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Smilin' Ivan Dorey
Born:  December 26, 1926
Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame (2000)
CFBC St. John, NB
CFOR Orilla, ON
CJAD Montreal, PQ
CJKL Kirkland Lake, NS
CKBW Bridgewater, NS
CKMR Newcastle, NB

About The Artist

Smilin' Ivan Dorey was a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His family moved early on to Liverpool, where a 1954 article points out was the home of Nova Scotia's big newsprint industry. Perhaps indicating where his father was working.

During World War II, he was a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers and also entertained the troops at many army shows.

It seems in the summer of 1946, a friend of his, Fiddlin' Jim Hamm got Ivan to purchase a guitar. In January of 1948, Ivan and his friend Jim were entertaining the listening audience over CKBW in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

Ivan was also a songwriter - he had two songs released by Eddie Mehler on the Apex label.

While at CKBW in 1954, he was appearing on the Four O'Clock Club every Monday, Wedneday and Friday. He also appeared on their Saturday Jamboree show, though we don't know the exact name of that show. Claude Dugay wrote in his "A Full Line" column in 1949 that Ivan and Fiddlin' Jim were appearing over CKBW at 11:15am each day.

A 1954 article indicated he was recording for Rodeo Records. His first release may have been "You Bit Off More Than You Can Chew" b/w "Even Steven". That same article indicated that Ivan and his band, the Nova Scotia Plowboys were going to release a record each month.

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
  • National Hillbilly News; May / June 1949; Huntington, WV

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