Os-ke-non-ton

Os-ke-non-ton (b Louie Deer). Baritone, actor, b Caughnawaga (now Kahnawake), Que, ca 1890, d Lily Dale, NY, ca 1950. Educated in Muncey near London, Ont, in Caughnawaga, and at Parkdale Collegiate in Toronto, he first worked as a hunter and guide in the Lake of Bays district of Ontario. There his natural singing talent was discovered by the Toronto teacher-singer Leonora James Kennedy, who taught him the rudiments of music and encouraged his further voice studies in New York. As Os-ke-non-ton (or Running Deer, his name as a Mohawk chief) he first sang in the 1920s at the CNE and in the Toronto Star Fresh Air benefit concerts at Bigwin Inn, Lake of Bays. Subsequently he performed 1924-36 as the Indian Medicine Man in Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha at Royal Albert Hall, appeared in 1926 in Charles Wakefield Cadman's opera Shanewis, and gave recitals in 1928 in Toronto and Ottawa. On 25 Jan 1931 he sang with the TSO in one of its CNR radio broadcasts. He performed in royal command concerts in Great Britain and sang throughout Europe and the USA. His few recordings for Columbia (1920) and HMV (1925) are listed in Roll Back the Years.