Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Wayne Franklin


                                                              Lead Vocals: Wayne Franklin

                                                   Programmed Music: Rob Franklin

                                                        Children Vocals: Jill & Mitchell Borden, Jessica & Colton McDonald



                                                Wayne Franklin

                                                I am a life-long resident of Dryden and have my wife Shirley and one son Rob,

                                                who is an accomplished musician. I first got interested in music as a student at

                                                Albert Street School when I was chosen to sing in a music competition in Kenora.

                                                I love all forms of music, mainly for the fun and enjoyment of it even though I have

                                                not had any formal training. In High School I joined with two friends, James Schwetz

                                                and Larry Shorrock, to form a trio called 'The Teenaires'. We sang anywhere and                    

                                                everywhere, and once, we even got paid. I spent an enjoyable time in the 'Serinaders'

                                                group with the only real musical instruction I've ever had coming from Rena Fatheringham,

                                                Mae Denby and Alice Bloomfield. These are fantastic people. I write song lyrics as

                                                one of my hobbies and even recorded one of my songs at Mid Ocean recording studio

                                                 in Winnipeg. This was just a fun thing and a cousin in the music industry paid the shot.

                                                 I formed the 'Swamp Crickets Band' which consists of Ken Denby, my son Rob and

                                                 myself. We also take on anyone else who wants to have fun singing humorous songs

                                                 and just goof around. We make them honorary Swamp Crickets, just for the gig.

                                                 I also do children's entertaining as "Uncle Dudley the Magic Clown'. I incorporate music,

                                                singing, magic and general all around silliness in the act. I get a lot of fun and enjoyment

                                                from music and even inspired a cousin to go into the music business. It seems when he

                                                was eight or nine he heard me playing guitar at a party and decided he wanted to be

                                                a musician like cousin Wayne. He has since become one of the top entertainers in the

                                                Calgary area. I never ever told him I only know three chords. My biggest inspiration is

                                                Ray Stevens and my biggest influence has been Ken and Jeannette Denby, who have

                                                always been more than eager to help and support me in any way. The people involved

                                                in the local music scene are the best you'll find on this planet, they are the greatest!


                                                Jill Borden

                                                Jill just turned 10 years old. She is a great student, someone her teacher describes as

                                                always having a great attitude and a pleasure to have in the class. She is currently enrolled

                                                in her 1st year voice lessons at Niagara Conservatory of Music. Jill is a member of the

                                                choir at Power Glen Public School and this is her second appearance as a backup vocalist

                                                on a CD produced by her father Gary.


                                                Mitchell Borden

                                                Mitchell is almost 7. He is a popular student with his teachers and classmates. He is looking

                                                forward to starting drum lessons in January and is very active in sports. This is Mitchell's

                                                first appearance on a CD.


                                               Jessica McDonald (age 13)

                                              Jessica started music with the PineWood Fine Arts Program in Grade 6. She plays clarinet

                                              in school and in November of 2004 she joined the Dryden Community Band. Jessica has

                                              been taking keyboard lessons from Ken Denby for about 1 year now. She really enjoys

                                              music and is always singing along to whatever is playing on the radio or stereo. She is thrilled

                                              to be a part of this recording.


                                              Colton McDonald (age 10)

                                              Colton loves to be a part of everything. He is taking guitar lessons from Ken Denby and is

                                              itching to play drums as well. He would rather be dirt biking or riding his snow machine than

                                              to practice his music, but in time that will come. He is constantly making up his own "tunes".

                                              He is very excited to be a part of the Christmas CD along with the rest of his family.


                                                Rob Franklin                

                                               I always have trouble writing this type of thing. I always read it and think "this is nothing

                                               but a brag sheet". Nothing I've done I can take full credit for. Every show, every

                                               accomplishment has been the result of a favor or an introduction from somebody else.

