A local musical blast from the country-singin’ past

The Singing Post FamilyPeople, do the words “The Singing Post Family” mean anything to you?

The Posts were a family country-music band quite well-known and popular in the Hastings County area (where I grew up at the Manse in Queensborough) back in the late 1960s and 1970s. (How far into the ’70s, or beyond, the band kept going, I’m afraid I do not know.) But only recently did I discover the probable reason for their popularity in this region: it was because they were from here. The album cover of a vinyl treasure that I found at the Madoc Thrift Shop (source of many treasures, in my experience), called simply The Singing Post Family, says they are from neighbouring Prince Edward County. A quick internet search narrowed that down to the village of Carrying Place. (If you’re interested, Carrying Place got its unusual name because it was the place of a long portage for the First Nations people who first lived and moved through the area. You can read more about that here.)

Because they were local performers, the Posts were doubtless regulars on the regional country-music circuit (fall fairs and jamborees), which in turn would explain why they were “names” to residents of this area. But I actually think their fame may have spread further, and I’d be interested to hear from anyone who might know more about that.

The Singing Post Family, back cover

The back cover of the LP The Singing Post Family. (Note how a fan in the household of its previous owner doodled the singers’ names. Cute!)

Anyway, in the great tradition of family groups – the Carter Family, the Jackson 5 and of course the Partridge Family (Hahaha! Just pulling your leg) – the Posts were a real family band: Dad Norman, daughters Joanne and Debra, and son Kenneth. The record that I found at the thrift shop – which appears to be their first, given its eponymous title – unfortunately has no date anywhere on it, but the album cover says that they “started singing country music as a family in 1967,” so it has to be at least a year or two later than that. At the time of the record, again according to the album cover, Joanne was 17, Debra 13 and Kenneth 7.

Here is the only song by the Post Family that I could find on YouTube. It’s not a song I know, and I don’t find it as interesting as the tracks on the album that I dug out at the thrift shop, but it’ll give you an idea of what they sound like:

I was tickled to death to find my Singing Post Family album. It wasn’t in great shape, but given that I paid something like a quarter for it, so what? It was the memories that it brought back that mattered – and boy did it bring back memories! This baby has a whole bunch of classic country tunes on it. They’re all (as far as I can tell) covers of songs that much bigger stars first recorded, but the Posts definitely have that old-timey country twang, and I have to say they lend the right spirit to material like D-I-V-O-R-C-E (made monstrously famous by Tammy Wynette, of course), Green Green Grass of Home (sung by everybody back in the day, like some other songs I wrote about here, but quite famously by Merle Haggard), and Daddy Sang Bass, which Johnny Cash and the Carter Sisters were known for.

Some of the other titles on the track list were not immediately familiar to me, but once I put the record on for a spin (yes, people, Raymond and I actually have a record player; would you have expected any less from such collectors of vintage stuff?), it all came hurtling back to me, WHAM! Man, did I know those songs! Songs like:

If you don’t love me, baby
If you’re not satisfied
If you don’t care, get on your horse
And ride, ride, ride.
– Ride Ride Ride, made famous by Lynn Anderson

Don’t it make you wanna go home now?
Don’t it make you wanna go home?
All God’s children get weary when they roam;
Don’t it make you wanna go home?
– Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home, recorded by its writer, Joe South (who also wrote Games People Play – remember that one?), and Bobby Bare, among others

Her two little feet would come running into
Our bedroom almost every night.
Her soft little face would be wet from her tears
And her little heart pounding with fright.
She’d hold out her arms, then she’d climb in beside us
In her small voice, we’d hear her remark,
“Mommy and Daddy, can I sleep here with you?
‘Cause Jeannie’s afraid of the dark.”
– Jeannie’s Afraid of the Dark, written by the brilliant Dolly Parton and first recorded by Parton and Porter Waggoner

There’s a whole lotta people lookin’ down their noses at me
‘Cause I didn’t come from a wealthy family.
There was ten of us livin’ in a two-room shack
On the banks of the river by the railroad track.
We kept chickens in a pen in the back, and everybody said we was po’ folks.
– Po’ Folks, made famous by Bill Anderson

(Here is a fun little dissection of the Posts’ version of that last one, by blogger Graham at The Vinyl Resolution [thevinylresolution.blogspot.ca], who, like me came across their record by happenstance.)

Anyway, now I’m not sure whether I recognized those songs, and others like them on The Singing Post Family, because of the original versions that would have been on the radio and on other people’s LPs and singles back in my childhood – or because of the local renown and well-known repertoire of the Singing Post Family.

Whatever, I have to reiterate that Norman, Joanne, Debra (I think she was known locally by the familiar Debbie) and Kenneth (ditto: Kenny) had a great old-fashioned, down-home country sound, and I think they totally deserved whatever fame they found, locally or further afield. Their music sounds thoroughly retro to the modern ear. But hey – what’s wrong with that?

