CLASS OF 2019

Nora Galloway

Nora Galloway

2019 Inductee

Nora Galloway arrived on the London music scene in 1975, when she left her home in Stratford to attend the University of Western Ontario. She started out playing in a duo with fellow student Trish Colter (who just recently retired from her teaching position at Humber College.) The Colter and Galloway duo started playing at Uncle Billie’s Folk club (in the basement of Fryfogles) before graduating to Smales Pace and its successor The Change of Pace. Later in the 80’s, she played with Prairie Wing (a country/rock band with a touch of rockabilly.) Besides playing JR’s, Town and Country and the Embassy here in town they also toured cross Canada for 8 years and released a live recording. She still plays with some of the members of that band (Ronnie D and Rod Perkins.) She then formed a folk trio “the Sirens” with Donna Creighton & Jo-Anne Lawton. After recording 2 albums with the Sirens, she moved on to form her own band “The Galloway Band” (with Rod Perkins and Kieran Kane) which toured Europe. The next band she formed was a classic country group, the Decorative Knobs (featuring London Music Hall of Famer Jerry Fletcher on guitar) which also toured Europe and released one album. Following that, she played for 10 years with Foxtail, an internationally renowned bluegrass band which played Ontario and toured extensively Michigan and the southern states. They released two CDS and she won the Central Canadian Bluegrass Award for female vocalist of the year in 2005, in 2006 she was a BX 93 Country Awards winner and a Jack Richardson Bluegrass Award winner in 2011. She’s played with the Dixie Flyers and has opened for such artists as Conway Twitty and Jeannie Shepherd. Twice she was featured with Orchestra London in their Jeans and Classics series (once was with London Music Hall of Famer & CCMA Hall of Famer Marie Bottrell.) She’s played the Home County Folk Festival on numerous occasions as well as Hamilton’s Festival of Friends, Owen Sound’s Summer Folk Festival, The Tottenham Bluegrass Festival and the Shady Grove Bluegrass Festival in Nanton, Alberta. Her current band, The Tearjerkers (which she formed with Rod Perkins and Kurtis Kane) released a CD a couple years ago: “Songs From an Empty House.” Known as the little lady with the big voice, she takes the music seriously.......herself , not so much.

John P Allen

John P Allen

2019 Inductee

One of the most versatile, and talented fiddlers in Canada, multi-instrumentalist John P. Allen is known not only for his musicianship but also for his commitment to the London area. Born near Lambeth in 1953, Allen was raised on the family farm, taking up the fiddle in 1968, while still in high school. During his first year at University, he met the Good Brothers, joining their band and touring across Canada and into the United States. Since then, John has played and recorded with Ian Tyson and the Great Speckled Bird, founded the bluegrass band Big Redd Ford and played with legendary Tommy Hunter on an entire season of the Tommy Hunter Show. He has travelled to the Middle East not once, but twice, to entertain Canadian troops as part of the Canadian Army Show and represented Canada in an international Broadway-type show on a tour of China. Always remaining true to his roots, John joined sister Julie, and brother Joe in 1980 to form The Allen Family Reunion, while he toured and recorded with the Dixie Flyers. In 1982, John P. joined Canadian country institution, Prairie Oyster, receiving critical and commercial success. The band released 2 top ten singles off the 1998 release What Is This Country, 4 top ten singles from the 1991 album Everybody Knows and the number one hit “Such a Lonely One” off the 1994 album Only One Moon. With Prairie Oyster, John P. received 6 Juno Awards, and 11 Canadian Country Music Awards and in 2008, was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Apart from his success with Prairie Oyster, John P. exercised his fiddle skills with the critically acclaimed solo album The Canadian Violin. Described as an eclectic array of standards and contemporary material, John P. recorded favourite tunes as well as original material, demonstrating the various styles of fiddle playing in Canada. Today, John P. is still the go-to fiddler for numerous long-standing local bands. The family band is still going strong, with the newest version of the Allen Family Reunion featuring John P’s daughter Beverly and nephew Paul in the mix.

Garnet Brooks

Garnet Brooks

2019 Inductee

Garnet was a distinguished Canadian opera singer who gained recognition in North America and Europe. Born in 1937 and raised in London Ontario, Brooks first job was working at his father’s service station, where he sang while pumping gas and cleaning windows. Those who heard him encouraged him to train, and he did. He started his music education in London, but eventually moved to Toronto to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Opera School of Toronto. He made his Canadian Opera Company debut in September 1963 as von Faninal's major-domo in Der Rosenkavalier. In his early career, Garnet also sang with the Western Opera Theatre of San Francisco, and made several appearances at the Stratford Festival, Guelph Spring Festival and Marlboro Festival of Vermont. In 1967 a Canada Council travel grant enabled him to audition at opera houses in England, Germany, and Switzerland. In 1974, he launched an extended European career which found him performing throughout Switzerland, Austria, Germany, England and Holland, including guest solo roles with the Salzburg Opera Company of Austria, the Glyndborne Opera of England and the Stadttheatre in Bern, Switzerland. Garnet has performed with every major symphony orchestra in Canada and his many concert dates have included recitals, oratorio, symphony and television performances. In 1982, he returned to London, joining the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Brooks moved to Regina in 1983 to teach at the University of Regina and to head the voice department of the Conservatory of Music there. He retired in 1997. He continued to perform, including occasionally with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, into the early 2000s. His voice has been described as a genuine high tenor, lyric rather than heroic, clear and vibrant in sound and effortlessly produced. Garnet Brooks passed away in July 21, 2009 in Regina Saskatchewan.

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