                                               All my accomplishments, are the accomplishments of others. I always had a musical

                                               influence. My father sang and played guitar in the living room and at parties. I thought

                                               everybody's dad did. He'd sit me on his amplifier and play while I sang the popular

                                               tunes from the 60's kiddie hit parade. Grandmother had a piano in the basement, I

                                               remember her playing and singing and was in awe, but what she played and sang

                                               escapes all of us to this day. Every Sunday mom would bring me to church, we'd go

                                               up into the choir loft and she'd sing in the choir.  It was something special, so I felt

                                               special just being up there and not sitting with the rest of the parishioners. I was fortunate

                                               enough to have parents who could identify my musical potential, at five years old they

                                               bought me a set of drums from the Eatons Christmas catalogue, I'd put an "X" on the

                                              picture that year along with every other toy they had for sale, and I guess dad thought

                                              a duo act in the living room would get good reviews. The drums heads were made of 

                                               paper and tin and didn't last very long. In grade school some of the kids got to leave

                                              the classroom and go to their private music lessons, I was green with envy. I suppose

                                              I just wanted to get out of class. I know I wouldn't have practiced at home unless it'd

                                              have postponed bedtime. Christmas morning of 1974  a Honer chord organ appeared

                                              by the tree, Santa heard my wish. I had seen a nine year old on the Don McLean show

                                              playing the organ. Being nine years old myself,  he made quite an impression on me. 

                                              By the end of Christmas day, I was playing it. At least I thought I was. It was a play

                                             by number system so I played all the notes the same duration. "Long Long Ago"  was

                                             far far away from sounding like it should have. Mom and dad seemed impressed, so I

                                             thought I was ready for T.V. .  By and by I lost interest, and mother learned to play it.

                                             In 1975 I was taught by a male teacher, who for the first time taught us music during

                                             the music portion of our curriculum. The fact that he would play guitar for us to sing

                                            along to was a huge thing to us ten year olds. He taught a few of us to play ukulele after

                                            school which was I thought was cool too. I could finally play in the living room with my

                                            dad. Dad's guitar was off limits...But what he didn't know wouldn't hurt,

                                            a warm butt wouldn't stay warm forever. I learned a couple of chords from the diagrams

                                            in his song books and would secretly try to play. When I finally got caught, I didn't get a

                                            warm butt, I got guitar lessons. Guitar lessons were a bust though, they taught us to play

                                            songs on the guitar not how to "play the guitar". I lost interest. I never lost interest in

                                            music though, in high school I signed up for the music course and fully expected to play

                                             trumpet. Day one saw me sitting behind the tuba. Oh well, at least the music course

                                             would be an easy credit. I liked the tuba, I wanted to play bass guitar when I was

                                             younger and could understand the similarities between the two. Two years later, I

                                            arranged to take lessons on trumpet after school from the teachers assistant. I bought

                                            my own trumpet in 1981 and was assigned third chair trumpet in the senior band in 1981.

                                            Like an idiot I quit school in May of 1982 to work at the local tree nursery, so, another

                                            year in school was necessary. It was the music class that kept me interested in school

                                            and I did graduate, just later than I should have. The summer of 1982 I acquired a set

                                            of Pearl drums and by September I was getting paid to play them. I had owned those

                                            drums for less than two months, had never played the drums before I bought them, and

                                            here I was with a paying gig! I had paying gigs for three years before I ever had a formal

                                           drum lesson. I gig'd every weekend with the Cornerstone band, had decent day jobs and

                                            loved every minute of it! But all good things must come to an end and I took some time

                                            away from all things music. In 1990 I was contacted by Ken Denby to play drums in his

                                            band. I was rusty but needed to get back into it. I missed the stage, and the fellowship

                                           among band mates.  I jumped at the chance and went at it cold. Within a month I felt sharp

                                           again. I played in Ken's band for three years doing club rooms, dance halls, weddings, the

                                           local type thing.  In 1993 I was selling advertising for the Local Express and doing the music

                                           thing at night in Ken's band when Andrew and Wanda Taylor, a duo act calling themselves

