Don Haggart


    Don Haggart was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia on May 10, 1951.  Don was given his first guitar and began writing songs at age thirteen.  He started his singing career in local coffee houses and as a featured guest on CKEC's Hattie MacKenzie Show in the mid sixties.  While lead vocalist for The Country Senators, he made his television debut on Oland’s Saturday Night.

    In 1971, Don and his brother Jim decided to follow their musical dream together. Collaborating, they created their unique brand of music by combining deeply personal and spiritual lyrics with a grassroots Maritime style. That fall they hitchhiked to Toronto and within three months Jim landed a recording contract with RCA’s Arpeggio Records. I’m Coming Home “was released in June 1972 and shot to number one on the charts. By November the Haggarts had the cover of RPM magazine. Country fans embraced their music. Packed audiences at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern endorsed their dynamic live performances.

    Jim and Don toured nationwide. Memorable performances included PEI’s Centennial Concert during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 and, at the request of Prime Minister Trudeau, played for his campaign visit to St. F.X. University. The Haggarts first appeared at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium, later at the new Opryland, USA and again at the 48th Anniversary International Show. The brothers headlined the WWVA Wheeling West Virginia Jamboree in 1974. Talented Pictou County musicians Wayne Petrie and John Shaw contributed greatly to these shows. Jim and Don were featured guests on the television shows Countrytime, Tommy Hunter, Ian Tyson and George Hamilton IV.

    Jim and Don recorded two best selling LPs.  The brothers had three number one hits, “I’m Coming Home”, “He”, and their signature song, “Pictou County Jail”. Seven others, including “Nashville Girl” and “The Balladeer”, were Top Ten Hits. They received CMA and BMI awards. The Haggarts were nominated for Juno awards in various country categories in 1974 and 1975. Several songs aired internationally. Other artists have recorded their material.

    Jim decided to pursue his musical career in the Canadian northwest.  Don remained in Nova Scotia devoting time to his family and writing. He sailed to the Arctic with the Canadian Coast Guard and traveled to Scotland exploring his Celtic heritage. Inspired by childhood memories Don wrote and recorded “A Pictou County Christmas”, the title song of the 1996 Christmas Daddies CD. Having come home to New Glasgow the balladeers released their Greatest Hits CD in 1999.   The Haggarts were inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame in August 2006.  Sadly, Jim passed away on September 4, 2006.

    In November, 2006, Don was recognized by the town of New Glasgow as “Ambassador Extraordinaire” for his pioneering contribution towards the international music legacy of Nova Scotia. He devotes much of his time performing for numerous community causes and charitable fund raisers.  Since 2007, Don and bass guitarist, Wayne Petrie, have been performing to very appreciative audiences at a variety of Maritime venues. In November, 2009, Don released a new gospel CD entitled, Prayers & Promise, a collection of ten original songs written and performed by Don, accompanied by several talented Maritime artists. Prayers & Promise is being received with great enthusiasm.




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