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Ward Allen
Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame (1983)
CKNX Barn Dance

Consider this a work in progress as we document a well-known Canadian fiddler.

In the early 1950s, the Rotary Club of Shelbourne, Ontario in Canada decided to hold an Old-Time Fiddler's Contest that they hoped would be an annual affair. They wanted a venue to allow fans to pick the Canadian champion fiddler. As you might expect, they drew contestants not only from across Canada, but south of the border from their neighbors. Ward Allen won that contest in 1953.

But that wasn't the only Canadian fiddling title he won - he also earned No. 1 fiddler honors at the National Exhibition in Toronto in 1949.

That led to an appearance at the Louisville State Fair where he again competed with other old-time fiddlers. This time he did well enough to be named one of the top ten old-time fiddlers.

Ward appeared on some of the legendary Canadian shows - the CKNX Barn Dance out of Wingham, Ontario; the CHML Main Street Jamboree. He was also chosen to play a memorial program on the CBC network to pay tribute to Jim Magill, a well-known old-time fiddler who had passed away.

A 1954 article indicated he was recording for Alvina Records and had a couple of releases - "CNE Breakdown" and "Maple Leaf Two-Step".

Timeline & Trivia Notes

Groups played with

  • Earl Heywood and his Serenade Ranch Gang
  • Mel Lavigne and his Blue Water Boys
  • Eddy Mehler and the Rustic Ramblers

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs; No. 37; September-October 1954; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT

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Recordings
 
D
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1040 A Maple Sugar
  1040 B Back Up And Push
  1065 A Frisco Waltz
  1065 B Two Step Polka
  1116 A Pappy Daily's Breakdown
  1116 B Bread N' Butter
 
Sparton
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  131 A Maple Leaf Two-Step
  131 B C.N.E. Breakdown
  132 A Blue Pacific Hornpipe
  132 B Fiddler's Dream
  150 A Mary Anne's Reel
  150 B Frisco Waltz
  261 A Back Up And Push
  261 B Maple Sugar
  262 A Frank Ryan's Hornpipe
  262 B Two-Step Polka
  341 A Dancing Slippers
  341 B Uncle Jim
  378 A Back To The Sugar Camp
  378 B Marsh Hen
  379 A Frenchie's Reel
  379 B Mengie of McBride's Reel
  445 A Squid Jiggin' Ground
  445 B You're A Little Doll
  448 A Grizzly Bear
  448 B Orange Blossom Special
  596 A B. C. Centennial
  596 B John's Polka
  597 A Iroquois Gathering
  597 B Paddy The Coon
  681 A The Road To Boston
  681 B Mountain Girl
  823 A Bread N Butter
  823 B Pappy Daily's Breakdown
  824 A Circassian Circle
  824 B Molly Hogan
  990 A Mittens Breakdown
  990 B Old Rose Waltz


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