Memories of Bob Whitney and his Wobbleboard Carleton Place


Robert Whitney

Whitney: Robert “Bob”

Peacefully in Queensway Carleton Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario on Monday, August 3, 2009 at the age of 89 years.

Survived by his wife Etta and children, Judy, Howard, Dawn, Cyndela, Doug, Don, Wendi, Laura, Tammy, Cathy, Shelly and their families. Also survived by his sister Lorna. Predeceased by sons David and Raymond.

Born in Glace Bay, N.S. Moved to Ontario after serving in WW ll. From mechanics to music, he worked at both with passion, teaching for ten years before retiring and devoting full time to his music. He played many years with the Ottawa Valley Melodiers and appearances on the Don Messer Show are just parts of his music resumé. Bob could play a dozen instruments, all self taught with the saxaphone being his favourite.

“We will miss the Music Man”

John ‘Mac’ Beattie, Arnprior native, led the Melodiers, a legendary Ottawa Valley band on drums and vocals, with Reg Hill on fiddle, Garnet Scheel on guitar, Gaetan Fairfield on rhythm guitar, and Bob Whitney on saxophone.  The band performed for decades, and released a total of seven albums, mostly in the 1960s.

From Arlene Stafford click-

The Pre-Melodiers: Bill Coburn, Eric Burton, Maurice Clouthier, Ken Gilmore, Mac Beattie.

Founding Melodiers 1931: Mac Beattie, Gaetan Fairfield, Mervyn Leitch, Harold Mosley, Lloyd Mosley

Melodiers in the 30s: Mac Beattie, Gaetan Fairfield, Garnie Scheels, Harold Mosley, Louis Cheal, Fred Robillard, Horace Blanchette, Johnny Lavoie.

1950s Melodiers: Mac Beattie, Gaetan Fairfield, Garnie Scheel, Horace Blanchette, Karen Shaw, Joe Watson, Harold McClinton, Rene Desormeaux, Maisy Billings, Bill Loney, Les Lye, Hal Horsey, Maurice Charron, Billy Shepherd, Long John Corrigan, Reg Hill, Ernie Levesque, Bill Inglis, Champ Johnson.

Melodiers of the 60s & 70s: Mac Beattie, Gaetan Fairfield, Pat Leonard, Gordie Sommer, Bob Whitney, Reg Hill, Bob Price, Charlie McVeigh, Mary Dick, Tony Miseferi, Jim Mayhew, Al Utronki, Johnny Price, Jim Spence, Bonnie Beattie & Peter Dawson. From Mac Beattie page

Just a few of the Mac Beatty records Bob Whitney was on

A Visit To The Ottawa Valley (Rodeo RLP 64 or RLP 1170) – June 1, 1960 Featuring: Mac Beattie, drums, vocals & novelty washboard; Reg Hill, violin, piano, guitar & sax; Garnet Scheel, steel guitar, electric spanish guitar, fiddle & piano; Gaetan Fairfield, rhythm man, spanish guitar, bass & piano; Bob Whitney, sax, clarinet & violin; Bill Inglis, guitar & vocals.The Ottawa Valley Melodiers consist of Mac Beattie – vocals, drums and novelty washboard; Reg Hill – Violin, also plays piano, guitar ad sax; Garnet Scheel – steel guitar, electric spanish guitar and also plays the fiddle and piano; Gaetan Fairfield – rhythm guitar, spanish guitar, bass and piano; Bob Price – piano; Bob Whitney – sax, clarinet and violin; Bill Inglis – guitar and vocalist.This group make their headquarters in Arnprior, Ontario and their leader Mac Beattie had originally organized the unit in 1938 but had to disband in 1940 due to the war. They were reorganized again in 1948 and since then have had local radio shows over Radio Stations CHOV, Pembroke, CKOY, Ottawa, CJET, Smith Falls, and this year makes the second for them to be on the CBC Dominion Network.

Father & Daughter (SBS 5419) – January 22, 1975Bonnie Beattie, vocals; Mac Beattie, vocals; Garney Scheel, steel guitar; Reg Hill, fiddle & bass; Merv Wilson, flat top guitar; Jimmy Mayhew, piano; Bob Whitney, clarinet; Peter Clements, drums.Hi there friends – Greetings from the Ottawa Valley. It’s been two years since I recorded an Album and it’s great to be back with this one – our ninth. I want you to meet my daughter “Bonnie” who is seventeen years of age and has been singing with the group since she was a wee thing. Besides singing Bonnie has a talent for composing and her first two efforts are included on this album. They are – “What Is Love” and “It’s only Girls Like Me”. She joins me on three other songs and goes solo on “Tonight At My Table All Alone”. We are very proud of her and hope you will be too.As for me – well I’ve composed six new numbers for this album and re-arranged two of my old ones. The new ones are “We’ll Remember Don Messer’s Jubilee”, our tribute for two very dear friends, the late Don Messer and Charlie Chamberlain. Bob Whitney assists me with the vocal parts and adds Clarinet background along with the great fiddling of Reg Hill in “Pizza Polka” for our polka loving fans.”A Dog Called Billy Joe” is a true story of a little canine friend of the family. The title song “Dad and Daughter” and “Don’t Go Near The Water, Dear” is for bonnie and I, because we like to sing together. “Wear A Little Sunshine” for everyone and we hope we will bring a wee bit into your life with this album. Bonnie and I live at 86 Daniel Street N., Arnprior, Ont. and would love to hear from you.A special hello to you from all the Group who supplied the great backup music for us. Garney Scheel on steel guitar, Reg Hill on fiddle and bass, Merv Wilson on flat top guitar, Jimmy Mayhew at the piano, Bob Whitney on Clarinet and Peter Clements on drums. I give special praise to my good friend Ralph Carlson who recorded and produced this album.Best wishes to you All,SincerelyMac Beattie P.S. Bonnie sends her love.


The Ottawa Journal

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Sat, Mar 23, 1968 · Page 64

Memories of Kay Gillan Pakenham

Memories of Mae Gilhuly

I Was Axed — Memories of Larry Clark — Bell Street

Memories of Marian McVeigh Lanark

Memories of 1969 Carol McDonald —Janine McDonald Azzouz

Robin Whitney
1h  · 
this is a newspaper article about my awesome ,talented grandpa I found

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

5 responses »

  1. Great write up on Bob Whitney . Bob certainly moved around . I was born in Cardinal , and my father worked at Cardinal Motor Sales , along with Bob . Our family moved to Lanark in 1948 . Next I heard Bob had moved to the Lanark , and had joined the Lanark Legion . I never got the chance to meet , or hear Bob play . Every time I hear the Lake Dore Waltz . I think of Bob , and the rest of the Melodiers . The only radio station that will play Mac’s music is , Valley Heritage Radio 98.7 FM , Renfrew On . Thanks for your WW 2 service , and your music Bob !


  2. Thank you for the interesting write-up. I came across this article quite by accident and it brought back such great memories. I am from Halifax, and Bob Whitney was my uncle. His wife, Etta, was my mother’s sister. Whenever he would visit Halifax, he would always stop in for a visit. As a child, I loved having visits with Uncle Bob and remember gathering around the TV to watch Don Messer when he was performing. Again, thank you for providing this wonderful tribute.


  3. I worked as a waiter at the Alex hotel where bob played frequently. A mountain of a man who could play every instrument.A true gentleman to boot. I played hockey with his sons.


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