Cape Breton Music: Remembering Raylene Rankin
Word comes that one of those voices is now stilled. Raylene Rankin, who made music all her life with her brothers and sisters, sharing her own unique musical gifts while also being part of her family band, has passed on at the age of 52.
One of my favorite albums by the Rankins is called North Country. It includes the fast paced traditional song Tell Me Ma, also known as The Belle of Belfast City, Jimmy Rankin’s song about the handing on of tradition, called Fisherman’s Son, Raylene’s song Gillis Mountain, the beautiful word picture of coming home to the north in the title track, and Rise Again, which became an iconic part of the band’s repertoire. Really all the songs on it are keepers.
Raylene Rankin of Mabou, Cape Breton, took the music of her family and her home place across the world. I was fortunate enough to hear her sing on Cape Breton and in Scotland.
Singing with the angel band now, Raylene.
you may also wish to see
friends and family remember Raylene Rankin from the Cape Breton Post
from the 1980s, a young Raylene sings My Love, Cape Breton, and Me
The Rankins singing and step dancing with Mairi's Wedding