Clockwise from top left: Land O’Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame inductees Ron Weber, Cathy Whalen, Floyd Lloyd, George York, Charlie Pringle, Harold Perry (some photos by Dave Deacon).
This article reposted with permission from: Frontenac News, July 21, 2016, by Jeff Green.
It started with a conversation between Northbrook’s Bob Taylor and musician Bill White of Kingston, who is originally from Plevna. They were talking about their mutual friend Reg Weber, a musician and music store owner who has been ailing, but with some new medication has been able to play again.
“Bill said it would be great if Reg could play at the Flinton Jamboree this year and it got me thinking about all of the great musicians and promoters and singers from the region who are getting older and those who have passed on. I spent all night thinking about it and by the next morning I had the idea,” said Bob Taylor.
He called Bill White back the next morning, and “within two hours we had the whole thing worked out,” said Taylor.
The Land O’Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame will not be housed in a physical building, but will include a website, some memorabilia that will be offered to museums in Tweed, Napanee, Cloyne and Hartington, and will be expressed mostly through an annual ceremony on the Saturday afternoon of the Flinton Jamboree each year.
“We went all out with the plaques that will be presented to the inductees,” said Bob Taylor. “They are made of rosewood; they include a good picture, and are something substantial that we expect will be much appreciated.”
Taylor and White recruited musicians, promoters and music lovers from the Land O’Lakes region to help them. The first thing they did was put together a list of names, people who have made their mark locally, nationally and even internationally in traditional country, bluegrass and gospel circles. This is the pool of people they will choose from over the next few years as the virtual hall is being populated
The board of directors has representatives from Verona, Arden, Plevna, Yarker, Cloyne, Tweed and Madoc and for the first year the names that they came up with were done through consensus.
“We are setting up a more formal process for future years, and will be including previous inductees as part of it,” said Taylor.
The names of the inaugural members of the hall are no secret, however; they were announced at the same time that the establishment of the hall was announced back in early June.
Reg Weber is the inductee in the instrumentalist/ entertainer’s category. Reg has owned music stores in Northbrook and, more recently Perth, and is a guitarist who has played in numerous bands and one off situations for decades throughout the Ottawa Valley and southeast Ontario.
Cathy Whalen, in the band leader/ entertainer’s category, is the founding member of the Land O’Lakes Cruisers, a group that has been active for 49 years. They have raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity over that time, and are performing at the Jamboree as well this year.
The late Floyd Lloyd, radio host/ recording artist /band leader/ entertainer, made his name internationally after moving from Northbrook to Oshawa for a job at General Motors. In Oshawa he formed the group the Golden Boys, and eventually recorded four albums and toured through Canada and the United States.
George Yorke from Marlbank, the first inductee in the promoter category, is known as an auctioneer and for his tireless efforts organising concerts and festivals over the years.
Finally, the lifetime achievement awards are going to Charlie Pringle and Harold Perry.
“The Lifetime Achievement awards are set aside for older performers who have contributed to the music scenes in their communities over many years even if they never have had a commercial career,” said Taylor.
“Everybody loves old Charlie. He’s played everywhere and keeps on going even though he is almost 90. And Harold has done so many things over the years as a mentor to youth, from playing music and teaching guitar to judo and woodworking. We thought it would be great to honour them both.”
The ceremony, which will be held on Saturday July 30 at the Flinton Jamboree from 3 until 5 pm, will feature a number of performances and reminiscences by friends and colleagues of the inductees in addition to the presentation of the plaques. MP Mike Bossio will be on hand to make the presentations.
“We wanted it to be more like a show than just a break in the regular music to present an award,” said Taylor.
Tickets are readily available for the Flinton Jamboree (see page 6 for details) and there may be special pricing available for the Saturday matinee.