Gerald Seamone

—article by Holly Jews—

Gerald Seamone, resident of Pinehurst, Lunenburg County, has been “doing sound” for over 49 years. It all started when his wife, Joyce Seamone, began performing professionally. He would be in the audience, listening to her sing from the stage. More often than not he could not understand what words she was singing, and even worse, couldn’t hear what she was saying when she spoke. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something was definitely wrong.

He started to investigate the PA systems being used. As time went on he researched more and more information on sound systems, including microphones, speakers, sound boards as well as acoustics, the lay out of venues and how it all tied in with each other. In the late 60’s on a pleasure trip to Nashville, he visited the Grand Old Opry. He was given the opportunity to go back stage and have a close look at all the sound equipment they were using and all the makes and model numbers of each item. He figured if it was good enough for the Opry, it was good enough for him.

Armed with this information he returned home to Ontario, where he lived at that time, and made a point to visit the biggest music store in London. They did not carry in stock, the sound gear that the Opry used, so he ordered it as a special order. The year he bought that PA system, he paid more for it than he did his new Chevy Impala Car of the same year. It just snowballed from there. And so began a lifetime love affair with “sound”. He studied courses at the Conservatory of Music, and took other courses, one being under the direction of the sound technician for the International Tattoo, an internationally know event held in Halifax, NS.

Gerald has been doing the sound at the Nine Mile River Jamboree, Nine Mile River for 29 years. To our knowledge it is the longest running country music Jamboree in Canada and has been going for over 50 years. He has been doing sound for the Annual Hank Snow Tribute for 26 years, the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame for 26 years, the Fox Mountain Country Music Festival for 14 years and the Fox Mountain Bluegrass Festival for 6 years. During his career, he has provided sound for the RCMP Musical Ride, concerts for Carroll Baker, Larry Mercy Trio, Joyce Seamone and Total Country, and individual artists too numerous to mention. Sound technicians overseas, who provided sound for Joyce Seamone’s tours of Germany/Sweden/Holland, consulted with him for advice.

Once when Joyce was performing at the Capital Theatre, Moncton, NB, (a major venue in that city), due to some mix up, the sound tech for the main “out-front sound” for the rehearsal in the afternoon didn’t show up. Knowing of Gerald’s experience behind the sound board, the organizer of the event asked Gerald if he could step in and take control. After Gerald consulted with the monitor mixer sound tech, Gerald decided he would do it. As the hours passed, the organizer found out that they had no one for the night’s concert, and so Gerald was asked if he would work the evening show as well. Knowing they were in good hands, all the entertainers and the organizer breathed a sigh of relief and Gerald did his usual expert job.

You can find Gerald at various locations across Nova Scotia from January through December, whether it’s an inside venue, or out in the wide open spaces at an outdoor festival. He provides sound for both large and small events earning the respect of performing artists, musicians, and venue owners far and wide. Most of all the audience has gotten to know they can count on him to produce the best of quality sound in country music. Stephen Joudrey has been with him almost 26 years.  We owe a great deal to this man behind the board and the miles and miles of wires, his quality equipment, his sharp ear, but most of all, his years and years of dedication to making a difference and there’s no shortcuts with Gerald when it comes to sound! He’s still learning something at every sound job he does.

The following are some of the testimonies from various music related entertainers and music builders over the years.

“I have had the great pleasure of working with Gerald on many occasions over the years. He has always been the ultimate professional each and every time with sound, and is a gentleman, which sometimes in this day and age is difficult to come by. There is no doubt that when I am in the Maritimes working, and have the opportunity to choose someone that I can count on for excellence in sound, Gerald is my number one choice.”

Carroll Baker, Ontario: From October 1970 through August 1982, Carroll Baker was on the country hit charts for a total of 528 weeks. 31 consecutive singles reached the charts, 20 of them reaching Top 10, with 14 of those hitting #1, including 12 consecutive #1 hits. No one in Canadian country music has been able to top that remarkable string of hits.

“In May of 1988 Gerald started doing the sound for my jamborees at the Nine Mile River Community Centre and he has been working the sound board there for the past 20 years. Not only the jamborees are featured here monthly, but he has done the sound here for Carroll Baker as well as events other than the jamborees. When you hire Gerald, you have nothing to worry about as far as sound is concerned. You know everything will be done right with him behind the controls”.

