OLD-TYME AIRES

Sweet Music of the Past

  After thirteen years of success performing music of the 40s, 50s, and the 60s, a local band is finally getting some well-deserved exposure. OLD-TYME AIRES, a band comprised of five musicians, is based mainly in the Leduc/Millet region.  Without fanfare, and even without one single newspaper article or advertisement, this band has had a noticeable success in the region, playing for seniors’ dances, birthdays and anniversaries, and other special events.  This reporter was invited to travel with the band on a Thursday night to attend a Stettler Seniors Social Society Dinner & Dance.  The Royal Canadian Legion was packed, so it seems this was a long-anticipated band performance and buffet dinner.  

The band name is not full of whimsical spelling. It is rather made up of long ago English words (‘aires’ meaning songs). It fits the purpose of this band perfectly. When the band was created (and still to this day), the primary goal was to promote music of a bygone era and to help maintain it!  Words like “post-WWII and “classic country” are part of the band’s image and self-promotion.
The background of its five musicians is eclectic. Esther Schmidt on keyboard invested many hours in learning to read music as an adult, and has been the main organist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rolly View for over forty years. She is also a keen urban gardener and an enthusiastic Leduc volunteer.  Wilfred Kneller on bass guitar and his cousin Don Kneller on drums earned their living in the dairy industry. Wilfred was a dairy farmer for 25 years in the Rolly View area, and still lives on his meticulously well-kept former dairy farm, while Don, now residing in Edmonton, was the owner of Kneller Dairy Sales & Services in Leduc. On the banjo, Harvey Schneider was an occasional replacement thirteen years ago who enjoyed the ‘gig’, and never left, despite his still current occupation as a grain farmer in the North end of Leduc County.  
On the accordion is talented and congenial Selma Wegner of Millet. She had a career at the Leduc Community Hospital for nearly thirty years, where she worked as an RN and nursing manager.  Having retired in 1995, she has fond memories and an obvious pride of her time there.  
While attending this seniors’ dance, it was impressive to witness all these couples dancing the night away.  One gentleman, whose 91st birthday was announced by the Society’s president, Mr. Terry Crisp, never missed one dance!  One of the announcements was the 46th anniversary of Wilf and Marlene Buelow of Stettler. An interesting fact is that this couple once resided in Hardisty, where Marlene was part of “The Week the Women Went”, a 2007 event funded by a film company when 102 women left their families, jobs and businesses to go on an all-expenses paid vacation to the Rockies, and the men’s survival and testimonies were recorded into an interesting documentary.  Another connection to our readers’ neighbourhood. The society’s secretary, Annabelle Bignell, was quite enjoying the band and took a moment to mention that her brother Ken Reinbold is an electrical contractor living in the City of Leduc.
Talking about survival, the Old-Tyme Aires has flourished in challenging economic times, and although not fond of travelling on winter roads, they have bookings all year long. The list of dances experienced by attendees of this bands’ performances is long, Seven-steps, Cotton-eye Joe, La Versovienne, Heal-and-Toe Polka, the Old-Tyme Waltz, the SK barn dance, the Bird Dance and the Butterfly, the French Minuet, Gay Gordon, the Polka and Fox Trot and the Spanish Waltz are all famous old time dances, and by the looks of it, still popular with a certain age group.
The tunes are catchy and reminiscent for some of a difficult era where music was blissfully lifting spirits and providing a precious distraction to the challenges of life. Songs like “Yellow bird” and “Blues Spanish Eyes” offer a latin-american rhythm to dance to, while “There goes my everything” is a lovely country western tune. “Anytime” and ‘In the Mood” are classics from the Post-WW II era and are still popular today.  Since all five musicians have a German background, this band has a notable repertoire of German songs, which makes it an ideal band to perform at an Oktoberfest event, something they love to do! 
With a faithful following in the central region of the province, Old-Tyme Aires has produced five CDs in the past 13 years, and is not showing signs of slowing down.  Aided by his business background, the booking agent for the band is Don Kneller, who can be reached at 780-450-3306. Specializing in “Old Tyme” and “Classic Country” music, the Old-Tyme Aires band’s quality of performance is guaranteed another busy schedule this year, and this Pipestone Flyer reporter looks forward to another occasion to see the band per
More Stories:
  • Human Trafficking: An Audacious Appeal By Andraya McMaster When I was in grade ten, I met a woman different than any other woman I had known. She was living on the streets, addicted to cocaine, trading her body for a fix and a roof over her head. But when I met ...
