Michael T. Wall: Canada’s Singing Newfoundlander

Now 80 years-old, Newfoundland’s native son Michael T. Wall is still hitting the road and playing shows all over the world.

Michael T. Wall, the Singing NewfoundlanderPhoto: Courtesy of John Smee, Bluffs Monitor

“After hearing Johnny Cash on our radio…”

My name is Michael T. Wall (the T stands for Thomas). I am from a family of nine children. Dad and Mom made 11. I was born on Country Road, Corner Brook. We moved to the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville when I was a kid. I went to school there until we moved to Lakeview/Habour Main in Conception Bay, where I resumed my schooling. I was always interested in singing and sang in many concerts at the little one-room Shamrock School. You could say that’s where I got my start in singing. I worked at odd jobs during the summer holidays, and I saved enough money to buy my first guitar. After hearing Johnny Cash on our radio, I knew right then that’s what I wanted to do. So I went to St. John’s and bought a ticket on Air Canada and headed for Toronto.

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Cover photo from an early CD by Michael T. WallPhoto: Courtesy of Michael T. Wall

“From that moment on, I was hooked on country music.”

Upon arriving in the Big City, I found out Johnny Cash was doing a live concert at Massey Hall. So I decided to go and meet my hero. When I arrived at Massey Hall, I met Johnny’s personal guitar player, Luther Perkins, who introduced me to the “Man in Black,” who is my all-time hero to this day. From that moment on, I was hooked on country music. I called myself “The Singing Newfoundlander” and had special tailor-made stage costumes created with a big, Irish-green map of Newfoundland on the back of all of them. I sang at clubs throughout Toronto, including the famous Horseshoe Tavern and the Caribou Club.

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Michael T. Wall standing next to his vintage jukeboxPhoto: Courtesy of Michael T. Wall

“I toured Australia four times and sang in Japan, Poland, China, Israel and at the Grand Ole Opry.”

One day, I happened to walk into a club named Molly “N” M. I introduced myself to the owners and talked them into opening up the Michael T. Wall NFLD Friendship Club on the second floor (disco downstairs). It was so successful that I was held over for eight and a half years. The weekends were jam-packed with Newfoundlanders, Maritimers and curious people from across the province of Ontario. By then, I was a household name in Toronto and sang Newfoundland country-style songs—the kind of music people from the East Coast of Canada wanted to hear. Then came TV, radio and lots of records! During my career, I have sold a truckload of vinyl albums, cassette tapes, 45 rpm records, eight-track tapes and CDs. I toured Australia four times and sang in Japan, Poland, China, Israel and at the Grand Ole Opry in “Music City USA”—Nashville, Tenn.

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