Atlantic Voice

On the road with Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers

After 35 years of non-stop touring and performing, the band announced this year would be their last big tour. Zach Goudie meets some of the super fans and taps into what made the band so successful.

Last big tour after 35 years of non-stop performing

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers take a bow. (Mark Cumby/cbc)

Over 35 years, Newfoundland band Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers have had some pretty colourful tour names: Pop the Rivet, Salt Beef Junkie, Up Boot and Flatout.

The only name fans never expected to see was The Last Tour. This week on Atlantic Voice, Zach Goudie hits the road with Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers for what they're calling their last big tour.

You'll meet some of the group's superfans, including Albert Davis of Gander, who has collected every one of their 25 albums in CD, cassette, and 45 formats. He also has DVDs, mugs, T-shirts and signed pictures, and worries he may have worn out some of the CDs from overuse.

Kyle Morgan of Bishop's Falls is a special young man who knows many of the band's songs and skits off by heart. He loves to dress up as Buddy, play his accordion and sing for friends and family.

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers sell out a show in the 1980s. (Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellas)

Eleanor Parrot of Petley asked the band for a special favour — she liked the lyrics of the song Carry Me and thought it would work for her funeral.

But the song's tempo was too fast for church, so Eleanor called the band and asked them to record a more mellow version just for her. You'll have to listen to the doc to find out if she got her wish.

When Zach sits down to eat with the band at Rosie's Diner in Gander, there's a steady stream of fans requesting photos or passing along their best wishes.

The band reciprocates by singing Sarah for the diners. From the moment Ray Johnson sings the first note, the diner's bustle stops. Everyone sings along to the chorus.

Got their start in school

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers got started at a school in Glovertown when the three musicians found themselves in the same staff room.

Kevin Blackmore had come from the successful comedy duo Free Beer. Wayne Chaulk was playing in rock and roll and country bands and Johnson was already a famous trad musician with several albums of his own.

Roadtrippers Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. (CBC)

They started gigging together in the school's art room and soon dubbed themselves Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers.

They are much more than a comedy group, but people leave their concerts with their sides aching from belly laughs at skits and songs about moose hunting, quads and peeing in the snow.

They're also much more than a trad band. Although all three play a number of traditional instruments and their songs have the feel of trad ballads, they're original. Songs like Salt Water Joys and Sarah are sung by generations of Newfoundlanders at kitchen parties, campfires, Christmas concerts and yes, at funerals.

Here's Zach Goudie's radio doc Still Some More to Go. 

Zach Goudie goes out on the road with the Newfoundland musical group Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellas for what they're calling their last big tour. Tune in to meet Kevin Blackmore, Ray Johnson and Wayne Chaulk and some of their superfans. 26:09

Watch Zach's TV documentary about Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers.

About the Author

Angela Antle, producer


Angela Antle produces CBC NL's YouTube channel and hosts CBC Radio's Atlantic Voice.

With files from Zach Goudie