“Okie From Muskogee”
“You Can’t Take The Country From The Man”
I submit for your consideration these two tracks from the Country Ducats. As you may have already guessed, they were a country band from Newfoundland. Both of these songs are from the album, “You Can’t Take The Country From The Man” (1972). The Ducats have existed in different incarnations over the years, including being known as the Du-cats and The Ducats Showband.
Added below is a little extra bonus. It’s a video slide show of pictures from Newfoundland while the Country Ducats play “Every Fool Has A Rainbow” in the background. I didn’t make this video, I simply found it on YouTube while I was searching around the Interwebs.
“I’m Loving You”
“Blue On The River”
Posted above are three songs from the album “Poster Girl” by Gord Tracey and the Constellations. I have also posted the recommendation that was found on the back cover. It describes the band as playing “rock n’roll from the late 50s”. The date listed on the back cover leads me to believe that this recording was made in the late 1960s.
“I’m Going Home To Mom In Newfoundland” by Jean Pardy
“Twenty One Years” by Jean Pardy
I found this record in Fred’s Records, a music store in St. John’s. Until I picked it up, I wasn’t aware of the artist. I really don’t know much more about her now. The back of the record explains that Pardy was born in Bonavista and began singing in her brothers’ band. I did a cursory search of her on the Internet but it didn’t yield any further details.
Whatever its exact history may be, this album is a great example of a particular Newfoundland phenomenon: the combination of the country aesthetic with the Newfoundland perspective. The songs I have linked above have a very straight country music backing. “Twenty One Years” shows this especially. It’s a traditional song that has been sung by country singers like Marty Robbins. Pardy’s version gives no indication that it was made by a Newfoundland. Even the lead acoustic guitar suggests south-western United States, if anything. Just compare it to Robbins’ El Paso. For an example of how this songs sounds with other influences at play, check out the Ryan’s Fancy version here.
“I’m Going Home To Mom In Newfoundland” is different. It maintains the strict country backing, but leaves no doubt as to its origins. It uses a common theme of leaving and then missing home. These are ideas that repeat themselves over and over again in music from the island. This is a great example because it is so explicitly about Newfoundland and because it has a popular theme.
Then again, there are a lot of country songs that are about those types of themes. The classic country song, “Streets of Baltimore” is one example that comes to mind. It’s hard to say what part of Pardy’s song is truly different from the rest of country music, other than its location.