Decoursey, Earl and Emmett

Earl learned to play the guitar at the age of fifteen. He learned chords from an old chord book he found around home. He is unsure as to exactly what sparked the interest, but he can remember having a joy for guitar. He bought his first guitar second-hand and still has it stored away to this present day. Earl would travel to many different gatherings throughout the week and play the guitar at such events as house parties, weddings, and the dances at different schools in the community. He played with Comas Sigsworth, Jack Webster, Thaddeus and Mary Shepard, and Cly Docherty to name a few. Earl can remember many nights playing with Comas, the two living in close proximity in the Corraville area, after a long day of work in the woods and enjoying the evening with entertainment. Earl played until he was in his fifties and then discontinued playing, although he did mention that if he had a guitar he feels he could pick up where he left off.

Emmett DeCoursey, Earl’s younger brother, can remember attending events in the community to watch his brother play the guitar. He also notes that his brother Kenneth DeCoursey also plays the guitar but never for a crowd, usually at home. Emmett can credit his interest in guitar to his brother Earl from watching him in his younger days playing. Emmett can remember Earl playing at different house parties in the community, even at their parents’ house. Emmett received his first guitar in 1953 from his father, Leo DeCoursey, who had purchased it in Halifax. Leo was a carpenter and had spent time in Halifax helping with the construction of the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge that connects Halifax and Dartmouth. Emmett started to play and learn the cords on his own until he fell sick and discontinued playing. He started again playing after he got married in 1973 to Bernie Hawbolt and plays till this day. He entertains at benefits, senior homes, Kaylee at Bingo Country, Sunday Night Shanghaiing’s in York, St. Peter’s Circle, Georgetown and other areas in and between in the area. He has a cd released called “Treasures Remembered” that is a tribute to his parents Leo and Elmira DeCoursey.

Written by: Crystal Callaghan from the memories of Earl DeCoursey

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