About Mary Rae

This godmother is a grandmother with a passion for country music

Emceeing, covering festivals, and volunteering at merch tables bring me joy.

–Mary Rae

How this Journey Began…

In grade six, I bought my first compilation country album, which included “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline. Sixties pop and country were the soundtrack of my teens. My friend will tell you that I turned her, a pop fan, on to the music of Charley Pride.

Over thirty years ago, my husband, Wayne, and I began attending festivals, starting with the Gatineau Clog, taking our children and now grandchildren.

I belonged to fan clubs of Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and Terry Sumsion.  Attending Fan Fair in Nashville in the mid-80s was a treat our whole family enjoyed.

Johnny Reid with Mary Rae
Johnny Reid with Mary Rae, 2005
Erik Dylan with Mary Rae
Erik Dylan with Mary Rae

Later on I had the joy of starting Johnny Reid’s Tartan Army with him and traveled the country promoting that fan club. We attended two golf/concert trips to Nevada with Johnny and band, went to Vegas with Brett Kissel for his 21st birthday and traveled by bus on Brett’s Ultimate Road Trip.

I started attending the CCMA Week in 2005; there my passion for, and knowledge of, the Canadian country music scene grew.

I continue to be a member of the Canadian Country Music Association and the Country Music Association of Ontario.

I’m also a former member, and now chair, of the Joshua Bates Centre Performing Arts Committee, in Athens, ON. We brought Brett Kissel to his first Ontario show before anyone in Ontario had heard of him. We also hired Abby Stewart for her first soft seat theatre show.

Over the years I have had the good fortune to meet many fans and music industry people, some of whom I now consider dear friends. As guest reporter for Sound Check Entertainment, I have interviewed artists and covered events. Emceeing, covering festivals, and volunteering at merch tables bring me joy.

Mary Rae with Brett Kissel
Mary Rae with Brett Kissel (and his CCMA Award)
Mary Rae with the Hunter Brothers and Carmen Choney

Several artists have asked me to help them start a fan club. But, it was Erik Dylan, lead singer of Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion, who dubbed me the Godmother of Canadian Country Music and sparked my idea of starting this persona. 

Welcome on this journey as you read about artists you like and are introduced to those you may not know yet.

—Mary-Rae Knapp
Athens, Ontario