Several stops on the “One Room School” tour
© Contributed photo
The Sharecroppers are travelling the province in April for their 25th anniversary “One Room School” tour.
The Sharecroppers celebrate their 25 year run as a Newfoundland folk trio with an April tour they aptly call their “One Room School Tour”! Based on a popular song called One Room School they wrote back in 1991, the trio has been promoting the province with original songs, delightful stories and lots of humour.
Now the lads are touring 12 communities in Newfoundland — April 15 to 27— and are proud to say with a chuckle, “lt’s been the same three fellers with nar fight betwixt us ever!”
Ed Humber, Guy Romaine and Mike Madigan are now three retired teachers who taught in the same school at Pasadena Academy for many years.
In fact it was at a 1988 Cabaret and dessert evening at the school where the trio first performed.
The students had knocked on the staffroom door and asked what the teachers were going to do during that cabaret. Since Madigan played big standup bass, Humber played guitar, and Romaine played mandolin, the teachers sang two Newfoundland songs that evening as well as a song by the Nitty Gitty Dirt Band called “Long Hard Road –Sharecroppers Dream.”
Thus the name “Sharecroppers” stuck as they were asked to perform over and over in Legion Halls, schools, dinners, conferences, coach tours and cruise ships.
“It’s been a wonderful 25 years,” Mike Madigan says, “and the best part is our friendship and the fact that our original songs have all been well worked on and written together.”
Over the past 25 years the trio has performed in many places, including Bristol England for NL tourism, the 1997 Brandon Manitoba Jeux du Canada Games for Newfoundland Night, and Seoul Korea for an ISME music educators conference, just to name a few. They also shared a Hospitality Nfld and Labrador “Ambassadors Award” with Stan and Jenny Parsons of Woody Point. Back in
The group has produced three CDs to date with over 30 original songs besides One Room School: “Grandfather’s Fiddle, Grenfell, Newfoundland Autumn, The Hangashore, This New Founde Lande, Mill Whistle, Yesterdays Fisherman, My Cove, The Legionnaires: Lest We Forget, The KYLE” and many more.
NTV television aired the Sharecroppers’ One Room School song back in 1993 and it went satellite. They also gave the trio $20,000 free advertising and used Madigan’s home phone number in the ad.
“Well for two weeks my phone never stopped ringing!” says Madigan. “We had calls not only from all over Newfoundland, but from Washington state, Virginia, Ontario, Manitoba….. and even Cuba! We never realized how much the history and the memories of the one room school were in people’s minds.”
The Sharecroppers are also happy to say that many of their shows are partial fundraisers; for example, a new fire truck in Kings Point and a Waves of Change Park in Lord’s Cove.
Dates and venues can be found at their web site www.thesharecroppers.net but communities involved with the Tour are: Pasadena Apr.15; Twillingate Apr. 16; Bonavista, Apr. 17; Lord’s Cove, Apr. 18; Marystown, Apr. 19; St John’s, Apr. 20; Clarenville, Apr. 21; Gander, Apr. 22; Grandfalls-Windsor, Apr. 23; Kings Point, Apr. 24; Corner Brook Apr. 25; Norris Point, Apr. 26 and Port aux Basques, Apr. 27.
The Sharecroppers look forward to a wonderful show and hope many will come out to celebrate their 25th Anniversary One Room School Tour!
“Don’t forget to bring a junk of wood for the pot-belly stove,” says Guy Romaine with a wink.