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:
  • Comics — October 30, 2014
  • Warburg Hosts First Tripleball Tournament Tripleball is an adaptation of volleyball that consists of a serve and then a “free ball” tossed over the net to start the next two rallies. The purpose of this is to take away the emphasis on serving and have athletes focus ...
  • Leduc Chamber Meets On Small Business Week The recent monthly Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce was held within Alberta’s Small Business Week, October 20-24. This was great timing as its mission is to support and empower businesses of the Region to prosper, reach ...
  • Homeless Count In Leduc It’s hard for a parent to wonder if their child is developing properly if they don’t know where they will be sleeping at night. To help combat the issue of homelessness, Leduc County FCSS will use a federal government grant ...
  • Herb Reynar’s Contribution To Leduc Herb Reynar’s Dad Charles Herbert (C.H.) Reynar was born in 1882 from Irish stock that had migrated to Quebec during the potato famine of the mid 1800’s. He met his wife, Violet Evelyn Dacres, in Quebec City and they married ...
  • Santa’s Anonymous Time Again Submitted by Jan Barker, Santa’s Anonymous Once again, with the leaves falling, the Christmas season is fast approaching and the Alder Flats, Buck Lake and Winfield Santa’s Anonymous committee is gearing up to help needy ...
  • Washington Capitals Came To Town On Tuesday October 21st, regional hockey fans were treated to a visit by the Washington Capitals’ entire team, holding a practice at the Leduc Recreation Centre. The team chose this fantastic venue thanks to the ongoing ‘relationship’ ...
  • Millet Haunted House Delivers The Chills Connor McCauley, a creepy clown and Liam Norton are all smiles before they enter the horror of the haunted house. Photo by Christina Komives
  • Leduc Completes Football Season The Leduc Tigers Football Team saw their season come to an end on Thurs-day, October 23rd when the leading St Francis X-Men completed Division play undefeated with a 56 to 6 defeat of the Tigers. Leduc’s slim hopes of qualifying ...
  • Leduc Resident Wins Prestigious Award Farm women lead busy lives: raising kids, supporting their husband’s endeavors, cooking, gardening vegetables and flowers…But for some, life would not be as rich as it can be if they didn’t “give back” to the community they ...
  • Telford Lake Remains Closed To The Public For Another Week As a precautionary safety measure, the City of Leduc is continuing to advise residents and visitors to refrain from entering Telford Lake. Initial tests indicated that ethylene glycol was present in water near a storm sewer ...
  • Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow When we are young, we have a lot more tomorrows than yesterdays and as we age that reverses and, eventually, we find ourselves with a lot more yesterdays than tomorrows. But the one constant is today. Today is the day we ...
  • Letters To The Editor Dear Editor: Warning to all Wetaskiwin Legion Members Do you want the Wetaskiwin Legion to close its doors in 10 to 12 years because they have no assets left? You as members will be receiving written notice of a meeting that ...
  • Provincial Horseshoe Pitchers’ Awards Wetaskiwin received significant provincial awards at the Alberta Horseshoe Pitchers’ Association’s 2014 AGM, banquet and Awards Night in Innisfail. Steve Moody was the Provincial Player of the Year, Cindy Ekkel received the ...
  • 2nd Annual RCMP Regimental Ball Benefits Leduc & District Victim Services Out of a dark circumstance, hope and new friendships can arise. At the October 25th second Annual RCMP Regimental Ball to benefit Leduc & District Victim Services, a spellbound crowd of three hundred guests heard the story ...
  • First Taste Of Christmas Shauna Helm with her Arbonne skin care and Sarah Jones with her steeped teas (in photo) were proud to be two of the ten exhibitors at the Christmas Vendor Blender, organized by Andrea Dean, that was held last Saturday, next ...
  • John Whaley Will Continue To Serve As Mayor For Leduc County John Whaley will continue to serve as mayor for Leduc County. During the Leduc County Organizational meeting last week, Division Two Councillor Clay Stumph nominated Whaley to serve for an eighth term as mayor. Whaley’s was ...
  • WCHS Performing Arts Night Friday night, October 24, saw a host of in-vested and appreciative family and friends descend on the West gym of WCHS to be treated to the second Performing Arts Night, showcasing talent from the music, drama and art departments ...
  • New Jaws Of Life For South Pigeon Lake Submitted by Grant Churchill (Assistant Fire Chief, South Pigeon Lake Fire Department) and Darrel Bohlender Community, businesses and local clubs help join in to raise money for a new Jaws of Life for the South Pigeon Lake ...
  • Rundle’s Mission Lakeshore Lookout Dedicated MP Blaine Calkins joined with Rundle’s Mission Board, staff, and supporters to dedicate the Rundle’s Mission Lakeshore Lookout. A gazebo built beside the road at the top of the steep drop to Pigeon Lake so that all visitors, ...




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