Ned Landry | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Ned Landry

Frederick Lawrence "Ned" Landry, CM, fiddler, composer, singer (born 2 February 1921 in Saint John, NB; died 25 August 2018 in Saint John, NB).

Ned (Frederick Lawrence) Landry. Fiddler, composer, singer, b Saint John, NB, 2 Feb 1921. Though as a boy he taught himself to play the violin, Landry first appeared, in 1934, on Don Messer's CHSJ radio show 'Backwoods Breakdown' as a harmonica player. In 1939, with the New Brunswick Lumberjacks, he placed second in CBS radio's 'Major Bowes' Amateur Hour' in New York, and then became the first oldtime fiddler to perform on TV in Boston. He began recording for RCA Victor in 1955, completing eight LPs for that label. He also made LPs for Arc, MMC, Afton, his own Landry label, and Prime Time. The winner in the open class of the 1956, 1957, and 1962 Canadian Open Old Time Fiddlers' Contests, Landry appeared in the 1950s on CFBC radio, Saint John, and in the 1960s on 'Don Messer's Jubilee' and other TV shows. He performed throughout Canada and recorded many of his several hundred fiddle tunes, composed in various Canadian styles. Some are published in the folios Ned Landry Favorite Fiddle Tunes (Empire 1952) and Bowing the Strings with Ned Landry (Thompson 1959). Among his best-known titles are Ontario Swing, Bowin' the Strings, and Hillbilly Calypso.

Honours and Activities after 1990

Landry was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991. Among his performances in the 1990s and later were appearances at several festivals: for the Prince of Wales in Fredericton; and at Walt Disney World, Florida. The recipient of the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2002 East Coast Music Association Awards, Landry also received a lifetime contribution award from the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship; the latter offers a trophy named for him. He was also inducted into the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame, and the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. He continued to compose fiddle tunes, including his "Governor General's Waltz," and to make recordings. Among his recent recordings were Ned Landry: International Fiddling Champion (Atlantica NL-00102, 1994); Generations (with Ivan Hicks; ME-1013, 2001); and The Master and the Apprentice (with Ken Wood, 1999). The National Library of Canada holds his archives.

Further Reading