Saanich’s voice of square dancing awaiting call from Junos

Lorne Clayton eyes award nomination in the dance category

Lorne Clayton may be up for a Juno next year for his work as a square dance caller. The Cordova Bay resident is submitting his latest album

Lorne Clayton may be up for a Juno next year for his work as a square dance caller. The Cordova Bay resident is submitting his latest album

Lorne Clayton will be the first to admit he doesn’t have a musical background, but the square dance caller might just be up for a Juno award next year.

The Cordova Bay resident is hoping that his new album, Goldwing, will be nominated in the dance category at the 2016 Junos, which will be hosted next spring in Calgary. While the Junos have categories for rock, pop, jazz and rap, square dancing doesn’t have its own category, which is why he’s pursuing a nod in the broader dance category.

If selected, this would be Clayton’s second Juno nomination: In 2012, his rendition of the traditional gospel song Robe of White was picked for the same category, but was later pulled for not meeting the criteria.

“At the time, they came back and said, ‘In the dance category, we only accept albums, we don’t accept singles,’” he said.

“After I did this album, I got contacted by [the record company] Gold Wing saying, ‘We’re going to resubmit you for a Juno in 2016.’ The nominations don’t open for six weeks, but they’ve already informed me they’re going to be nominating me in the dance category.”

Clayton has been square dancing since 1991 and got his start calling out dance cues shortly after taking up the dance form.

“At the time, they had what was called goofer’s night – it’s like a karaoke night – and people said once or twice, ‘Oh, you’d make a good caller,’” he recalled.

He started calling locally and was picked up 11 years ago by the Mavericks Square Dance Club, which operates out of the Royal Oak Hall, to call for them.

“Then, there was a really interesting opportunity,” he said. “After [Hurricane] Katrina happened, some callers in the States, they wanted to put together a record where all the proceeds went to help Katrina.

“I was one of the few Canadian callers that they sort of knew, and they wanted it to be an international event. We got together, we went to Nashville and we recorded When the Saints Go Marching In as a fundraiser.”

The song brought in more than $100,000 and led to Clayton being contacted by two studios: Fine Tune/Gold Wing Productions out of California and Shindig Productions in South Africa.

“One of the people who was associated with (Fine Tune/Gold Wing) was on the Katrina record, and they thought my voice would be appropriate for recording,” he said, “and [Shindig was] looking for a bit of an international flavour for their label.”

Clayton said the use of pre-recorded calling tracks has grown as some smaller clubs no longer have callers. But, he did say square dancing music with vocals is a bit odd for the Junos’ dance category.

“It’s quite unusual because most of the nominations in the dance category are instrumental – waltzes and tangos and that sort of stuff.”

Nonetheless, he’s keeping his fingers crossed that the nomination will stick this time around.

For more information about Clayton and the Mavericks Square Dance Club, visit themavericks.org.

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Future grads at Oak Bay High will have greater scholarship opportunities available through the Oak Bay Rotary Club. (Black Press Media file photo)
Private donor quadruples donations to Oak Bay Rotary scholarship funds

The club has awarded more than $25,000 to Oak Bay High students

Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday. (Black Press Media File)
Police arrest eight protesters including two minors near Port Renfrew Saturday

RCMP ask parents not to involve their children in Fairy Creek logging protests

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read