Jim Hamilton, Nine Mile River, NS: In charge of the entertainment for the Nine Mile River Country Music Jamboree, if not the longest running jamboree of its kind in Canada(over 40 years).

“I have played many times with Gerald at the sound board and can say nothing but good things about him and the sound he provides. He is great to work with and an excellent sound man, in my book. I would recommend him in every sense of the word, and also consider him a fine man and a valued friend.”

Kayton Roberts, Nashville, Tenn.: Kayton played steel in Hank’s Snows Band for 33 years.

“I have known Gerald Seamone going on ten years now. I have been privileged and honored to perform at a lot of great auditoriums and festivals from the Grand Ole Opry to the Hank Snow Tribute and I have never had any better sound than with Gerald. I always look forward to having him on the soundboard. I can count on not only sounding good but also being able to hear onstage the way I like. Tell Gerald what you want and it happens. One time in New Brunswick I arrived to do a show and thru some mix-up there was not a soundman. Gerald happened to be there and jumped in with the house sound system and as usual we were treated to great sound by Gerald.”

Still Moving On Roger Carroll, Nashville, Tenn.: Roger played bass guitar in Hank Snow’s Band for 20 years.

“I have attended many shows over the past number of years that have had their sound handled by Gerald Seamone and have always found him to be a professional sound technician; these would be inside shows and also the more difficult outside concert venues. He is also very adept at making changes on the fly during shows as needed”. I have also been involved in the Radio and Music Business in Nova Scotia for over 35 years as an announcer, a musician and a band leader.”

Frank Lowe, Halifax, NS: Morning Announcer-Music Director of 780 KIXX Radio in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Band leader for Side KIXX and Triple Time.

“Gerald did a great job doing sound for us. He kept a cool head in a high-pressure environment with lots of bands changing over…and during that whole time somehow managed to make sure all of us sounded our best. That’s the sign of a real pro.”

The Divorcees-NB: As 2007 drew to a close, The Divorcees received a second nomination from the East Coast Music Association – this time for Country Artist of the Year – and they were chosen as ‘Faces to Watch’ in December 2007’s Socan magazine.

“In the spring of 2007, my group,The Larry Mercey Trio, did a two week tour of the Maritimes. At our date in Nine Mile River, NS, we were extremely happy with the sound provided for our show. Gerald Seamone, the audio engineer for the date, was at the venue early, and set-up the P.A. and Monitor System. We were able to do a complete rehearsal sound check, which is very important to us entertainers. You could tell he wanted the sound to be right and comfortable for the bands, and also, most importantly, for the audience. After the concert, we heard many comments from our fans as to how “the sound” was perfect. I would certainly recommend Gerald to anyone needing the services of a Sound Company. Simply put, Gerald Seamone, knows his stuff!”

Larry Mercey, Ontario: As founding member of the legendary Canadian country act The Mercey Brothers, Hanover, Ontario’s guitarist, vocalist, songwriter Larry Mercey enjoyed an illustrious tenure from 1957 to 1989 in the band. In 1991 he was nominated for Country Male Vocalist awards at the Junos and the Country Music Awards.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Gerald Seamone in my capacity of Chair of The Hank Snow Tribute for six years, as well at various Hank Snow Country Music Centre events over my 8.5 years as Manager there. Gerald and his crew of Gordie Giles and Stephen Joudrey were always very professional and accommodating. I would highly recommend this team for any event large or small!

Lauren Tutty Promotions, NS: Represents awareness for country artists on three fronts, nationally, locally, and within the country music industry. Lauren handles professional radio tracking with positive results.

“I have had a chance to work with Gerald Seamone – Jerry’s Sound – on several occasions and found him to be a top-notch professional. The sound and gear was excellent, and that made my job much easier. Audiences are able to appreciate entertainment best when the sound reinforcement is good. I know that when Gerald Seamone is working an event I will have nothing to worry about in terms of production. Gerald is always willing to “go the extra mile” if necessary. In doing so, he maintains a professional attitude while being helpful and cheerful. It is truly a pleasure working with this company. Gerald’s attitude and dependability are commendable and highly valued.”

Ivan and Vivian Hicks, NB: Well known for their contribution to the preservation and promotion of old-time fiddling throughout North America, many awards and honors have come to them including induction into the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame (Ivan & Vivian) and the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame (Ivan). Ivan and Vivian Hicks have always demanded and achieved a high standard of excellence in their performances and related musical activities. Ivan is a NSCMHF 2004 Inductee.