Monday, April 20, 2009
Eric C. "Alberta Slim" Edwards (1910-2005) is another one of the great Canadian country pioneers who should not be forgotten. He was an early radio star, and was a fixture in western Canada at rodeos and fairs (he never played bars). Performing in a style inspired by Wilf Carter (yet distinctive and unique), he began recording in 1948, his releases appearing on RCA Victor's 55-0000 Bluebird Series, as well as having records issued on Gavotte, Sparton, and Point.
Although born in England, he migrated to western Canada with his parents as a young boy, and spent his youth homesteading, eventually drifting away from home via the boxcars, and entertaining for tips on street corners. A fellow musician who called himself Alberta Slim joined the army in 1939, leaving Edwards some shirts emblazoned with the name. Rather than remove it, he began performing with the handle himself, and continued to do so up until two years before his death at age 95.
I'm always glad to turn up and present recordings which prove there were songs extolling the virtues of our country in the days before the great Stompin' Tom, and that baby boomers did not invent "distinctly Canadian" music. This post collects the content of his two RCA Camden LPs, plus two tracks from volumes one and two of the "Canadian Country Jamboree" collections, also on RCA Camden. The tracks from the first LP (CAL-699, 1962) as well as the CCJ comps (CAL-677, 1962 and CAL-992, 1966) are earlier recordings from the 78 era, while the final album, "Canada, My Homeland" (CAL-2113, 1967) presents tunes newly recorded during the centennial year.
Click here for a fantastic site dedicated to Alberta Slim
Includes jacket and label scans.
Thanks to Andyrama for the use of CAL-2113 to transfer.
1. New Canadian Polka
2. Treasure You Can't Buy
3. It All Seems To Happen To Me
4. I'm Lonesome For Mommy Tonight
5. Sitting On A Hill Top
6. Little Tin Cowboy
7. When You Play Your Last Card
8. Red River Two Step
9. When The Good Lord Knocks On Your Door
10. Red River Waltz
11. Tears Of Shame
12. North Of The Border
13. Canada,My Homeland
14. The Calgary Stampede
15. Canada Land Of The Free
16. Call Of The Cariboo
17. The Laura Secord Story
18. Beautiful British Columbia
19. Red River Valley Two Step
20. Canadian Sunset
21. When It's Apple Blossom Time In Annapolis Valley
22. My Home By The Fraser