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Origin: Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland

The Du-Cats (aka "The Orange Marmalade Referendum" when they played USA gigs) released the first rock and roll 45 by a Newfoundlander. They travelled down to Boston and recorded "Hey Woman b/w Stay Awhile" on Rock It Records. It was recorded in December, 1964. At about the same time, another Newfie rock 'n' roll band, The Ravens, recorded 2 tracks in Montreal on "Frank's Bandstand" "Sincerely b/w Young Blood" in conjunction with Sparkle Records, but the deal fell through and it was instead released on Arc Records A99. Both 45's are extremely rare and, being the first rock recordings of Newfoundlanders (the most musically gifted Canadian province per capita), will cost a pretty penny.

The Ducats formed in 1959 in Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland. They first performed together at a benefit concert for victim's families of the Springhill Mining Disaster; they liked what they heard so they played together for many years.

They almost became the first all Canadian band to ever get signed to Motown Records.

In 1965, The Du-Cats recorded the second rock and roll album by a Newfoundlander (first were The Keatniks). Nicknamed "The Tartan Album" (the band members wore the Newfoundland Tartan blazers), the album had two different pressings, with two different covers. The first pressing was a mono pressing on RCA PC-1018. It had ""Hey Woman" and "Stay Awhile", are included in this album" written on the back (although the album did not have these tracks on it). The second pressing was stereo and was released on RCA PCS 1018. Although they both shared the same photo, the second pressing was zoomed in a bit further. It is not known how many of these were pressed, probably 500 of each. A Near Mint copy sells for $300-400.

The Du-Cats consisted of Lewis "Butch" Skinner on lead guitar; Jim Crewe on rhythm guitar; Bob Battiste on bass guitar; and Joe Boulos on drums; and Winston Blackmore as vocalist. This is a different Winston Blackmore than the polygamist Winston Blackmore who fathered over one hundred children with 25 different wives. It is not known how many children the Newfie Winston fathered.

The Du-Cats also released albums under "The Country Ducats": Vocal & Accordion Favorites on Paragon ALS 242; You Can't Take the Country from the Man on Paragon MS 2116; and a self-titled album under the pseudonym "The Ducat Showband" on Paragon ALS 242.

The Du-Cats were Canadian and Newfoundland rock pioneers and received The Stompin' Tom Award (unsung hero) at the East Coast Music Awards in 2008. They appeared at the Codroy Valley Strawberry Festival with Gord Tracey in 1991.

The Ducats were named after a box of Candy.

"Drowsy" was written by Lewis Skinner.
-Robert Williston






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