Well-known musician to be remembered in musical celebration

Josh Pennell
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The province has lost a well-known musician, athlete and volunteer.
Ted Blanchard, 84, an accomplished fiddle player whose talents could be heard on the radio in the 1950s on the "Saturday Night Jamboree" and "Happy Valley Gang."
Blanchard was also a part of the television show "All Around The Circle." In 2008, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Folk Arts Council. Generous with his time and talents, Blanchard volunteered at seniors residences throughout St. John's for 25 years, entertaining the older folks with his fiddle.

Ted Blanchard

Ted Rowe met Blanchard in the 1970s and played at house parties with him. He also played with him for a number of years in the 1990s in the band Crooked Stove Pipe.

"Ted was really interesting and it was unusual for a traditional music player because Ted learned to play the violin by a correspondence course. So he learned how to play it properly. He was very particular about how he held the violin and that he had the right form when he was playing. And he was a very precise musician because of that," says Rowe.

Rowe also remembers Blanchard's knowledge of country music in the province and how enjoyable he was to be in a band with.

"He really liked having fun. He was a really positive individual," says Rowe.

Blanchard's talents and generosity didn't extend just to music, though. He was also involved with the Royal St. John's Regatta as a committee member, rower, coxswain and coach.

"He's been one of those stalwarts of the regatta," says Bob Clarke, president of the Royal St. John's Regatta committee.

Clarke describes Blanchard as a great contributor and a great guy who even in growing years and failing health couldn't be kept away from taking part in the regatta in some fashion, not that anybody wanted to.

"We really appreciated him coming down," Clarke says.

Blanchard is resting at Carnell's Funeral Home on Freshwater Road with visitation today from 1-5 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

The family invites people to celebrate Blanchard's life through a musical celebration at Bally Haly Golf & Curling Club on Monday from 3 p.m. and extending into the evening.


Organizations: St John's, Bally Haly Golf & Curling Club

Geographic location: Freshwater Road

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