Archival Tune: Johnny Forrest

May 16, 2014 | Archival Tune, Tune of the Month

This month, the Archival Tune features Johnny Forrest on the accordion. These tunes were recorded at a concert in Cornwall, but the year is not known.

Johnny Forrest was a regular performer on Don Messer’s jubilee in the 1960s. Born in Carluke, Scotland (north of Glasgow) in 1936, he immigrated to Canada in 1956 on the Empress of Britain. He left home with £50 sterling, but through performing on the lower decks he made over 200$. He lived in Edmonton and Dartmouth, NS and as of 2009 was living in Richmond, BC and still performing. He played on recordings with Anne Murray and recorded several albums of his accordion and singing. He has also written an autobiography, Do You Remember When – Memoirs of a Musical Journey. He even performed in Maxville as recently as October 2009!

The tunes are “Donald Where’s Your Trousers?” and a medley of Scottish songs.



This recording was part of the collection of reel-to-reel tapes donated by Father MacPhail and can be found on Small Reel 40, Side 1.


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