Here's Canada's first Ukrainian rock and roller - a terrific double sider - and Canada's first "Made-In Canada" rockabilly record - recorded on May 14, 1957.
Rudy Hayden is a family friend of the Willistons. Back in the early 70's, he would entertain us kids at our house with his magic tricks and play music on his guitar. When we were at his place, he would scare the shit out of us with his ventriloquist act with puppets he kept in the attic. But he was undoubtedly my first introduction to Canadian rock and roll! He is still a close personal friend of my mother and currently resides in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Rudy sent us his signed CD back in 2003, entitled "Five Seasons of Rudy Hayden 1950-2000". He told me that represented the five periods of his career. Here's the liner notes:
In the early years, Rudy Hayden won several talent shows. Later, he guested on CKNW many times, on Evan Kemp's Rangers Cabin, with The Rhythm Pals and The Beckett Brothers.
I - 1957 - Saw him in Aragon's Recording Studio cutting a song he penned "Want Me a Woman" and one that Rudy Derton wrote "Blue Steel". "Want Me a Woman" was well received in Europe. This song was included on a Netherland's label "Early Canadian Rockers". Rudy Hayden was the first Canadian artist to write and record a rockabilly tune, "Want Me a Woman" in Canada.
II - 1967 - He was back at Aragon, to record his first album "The 401", with his band "The Golden Nuggets". He wrote all the songs.
III - 1969 - Back to Aragon to put out a single featuring two new compositions "Pollution" and "Please Stay Away". Again, "Pollution" brought in royalties from Europe. He wrote "Pollution" after fishing in the Fraser River and noticing all the soap and waste floating around. His band "The Golden Nuggets" backed the songs
IV - 1987 - He recorded 4 cover tunes as a demo, "Guitars & Cadillacs", "Holding Her And Loving You", "Corvette Song", and "Digging Up Bones". Jamie Hayden laid down the drum, bass, and lead guitar tracks. In the 80's, his new band "Rawhide" featuring Jamie Hayden on drums, Beverley Hayden on bass, and a variety of lead players, had great success touring from Saskatchewan to Vancouver Island and from Yellowknife to Lethbridge.
The B.C. Country Music Association put Rudy Hayden in the Hall of Fame in 1989.
V - 2000 - Jake Doell and Keith Spencer arranged and produced three cover songs, "Heartaches By The Number", "Does Fort Worth Cross Your Mind", and "I Don't Care".
In 2002, The B.C. Music Foundation and Museum put Rudy in their Hall of Fame and Museum.
At this time, Rudy Hayden and his wife Beverley are still travelling, having a great life.
Rudy Hayden: guitar, vocals
Jake Doell: lead guitar
Rudy Derton: bass, steel guitar
Johnny Zapp: drums