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L.A. Beat


Rankin Sisters present a Maritime Christmas
Tue, Dec 7


Time: 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $49 or

If you made your way along Route 19 on Cape Breton Island, you would reach the small village of Mabou located in Inverness County.  Had you veered just slightly off the main highway, you would have found a small street that was once home to a number of large families. One home in particular, bordered on the Community Hall, the local gathering place for weddings, dances and anniversaries.  Live music would regularly fill the air.  It was in this close-knit community that Kathleen (Kaye) and Alexander (Buddy) would raise their 12 children – five of whom would eventually become known to the world as The Rankin Family.
While not performers Kathleen and Buddy had keen musical ears and a love and appreciation for music that they fostered in all their children, encouraging them to be involved in the church choir and other musical community festivals and gatherings.  The older children formed a singing group, but soon went their separate ways upon graduation.   It was the fourth and fifth oldest – John Morris and Raylene, who along with their younger siblings, Heather, Cookie, and Jimmy that would stay the course – getting University educations, singing to pay for the tuition, and finally in 1989 releasing their own independent self-titled recording followed in 1990, by Fare Thee Well Love.   A year after the second release, they were signed to Capitol/EMI Music.  When the label re-released Fare Thee Well Love in 1992 it went on to become a multi-platinum seller, topped the charts at #1 with the title track soon finding its way to the Disney Movie "Into the West", and the Family, into the hearts and souls of Canadians from coast to coast.
North Country followed in 1993, another #1 multi-platinum success, containing the popular title track in addition to Borders and Time.  Grey Dusk of Eve and Endless Seasons were both released in 1995 followed by Heather, Cookie and Raylene's best selling Christmas album Do You Hear What I Hear.   1998 saw the release of their final album together – aptly title Uprooted. 
In that 10-year period, the Rankin Family would be honoured with 15 East Coast Music Awards, 6 Juno Awards, 4 SOCAN Awards and 3 Canadian Country Music Awards.
In 1999, the group decided to go their separate ways, each pursuing their own interests and musical projects.  In 2000 on an icy winter morning, tragedy struck when John Morris died in a single car accident on a slippery stretch of coastal road, while swerving to avoid a large pile of road salt.  With the loss of what was arguably the musical heart of the Rankin's any lingering thoughts of reforming, were also laid to rest.   It is no surprise that it took 8 years before a suggestion, put forward to have them reunite on a recording and in concert was met first with caution, and then enthusiasm.  Was the magic still there?


Southminster United Church
1011-4 Avenue South
T1J 0P7
Country: ca


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