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John Donald Cameron

Cape Breton

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John Donald Cameron is a Cape Breton fiddler from a very musical family. His brother was the beloved entertainer John Allan Cameron. His sisters, Marie and Jessie Ann, were both accomplished piano players and singers and his other brothers were stepdancers. John Donald’s mother, Catherine MacDonald Cameron, better known as Katie Ann, could play fiddle as well and she taught John Donald and John Allan some of their first tunes. Their Uncle, the famed fiddler and composer Dan R. MacDonald, was a strong influence also. John Donald grew up listening to Celtic music on the radio at CJFX and was inspired by the fiddlers Little Jack MacDonald, Angus Chisholm and Dan J. Campbell.

As a young man, his favourite pastime was listening to the music at local square dances and concerts. Over the years, he became an active performer himself. He has appeared with his brother on the CJFX Radio program “Fun at Five” and in 1956 he was taped for the CJFX Radio station. He was also a member of the Cape Breton Symphony with John Allan and Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald. John Donald used the knowledge he gained from his musical background to write a column for the Gaelic cultural quarterly Am Bràighe. Although he lived in Halifax for many years, he remained involved in Cape Breton music and eventually he moved back to open a music shop in Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton.

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