The East Coast Music Association is proud to announce the recipients of its 2010 Honourary Awards. This year’s winners are The Rankin Family – Director’s Special Achievement Award; Scotty Turner – Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award; and Billy and Cornelia MacLeod – Stompin’ Tom Award.
“This year’s award recipients have all made memorable contributions to East Coast Music in their own way,” says Wade Pinhorn, board chair of the East Coast Music Association. “Their exceptional talents combine with a passion and commitment to music that has helped shape our industry regionally, nationally and internationally. It gives the Association great pleasure to honour these men and women for their lengthy accolades and remarkable achievements.”
The Director’s Special Achievement Award is the Board of Directors’ most prestigious award. It is awarded in special circumstances, intended to recognize an organization, individual, or group that has demonstrated an exceptional contribution to the music industry on a national and/or international level. And The Rankin Family certainly fits that description.
The Rankin Family’s musical history began at home in Mabou – a village in the heart of Inverness County. For two decades, the sounds from that tiny village have stretched across the globe, with songs that had toes tappin’ and people dancing to a special take on their Celtic tradition. The numbers speak for themselves – during a 10-year period from 1989-1999, the Rankins were honoured with 15 East Coast Music Awards, six Juno Awards, four SOCAN Awards and three Canadian Country Music Awards. Multi-platinum albums such as Fare Thee Well Love and North Country landed directly into the hearts of listeners, with songs that still remain part of the regional and national landscape today.
After taking a hiatus to pursue individual careers in 1999, tragedy struck The Rankin Family in 2000 with the death of John Morris Rankin, who was killed in a single-vehicle accident. It was nearly eight years before Jimmy, Cookie, Raylene and Heather would reunite, offering their fans a spectacular Canadian tour that received glowing reviews in publications across the county. This year saw the release of These Are The Moments, a return to the musical prowess that led to their dominance in the 1990s.
The Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has had a profound and lasting effect on the Atlantic Canadian Music Industry. The award was renamed after Dr. Helen Creighton when Dr. Creighton received the award in 1991.
Scotty Turner (born Graham Turnbull in Sydney) did it all as record producer, musician, songwriter and publisher. He was the lead guitarist and writer for Tommy Sands and the Raiders and joined A&M Records as writer/producer in 1963. From that, he went on to be general manager of Central Songs and eventually became executive producer of the country division at Liberty/Imperial Records. In 1968, Scott was transferred to Nashville to take over the country division of Liberty/Imperial/United Artists. He was also an independent producer for Slim Whitman, Del Reeves, and Jimmy Clanton. He won Gold Records on four of Whitman’s LPs.
Turner composed well over 350 recorded songs and has co-written efforts with Audie Murphy, Nilsson, Buddy Holly, Herb Alpert, Mac Davis, John Marascalco, Alex Harvey, Red Lane, Tommy Sands, Diane Lampert, Charlie Williams, Doc Pomus, Guy Mitchell, and Cliffie Stone. He passed away February 9th, 2009.
The Stompin’ Tom Award was conceived in 1993 when Stompin’ Tom Connors was presented with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement award. Instead of accepting the award, he requested that an award be created to honour musicians who have made long-term contributions to the East Coast music industry and paved the road for many successful East Coast artists today. The award goes to one or more individuals from the host community.
From small-town pageant winner to recording artist, Cornelia (Boucher) MacLeod met Billy MacLeod in high school. From there, the duo would become a prolific musical tandem, releasing five albums and four 45 recordings as ‘Cornelia and Billy’. They spent 20 years touring, making stops in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Equador, Africa, Mexico, Japan and the United States. The two became fixtures in Cape Breton – specifically Richmond County, remaining true to their Acadian roots while also appearing on such televisions programs as the Tommy Hunter Show.
The awards will be presented at this year’s Industry Awards Brunch on Friday, March 5th, at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. The 2010 East Coast Music Awards, Festival & Conference will take place in Sydney, Cape Breton, NS, from March 4-7. The event is part of the ECMA’s mandate to foster, promote and develop East Coast music.