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Rosalind Harper

Rosalind Harper, daughter of Wilf and Myrtle Harper, grew up in Edmonton, where she went to Parkdale School and later Eastglen Composite High School. She sang in the choir at the Shiloh Baptist Church. Rosalind was raised by her grandmother Hattie Melton, the owner of Edmonton’s popular Hattie’s Harlem Chicken Inn. Hattie was an admirable woman; she gave restaurant leftovers to the poor and treated all people as equals, regardless of their colour or financial circumstances.

Rosalind’s parents Wilf and Myrtle were musicians. Wilf started playing guitar at a Jehovah’s Witness church in the Black settlement of Maidstone, Saskatchewan. He toured across Alberta with his trio. His wife Myrtle also played with them briefly but later quit because she did not like performing in front of crowds.

At the age of 12, Rosalind first started singing for the general public at community talent shows. She won a talent show for her a cappella rendition of You Are My Special Angel. That was the beginning of her musical career. After that, she went on to sing at the Jubilee Auditorium with Gordie Tapp. She also worked with Tommy Banks on his televised musical variety show on CBC. She has done many radio and television shows, including a performance for Harry Boone’s radio show at CJCA Radio. Rosalind sang at many of Edmonton’s clubs. She toured the country clubs with Matt Cameron and with Zen Magus’s big band. With her father Wilf Harper, Rosalind became part of the group the Night Train, which toured across Alberta.

Rosalind eventually got married and took a break from the music industry in order to raise her children. After they grew up, she got back into the music business and, throughout the years, has sung in many styles, including classical, opera, country, and her favourite, blues. She specializes in blues ballads and continues to sing for weddings and on television shows. Rosalind is celebrated by many Edmontonians for her many musical contributions to the city.

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