Origin: Madoc - Peterborough, Ontario, 🇨🇦
Gary Fairburn began his career in the early 60’s, guesting with the legendary Happy Wanderers, who appeared regularly on CJOH-TV and radio station CFRA. A talented guitarist and vocalist, Gary tore up the Ottawa Valley, making music with the Silver Fox, Ron McMunn. In 1974, with Ray Griff producing the session, Gary recorded "Neon Lady" and "Don’t Cry Blue". At that session, he met members of Donna Moon’s band. He moved to Toronto, fronted her show, and they were married that November.
Donna was born in Madoc, Ontario and was known affectionately as "The Moon of Madoc". She began singing when she was 14 at the Lakehead Barndance in Peterborough. Her first single on Marathon Records, "Bittersweet" shot to #2 across Canada in 1973. She had other big hits with "Baby and Me" and "Let Me Be There". Juno nominations and regular television appearances quickly followed. Donna became a frequent guest on the George Hamilton IV show, CBC’s Tommy Hunter Show, and CBC Countrytime out of Halifax.
Gary and Donna started promoting country music shows in Ottawa and the Valley in 1985. It was then that they formed a long-lasting friendship with Charlie Walker, one of the starts on the Grand Ole Opry. The friendship led to the three of them recording together. Gary and Donna have also made several appearances on WSM Radio’s Midnight Jamboree from Nashville’s Ernest Tubb Record Shop. They have three children, John, Jennifer and Stephanie, and the two girls have carried on the musical tradition of their parents.
In 1992, Gary and Donna opened the Nashville Palace in Vanier (later called the Music City Bar and Grill), and it became a capital country music landmark. They both continue to perform, and Gary also operates Music City Productions, promoting shows with Canadian talent and stars of the Grand Ole Opry.
Donna Moon was born in the Central Ontario town of Madoc, and launched her singing career as a young teenager with performances at the Lakehead Barndance staged in nearby Peterborough. Donna became affectionately dubbed “The Moon Of Madoc”, and after moving to Toronto in the early 1970’s to pursue her career at the professional level, she soon attracted the attention of Jack Hosier who signed Donna to his Marathon Records label.
In 1973, Donna Moon released her debut album with the title track single, “Bittersweet”, quickly attracting radio airplay and the single reaching #2 on the RPM Hit Charts. A follow-up single, “Baby And Me”, also charted, peaking at #29. Donna’s second album on Marathon, a self-titled collection, also enjoyed national success, with the single “Not So Far Away” earning a #8 position on the RPM Charts in 1976. Donna’s powerful version of the country classic “Crazy Arms”, another single from her Bittersweet album, was also featured on the 1974 Marathon Records album Country Music Cavalcade.
Donna Moon’s breakthrough success as a recording artist earned her a Juno Award nomination in 1974 as Most Promising Female Vocalist Of The Year. Donna also earned national recognition with TV appearances on the George Hamilton IV Show aired out of Hamilton, the CBC-Halifax Countrytime show and The Tommy Hunter Show.
In 1974, Ottawa Valley entertainer Gary Fairburn was invited to front The Donna Moon Show, working Toronto and area club and concert dates. The couple soon became husband and wife, making their home in Ottawa, where they continued to perform as The Gary Fairburn & Donna Moon Show.
While raising a young family, Donna and Gary also found time to perform extensively in the Ottawa Valley, as well as recording several duet albums. The duo was also featured on the Various Artists albums Christmas In The Valley (1998) and Vol. 2 of the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall Of Fame collection.
Donna Moon and Gary Fairburn were also active in promoting Grand Ol’ Opry tour shows in the Ottawa Valley and in the early 1990’s, operated their own country music clubs, Nashville Palace and Music City Bar & Grill. At the time, the duo were also invited to perform on The Midnite Jamboree, a live radio show aired out of the famed Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, Tennessee.
Donna Moon and Gary Fairburn were jointly inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1995.