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Canadian Heritage

Russ Fearon


RUSS FEARON (drummer) was born on September 17, 1928 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was a first-call drummer in Toronto for more than two decades, until he became a winter resident in Florida in the late ‘90s. He now lives and continues to play in Hamilton, Ontario.

Fearon was saxophonist Jim Galloway’s drummer for 20 years, playing with The Metro Stompers, Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band, and the Galloway-led sextet (now known as Echoes of Swing) when they played aboard Holland-America Cruiselines’ annual jazz cruises. He played with the Eddie Graf Orchestra for twenty years, in the Benny Louis Band for six years, as vibist Peter Appleyard’s drummer for ten years, and Bobby Gimby for two years. While playing with those bands, Fearon worked with a stellar list of name entertainers including Mel Torme, The Mills Brothers, Helen O’Connell, Vaughn Monroe, Tony Bennett, Juliette, Diane Schuurr, The Four Freshmen, Wild Bill Davison, and Buddy Tate.

Russ Fearon was the drummer for Reeds and Rhythm when the Gordon Evans-led band performed in concert during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert Series at the Ontario Science Centre on January 12, 1981.


Russ Fearon has been honoured in the Hamilton Battle of the Bands and by the Canadian Band Association of Ontario as the percussionist for Sophisticated Swing under the direction of Carl Hamilton and the Royal Oaks Big Band under the direction of Herb Heldman.