Harry Hibbs

Harry (Henry Thomas Joseph) Hibbs. Singer-songwriter, accordionist, b Bell Island, Nfld, 1942, d Toronto 21 Dec 1989. His father, who worked in the Bell Island iron mines, was a fiddler. The younger Hibbs played button accordion as a boy. He moved to Toronto in 1961 and worked in various factories.

Harry Hibbs

Harry (Henry Thomas Joseph) Hibbs. Singer-songwriter, accordionist, b Bell Island, Nfld, 1942, d Toronto 21 Dec 1989. His father, who worked in the Bell Island iron mines, was a fiddler. The younger Hibbs played button accordion as a boy. He moved to Toronto in 1961 and worked in various factories. In 1968 he began singing and playing the accordion as 'His Nibs, Harry Hibbs, Newfoundland's Favourite Son' at the Caribou Club, a social centre for Newfoundlanders in Toronto. He starred 1969-75 in turn on CHCH (Hamilton) TV's 'At the Caribou' and 'The Harry Hibbs Show'. With his Caribou Show Band (later called the Sea Forest Plantation) he performed throughout the Maritimes and Ontario and in the early 1970s toured the British Isles.

Hibbs made more than10 LPs for Arc, Caribou, and Marathon before his career waned in the late 1970s. A 20-song retrospective, Pure Gold (Tapestry TL-7375), was issued in 1980. Sales of his early LPs (eg, At the Caribou Club, Arc 794) made him a leading Canadian recording artist of the day. (His recordings to 1972 are listed in detail in Michael Taft's A Regional Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador 1904-1972, St John's 1975.) Hibbs' music mixed the Scottish and Irish folk traditions of the Island with elements of country music, and his repertoire included jigs, reels, and other dance pieces, as well as his own ballads - most of them tributes to Newfoundland.


Further Reading

  • Conn Hughes, Barry. "Harry, you're saying 'agin' again," Canadian Magazine, 26 Sep 1970

    Flohil, Richard. "Harry Hibbs," CanComp, 57, Feb 1971

    Rasky, Frank. "The minstrels who entertain our Newfies," Toronto Star, 27 Jul 1974