Jack Webster’s career | Bowing Down Home




CW – Carl Webster

JW – Jackie Webster

KP – Curator Ken Perlman

CW: When people would come to the house. When people'd come in. Dad would always play the fiddle for them, day and night. If someone come along in the daytime, no matter if he was cultivating potatoes with horses – He'd stop, tie the horses up and go in and play for an hour or two. He done a lot of fiddling. He played six nights some summers at dances you know, five and six nights every summer. And weddings, any weddings in the vicinity of 12 miles or longer. He pretty well done a lot of playing at the weddings. That'd be all day affais.

JW and the night

CW And night-- 12:00 at night or 1:00 in the morning, them years they partied all day and half the night

JW: He started to play when he was 12 yrs. old. He played at a wedding when he was 12 yrs. old put it that way.

CW: The fiddler that was supposed to play for it got drunk. And he was only a young fellow. And they got him to play -- that was his first wedding to play.

KP: What year was your father born?

CW: 1899

KP: When did he pass away?

CW: 1975

JW: Later years he didn't play very much, ‘cause he had heart trouble. The doctor told him not to play the violin eh. But he played up until he was 70.

CW: Oh he played into his 70s.

JW: Like he played occasionally – Plowin’ matches, played for all the step dances down there mostly.

KP: How long did he continue with his heavy schedule?

JW: Up to 65, that's when he started to get bothered with his heart

CW Slowed down then you know

KP: He was playing 6 nights a week until then?

JW: Oh, not all the time, no,

CW: 5 and 6 nights

JW: Mostly 3 nights.

CW: And then three nights. But the last quite a number of years that he went 5 nights.

JW: Well years ago, there used to be school house dances all around the country he'd be playing at them which was a sixnight deal pretty well, you know.

CW: Not every summer but an odd summer.

KP: Would he get paid for this?

JW: He'd get paid $5.00 a night. Later years he got $10, then he went up to $12. He never got very big money playing the violin. He played at Montague Saturday night, every Saturday night.

KP: Where was that?

JW: That used to be in the Beaver Club. It's all tore down now.

CW: The dances them years, the halls would be packed, I mean literally packed.

JW: Vernon River, St. Theresa’s,

CW: Fortune,

JW: Played in Charlottetown, the White Spot they called it, he played there for 2 or 3 summers. And then he played in Dunstaffnage; he played in Rollo Bay.

CW: Forest Hill.

JW: Vesta Peters used to play with him at that time. He played Fortune Hall for a lot of years. He played all around the vicinity of Cardigan, you know.