Mary Jane and Winston Young

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A popular Toronto based folk music duo, they were active in the early part of the North American urban Folk Revival. Very fine singers they built a considerable fan base in Toronto and were considered the best of the folk duets around for a considerable period of time. They were intrinsically part of what Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie and others had started by tying folk music to a socially progressive view of the world.

Having been touched by the magic of folk music as an art form, they expanded their repertoire to include all kinds of different folk based music. Irish tunes and political tunes and American tunes and Songs from Ewen McColl etc. They were a rounded and finely tuned professional team that for the most part, stopped performing just before the folk boom boomed for real, (well within the framework of what a boom means in folkdom).

The talented twosome were regular performers at Toronto's legendary folk club and cultural centre, the[Bohemian Embassy Coffee House which was run by actor\cultural animator Don Cullen. While Mary Jane and Winston are acknowledged as pioneers of the Canadian folk music movement, their music remains largely unknown today because they truly had no commercial aspirations and they didn't record anything but a few precious live recordings. They appeared alongside many Canadian acts, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, Joni Mitchell and Stan Rogers. They were to a significant part of the Toronto folk scene in the late fifties and early sixties, an inspiration and an act to emulate.

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