder or somewhere, or learn it by ear someways. If it was a good tune and got well liked, they'd be playing it all the time. And the tune was never regis? tered- -it was passed along orally, here DIAMONDS A gift she will treasure always. TRADITIONAL SOLITAIRES jCONTEMPOF CLUSTER ARY Large S selection of affordably priced DIAMOND EARRINGSl BIRTHSTONE RINGS 1 Visit our Giftware 1 Dept. for other ''h ''_ The Violin Shop ' Johannes Sturm VioUnmaker/repairer Quality Repairs to String Instruments Custom Work Bow Rehairing New and Used Instruments Strings Accessories For information or appointment, call (902) 345-2883 R. R. 1, Grand Anse, Richmond County, N. S. BOE1VO and there. Eventually, nobody knew who com? posed it, in many cases. "Red Shoes," for example, that tune there. Oh, my goodness, (it was) many, many years before I even realized Dan R. composed that. Gosh, I remember when I was--I don't know, 6 or 7--first we got the radio. This would be in 1944 or so. And I used to hear that (tune) on the radio. Little Jack Mac? Donald had it on a recording. Little Jack was a great player. And I used to hear it being played. And I remember one night it came on the radio, and I said to John Al? lan, "Listen to the last tune he piays on this set." You know, he played a strath? spey and two reels. And the last one he played--"It's called 'Red Shoes.' You lis? ten to how good a tune that is." I told John Allan. We were very interested in that, and we listened, you know. We didn't know that our uncle composed the tune. But it was the best tune in the set--the one we liked the best, anyway. But I suppose. Dan R.--just as long as he heard the tune. I,suppose he assumed peo? ple would know that he composed it. But over a period of time, the composer's name was lost. I remember back in 1962. I think it was. he had just composed a march. He said he was going to give it to a certain fiddler, you know, he wanted to record it. And I told him. "Well, don't you think you should--some of these real good tunes, that you should be perhaps protecting and, you know, maybe making some money that you deserve off them." And he took offence to that. He said. "Anybody who wants to play my music." he said, "they can go ahead and play it." And he said, "I'm not interested in that." And he didn't think it was pos? sible, anyway. So he gave the tune out. and I suppose he didn't get any return on? to it at all. The only time he started to make money on his music was when the Cape Breton Sympho? ny (was created)--we used to play on John Allan's television show. I registered Dan R.'s name with CAPAC. and we made sure we played some of his music. You know. "Trip to Windsor" and a lot of those. And he was Ron May Pontlac 147 Prince Street Sydney 539-6494 Cpwrtmipw Proiyilioii Ptan Hawkesbury Pontiac GMC TRUCKS 46 Paint Street Port Hawkesbury 625-3280 FRONT END ALIGNMENT ~ AIR CONDITIONING SPECIALISTS NEW & USED -- SALES -- SERVICE - LEASING - DAILY RENTAL
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