Frank Howard Orchestra — Live at ‘Club Cedars’

For those living in the Bay of Quinte region of Southern Ontario prior to 1990, few can forget the charming (tropical) nightspot known simply as "Club Cedars" — the quintessential ‘place to be’ to enjoy live music and dancing every Friday/Saturday evening for more than forty years. Residing along the Moira River, just north of Cannifton dam, Club Cedars immerged quietly in the 1930’s as a simple ‘open-air’ venue, hosting seasonal dances for local residents and summertime travellers. With popularity growing into the 1940’s, the weather-prone facility was soon enclosed, offering ‘year-round’ enjoyment to patrons of the Big Band Swing Era. In 1957, the Club experienced its final incarnation, when owner John Skurka recontructed the hall, revealing the starlit tropical oasis that contemporary enthusiasts fondly recall.


—  Saturday, June 24, 1978  —

Renowned for its classic ‘Big Band’ sound, the [often ten-piece] Frank Howard Orchestra was a Saturday night staple at Cedars for nearly two decades, offering so-called ‘older’ audiences a welcomed journey back to yesteryear. Throughout the 1970’s, Frank’s pension for showcasing young talent nurtured support from many local musicians, culminating in the debut of four new regulars by September of 1977. Embracing the influence of youthful energy and an ever-changing musical climate, the Frank Howard Orchestra treated loyal followers to an eclectic mix of Big Band standards, Pop ballads, and Disco favourites for many of the Club’s remaining years. The live recording made on June 24, 1978 (presented here) is a nostalgic snapshot of that time ...

In their original context, these recordings were never intended to capture the ‘true’ sound of the band — say, from an audience perspective. Rather, their existence is purely clinical; a private ‘learning tool’ used to critique my typical performance. [Thus, discriminating listeners will likely find the rhythm guitar overpowering at times.] Though the recordings served their intended purpose well, I find myself now — some thirty years on — somewhat regretful, reminiscing instead a more authentic listening experience. Nevertheless, I am pleased to share this memorable evening of music ‘as is’, knowing that the recordings herein are perhaps the sole survivors of that magical era.

I feel extremely fortunate to have shared with Frank his passion for this marvellous experience, and so, wish to thank him (indeed all the band members) for our many years together.   — Glen Edwards, 1975-1980, (1985, 1986)

—  Band Members  —

Frank Howard (Band Leader)

  — Trumpet

Hugo 'Professor' Diggins

  — Alto Saxophone

Brian Coughlan

  — Tenor/Soprano Saxophone & Clarinet

Robert McGall

  — Baritone Saxophone & Flute

Ken Laird

  — Acoustic Piano

Lance Jeffrey

  — Drums

Clyde Dawson

  — Bass Guitar

Gord Spafford [Guest Appearance]

  — Bass Guitar & Vocals

Glen Edwards

  — Rhythm Guitar & Vocals

Kathy Spafford

  — Headline Vocalist

Kathy Spafford featured on tunes 4, 5, 7,  9, 14, 18, 19, 22, 26, 39, & 47.

Glen Edwards featured on 2, 3, 5, 11, 15, 16, 23, 27, 28, 34, 36, 40& 42.

Gord Spafford featured on 20, 32, & 33; appearing also on 19 & 34.

'The Singing Saxophones' featured on 24, 25, & 41.

Complete Music Line-up

  1.  Shiny Stockings
  2.  If You Leave Me Now
  3.  Evil Ways
  4.  Something
  5.  I Believe In Music
  6.  My Ol' Kentucky Home
  7.  We've Only Just Begun
  8.  Joy To The World
  9.  (You Are The) Sunshine Of My Life
10.  Sweet Gypsy Rose
11.  I'd Really Love To See You Tonight
12.  Hey Jude
13.  ?   - Big Band number
14.  I've Got Love On My Mind
15.  Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
16.  I Can't Smile Without You
17.  You Made Me Love You
18.  Love Will Keep Us Together
19.  Emotion
20.  Blue Suede Shoes Medley
21.  Swing Medley
22.  The Way We Were
23.  Proud Mary
24.  Moonlight Serenade
25.  Spanish Eyes
26.  If I Can't Have You
27.  (I Love You) Just The Way You Are
28.  (You Get The) Best Of My Love
29.  Tie A Yellow Ribbon ...
30.  Swingin' Shepherd Blues
31.  Blue Moon
32.  Play That Funky Music
33.  Your Mama Don't Dance
34.  How Deep Is Your Love?
35.  String Of Pearls
36.  Easy
37.  Joy To The World  [revisited]
38.  Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy
39.  Evergreen
40.  Get Down Tonight
41.  Yellow Bird
42.  I Write The Songs
43.  ?   - Big Band number
44.  Polka Medley
45.  Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
46.  Rock Around The Clock
47.  You Light Up My Life

Playback available on THIS page only.

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Technical note  —

Though the evening’s itinerary was captured faithfully on reel-to-reel tape, only tunes later transferred to cassette (designated in red) are featured on this site. Remaining numbers will be added pending access to a reel-to-reel machine. N.B.  This material is no longer available on 8-track cassette.   ;)

-  Frank Howard  (2009)  - 

Created: July 2009    Updated: October 2013


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