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
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.;