Don Messer tribute coming to Springhill

Christopher Gooding
Published on April 2, 2014
Canadian Fiddle Entertainer of the Year Scott Woods is headed for Springhill, where he and his band will host an Old Time Jubilee, recalling the entertaining days of New Brunswick’s Don Messer.
Submitted photo

SPRINGHILL – Fine fiddling and a fun time filled with nostalgia are on its way to Springhill.

Scott Woods is returning to Springhill, bringing with him his familiar, old-fashioned fiddling. This time, though, it’s in tribute to a Canadian icon whose talents graced the radio and into the age of television. 

“We’re having a loving, fun tribute to Don Messer,” Woods said. “It’s not imitation or impersonation by any means, we’re just playing the music".

The New Brunswick-born Messer began his radio career in 1929 before transitioning to television in 1956 with the Don Messer Show and then with Don Messer’s Jubilee, the second-most watched television show to Hockey Night in Canada, but even then Messer could pull ahead in the ratings, Woods said.

“There was one night in 1964 when Don Messer drew more viewers than Hockey Night in Canada.”

The folk music variety show introduced audiences to the likes of Stompin’ Tom Conners and set the stage for future televised folk talent shows like Singalong Jubilee, which introduced the world to Springhill’s Anne Murray. But at the heart of Don Messer’s Jubilee was its namesake, his music and the memories music can make, which is what Woods is hoping to recreate with his audiences.

“I was too young to remember watching Don Messer, but his popularity was so great people from across the country started asking me to do a tribute show. Since I started, I’ve been meeting staff and cast members, but some of the stories I hear from fans I think it’s important for younger audiences to hear,” Woods said. “People remember a part of their youth, like grandma taking off her apron and dancing a jig when Don played. It’s important younger generations hear that and connect with their families.”

Scott Woods will bring his Don Messer tribute show to the St. Andrews-Wesely United Church on Thurs, April 24.  For ticket information, contact 902-597-8305, or 902-664-9971. To learn more about Scott Woods, visit



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