                                           W.C.and Company, came to town looking for a drummer to pick up for the week. They'd

                                           booked into the Central Saloon as a three piece band but had fired their drummer only days

                                           before. Karen Leutchaft introduced me to them and I went to scope them out. I couldn't pass

                                           up the opportunity to try out the bar scene with musicians who were playing for a living. I

                                           toured with them for several months until they went on to a house gig at Paradise Cove in

                                           Minaki Ontario as a duo. I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a few more shows with

                                           them at Paradise Cove where on one occasion  Moon Martin, of Cheap Trick fame, was

                                           in attendance. I wasn't able to meet him and was unaware of his presence at the show until

                                           several days later. He kept to himself and didn't introduce himself to Andrew until his fishing

                                           trip was over and his party was leaving for home. He had positive things to say about our

                                           show and acknowledged my ability as a drummer. After Andrew told me about it, I knew

                                           I couldn't ever be satisfied with a day job again. In the fall of that year, Steve Denby decided

                                           he'd rather play in his brother Chris' band, Ken and I were left with no lead guitar player.

                                           This was just what I needed. My cousin, Allan Barrett, who is one of the top entertainers

                                           in Calgary was in town for the weekend. Although he never performed with us, he was able

                                           to give me the incentive to continue, not as a drummer but as a guitar player. I gave Allan

                                          the money I made, at our final show as a band, and he bought a computer which was popular

                                          among solo and duo acts for me. I took a about a year to learn how to program backing tracks

                                          on that computer and play guitar well enough to perform. Ken and I debuted our duo act, the

                                          "Saloon Nuts" on a local telethon in 1994. We played several weekends over the course of a

                                          year and a half.  I miss the fun, the fights, the nights we played and the laughs. Ken has taught

                                          me more and influenced me more than anyone except maybe my parents. Late in 1996, Don

                                          Winters showed up in the Central Saloon as a single act. I'd seen him perform in Dryden for

                                          several years under many different names but never as a single. Charles Terris introduced me

                                          to him about a year prior when Don did a weekend as a trio at the sports bar.  He invited me

                                          up to do a number as a guest in his solo act. We talked about it after the set and I ended up

                                          finishing the week with him. We agreed to form a duo after he finished up his current schedule

                                          as a single. About a month later he passed through town again and we set out with fame and

                                          fortune on our minds. We did a few weekends around Manitoba, a one nighter here and there

                                          and then came back to Dryden booked for a week in the Central Saloon . I stayed home for

                                          Christmas since it was only a week away, the agent didn't have us booked anywhere else yet.

                                          Since I was home for Christmas, Bob Ewanchuck, the owner of the Central Saloon, asked me

                                          to cover his Christmas and New Year weeks as a single act. Full of confidence, I agreed. I

                                          played one night and the whole building's heating system went down, so, I lost the rest of the

                                          time we'd agreed to. He made up for it though, from that time on, I played over 80% of the

                                          nights for the next year and a half in the Central Saloon, as a single act "house band". But after

                                          that much time in one spot I needed a change, so I went "on the road again" until a catastrophic

                                          equipment failure shut me down. I thought it was going to be permanent, but thanks to mom

                                          and dad, Keith and Carmina Heibert, eBay, a little luck and the aversion to having a day job,

                                          I'm back better than ever. As of  late I'm recording in my own home studio using "state of the

                                          art" equipment and a digital multi track recording system. I independently contract for any

                                          studio who'll pay the price. I create backing tracks for live performances, write and record

                                          jingles and arrange and record all the music for my fathers children's shows. Although I don't

                                          perform live on a regular basis, I always want to. Every time I've stepped on the stage it's

                                          because  Ken Denby either made it possible through the loan of equipment or through the

                                          moral support and encouragement he gives to all musicians. Dryden would surely be much

                                          less musical if Ken didn't live here. I know I likely wouldn't be a musician. All of us are better

                                          musicians and better people for having Ken and Jeanette as part of our community.