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The Ballad of the Duke
by Dallas Harms
Dallas Harms (1935 to 2019) was a Canadian 'country' musician, songwriter and producer. Dallas Leon Harms was born on July 18th 1935 in Jansen, Saskatchewan, Canada, but raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He began his career in the mid-1950s, making his first record in 1959 - however, it was not until the 1970s that he had his first big hits, with "In the Loving Arms of My Marie" and "Old Ira Gray". He followed these with the singles "Paper Rosie", "Georgia I'm Cheating on You Tonight", "It's Crying Time for Me", "The Fastest Gun", "I Picked a Daisy" and "The Ballad of the Duke" (featured here). Several of Harms' own songs were later recorded by Orval Prophet and US 'country' singer Gene Watson (the latter artist recorded a total of six, and had major US hits with "Paper Rosie" in 1977, and with "The Old Man and His Horn" and "Cowboys Don't Get Lucky All the Time" in 1978). Others to record his songs included Billy Walker, George Hamilton IV and 'The Osbourne Brothers'. During his lifetime, he toured extensively across Canada (including in 1976 with Ian Tyson), and he also performed in New Zealand and England. His LP "Out of Harms Way" included the popular hits "Honky Tonkin' (All Night Long)", "Country Fever" and "Fooling with Fire". He was given the "RPM Big Country Award" for 'Best Single' twice plus 'Best Album' once, and won the "CCMA Award" for 'Producer of the Year' in both 1983 and 1984. Throughout his career, he was a producer for Terry Carisse, Larry Mattson, Wayne Rostad, Roni Sommers and Paul Weber, as well as others. No less than twenty of Harms' singles made the 'RPM' Country Tracks charts, including his Canadian No. 1 single "Honky Tonkin' (All Night Long)". He also received the "RPM Big Country Award" for 'Top Composer' in 1975, 1977, 1978 and 1979, as well as their 'Top Producer' accolade in 1978, 1979 and 1985. He was inducted into the "Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame" in 1989, and was awarded the "Hamilton Music Awards" 'Lifetime Achievement Award' in 2016. Dallas Harms died in Hamilton, Ontario, on October 12th 2019, aged 84.
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Posted: 15th November 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace ✚", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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