Orval Prophet

Orval (William) Prophet. Singer, guitarist, songwriter, b Edwards, near Ottawa, 31 Aug 1922, d there 4 Jan 1984.

Orval Prophet

Orval (William) Prophet. Singer, guitarist, songwriter, b Edwards, near Ottawa, 31 Aug 1922, d there 4 Jan 1984. After singing 1944-9 with Bill Sheppard's country band on CFRA's "Fiddler's Fling" (a travelling radio show that appeared throughout the Ottawa Valley), Prophet toured Canada in 1949 with Wilf Carter and was recorded by Decca on Carter's recommendation. The second Canadian (after Hank Snow) to record in Nashville, he was popular in the USA and Canada during the 1950s with singles (for Decca) released under the names Orval (Rex) Prophet, "The Canadian Plowboy," (eg, "Going Back to Birmingham," "Judgement Day Express," "Molly Darling") and Johnny Six (eg, "Mademoiselle").

Subsequent recordings (as Orval Prophet) appeared in Canada under the Harmony, Caledon, Broadland, and Acclaim labels and included several LPs and such popular singles as "Lois and Me" (1962) and "Run Run Run" (1962), "Mile After Mile" (1971), "It's Good to be Home Again" (1972), "Eastbound Highway" (1974), "Lisa Mae" (1976), "Leroy Can't Go Home" (1977), "Ol' Amos" (1978), and "Sorry & the Hobo" (1979). Some of his songs were collaborations with Ken MacRae (including "Judgement Day Express"), Dallas Harms, and others.

Though based in Edwards throughout his career, except for a few months in 1958 in Nashville, Prophet toured widely in North America and appeared regularly on the WWVA radio show "Wheeling Jamboree" (Wheeling, West Virginia), and on CBC TV and CTV. He received a Big Country Award for outstanding performance by a male country singer in 1978 and in 1979 was inducted into RPM's Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. He was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Honor in 1984 and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989. The singer Ronnie Prophet is a cousin.

Further Reading

  • Foster, Don. "Interviewing Orval Prophet," World of Country Music, Dec 1972

    Grealis, Walt. "Orval Prophet - inducted into hall of fame," RPM, 14 Jul 1979

    Beyer, Susan. "The beautiful dream of Orval Prophet," Country Music News, vol 4, Feb 1984

    Kennedy, Ted. Country Canada (Kelowna, BC, 1989)

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