The Desmond Brothers (family name: Desormeaux) are known far and wide across the Ottawa Valley for their many musical talents, both vocally and instrumentally. Bob, the elder of the two, was born in 1932 and credits his father, Eugene, who played for many years with the Butterchurners Band on CKCO (now CKBY), as his early country music influence.
At the age of 16, Bob cut his musical teeth in a Britannia hall, receiving two dollars for his efforts. He soon moved on to bigger and better gigs, performing with Bob King in his "Country Kings" band and playing the fiddle on Bob’s first album, Laurel Lee. After leaving The Country Kings, he played the circuit in Montreal for four years, moving on to Sherbrooke, Quebec, where he landed a three-year contract on CHLT TV La Tribune. Jobs in Val D’Or, Rouyn Noranda, and Abittibi kept him busy for eight years and, when he returned to Ottawa, Bob played with Kitty Bast and Pauline Noland in their "Jamboree Pals" band.
Hughie was born in Plantagenet, Ontario in 1945 and began his musical career in Lac Ste. Marie at the age of 15. His next playing job was with the Bee Bop Boys in St. Andre Avellin, Quebec for eight years. In 1971, he was hired as a member of Bob and Marie King’s band, with whom he performed extensively throughout Quebec, on a two-week tour to Boston, Massachusetts, and at the National Arts Centre in 1974, where they played to a very appreciative French Canadian audience. In 1975, Hughie joined Irwin and Randy Prescott at the Golden Rail for a period of about six months.
Following their separate careers, Bob and Hughie, joined by their brother, Gerry, appeared for many years in numerous clubs in Ottawa and all across the Valley. During this time, Hughie made a few recordings of his own and joined brother Bob on his album, "Bob Desmond & Friends", which also included Ralph Carlson and Joe Pino. After a career spanning 57 years, Bob had recently retired from the music business for medical reasons and, sadly, passed away on September 8, 2003. Hughie continues to play at various venues around the area.