Dallas Harms

Dallas (Leon) Harms. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, b Jansen, near Saskatoon, 18 Jul 1935. He was raised in Hamilton, Ont, where, inspired by Hank Williams, he began his career in the mid-1950s and made his first record, for Reo, in 1959.

Harms, Dallas

Dallas (Leon) Harms. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, b Jansen, near Saskatoon, 18 Jul 1935. He was raised in Hamilton, Ont, where, inspired by Hank Williams, he began his career in the mid-1950s and made his first record, for Reo, in 1959. Harms had country hits 1972-3 for Columbia with 'In the Loving Arms of My Marie' and 'Old Ira Gray,' and 1975-9 for Broadland with 'Paper Rosie,' 'Georgia I'm Cheating On You Tonight,' 'It's Crying Time for Me,' 'The Fastest Gun,' 'I Picked a Daisy,' and 'The Ballad of the Duke'. Concurrently, his LPs for Broadland included Paper Rosie (BR-1917), The Fastest Gun (BR-1982), and Painter of Words (BR-2052).

Several of his songs were recorded at mid-decade by Orval Prophet and by the US singer Gene Watson. The latter had major US hits with 'Paper Rosie' in 1977 and with 'The Old Man and His Horn' and 'Cowboys Don't Get Lucky All the Time' in 1978. Harms made several tours at this time across Canada, including one in 1976 with Ian Tyson. He also performed in New Zealand and, in 1980 and 1981, in England. His LP Out of Harms Way (RCA NKL1-0476), issued in 1982, included the popular 'Honky Tonkin' (All Night Long),' 'Country Fever,' and 'Fooling with Fire'.

Harms received Big Country Awards as top composer (1975 and annually 1977-9) and top producer (1978, 1979 and 1985, the last shared with Mike 'Pepe' Francis) and for best single ('Paper Rosie,' 1975; 'Georgia I'm Cheating on You Tonight,' 1976) and best album (The Fastest Gun, 1978). He also won the CCMA awards as producer of the year in 1983 and 1984 (the second again shared with Mike Francis). Harms has produced singles or/or albums by Terry Carisse, Larry Mattson, Wayne Rostad, Roni Sommers, Paul Weber, and others. Though largely inactive as a performer after the mid-1980s, he continued to write songs. His best-known title, 'Paper Rosie,' a standard of the Canadian country repertoire, was heard in the 1990 US feature film Another 48 Hours. Harms was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989.


Further Reading

  • Beyer, Susan. 'Straight from the hip - Dallas Harms,' Capital Country News, vol 1, May 1980