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For a chubby kid with glasses this was the road to perdition! . He learned organ solos from the records note for note (“I thought Alan Price's solos were really Petruk offered up “Can You See” and “Just Don't Pretend.” The Chemistry Set - “Firefly” premiere · Telephone Exchange - “Maschinelles Lernen” premier. Powerful Pipes and Pipelines Can Eurovision Burnish Azerbaijan's Image? has seen its fortunes rise in recent years due to its plentiful natural resources, Scared," a Western-style, middle of the road R&B pop tune that was staged On some streets in the historic old town, you might be as likely to find. May The Road Rise up to Meet You. Irish Blessing. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine.
It was an auspicious period for the label. Under president Edward Leetham, and Paul White, they started to recruit and promote Canadian talent all helped by the profits pouring in from Beatle sales.
They also had a somewhat fanatical Willie and the Walkers fan club which was started in November under president Barb Eastland.
However the key difference was that they could write songs and could play their instruments — they were musicians first and foremost. At the beginning of Januarythe Walkers decided to add a fifth member to augment their sound. Their choice was guitarist Bob Dann. His formative influences included Wes Montgomery and Howard Roberts. However he too got caught up in the popular music boom of the early s, and joined his first band in high school — The Pharoahs. By their sound had evolved: As they were getting ready to record, they had the sinking feeling that they would not be signed by a major record company, and could even get into legal trouble if they kept the name Pharoahs.
After all there was one extremely popular band — Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs — out there. It got tense sometimes…. He is still scratching his head: Willie and the Walkers just back from a successful tour of Saskatchewan, have now added a new member to the band. Bob Dann, lead guitarist of the now defunct James and the Bondsmen, now plays six string lead guitar for the Walkers, while Dennis Petruk plays twelve string electric lead.
The Walkers moved into high gear during As reported in the Journal on January Their show is alive, slick and professional. It shows when they perform. Barry Westgate of the Journal — normally pretty hip to popular culture - reviewed it like an old man.
There were close to 5, teeny-boppers there and they simply loved it. No wild, wild screams. No concerted, panicky rush for the stage, but they loved it, all the way from Paul Revere and the Raiders of the upper echelons of teen entertainment to Willie and the Walkers of the local scene. In between were Roy Head and The Viceroys….
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Just the beat, the flopping heads, the abortive gyrations…. It entered the RPM Canadian chart at It spent ten weeks on the chart, and managed to make it to 3 during the weeks of June 17th and 24th. That same May founding member Dennis Petruk left the band. Something was just not working. No one had a hate on for Dennis.
He was such an important part of the character of the Walkers. The thought of going on without him at first was anathema…then I remembered a guy from Lethbridge who had an outstanding voice — Bryan Nelson. The Viscounts used to play at The Forum — his singing was so damn good — sort of like B. Thomas and Gerry Marsden. Dennis Petruk quit Willie and the Walkers last week.
Brian Nelson formerly of the Lethbridge-based Viscounts was recruited into the Walkers ranks. He played his first dance with them on Friday night after three days of frantic practice sessions.
He fits in very well. The Walkers will be leaving in a week for Clovis to record some new, original and better material. My first band was a mostly instrumental group named The Chancellors.
I was brought in to sing Roy Orbison tunes and a couple of Beatles songs. His next band was a touch more sophisticated: Even so they were mirroring much of what The Walkers were playing at that time.
Nelson became aware of The Walkers in I first saw the Walkers at an underground rock club in Edmonton. Saw them once more at the Edmonton club, then they came back the next week to watch the Viscounts play, and by the end of the week, Willie was talking to me about joining the group.
By that point, Denny had given them notice that he would be leaving so they were looking for someone. They were very cordial and complimentary.
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I was wowed by their sound, and especially their equipment and obvious business acumen. They were looking for someone to back up Willie; another lead voice that would also do quality harmony, which was a strength of mine.
I knew that they had a few original songs, but there was no mention of songwriting as a focus.
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I doubt many bands went that route in that time, or hoped to make a living at it, although we could all see that the British Invasion bands were doing it with originals.
Alberta at the time was rather insular, so the focus was really on doing a good job of playing the hits people were hearing on the radio. As delighted as he was with joining the band, there was a downside too: I worked very hard once I was in to not disappoint anyone.
It was a difficult life as I had no place to stay, so for the first few months, I slept on a cot in the rehearsal space, which was located in a small strip mall. I was given a small stipend to buy food with, but it was a hand-to-mouth existence. Dann welcomed Nelson, and thought he was: Very positive, very upbeat. But a very nice guy.
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He had the right idea; he was going in the right direction. He might have been a little faster than we were. With Dann and Nelson, the band did a lot of practicing, in their studio and on tape.
I would go home three times a week to change clothes. We were rehearsing all night at the studio. Never did go to the dentist appointment. I was supposed to be at the dentist! We were so deep into it. Let me add, drug-free. We might have had a couple of bottles of beer once in a while, but we did all that without drugs. We were just really into it, actually to the point where it would blind us. In Nelson, Dann found someone with an equally bent sense of humour. As proof MacCalder remembers one recording session that went sideways fast: Spock and Bryan as Jose Jimenez — and this is without marijuana!
My first visit to Clovis was done with Barry Allen coming along as a guide and mentor. Barry had been there many times and was well liked and received by Norman and his wife. There had been a massive snowstorm in April?
We had a small number of tunes to record, maybe five or six. We barely had time to drink Clovis in, then returned to Canada. It was all new to me to be involved in a band that had some clout at that junior level. Nelson recalls the trips were gruelling no-stop affairs: Finally, Bob made Willie laugh and he pulled over.
