DON MESSER 25th Anniversary Album

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Probably the most widely distributed recordings by Don Messer are the twelve tunes he recorded for Rodeo in 1958. It has never been clear to me why Don, who recorded practically exclusively for the Compo Company's Apex label (later adopted into the MCA line) his entire career made a "25th Anniversary Album" for George Taylor's Rodeo Records. What I do know is that these tracks have been released in every format including 78 (pictured below), LP, 8-track, cassette, and finally to CD from which mp3 rips have circulated the internet.
The original LP release was Rodeo RLP 38 but like most Rodeo titles it was later re-issued on the label's Banff line as "Canada's Don Messer and His Islanders" (Banff RBS 1266, c. 1965). Unfortunately a (fake) stereo version of the Banff issue was also offered (Banff SBS 5266) and this edition accounts for most of the circulating copies. Subsequent adaptations of the album to other formats have continued to use the the "stereo" versions, which have also found their way onto many Canadian fiddle compilations. I can usually tolerate fake stereo more than most and put up with a little echo, but in my opinion what was done to these classic recordings is right up there with Capitol's dreadful "duophonic" monstrosities. I am pleased, therefore, to present here what I believe are the first digital versions sourced from the rare original mono LP. Enjoy!

Includes jacket/label scans


1. Anniversary Schottische
2. Poor Girls Waltz
3. Plaza Polka
4. Westphalia Waltz
5. Lamplighter Hornpipe
6. Buckwheat Batter
7. Hannigans Hornpipe
8. Interlake Waltz
9. Riley's Favourite Reel
10. Pilot Mound Waltz
11. Grant Lambs Breakdown
12. The Girl I Left Behind

*download here*


Zlatna said...

Wow! Quite the difference. Thanks for this.

mrmeadowlark said...

Thank you SOOOOOOO much for posting this album in all its original, mono, glory. My cassette of the Fake Stereo version of this was my first exposure to Don Messer, and as far as I know this and "The Very Best of Don Messer" are the only 2 Messer albums that have ever legitimately been issued on Compact Disc by their respective record companies.

On a side note.... I read that the owners of the Rodeo/Banff catalogue, recently donated all the Rodeo/Banff masters, and the rights to use them, to some University-based Folk Music Archive in Nova Scotia.... from what I read, the plan is to digitize these masters, and as they fall into the public domain (50 year copyright term in Canada for Sound Recordings), make some of them available Online and as Archival CD-Rs.... how cool is that?

maxtheman said...

I have been trying for years to get Tommy Hunter albums, so far no luck. Any posted here would be more than appreciated.Any chance of posts being higher quality MP3. Best there is VBR highest settings which contrary to belief is superior to 320 constant bit rate. 198kps is FM radio and cassette quality, give or take a bit.

dustyroade said...

Thanks lonesome lefty for making this great music availabe, most of what you have here is classic canadian country music, thats hard or impossible to find anywhere else. I especially like the Don Messer music on this site. keep up the good work.

Lonesome Lefty said...

Glad you all enjoyed this post!

mrmeadowlark - I've heard about this project for awhile, but nothing seems to have materialized online yet. I eagerly await...

maxtheman - I'll see if I can round up an vintage Hunter album. Did you get the two Tommy Hunter vocals in the post below?

Calliope said...

Hi there LL,

I have just stumbled upon your site by sheer chance. I am a fan of many fiddling styles and I am impressed by the great collection of music that you have assembled. I have now been exposed to a whole new set of fantastic musicians. Thank you!

kelamuni said...

Hi Lonesome,
Thomas here. I found a vinyl copy of RLP 38 in not bad shape, though the album cover looks like crap. Gonna try and trade in my copy of Rodeo 5266 for a Ned Landry album.

kelamuni said...

I meant Banff 5266

kelamuni said...

What the heck. Maybe I’ll just save it for posterity’s sake.

Unknown said...

I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing. I'm always looking for upcycles like this. In the end, you don't know it was a shipping pallet to begin with!