CLARENCE BOWES (2016 Inductee)

At a very early age, it would seem that Clarence Bowes was destined for country music. If you were to ask him when he started, he would say that he always knew music was in him. As a young boy, he would listen to the radio, with his father, to the old greats; Don Messer and Eddy Arnold, and so many others. He started to go to the local fairs with his parents and watched bands like The Happy Wanderers and Mac Beattie: music that he continues to love and play to this day. Once Clarence started to play the guitar, he would do so for whom ever would listen. He enjoyed strumming alongside his father, who played the harmonica.

From 1967-1982, was a member of Jim White and the Country Pals. They toured every hall in the area. That would include every Saturday night for 10 years at the Perth Legion. The only Saturday night he took off was the night he and his wife, Anne, got married. "She wouldn’t let me go to that one" Clarence says. In the early 90s, Clarence joined the Poor Boys and various other groups. Around 2000, he found himself in what he considers his "best" role- as lead, rhythm guitarist and singer with his four sons, The Bowes Brothers. Together, they have played countless fairs, festivals, churches and halls, with Clarence, humble and proud, as always, in the back row. He is always invited to the front to play a favourite tune or two, much to the delight of the crowd. One fan commented on their web page that Clarence is "the icing on the cake". It was with The Bowes Brothers, that he finally recorded some music. He was also invited to head East, with Andy Bowes, his son, to play at The Wilf Carter Memorial Concert in Nova Scotia.

When asked of his future aspirations, Clarence hums and says that he will just keep playing as long as people enjoy it. He only wants to continue to stay rooted in the Ottawa Valley and its love of ‘old’ country music.

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