GLEN & RAY ADAMS (2005 Inductees)

Ray and Glen grew up in the village of Bishops Mills. Influenced by their father, Norman, a renowned fiddle player, and their mother Mildred, a piano player, the brothers learned square dance and gospel music, and involvement in church and school activities exposed them to choral music and musical theatre performances. Later, they gravitated to bluegrass music, becoming involved in organizing and promoting that musical style in the Ottawa area.

Bluegrass has always been an integral part of country music to Ray and Glen, and they were particularly attracted by its emphasis on vocal harmonies, acoustic instruments, improvisation and unique structure. They moved from informal jam sessions to establishing a band, investing a great deal of time and effort in the pursuit of a quality sound, with the best contemporary US bluegrass bands as their model.

The first version of Bytown Bluegrass was founded by Ray and Glen in 1974. In 1979, they, along with lead singer, Jo-Ann Adams, and dobro player, Don Hill, released a single of "Casey’s Last Ride", a song that received significant airplay and garnered them a nomination for a Canadian Country Music Association award. Two albums entitled, "Bytown Bluegrass" were also released, the latest version in 1985 with Ralph Carlson and Don O’Neill. Over the years, Bytown Bluegrass has performed on festival and concert stages across Ontario and Quebec, in Manitoba and in New York State, and has made several radio and TV appearances.

Both brothers are multi-instrumentalists, but bluegrass fans usually see Glen on 5-string banjo and Ray on mandolin. The brothers’ talent for vocal harmony and lead singing is evident not only in bluegrass but also in their work with several country bands in Eastern Ontario.

A retired public servant, Ray now lives near Oxford Mills with his wife, Marlee Sloan and his step-daughter, Melissa. He has one daughter, Brandie Adams. Glen works with IBM Canada and lives near Pakenham with his wife, Virginia Vibert and their sons, Matthew and Warren.


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