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Earl Heywood

  • Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989
  • Birth: March 12, 1917 - Exeter, Ontario
  • Death: September 17, 2006 - Brussels, Ontario

BIOGRAPHY:

Known as “Canada's No. 1 Cowboy Singer” (or “No. 1 Singing Cowboy”) and one of the leading country musicians on Canadian radio, Heywood began playing the guitar at age ten and began his career playing tenor euphonium with the Exeter Brass Band. He served in the army during World War II, and came of notice in 1941 by singing his self-penned, ‘Living in the Army’ for the theme song of a radio show on CFCO in Chatham, Ontario. In 1942, he joined CKNX in Wingham, Ontario and remained at that station as a singer and announcer for more than 40 years, performing for almost 20 years on the weekly CKNX “Barn Dance”. He served as host for “Serenade Ranch” from 1945-1953. Throughout the 1950s, he appeared on CKNX TV programs including “The Range Riders Show”, “Rocking Horse Ranch” and “Western Roundup”.

Heywood began recording for RCA Victor in 1949 with his, ‘Serenade Ranch Gang’, completing eighteen 78s that featured such hits as, ‘Alberta Waltz’ and ‘Tears of St Anne’. He made three albums for Dominion, including the popular, ‘Tales Of The Donnelly Feud’, for which a corresponding song folio was published by Canadian Music Sales in 1971. Heywood recorded over 300 songs, with, ‘Moonlight On The Manitoulin Island’ being a huge hit in the US for The Moms and Dads.

Heywood was a contributor to Nashville's “Country Song Roundup” in 1949 and to the “Barn Dance” Historical Foundation in 2006. Heywood founded and was president of the Barn Dance Hall of Fame Historical Foundation from 1993-1995.

He continued to write and record until his death, with his last recording with his wife Martha entitled, ‘The Heywood Family: Canada's First Family of Song’ in 2006.

Earl Heywood passed away on September 17, 2006 at the age of 89.

 
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