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:
  • Leduc & CTK Basketball Improving For the second time in a month the senior high basketball teams will be taking another two-week break as semester exams approach. All four of the senior teams of Leduc Comp and Christ the King (CTK) played on Monday, January ...
  • City Of Leduc Pushes For RCMP To Ensure Funded Positions Remain Staffed The City of Leduc wants the positions they’ve paid for filled with police officers. At the Jan. 12 council meeting, councilors decided to submit a resolution supporting the Federation of Canadian Municipalities own resolution ...
  • Black Gold Quilt Patch Guild Presented With Plaque Submitted by June Aponiuk, Secretary Black Gold Quilt Patch Guild,  Leduc, AB       As with many quilt guilds, we are happy to provide quilts where there is a need. In our case, the majority of quilts are given to the Children’s ...
  • Warburg Junior Curling Receives Donation The Tomahawk/Warburg Field Office of Sinopec Daylight Energy recently put smiles on the faces of 32 Warburg Junior Curling Club members with a donation of $1000. The donation is earmarked for equipment and supplies for the ...
  • Leduc Teacher Returns From Down Under “My family and colleagues were shocked I was about to do this. Through the application process, I often shook my head and could not believe it either! I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and did this.”  And so begins ...
  • Telford Place Continues To Grow When 29-year-old Robert Telford decided to put down roots along a creek just west of a lake, he was aware of the plans of a railroad coming through the area as tracks were being laid just south of his location. It is doubtful ...
  • Kicking Horse Industrial Park A meeting was held in Millet on Wednesday evening, January 14, 2015 at the Millet Agriplex to notify and field questions from tax ratepayers and interested parties in conjunction with the newest industrial park in Central ...
  • Wetaskiwin Attempts To Fill Education Gaps On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, NorQuest College Wetaskiwin Campus was humming with discussion.  Approximately thirty learning providers, agency representatives, government officials and other stakeholders gathered  to participate ...
  • Augustana Campus Presents Piano Concert The University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus is celebrating the opening of the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre this year by presenting a series of free events to the public.  The next offering is shaping up ...
  • Millet Curling Club Holds Sturling     The Millet Curling Club held a Sturling with 16 teams participating on January 16 and 17. The next Sturling is scheduled for March 6 & 7. If you would like to register or receive more information on the upcoming event ...
  • Pink T-Shirt Day Gearing Up     Up until 2011, males would not be caught dead wearing pink as it was a noted symbol of femininity. That has changed. Today it is common to see even the extreme ‘jocks’ like hockey players and cowboys flexing their muscles ...
  • Town Of Millet Council Notes     Mayor Lorenson called Council to order at 6pm.     Appointments and Delegations: Millet Curling Club: The Millet Curling Club has discovered that it will need to replace the brine tank at the rink after recently replacing ...
  • County Of Wetaskiwin Council Notes November 2014 Bank Reconciliation: Each month the Bank Reconciliation is prepared and balanced to the General Ledger. The Bank Reconciliation reviews the County’s financial position in the following areas: General Account, ...
  • City Of Leduc Growing Younger Leduc’s 2014 census report was released last week and it shows a 4.9 per increase in population, down slightly from the 6.9 per cent the previous year. However, it showed an increase in the number of people between 20 and ...
  • Alberta Athletes Bound For The Podium When she was four years old, Edmonton cross-country skier and Olympic medalist, Madeline Williams, witnessed the Olympic Torch Relay when her parents took their young family to the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Despite ...
  • Waterworks Theatre Presents Another Entertaining Evening Wetaskiwin Waterworks Theatre Director Edlon Roth invites the residents of Wetaskiwin and surrounding region to an evening of fun and laughter with the production of ‘Fishing for Frank’. “The production is a display of close ...
  • Basketball Returns! High school basketball returned to Leduc schools on Tuesday, January 6th when the Leduc Composite Junior boys took to the hard-court against the M.E. Lazerte Voyageurs. The Voyageurs were able to quickly get into gear and ...
  • WCHS Awards For Excellent Students Wetaskiwin Composite High School students have the opportunity to earn a wide range of awards and scholarships from a variety of sources including the Province and the community. Each year there is one student who stands ...
  • Rosebrier 4H Beef Club Happy New Year to everyone. We have been busy the last while. Back in November we were able to work together as a club and make up 61 Operation Christmas Shoe Boxes. It sure felt good to be able to help others. Coming up ...
  • It’s A New Year! How did your new year start off? Did you set out with a bunch of resolutions? If so, how’s that going for you? I am sure most people start the year off with the best intentions because who wouldn’t like to see their life ...




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