Biography:Earl Mitton

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Earl Mitton

Earl Mitton

 Given name:     Earl
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Mitton
 Place of birth:     Moncton, New Brunswick
 Place of death:     Fredrickton, New Brunswick
 Year of birth:     1926
 Year of death:     1991
 Profile:     Composer, Musician
 Source of information:

Biographical notes

Earl Mitton was born in 1926. He grew up in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia where he started playing the fiddle at ten years of age. His father and two uncles were also musically talented. He joined the army in 1944 at age 18 and following his service in 1946 he moved to New Brunswick. In 1960 he married Phyllis Goodine of Fredericton and the same year started his band "The Valley Rhythm Boys". The band was very popular and played on CFNB Radio as well as CHSJ television in Saint John. Earl also appeared on the Don Messer show and filled in as summer replacement for the Messer show on radio. He also played clarinet and saxophone and was in the Royal Canadian Regimental Band as well as the Fredericton Marching Band. He was a well known composer of fiddle tunes including Carleton County Hornpipe, The Nova Scotia Polka, Earl Mitton's Breakdown, York County Hornpipe and many others. He recorded on the Arc and Quality labels and in the 1950's had the very first release on the then new Rodeo label. Earl Mitton passed away in 1991.

From the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame (Mitton was inducted in 1987):

Earl Mitton was born in Moncton , New Brunswick in 1926 and at the age of 6 months moved to Stewiake , Nova Scotia and later lived in Amherst , Nova Scotia . He enlisted in the Canadian Army at Fredericton , NB in 1944 and served until 1946. His first fiddle was a gift from his father. He moved to Fredericton in 1947 and there formed the band called the Valley Rhythm Boys in 1950. Jack Fenety of CFNB gave the group its name when he was doing the announcing chores on the broadcast. Earl along with the Valley Rhythm Boys did a live radio show from Radio Station CFNB for 10 years. He recorded three albums for Quality Records, on of which is entitled “Down East Fiddling”.

Earl competed in the North American Fiddling Contest at Shelburne , Ontario and finished in the top three in 1957-1958. Earl and his group had a weekly TV series on CHSJ-TV in Saint John for a period of three years. Earl was a close personal friend of the late Don Messer and appeared many times on his coast-to-coast television show. One of his biggest thrills was his first meeting with Don Messer in 1943. “Earl Mitton's Breakdown” was featured on one of Don Messer's recordings. As well as being an accomplished musician, Earl is a composer. Among his compositions are the “New Brunswick Hornpipe”, “Blue Violet Breakdown”, “The Carleton County Hornpipe” and “Earl Mitton's Breakdown”.

Along with the fiddle, Earl also plays drums and guitar. He played clarinet and saxophone in the Fredericton City Concert & Marching Band. He made several appearances with the RCR Band as guest violinist – one of which at The Silver Broom in 1980. He received a letter of appreciation from Lieutenant Governor Stanley for his appearance with this band at the Fredericton Playhouse.