39 thoughts on “A local musical blast from the country-singin’ past

  1. The Post family were friends of our and they lived on the Rednersville Road. All that area is considered Carrying Place but they were not in Carrying Place. Sometimes we would stay up all night jammin and singing. They were great people.
    Nancy Lou

  2. Knew Norm and family as they entertained several times on the stage at Madoc Fair when i was the MC/Entertainment Director at Madoc Fair. Surely you would have been standing spell-bound in the crowd as such events as pie eating, nail driving and bag tying played out “live and lovely” on our stage!

  3. I remember when they were starting out and how happy people were that a local group was getting recognition. And do you remember another local talent, one nominated for Juno awards?

  4. Hi I have been searching for information about my family and my aunt told me that we are close relatives of the Post family, that was my grandmas maiden name and we have a cemetery in Belleville. I met Norman and his mom but I would love to meet the rest of the family. Thanks. Diana. Kitchener ON

    • Hi Diana – wonderful to hear from you! I wish I had close connections to the Post family to help you track them down, but really I wrote my post only as a fan and someone who came from the same neck of the woods back in the day. But I hope others who might have a closer link to them might see this and help you make that family connection. Cheers!

    • Hello Dianne, I can give you a little information about the where abouts of some of the Post family. Jack and Natalie Post lived in a place called Coe Hill Ontario, about 70 miles from Belleville towards Bancroft way. They were very close friends of our family and cousins of The Singing Post Family. Nat and Jack passed away quite a few years ago. They’re​ one son Joseph also passed away a while back. His late wife Eileen lives in Bancroft, and his son Troy lives in Madoc. One daughter, Jean Moore lives in Peterborough and one daughter lives here in Hamilton on Stinson St. They have another daughter named Celeste, but I’m not sure where she lives now. I hope this information helps you connect to your family. If you need further information and I can help feel free to email me at this email address. Good Luck. Linda Seller. 😊

  5. We knew the family cousins aunts and uncles in Coe Hill Ontario. The Singing Post Family did a bennifit dance for my parents in Coe Hill in around 1976 after thier home was destroyed by fire. Natalie and Jack Post were very close family friends. I saw Kenny Post playing on the Christmas Holiday Train about 4 years ago. He said Norm was still alive living on Loyalist Rd in Trenton/Belleville Ont. I have been looking for thier album wth Joanne singing Jeanie’s Afraid Of The Dark, can’t locate one or cd or cassette anywhere. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi Linda! I hope I don’t make you too envious when I tell you that the Post Family album that I happened upon actually does have Jeanie’s Afraid of the Dark on it. It’s a song I hadn’t thought of in many, many years, but when I listened to that album it came back to me. It’s sad and a little spooky, isn’t it? If ever I find another copy, I promise I will contact you. Thank you for sharing your family’s connection with the Posts!

      • Hello Katherine, I am so please I received a response from you. Yes it is a very rare and great album, I’m surprised to hear someone actually has one with Joanne Post singing Jeanie’s Afraid Of The Dark. I liked that song the first time I heard her sing it, it reflects on a family member who passed away from cancer at the age of 11. It was my cousin in Hamilton Ontario, everytime I hear it I think of her. Strangely enough, my niece is in cancer hospital here now having received a stem cell transplant and it’s a tough go as she fights for life. When the medical hteam brought up the subject of possible death with this type of surgery she shockingly replied, if I do just don’t bury me in the dark ground. When she said that the song immediately came to mind, so if you ever do come across another album, cassette or cd of it I will gladly pay well for it. If you do would you please contact me again. Thank you for your response. Finger’s crossed tightly. Linda Seller, 162 Ivon Ave Hamilton Ontario L8H-5S8.

      • Oh my goodness, Linda, what a story! My heart goes out to your niece and all your family, and I will be praying that she wins that battle. Meantime, I will send you the album. I’d like to make a digital copy of it first, and I have a turntable that will do that; I just have to figure out how to make it work, having not actually tried it yet. Then I can either send you the original vinyl, or the digital copy – whichever you’d prefer. My very best wishes to you.

      • Katherine, what a nice wonderful person you are. Your kindness and thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated. Your offer is amazing Katherine, but I really don’t want to take such a great album from a lovely person, you obviously enjoy it yourself. I would not accept it Katherine unless you allow me to pay for it, this would be a definate must for me. And I want to pay you decently for it ok. I don’t know where u live, I did send my address but not sure weather you received it. I want to make sure you get paid so I will phn my daughter in Trenton, Ontario and she may know how to pay you on line. Again I have data on my phn, no computer, I depend on her and my sister for data help. It is 10:10 pm here. Are you able to receive more contact this evening ? If not I will get back to you in the morning or have her contact you. Her name is Angela ” Angie”.

