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Harold Veno

One of the Canadian hillbilly singers, Harold Veno was from a farmer's family in a mining town called Bathurst, New Brunswick. He was the oldest in a family of nine kids. Like many hillbilly artists, he started his musical interests at an early age, taking up the organ when he was ten years old.

His inspiration as a singer was the legendary blue yodeler, Jimmie Rodgers and many of his songs followed that pattern. He was a prolific song writer himself and when he was 14, he wrote "The Unknown Soldier's Grave". By 1956, he had written over 400 tunes.

His first job wasn't in music, but nevertheless, it was work - carrying the lunch for the River Log Drivers.

His first appearance on the radio was when he moved to St. John, New Brunswick and appeared with Bob White and his Rhythm Boys. Later on he joined Slim Boucher's Golden Prairie Cowboys over CHMR out of New Castle.

After a road tour, Harold formed his own band. He called it the "Sleepy Hollow Cowboys", and it starred himself as a 'blues singer', in the vein of Jimmie Rodgers one would suspect. A talent scout discovered him and his tunes were being recorded on the Dominion label. They said by 1956, his first four releases were "Moss Covered Rose", "Yesterday's Love Letters", "Hillbilly Rose" and "Child of a Broken Home". He was so good, they were thinking he might become another Hank Snow.

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup No. 43; April 1956; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.

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