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Big Success From Big Pond

"Rita MacNeil"

Canada is having a conspicuous love affair with 43-year-old singer composer Rita MacNeil from Big Pond, Cape Breton Island. This big, beautiful lady, who loves to belt out songs in her stocking feet, can't read a note of music, nor play an instrument, What she can do is compose songs from her life experiences and sing them with such pure, sweet, down-home honesty, that audiences are drawn into a magical world of togetherness with her.

Part folk, part country, part pop, she has a spell binding way of making a hall packed with people feel simply wonderful.

It took a few years for Canadians to discover this Atlantic treasure. Life was often lean for her during those years. At one point, she 'cleaned house' for the elite instead of singing for them. In fact, at one point, she told me: "I was ready to quit singing all together. I was so poor] had difficulty buying gas for my car to travel to out of town engagements." But recognition was ahead. Small engagements led to big tours; soon she was wowing them all across Canada ... in Japan ... the United Kingdom ... and at Expo '86.

This charming mother of two will never run out of fans because she sings 'of' and 'to' the common people, and there are so many of us to appreciate that. And when she invites her concert audiences or television viewers "to drop in for tea next time you're in Big Pond" ... she sincerely means it.

Rita MacNeil ... another Canadian Achiever.

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