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Here Comes John Allan Cameron

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Customer Reviews

Historic debut LP re-released on CD

When John Allan Cameron released his first recording in 1968 he really had no idea of the impact that it and his music would have on the Cape Breton Celtic music and culture.

The LP, “Here Comes John Allan Cameron,” contained some English and Gaelic songs along with some tunes, played both on the fiddle and the 12-string guitar. This is currently not that unusual a combination but back then it was unique.

I recall listening to the LP at home and being fascinated by it, to the point that an aunt (visiting from the Boston States) told me to shut it off. After all, she stated, “Who wants to listen to that foolishness anyway!” This from someone who spoke Gaelic as a first language in a house full of fiddlers.

But this recording did have an impact. By the following summer it had already sold over 5,000 copies and John Allan was featured on festival stages across Canada and the United States. More recordings followed and they received a fair bit of radio airplay. He did appearances on TV, including doing his own series on both CBC and CTV.

Back in Cape Breton other people like the Rankins and the Barra MacNeils saw this and realized that the culture, and the music that was part of it, was legitimate and that it was OK to sing Gaelic and play fiddle tunes. The Cape Breton Celtic revival was on and John Allan Cameron was the Godfather, a title that he carried with honour until his death.

That LP has not been available in any format for many years and has become a true collector’s item. Recently John Allan’s son Stuart joined forces with Stephen MacDonald, Paul MacDonald, Jamie Foulds and Allie Bennett to revive the recording and re-release it as a CD. It was cleaned up and remixed a bit, but it’s still the same John Allan Cameron sound as before.

This CD is historic, the leading edge of Celtic music from that time, Cape Breton’s first step onto the world stage. I don’t know if it will be available everywhere just yet but I do know that you can get it at the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop in Sydney. Maybe you want to send one to someone in the Boston States.

Dan MacDonald (Cape Breton Post, Nov. 9. 2012)


Born: 1938 in Glencoe Station, Nova Scotia

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

John Allan Cameron was born in 1938 in Canada and came from a very musical family. He began playing the guitar as a teenager, but moved to Ottawa, Ontario, in 1957, to become a priest. He left and studied education at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, performing around campus with a group called the Cavaliers. After teaching in London, Ontario, he resumed music in 1968, playing traditional Scottish and Irish music at the Newport and Mariposa Folk Festivals. He signed with Apex soon after...
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Here Comes John Allan Cameron, John Allan Cameron
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