Even prior to it becoming a province in 1905, the few settlers in Saskatchewan played fiddle music around the fires in the cabins as one of their few means of entertainment. As the landscape became dotted with new families, the tiny village of Maple Creek popped up and nestled in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan and removed from any real civilization, it began to develop its own community hall square dances.
What began as a Sunday afternoon jam in the community hall evolved into a national touring ensemble, when The Maple Creek Old Tyme Fiddlers was formed in the mid ’60s. Many members came and went through the years, either spending more time with the crops, they moved to seniors’ lodges in the big cities, or passed on.
They made a few trips around the community halls around that half of the province while the spouses packed lunches for the road trips and kept the homefires burning. Eventually they expanded their base, and along with manyThere were no recording studios in Saskatchewan at the time, so they ventured off to Winnipeg and Century 21 Studios.
They released a string of albums in the early ’80s, full of Opry-styled classics. The band’s lineup changed from time to time over it’s dozen years’ history, but at the time of recording COUNTRY WALTZES in ’85, the band included Archie Harrigan (Mayor) and Olga Sawby (councillor – and also painter of the album jacket), farmers Put Coulter, Mel Eckart, and Allen Gold, auctioneer Jimmy Carroll, Herb Duncan (the local hardware clerk), dairy worker Dorothy Roy and her friend and housewife Bernice Stewart, and retirees Clarence Duncan, Cliff Moore, John Nazarenko Royce Smith, Peter Swain, and Bob White.
They continued playing around the area in various incarnations until the late 1980s until quietly disbanding as a formal entity, although many members continued to play occasionally for several years.