New book for 2021

April 2021

I don’t think it is completely settled yet, but it looks like the cover of the new book coming in 2021 will have a cover something like what I present below. It will be the second book that Jesse Francis and I have collaborated on, both published by Acorn Books.

July 14 in Chester

April 2021

The venue for the July 14 book launch event in Chester has changed. Please see the poster below for details.

The change was necessitated because the previous venue is now booked by a film company for the entire summer.

It takes a village …

March 2021

It turns out that it takes a village not just to raise a child but also to produce a book.

Well, some books.

A case in point is the new book that Jesse Francis and I have been working on over the past couple of years, entitled Ancient Land, New Land. It will be coming out in another few months from Acorn Books.

As a final review stage before handing the manuscript over to Lee Ellen Pottie for editing, Jesse and I shared the manuscript with a dozen individuals who are knowledgeable about different aspects of PEI history and culture today. Those individuals were Georges Arsenault, Edward MacDonald, Earle Lockerby, Tammy MacDonald, Julie Pellesier-Lush, Karen Jans. Jenene Wooldridge, Barb MacDonald, Aaron Waddell, Don MacKenzie, Tracey Cutcliffe, and Helen Kristmanson. Their feedback was invaluable, and greatly improved the book that is soon to be.

Of course, any errors or deficiencies that remain in the book belong exclusively to Jesse and me.

Once Lee Ellen Pottie has completed her editing, the document and image package will move on to award-winning designer Stéphane Breton to come up with the look and lay-out. Included in the mix will be several brand-new illustrations created specifically for this book by Christopher Hoyt.

As I said, it takes a village.

Back in the Day

March 2021

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsCUFrOUbooKg0K8QVoJyjpHzho8?e=27bSZq

There was a time when Anne Murray was not an international singing star. She was a great local talent—appearing on several Nova Scotia TV shows—but as yet not known beyond the Maritimes.

Here is a recording from 1968, with Frank MacKay and the Lincolns performing a well-known hit. Anne Murray and Karen Oxley were the back-up singers.

One Reader Writes:

March 2021

I copy below a posting I came across today on Rob Smith’s Facebook page. It pretty much speaks for itself.


“Have another book recommendation. Not a political book, just a real fun book though a few political are mentioned just in fun ways. The book is “The Kings of Friday Night–The Lincolns,” by A. J. B. Johnston. It’s the wonderful story of The Lincolns, the great Truro band that played a significant role in the lives of folks like me who came into adulthood in the late 50s and 60s. The Lincolns were about the same age (16 to 25) as we high school and university kids in Truro. Their Friday night dances in the basement of I G A store on the corner of Pleasant and Prince Streets were the biggest event in our you g Truro lives. Their grasp of Rock N Roll and Rhythm and Blues was extraordinary. I couldn’t dance really, but I tried, but spent much of my Friday nights across the street at George’s Restaurant sipping Coca Cola and talking to my friends as they came across the street for a break from the dance, or sitting out in a 59 Dodge and later a 64 Plymouth Fury with Ralph and George Carter and various young ladies who would come out of the dance and join us. I knew nearly everybody mentioned in this book, and the memories it brought back to me are truly great. It’s a superb story of a wonderful group of guys in a changing world in my old hometown. And they brought positive change to that old town too. Just a great story relevant especially, but not only to us older folks. A tremendous read.”


As I think I have said before, no book I have ever written has generated the affection and deeply felt connections that Kings of Friday Night has done.
Thanks, Rob Smith.

Celebration of Life

March 2021

Tomorrow (March 6) marks the second anniversary of the passing of Frank MacKay.
I’m sharing the video below once more, this time as a Celebration of Life for Frank.
Hope you are able to take a moment (well, 4 mins 47 secs) to think back on what a remarkable person and performer he was.