Michael T. Wall (The Singing Newfoundlander) – On Stage At Molly 'N Me - 1975 Folk (vinyl)
Michael T. Wall (The Singing Newfoundlander)* – On Stage At Molly 'N Me - 1975 Folk (vinyl)
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On Sept. 5, Wall received a lifetime achievement award from the National Traditional Country Music Association in Iowa. During the same ceremony, he also received an ambassador’s award for promoting country music around the world.
Although he moved to Toronto more than 50 years ago for his career, Wall’s native Newfoundland has always been a part of his identity, especially when it comes to music.
“In my heart, I never really left,” Wall said. “That’s why I love Newfoundland so much. I’ve been carrying Newfoundland on my back around the world since 1961.”
Much of Wall’s wardrobe — shirts, jackets and belt buckles — are emblazoned with the image of Newfoundland. He even has guitar picks shaped like the island, which he will throw into the audience for souvenirs.
Wall was born in Corner Brook in 1938, and was influenced early on by the legendary Johnny Cash, who Wall would meet several times throughout his career.
He first met Cash, along with June Carter, in Toronto in 1961, when “The Man in Black” was performing at Massey Hall. Cash perked up when Wall told him he was a Newfoundlander, since Cash sometimes went on hunting and fishing trips to the island.
The Singing Newfoundlander released his first of many albums in 1974. Over the years, like many other musical artists around the world, Wall came to believe he wasn’t receiving his royalty dues for album sales.
“Half the time, I never got paid for them,” he said. “It’s the old story.”
In 2006, one of the most significant events of Wall’s career would take place when he accepted an offer to tour Australia. His popularity took off in there when a radio DJ, Big Al, played Wall’s cover of Bert Cuff’s “Island of Newfoundland.”
“The song caught on and people were phoning the station, and he told me the phone was lit up like a Christmas tree,” said Wall.
Last spring, during his most recent tour of Australia, Wall presented one of his guitars to the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.
As a tip of his hat to the land down under, Wall’s latest double-album, which also features his daughters Sarah and Sabrina, is entitled “From Newfoundland to Australia.”
The 77-year-old is busy recording 25 songs for a new gospel album, but he hopes to soon wind down his music career and retire in Newfoundland.
“I would love to do a final tour of Newfoundland because I’ve already written my farewell song,” said Wall. “It’s a beautiful song.”
|A1||Tribute To Harry Hibs||2:10|
|A2||When Father Played The Accordion||2:35|
|A3||Little Isle Of Newfoundland||2:54|
|A4||Aunt Martha's Sheep||2:42|
|A5||Toast To Newfoundland||3:22|
|B2||You Can't Fool A Newfoundlander||2:08|
|B3||Down Home In Newfoundland||2:06|
|B4||I've Never Been To Newfoundland||2:12|
|B5||The Sheep's Point Of View||1:55|
|B6||Cod Liver Oil Song||2:55|