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> Issue 64 > Page 75 - A Visit with Ray "Mac" MacDonald: In Honour of the 50th Year of CJFX Radio

Page 75 - A Visit with Ray "Mac" MacDonald: In Honour of the 50th Year of CJFX Radio

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1 (289 reads)

A Visit with Ray "Mac" MacDonald • In Honour of the 50th Year of CJFX Radio • Edited from Conversations with iVIarjorie MacHattie Rav "Mac" MacDonald. Antigonish: The day CJFX first came on the air in 1943, we lis? tened at home in Syd? ney Mines. My late brother Harold, who was killed in the mines, was a great fan of Clyde's. (Clyde Nunn was the first managing director of CJFX; he was born in Whitney Pier.) He really liked the 01' Timer (a Nunn radio character) and I was a little bit younger but I laughed along with him. But I guess I always admired CJFX for being different and going its own route. CJFX always had a particular style. The only re? lief- -the only dif? ferent station up and down the dial. CBC did its own thing of course, but it could be stuffy after awhile. But CJFX seemed to have that folksy spirit.... As far as the Scottish music, it was being promoted by CJFX when it wasn't the popu? lar thing to do. When CBC began dabbling in it, people began to think that it was a little more permissible. But CJFX never really varied from when they started. It had a great influence on the fiddlers. Buddy MacMaster told me that he learned as much from the records on radio as he did from anything else. I mean you could go to the parish picnics. They were the big things in those days, but how many of those were there in the summer, especially when people didn't have that kind of mon? ey- -and he didn't when he was a boy. But radio had that constancy and every fiddler had his own style. Buddy said he listened and learned and that was that. Which brings us again to the role Bernie Maclsaac played. (Bernie Maclsaac was the founder and moving force behind Celtic Records. He produced some of the very- first recordings of Scottish music from Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia.) If he hadn't made those records--if he hadn't gotten Angus Chisholm and Angus Allan Gil? lis. Dan J. Campbell and all the rest of them--even Winston. He did an early one with Winston. If Bernie hadn't done that there wouldn't have been records for Buddy to listen to to be influenced by. You know, so it's a chain reaction. You know that I never believed in the myth of the "Vanishing Fiddler." I don't think it was true because CJFX never stopped playing it. And that was in the heart of it. I think it makes a nice story but I never believed it. I think it was a good thing in the sense that they certainly showed them at Glendale (where over 100 fiddlers filled the stage under the direction of Fr. John Angus Rankin at the first Glen? dale Fiddlers' Festival, July 1973). But CAPE BRETON OPTICAL LTD. _ , 'j n ', • Retailer of Quality Eyewear ' LookJ[our Best! . Medical Plans Accepted M0W0FFERIHG2'??'''''' . BRENT DENNY, Optician ' *??*??' • Jo'??v 564-8295 o'riens. Jonsered YOUNG'S POWER EQUIPMENT LTD. Millville * Boularderie * Phone 674-2008
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