  • The Future Of High School Athletics: Part II - The Role Of The Coach Most high school teachers that get involved with coaching see it as an opportunity to get involved with their students in a non-classroom atmosphere. Some do it as their contribution to the school’s and student morale, while ...
  • Wetaskiwin Hospital Auxiliary Works Endless Hours To Support Healthcare The Wetaskiwin Hospital Auxiliary has a long and loyal history of supporting healthcare in this community. The magnitude of volunteering by the members is absolutely amazing, as the Hospital Auxiliary contributes approximately ...
  • Council Notes From All Over Thorsby Linda M. Steinke Cory Gilbert, with Thorsby and District Cultural & Historical Society, updated Council of the Society’s progress the November 25 council meeting. An executive committee— consisting of President Cory ...
  • Thorsby Hosts International Volleyball Match Thorsby Junior Senior High School had the privilege of hosting an international volleyball match between the Red Deer College Queens and the Hokusho University Tigers team from Japan. The match was held Monday morning on ...
  • Toy Ride Postponed A seventeen-year tradition in the capital region, this year’s Capital Region Snowmobile Toy Ride was postponed until January 18 due to the warm weather that melted the planned course along Highway 21 causing unsafe sledding ...
  • Christmas Spirit Comes To Millet Every two years, and now celebrating its 16th year, the Canadian Pacific Rail supports a Holiday Train. This is a rolling fundraising event which travels across Canada to raise money, food and awareness for food banks and ...
  • School Organics Following a delay because of the weather, the City of Leduc launched a new organics material collection pilot project last week. Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke and Leduc Environmental Advisory Board member and councillor Glen ...
  • Curling Across The Nation Rob Swan is a native and resident of Harvey Station, a New Brunswick village of four hundred residents located 50 km southwest of Fredericton. A lifelong curler, Rob embarked on a personal mission when his local Harvey Curling ...
  • The Stage Is My ‘Church’ Kerry Klontz is a local (Wetaskiwin) musician who shares his ‘story’ with the Pipestone Flyer that explains how, for 43 years, music helped him overcome tragic experiences. A mixture of folk and blues, Rev K’s (Klontz) music ...
  • Rising Up For Hope & Healing Nicole rose from her seat and slowly made her way to the stage. Many guests thought she might change her mind at the last minute but this soft-spoken woman was determined to keep her promise and share her story. “I was in ...
  • Leduc City Budget Leduc residents are going to see their taxes go up next year in order to pay for the services a growing community needs. At the December 8 council meeting, councillors approved a 3.7 per cent tax increase, two per cent of ...
  • Leduc Basketball The Leduc High Schools Senior Girls’ Basketball Teams got off to a rough start in league play last week. Both Leduc Composite and Christ the King (CTK) ladies had difficulty in finding the win column. On Monday, December ...
  • A Tax Is A Tax, No Matter What It Is Called Note: the final numbers and budget decisions are not completed at press time. The following is information and numbers that are being considered by Council. Final decisions may not be available until December 19th. When I ...
  • Gary Fjellgaard — More Than A Singer Gary Fjellgaard is a very fine professional entertainer. He stepped onto the stage of the Wetaskiwin Water Works Theatre and moved smoothly, competently and comfortably through his program of stories and songs, excellently ...
  • Comics — December 18, 2014
  • Lions' International Life Membership Award The shiny metal Lions’ International Life Membership Card received by Wetaskiwin Lion, Isabel Peters, on November 24, 2014, is a symbolic recognition of her long time, dedicated service to the Club. The card was presented ...
  • How Do You Celebrate The Season? With Christmas only 4 weeks away I thought it would be great to start a December article with a little festive fun to get you in the mood. Looking back on some of the Christmas seasons that have passed, I can remember feeling ...
  • Leduc To Host World Sledge Hockey Challenge On Monday, December 8, 2014, Hockey Canada’s Dean McIntosh, senior director of events & properties, announced at a press conference held in the Leduc Recreation Center (LRC) that Leduc would be the site to host the 2015 World ...
  • Piatta Forma Singers Perform With The Black Gold Community Band Leduc choir Piatta Forma Singers joined the Black Gold Community Band in an outstanding concert held at Peace Lutheran Church in Leduc city’s downtown core, on the evening of Saturday December 6th. Piatta Forma Singers, a ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia