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Saturday Nite Hoedown
CJCH
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Year Started:  1935

Saturday Nite Hoedown

Hillbilly music on the air wasn't just something that was in the United States, Canada had its share, too back in the Hillbilly music era. One such show was from the stage of the Gaiety Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia over radio station CJCH.

Seemingly we find in February 1955 (in the pages of Cowboy Songs magazine) that the Saturday Nite Hoedown was celebrating its 20th anniversary that year. Which means it may have started back around 1935 or so and making it one of the deans of the old time radio barn dance and jamboree shows. Granted we're working from about three paragraphs of a writeup on this show, but like anything on this site, we start with what we get and build it click by click.

Around this time, the show seems to be a one man gang. Billy Caswell, who was said to be known as the "Canadian Maritime Blue Yodeler" and also as the "Rambling Cowboy Blue Yodeler" was the organizer, emcee and star of this show. They said he was in the music business for a good long time and knew just about everything there was to know, especially picking and singing a good ole country song. Mr. Caswell had an assistant to help him with the show - Mr. C. E. Murray, who was the manager of the Gaiety theatre.

Some of the regulars on the show that eastern Canada looked forward to each Saturday night at that time were:

  • Billy Caswell
  • Gospel Rangerettes (Ruth and Elsie Caswell, Billy's sisters)
  • The Boutelier Brothers
  • Bunny Ross
  • Joe Painter
  • Ray "Mac" McCully
  • And various guest performers


Joe Painter


Bond Sisters


Billy Caswell


Ray (Mac) McCully


The Boutelier Brothers


Gospel Rangerettes


Pete's Hillbilly Jamboree

 

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs Issue; No. 39; February 1955; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT