REG HILL (1981 Inductee)  

Born in Brockville, Ontario, Reg Hill moved, at an early age, with his family to Avonmore. Reg learned the fiddle from his mother and became proficient on other instruments such as the guitar, drums, sax and piano before playing his first square dance at age 15. One year later, he became a regular member of the "Rock Mountain Rangers".

Recognizing a demand for the "Big Band" sound, he formed his own group, Reg Hill’s Swingsters, and his versatility as a musician kept his group busy in Eastern Ontario venues. In 1950, Reg married and moved to Oshawa where, once again, his skills as a musician were put to work every weekend with a number of local groups. This continued until 1954, when he received a letter from Mac Beattie inviting him to join the "Ottawa Valley Melodiers".

Reg and his trademark cigar joined the hectic pace set by the Melodiers as the preeminent pioneers of country music in the Ottawa Valley. The group moved from CHOV radio in Pembroke to CFRA and then CKOY stations in Ottawa. Reg’s distinctive fiddling was popular both over the airwaves and in the dance halls of the Valley where the Melodiers consistently played to capacity crowds. Local and national television appearances, including a dozen visits to the Don Messer Jubilee with Mac and guitar player Gaetan Fairfield, kept Reg busy. Reg would spend 25 years with Mac’s band before retiring due to poor health in 1978.

Reg was able to pass on his talents and unique sound through a number of record albums. These releases include "Ottawa Valley Fiddling", "Ottawa Valley Hoedown" (Volumes 1 and 2), "Great Fiddling Favorites", and his special release, "A Tribute to a Fiddler’s Friend". They are now collector’s items among fiddle fans throughout the Valley.

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