      • No way I’m accepting any money for it, Linda! Just let me know whether you’d prefer it in vinyl format or as a digital recording. It would absolutely be my pleasure to see that you get it, given your family’s connection with the Posts and your niece’s illness.

      • Hello Katherine, I really wish you would let me pay you for it. I would prefer the album if possible. Again your kindness is so much appreciated, if I can ever be of help to you for anything at all please don’t ever hesitate to get in touch with me. My daughter Angela does not have an email address, so I hope my emails are getting to with no problems. I forwarded one of the emails you sent to my sister in Maynooth Ontario, that’s near Bancroft. She noticed yor last name was the same as friends of hers in Toronto and she is wondering if you might be related to them. My sister’s name is Sharon Sanders and her husband’s name is Roy. I am sending you my cell phone number if you want to call at anytime. It’s ( 289-887-2217 ), you can also txt me if you like. When you the album please at least send it COD. I really want to pay something. Again looking forward to hearing from you. Linda

      • Hi Linda! I have just (as of Sunday evening) succeeded in getting the album recorded onto my computer – it was a little more complicated that I expected, using some rather clunky technology. But now I can send you the actual vinyl one, and I will get it off to you by midweek at the latest. Having listened to the album a couple of times through while recording it, I’ve realized how great it is. Debbie Post in particular really has an amazing voice! So herewith my request: if ever you decide you don’t want the album anymore, would you send it back to me? Please don’t toss it or put it in a yard sale! The digital version is dandy, but the actual record is a cool piece of local music history. I will use the address you send me a few days ago, and let you know by email or text (rather than here) when it’s been shipped. All best! Oh, and – I don’t think the Toronto people you mention are connected to my family, which is quite small. But you never know…

      • Hello Katherine, thank you so very much, I do promise to keep the album forever. And I do promise you Katherine if I ever do decide to part with it, it will be sent directly back to you, I do make this promise. My turntable is is all set and ready to go. Tears in my eyes, anticipating the arrival. I sure do wish I could pay you tho’, so if that ever changes please let me know, there will be problems. I want to send you a picture of my niece Barbara but I have to get my sis to help me, as I said before I am not at all data savvy. I don’t how I did it but I ended up on the comment list you were on. There was a girl named Diana looking for info on the Post family as she was related to them. I sent her names and addresses of the Post family that are related. One lives here in Hamilton and another in Peterborough. I noticed Diana and you were exchanging comments. I don’t know to get back to the comments, but if ever hear from her again you can give her my email address and I can help her further. Again thank you so much Katherine, and best to you always. Linda. P. S. If you like we can keep in touch, here is my cell phone number.

      • Hello Katherine,
        I attempted to email you pictures of my niece Barbara. I’m not quite certain I have it correctly. I do hope you did receive them. Would you let me know if you do. Thank You. Linda Seller.

      • Hello Katherine, I also wanted to mention to you that Norm Post always seemed to remind me of Hank Snow ( The Singing Ranger ) I always wondered if they were somehow related. Would you have have any idea about this. I asked Jack Post and his wife Natalie, but they weren’t sure.

      • I don’t know of any connection, Linda, but I agree with you – judging by the photo on the cover of the album I have, Norm looks quite a bit like Hank Snow!

      • Hello Katherine, I just want to check and see if you received my last email. As I told you I’m not very savvy when it comes to email and online matters. I did reply that a vinyl would be great. I would like to send you a photo of my hniece but I’m not sure how to do that on email. I was going to ask my daughter but she said she hasn’t had an email address in quite a few years. My niece’s name is Barbara Atkins and she at Hamilton Juravinski Cancer Hospital in intensive care unit. She her stem cell transplant but is having a very rough time rite now, she spoke with a Chaplin yesterday and told him she wanted to go now. She is on ventilator and dialisis rite now. She still has a fair to good chance of beating this but depression is taking it’s toll. We pray hard for her, hoping god will give her the courage to go on. I’m going to get my sister in Maynooth to help me send a picture for you of Barb. My sister ” Sharon Sanders and her husband Roy ” have friends in Toronto with the same last name as yours and she was wondering if you might be related. Would you be able to reply and let me know if you this email ? Again, Katherine thank you. Best to you and your family. Linda

      • Hi Linda – you’ll probably have already seen my response saying that the album has finally been recorded (so that I have a copy to keep) and that I’ll get the vinyl version off to you in the next couple of days. My prayers go out for Barbara and all your family. I’d love to see a photo of her – you can send it to my email address, which is sedgwick.katherine@gmail.com. I am praying for her to get well!

