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Maritime Music Greats
Fifty Years of Hits and Heartbreak
By Virginia Beaton and Stephen Pedersen
Nimbus Publishing
176 Pages
ISBN:  1-55109-015-5

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Wilf Carter, Hank Snow, Anne Murray and Rita MacNeil are just a few of the Maritimers who over the years, have made their mark on the North American music scene. These downeast performers impart a distinct Maritime flavor to their music, embodying the variety, style and values of the region's culture while combining country and pop with traditional and folk music.

Maritime Music Greats follows the story of Maritime music over a fifty-year span—the local environment, the struggles in the industry, and the songs that have brought fame—from fiddling styles and ceilidh at the Grand Ole Opry, to the Acadian accent and "Singalong Jubilee." It profiles such performers as oldtime fiddlin' great Don Messer, the distinctly Canadian Stompin' Tom Connors, the kilt and country of John Allan Cameron, country Carroll Baker and the innovative Rankins. Complete with anecdotes and photos, Maritime Music Greats provides an informative and entertaining look at the region's music industry.

"The Maritime contribution to country music has been very large indeed and many people can take some credit. The artists of course, the DJs who played the records on the air, and the public who bought them, but another element that should be mentioned is the pride we as Maritimers have felt in the achievements of our music makers. ... Their music has touched us all over the years and they have reflected great credit on all of us."
   —Don Tremaine

About the Author Stephen Pedersen is a flutist, teacher, writer, composer and conductor. He has conducted ensembles in St. John's, Halifax, and Moncton; played flute and piccolo in the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Musicians Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia for 15 years; and has been a recitalist on CBC. He was a founding director of InNOVAtions in MUSIC (1971), and founder of the Atlantic Camera Trio (1977). He has taught flute at several universities and at the Maritime Conservatory of Music, and currently has a private studio in Halifax.

Since 1984, Mr. Pedersen has written classical, jazz, folk, theatre, and film reviews for the Halifax Chronicle Herald and Mail Star. His feature articles on music and musicians have appeared in Arts Atlantic, MacLean's, Vanguard, Canadian Composer, Socan Probe, and Music Magazine. He has also done freelance broadcasting for CBC, including book reviews, commentaries, and a 13-part series of short musical biographies of Bach, Handel and Scarlatti for "Information Morning".

Virginia Beaton graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Music degree and later received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied medieval and renaissance musicology.

Since 1980, Ms. Beaton has been teaching and writing about music. Her reviews and articles have appeared in newspapers and periodicals including Books in Canada, the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Cities, SiteSound, the Atlantic Advocate and Performing Arts in Canada.


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