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O. J. Abbott

O.J. Abbott, born Oliver John Abbott in Enfield, England in 1872, went on to pick up a lifetime's worth of folk songs across 90 years, and shared hundreds of them with the world. He moved from England to Canada early on in life, and grew close to Canada's Irish-born and descended transplants, working on farms in the Ottawa Valley and in lumber camps in Ontario and Quebec. By the mid-'50s, he was a well-known figure in the Canadian and North American folksong circles, and from 1957 up until his death in the late winter of 1962, he recorded over 100 folksongs, many dating from the 1880s and 1890s, and derived from Irish traditional sources. Folkways Records released some of those recordings, as well as parts of his performance at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival. By this time close to 90 years old, Abbott found his work in demand around the world, and he performed at the National Museum of Man in 1958, played the following year with Pete Seeger in Ottawa, in 1960 on the CBC (as well as at Newport with Seeger), and in 1961 at the Mariposa Folk Festival. He passed away early the following year. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Classic Canadian Songs From Smithsonian Folkways

1. Les Fraises Et Les Framboises / Le Festin De Campagne / Ah! Si Mon Moine Voulait Danser

2. Lord MacDonald's Reel

3. The Land Of The Muskeg (And The Shining Birch Tree)

5. Le Reel De L'Harmonica (Reel De Rimouski)

6. The Northern Trappers' Rendezvous

7. The Alberta Homesteader

8. A Poor Lone Girl In Saskatchewan

9. When The Ice Worms Nest Again

10. The Oda G.

11. The Ballad Of Weldon Chan

13. Tim Finnegan's Wake

14. I's The B'y

15. Tonts, Tonts!

16. The Welcome Table

19. Un Canadien Errant

20. Maggie Howie

21. Constitution Breakdown

23. Anti-Confederation Song

25. The Black Fly Song

26. Hogan's Lake

27. She's Like The Swallow

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