Metchosin’s Ron Jenkins documents music history on the South Island and is ready to share it with the public.

Metchosin man documents history of South Island country music

Compilation CD release party will be held June 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Langford Legion



Toe tapping country tunes motivate Ron Jenkins.

They have his entire life.

Jenkins spent 20 years performing with his band The Gamblers from 1969 to 1989 at dozens of venues on the West Shore and throughout the South Island.

On stage Jenkins’ role was lead guitar and singing harmony.

“The calendar was full all the time. There were so many venues back then, there were more venues than bands,” Jenkins said.

When Jenkins would get called for gigs if his band was already booked, he would call up other bands to fill in the spot.

“I felt like a booking agent,” he said.

Venues on the West Shore are limited these days he admits.

“It all started to go down hill when can music came in. Just people playing records all day on a stage,” said the 78-year-old Metchosin man.

The gigs are different, but Jenkins still works as a musician in a duo band called Back in the Day.

“We play mostly at care centres. The shows are usually like an hour because the people they are old and people get tired,” he said.

Music has always been a passion and work with The Gamblers offers tangible reminders.

“Music mostly built our house,” he said.

As a way to help others remember the bustling live music scene Jenkins, along with his wife Sandra Jenkins, compiled a four-disc collection called Back in the Day, a country music history of South Vancouver Island.

Music from 45 solo artists and bands are featured including The Hometowners,  Midnight Ramblers and Big Muddy.

Most of the featured music was transferred from live recordings, vinyl, reel-to-reel and even VHS tape audio.

“It’s simplicity. I grew up with this music,” Jenkins said.

The CD release party will be held June 23 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Langford Legion, 761 Station Ave.

“I will be inviting the musicians that are still alive to come,” Jenkins said of the open mic event.

 

Admission is free and the CD compilation will be for sale for $45.