      • Hello Katherine,
        This is Linda Seller, I haven’t heard anymore from you about sending the album of the Post Family. I was wondering if you have already sent it, or has something come up that you can’t. I was away in Trenton at Easter time and I was thinking maybe I missed the delivery. If you get this message would you be able to reply ? Something comes up on my email about following on Twitter. As I said earlier, I am not savvy about these things and I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong. If possible please reply. Thank you
        Linda Seller.

      • Hello Katherine,
        Thank you so very much for the reply. When I hadn’t heard from you I thought maybe I had done something wrong and may have logged out of this contact site. As I said before I do struggle with getting back into sites I’ve been in previously. That being said I would like to thank you once again, your kindness will always be remembered. 😘😊. Barbara is still on dialisis and the ventilator, she has been in hospital since Feb. 07, it’s very hard to see her suffer this way. She spends a lot of time thinking about family members who have passed from cancer. I’ve lost 6 brothers and sisters to cancer and my mom and dad. Barb lost her dad and mom to cancer also. She told me again the other day, she’s sure she’s going to die, and to please make sure she is creamated and not buried. I pray everyday she gets well soon, Dr’s say she still has a long way to go. So thank you for caring and compassionate about our situation. I would like to get that way this summer and thank you personally, your such a wonderful person. Best to you now and always.
        Linda Seller

      • Linda, my thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Barbara and you and all her family. I pray that she will regain her strength and get better. It would be wonderful to meet you in person if you can make a visit this way! Please let me know if you received the record OK.

      • Hello Katherine, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply to my message. I received the album in the mail today, it was memorable to hear it after so long. Again it is very much appreciated and will always be cherished. Barbara is still fighting hard to get well, I just can’t imagine how hard it is for her​. Thank you for praying for her, I know every prayer helps. I am going to see her again tomorrow, I try to go in the evenings because that’s when most people can’t. They are trying to wean her off the ventilator, every night they take her off of it leaving it off an extra 5 minutes each night. That way I’m there with her so it takes her mind off it while the wean is being done, as it can get very hard for her to learn to breath on her own again. I will be up that way in Trenton on the 1st of April as I have to attend a funeral on the 2nd, and then I have to stay and baby sit my son’s dog until the 4th, he lives in Trenton as well as my daughter and grandchildren. Actually​ one of Norm Posts relatives lives in Madoc, his name is Troy Post. In the summer I do get up a fair amount, I usually travel from Trenton to Coe Hill back and forth passing through Madoc. Our family lived in Coe Hill for many years, that’s where The Post Family did the benefit for my parent’s after thier house fire. Well Katherine It’s getting late and I will end for now. I will keep your phone number on my cell and next time I’m going to be going through Madoc I will call you and we can go for a coffee if you like. So for now I’ll say goodnight, and thanks again. My cell # is 289-887-2217. I do have free long distance and unlimited texting.

      • Hi Katherine,
        I really seem to be having a huge problem replying to your emails. I do hope this one goes through. Barbara has had some rough times in the past few weeks. She had been confused and hallucinating very badly, so bad Infact it had raised her blood pressure some what and made her tremble. She was convinced the police were there and going to charge her with stealing a hospital bed. She was so convinced she broke down sobbing. I left the room for a couple of minutes, when I returned she asked me what the police said. All I could tell her was they said they found the bed and it wasn’t stolen and there was nothing for her to worry about and she wouldn’t be charged. After that she was so relieved, but the next day she said the police were there to take her daughter-inlaw away, again she was trembling. The Dr changed her medication and next day she was fine. The last few days she has been having a lot of neausia, now she’s on meds for that. She’s still on ventilator and dialisis. At this point we don’t know what’s going to happen, whether she’ll come through this or not. But we keep our hopes up and pray a lot for her recovery. She been in ICU for 3 months now. I was going to phone you but I don’t have your phone number. I will give you mine and you can phone or text me ok.
        289-887-2217. Take care and thank you so much for your concern. Linda.

      • Hi Linda – I hope Barbara is doing better now. Your communications here, while probably posted on your part through email, aren’t technically emails; they’re comments on the Meanwhile, at the Manse blog. If you’d like to email me privately, it’s sedgwick.katherine@gmail.com. Barbara and all her family are in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Hello Katherine,
        Thank you for replies, I do appreciate them. Barbara is still the same medically, but at this time her spirits have great fully improved. I will email you personally this evening ok. Thank you so much for your thoughts and concerns. Linda.

      • Hello Katherine, it’s Linda Seller. I was wondering if you would confirm you received my reply to yor question asking if I’d like a vinyl or digital copy of The Singing Post Family. I would like an album, but I would be thankful for whatever is available for me. Again I would like to pay. And thank you so much. Linda

  6. Hello
    This is Linda Seller, I am having trouble understanding how to follow a blog or Twitter. Is it possible to have someone explain it to me. I seemed to have lost contact with Katherine Seldwige ?
    Thank you,
    Linda Seller.

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