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Eight Miles North ... One Mile East of Wroxton
The Smilin' Johnnie Story
By Smilin' Johnnie with Eleanor Dahl
Trafford Publishing
2006
240 Pages
ISBN:  1-4120-8912-3

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Smilin' Johnnie is not your average country singer. He was never mesmerized by Nashville. 'New country' sounds of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Shania Twain never turned him on. Consequently, big bucks never flowed into his bankbook.

However, he's made a living from country music all his life. He's over 80 and has been on the road for more than 60 years. And he's still traveling, having covered more than seven million miles back and forth across Canada from his Saskatchewan home Eight Miles North and One Mile East of Wroxton. He's played most Indian reserves and many Inuit communities all over Canada, often traveling to remote places in the far north without any money for food, let alone the chartered aircraft he has to use. He pays for the aircraft on the way back when he's been paid for his shows. He and his wife, Eleanor Dahl, his singing partner and business partner, often leave home with only a few bookings and add shows along the way to pay for the trip.

He's done as many as three two-hour shows a day. Once, he arrived at a school at 7 a.m., rang the bell and many in the community got out of bed to watch his impromptu show. Today he still plays his traditional country music at Indian and Inuit communities. Many of his shows are at senior citizens clubs where afternoon shows for 50 or 100 people are the norm.

Smilin' Johnnie has never sought the big-time. He's happy living in a house without insulation and indoor plumbing and by anyone's terms would qualify as a character. He loves his life and you'll admire his entrepreneurial tenacity . . . and wish you could be like him when you're over 80 years old.

About the Author
Smilin' Johnnie has been entertaining Canadians for more than 60 years. His traditional country and western music has taken him all across Canada, covering seven million miles by all modes of transport. For the past 46 years he has been accompanied by Eleanor Dahl, who is his stage partner as well as his wife. They have dozens of tapes and CDs recorded in the basement of their bungalow near Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Most of them are songs they have written - Smilin' Johnnie writes the lyrics, Eleanor the music.