Another band member remembers his no-nonsense approach on the road: We were coming from Moose Jaw through Medicine Hat. Will was driving as usual, and he hit a piece of highway that had gravel, and we had a station wagon and a trailer that weighed about a ton that we were pulling. So he took the ditch and the trailer unhooked.
I looked behind and it was flipping! The farmer came out with a really forlorn look on his face. Do you have a phone? True, MacCalder had his name before the band, and ended up being the primary spokesman and interviewee. But he welcomed all writing ideas from any member. MacCalder in particular enjoyed co-writes as they added variety to the song list.
And even though he ended up singing lead on most songs, he welcomed — indeed sought out — band members who could sing up front with different styles.
He wanted to be the leader, but he also enjoyed it when other band members stepped into the spotlight. Dann looks at it this way: Will would be the catalyst. I had other things to do. I was a big believer in showmanship and things like that, so I did that. We were always doing things on stage. The Walkers also started to release their recordings to the public. Three of their four singles hit the market that golden year This record is really something. Canadian chart at 14 and the general chart at 99 during the week of May 6, reaching its highest point at 3 during the weeks of 17 and 24 June.
It was a strong debut, and Bill Hardie recalls that it got fairly heavy radio play in Vancouver and the lower mainland, as well as in Saskatchewan. The Walkers released their second single on June 1, This second recording session resulted in six original tunes, and opened up new worlds for the band.
They experimented with new instruments: Norman made us feel really comfortable. He was such a calm, cool, collected guy. And he was so into us having fun. I had never been around a real producer. He was also a writer, so he had a wise and measured hand in helping us hone our studio chops without being overbearing.
Norman was an intriguing and very kind, a soft-spoken Southern gentleman. Norman had framed gold hit records all over his walls. He co-wrote a number of Petty-Hardin hits for Buddy Holly including the best-known ones. I was too young and stupid to know that I had lucked into a piece of rock history at that point. So we were all asked to try our hand at writing while we were there a week or less. So, Bob Dann and I wrote at least one song together and I came up with a couple more in addition to Willie, I think who wrote at least one more there.
Anyway, Norman got us to rehearse and record whatever was ready, and I managed to get three of my on-the-spot tunes recorded.
I …remember Will himself and Norman Petty asking me to do a guitar solo in one of the songs. Which song is it? The amazing part that just shocked me was that it just happened… That song was later recorded, and I heard it on the tape that Will had given me. Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs did it as a B-side or something.
The sophomore effort was not as successful as its predecessor. Canada Bill, the anonymous correspondent in R. I hope some of my real Canadian personality friends will dig up their copy and give it a spin. One was a rousing multi-band extravaganza held on August 21 at the new Edmonton Gardens.
It was one of the stranger combinations of acts. As would be expected The Who completely stole the show, both with their volume, and their on-stage behaviour. The Edmonton Journal sent two writers to the show — one adult and one teenager. Barry Westgate was ostensibly the adult, and tried to dismiss it out of hand: No words are intelligible…just amplified madness.
And for this the kids still screamed Monday night when more than 8, gathered in The Gardens for another helping of the gigantic hoax called teen-age entertainment.
In the end, it was all for naught: Both venues were comfortable, classy spaces, each with well-engineered acoustics and 2, seats on three levels.
It also saw the addition of their friends Barry Allen and his then backup band The Southbound Freeway. I actually got to spend some time with Desi Arnaz, Jr. He and I got along very well and I remember cracking him up. Both of us began riffing with stupid accents and jokes, etc. By this time Nelson realized he was in with a special group of guys: I learned a lot about guitar playing and basic chord structure from him.
Rolie was the young guy in the band, good-looking and smooth, and girls wanted to mother him! He was a very tasteful and dynamic drummer with excellent time- keeping ability. His brother Bill was probably the best all-around musician in the group. Bob Dann was a consummate guitarist, a guy who had studied more than one instrument growing up and was into guitar.
Bryan Nelson decided to move on at the beginning of October His health issues played a major role in the decision.
It seemed like a never-ending spiral: My health was really in rough shape at the time. I had developed stomach problems in my early teens, but by the time I got to the Walkers and all the bad food…I had ulcers diagnosed by a doctor in Clovis…By the time we returned to Edmonton, my stomach pain had worsened, and after struggling for a few more weeks, I asked for some time off. I was barely away for a few days when I got the call from Willie that I was replaced.
Paris and Moscow were allied with Prague. However, neither of the two major powers could prevent a German invasion. The Soviets would have had to traverse Poland and Romania to reach Czechoslovakia, but both countries refused to allow Soviet troops to cross their territory. And France, which still had the option of attacking the Third Reich from the West, deferred to London once again. As a result, in the summer of all eyes were on Prime Minister Chamberlain who, despite his 69 years, was inexperienced when it came to foreign policy.
With his upturned collar, Homburg hat and watch chain, he seemed like a relic of the 19th century. Nevertheless, behind Chamberlain's old-fashioned appearance lay a serious determination which led Hitler to call him a "crazy old bastard. Appeasement was a policy that fed on emotions as well as intellect, at least with Chamberlain. The British prime minister had lost his beloved cousin in World War I. From then on, he advocated the basic principle of all pacifists: Wars have no winners, only losers.
Looking the Other Way As a former chancellor of the exchequer, Chamberlain was also keenly aware that the weary empire was stretched too thin, facing, as it did, challenges from Italy in the Mediterranean, from Japan in the Far East, and from Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union in continental Europe.
Under these circumstances, it was tempting to appease the Third Reich at least by accommodating its demands.
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Byseveral thousand people had fallen victim to Nazi terror. But most of them were communists and social democrats, making it easier for London's conservative establishment to look the other way.
In the Soviet Union, on the other hand, Stalin's thugs had murdered more than a million people. Chamberlain could easily imagine cooperating with a more moderate Hitler to stabilize Central Europe against communist influences.