1985 Inductee - Orval Prophet
Born in Edwards, Ontario, Orval Prophet was influenced, at an early age, by his
music teacher mother and his father, who both sang in their church choir.
As a youth, he taught himself how to play the guitar and, at age 14, he
teamed up with his sister, Helen, to play local fairs and dances for $4 a night.
He then graduated to a group called Fiddler’s Fling, where he gained
additional exposure as they toured the Ottawa Valley.
Orval was invited to tour with Wilf Carter, who was so impressed with the young
man that he took a demo tape to New York, which resulted in a Decca recording
The attraction of the
farm, however, was stronger than offers from Dallas, Shreveport and Wheeling.
At home, he worked from early morning on the farm and sang late in to the
night as a featured vocalist with Mac Beattie’s Ottawa Valley Melodiers.
A name changed rekindled his career south of the border.
Now as Johnny Six, with a hit song, “Mademoiselle”, he moved to
He joined the Wheeling
Jamboree and was on the road Monday to Friday, appearing as a regular on the
show every Saturday night.
joined the Johnny Cash touring show and maintained the same hectic pace.
The strain of his multi-faceted career finally resulted in a heart attack
which, rather than stopping the entertainer, merely slowed him down temporarily.
The first attack came only three months after his marriage to his beloved Lois
He suffered numerous other
heart attacks but refused to change his work habits.
He was delivered yet another devastating blow when, in 1969, Lois passed
away as a result of diabetes.
Orval finally agreed to open heart surgery and once again returned to the stage.
With a new lease on life, Orval remarried, and Dallas Harms, “Just a
Simple Love Song”, honored him and his new wife, Laurette, with a tribute
Other dedications were
written for him over the years, including Artie MacLaren’s “Where Have All
the Cowboy Songs Gone?”, and his life story was chronicled in Dallas Harms’
song, “I’ve Seen Some Things”.
his many tributes, Orval was honored as Outstanding Male Performer of the Year
by RPM Magazine and received the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame Award.
After the many health warnings, Oval’s heart finally gave out, and he
died on January 4, 1984.
Click here to see the memorabilia donated to the hall of Fame by the Prophet Family, in honor of Orval.