The Rankin Family
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|The Rankin Family|
|Origin||Mabou, Nova Scotia|
|Labels||Capitol, EMI, MapleMusic|
|Members||Jimmy Rankin (b. 1964)
|Past members||Raylene Rankin (1960–2012)
John Morris Rankin (1959-2000)
Geraldine Rankin (1958–2007)
The Rankin Family is a Canadian musical family group from Mabou, Nova Scotia. The group has won many Canadian music awards, including 15 East Coast Music Awards, six Juno Awards, four SOCAN Awards, three Canadian Country Music Awards and two Big Country Music Awards.
The Rankins come from a family of 12 siblings, all of whom would entertain the neighbours musically every third weekend as part of a céilidh. The first Rankin Family band formed in the 1970s when siblings Geraldine, Genevieve, David, John Morris, and Raylene Rankin began performing at local weddings and dances in Cape Breton. As the older siblings went away to college and university, the younger siblings Jimmy, Cookie and Heather took their places.
Jimmy, John Morris, Cookie, Raylene and Heather Rankin released their own independent cassettes, The Rankin Family (1989) and Fare Thee Well Love (1990), featuring original songs and a combination of traditional jigs, reels and Celtic folk songs. These independent recordings were distributed by the Canadian independent folk music distribution company 'Soundwright' until the band's major label break through with EMI. Their television debut was on the CBC variety show On the Road Again in 1989. EMI's re-release of Fare Thee Well Love in 1992, went quadruple platinum, selling over 500,000 copies; the title track was a Top 40 single in Canada.
In 1998 The Rankins first worked with The Chieftains on their album, Fire in the Kitchen, performing the Celtic song, "An Innis Aigh" (The Happy Isle). On September 17, 1999, after recording the song "Jimmy Mo Mhile Stor" with The Chieftains for their album, Tears of Stone, the group issued a press release stating that they would no longer perform as a group in order to pursue independent interests and careers. Less than a year later, John Morris Rankin was killed in a car accident in Cape Breton Island on January 16, 2000.
Jimmy Rankin has continued to write songs and has released four solo albums: Song Dog (2001), Handmade (2003), Edge of Day (2007), and Forget About the World (2011). Raylene Rankin has released the solo albums Lambs in Spring (2004) and all the diamonds (2011). When not performing on their own, the sisters run The Red Shoe pub in Mabou.
One of the original founders of the group, Geraldine Coyne (Rankin) died January 10, 2007, the result of a brain aneurysm, at her home in Calgary. She had not performed with the group since prior to the first recordings being released.
On June 3, 2012, Raylene Rankin appeared on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition where she spoke about her decade-long struggle with cancer. She died of metastatic breast cancer on September 30, 2012.
- Jimmy Rankin – vocals, guitar
- Cookie Rankin – vocals
- Heather Rankin – vocals
- Raylene Rankin (1960–2012) – vocals
- John Morris Rankin (1959–2000) – piano, fiddle
- David Rankin – vocals
- Geraldine Rankin (1958–2007) – vocals
- Genevieve Rankin – vocals
- Studio albums
- 1989: The Rankin Family
- 1990: Fare Thee Well Love
- 1993: North Country
- 1995: Endless Seasons
- 1998: Uprooted
- 2007: Reunion
- 2009: These Are the Moments
- Canadian Post, The Cape Breton Post, "Rankins Tour Postponed as Family Grieves", pg A2, January 13, 2007
- CBC.ca http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/01/16/Rankin000116.html
- "Documentary: All the Diamonds", CBC Radio
- Rankin Family Official Website
- RayleneRankin at the Internet Movie Database
- Jam website page
- The Red Shoe Pub site