Page 11 - With Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald
ISSUE : Issue 46
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/8/1
lobsters. I did that for a couple of months. (And you played some dances.) Oh, yeah. And I stayed all summer, and my next move that fall, I went to Halifax. I didn't know anybody there. And I only had $1.85 in my pocket. But I found a boardinghouse and went up and had a talk to the old lady--an old Newfoundland lady. And she told me to come in, very nice. I told her my circumstances. And she said, "That's all right." She had a lot of board? ers , 15 or 16. So she kept me there very well. And I went down to CHNS. (That's the radio station.) Radio station. And saw the man? ager. Had to talk to him, played a tune for him. He said, "I'll give you a call. We'll be in touch with you." And I thought, you know, but.... Two evenings after, I came home and there was a phone call from CHNS for me. Told me I was on that Satur? day night at quarter to 6. So I went down early and we arranged the program. Just two of us then. So we called ourselves The Cape Breton Serenaders. (That would be you--) And Jack Vickery. Jack was from Halifax. In fact his mother was my landlady. That's how I got in with him. He was very good on the piano. And they'd do our dance advertisements free, you know. We didn't get paid for the pro? gram. No money. But they'd advertise our dances. And after the while I got known, see, quite a bit. We played as The Cape Breton Serenaders for about a year, I suppose, best part of a year. And then when I got in with The Ramblers, got known and got playing for dances. I remember one night, one fellow-- Harry Alexander--came up and wanted me to play in his dance hall. And I said, "What's in it?"--you know. He said, "Well, I'll tell you what I'll do. If you won't tell anybody, I'll give you $2.50 a night." He said, "That's higher than any fiddler or any player is getting up here." $2.50. So I went in his hall, and I had a couple of halls . MACLEOD'S TRUCKING ltd BIG ENOUGH TO GIVE GOOD SERVICE • SMALL ENOUGH TO KNOW YOUR NAME! 539-0070 562-7093 So we kept on going like that--and put on shows, little ishows. There was no. more Cape Breton Serenaders then. I went with The Ramblers. We went on the radio. (Who would come to your dances in Halifax?) Oh, good Lord, the hall would be packed. Jam-packed halls, then. There was no rock- and-roll or anything then, and that was it, the square dance. So we always had big crowds. And then, I got in with Hank Snow. Hank had a morning radio program on CHNS. So he asked me if I'd go on with him, and I said yes. So it's quarter past 6, I think, in the morning. Fifteen-minute program. Play a tune, sing two songs, and it was over. So we did that for about 6 months, I guess. (Were people listening at quarter to 6 in the morning?) Oh, I suppose, yeah. I know I wouldn't be if I wasn't playing! (And you'd play just one tune.) Sometimes. It all depended on the mood Hank was in. He was cantankerous. Sometimes I'd play along with him on a tune that he sang. I'd play along--a little background, you know, fill in a little bit. (Were you paid to do this, or were you get? ting more advertising?) No, no, there was no money in that. No money in that at all. (Advertised your dances.) Oh yes, adver? tised our dances and shows where we were going to play. So he wanted me to join his show then. He had a show that was two coloured fellows, Bruce and Adams. Jimmy Reed--Reed's Hawai? ian Serenaders--he played the guitar. And Kenny-something on the accordion. And Hank, and myself. So I went with them then. Hank Snow and his Ranch Boys, or some damn thing. . So I got along--we made enough to get a- long on. With Hank it was all concert. All stage work. We'd play theatre between mov? ies. Played maybe half an hour show be? tween- -at the old Gary Theatre, and differ? ent places. We travelled, toured New Brunswick. And all down--we called it the Southern Shore, the mainland, down around Lunenburg and all those places. (And the music you were playing--pretty much just as you learned it?) No, I'd changed. I had to play a lit? tle more western style, you know, that I Boutiliers' Music Shops Limited Cape Breton's Newest Musical Outlet Dealers for SAMICK - FENDER - AKAI - STEIGERMAN We sell a complete line of top quality musical instruments and accessories. Visit our showroom and try the products for yourself. You will like the variety and price. We're Open Monday through Saturday 562-0018 Music Keyboards Guitars - Reeds Horns Strings Pipes Chanters Etcetera! 39 Keltic Drive - Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney River, Sydney, Nova Scotia B1S1P4 (11)
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