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Both native to Prince Edward Island, Elaine Hughes (nee Corr) and Bernie Hughes left the province and moved to Hamilton, Ontario. At the age of 18, Elaine moved to Hamilton and began attending the P.E.I. Country Club on the corner of Bay and King Sts, where she later met Bernie Hughes. Bernie Hughes started his country music career in Hamilton on CHCH TV’s Saturday Night Jamboree, playing with a band called the Rhythmaires. He later formed a band of his own called the Mountain City Playboys and frequently performed at the Jockey Club in Hamilton, Merritt Hall in Ancaster, along with other venues in the area, and a featured performance and the Grand Ole Opry in 1961.
Elaine Hughes used to work for the Mountain City Playboys by copying out music for the band, ordering uniforms and performing general management duties. In 1971, Bernie & Elaine Hughes released their first album together, and they ran a live radio broadcast from the Saddle Room at the Jockey Club for 17 years.
Bernie Hughes was a respected member of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild and was considered by the music community as one of the “fathers of country music” in Hamilton. In 1981, Bernie died after a long battle with cancer. Elaine Hughes continued to sing and play music after his death and formed a musical partnership with Smiling Bill McCormack. Elaine continues to play country music with friends at the Veteran’s Service League in Hamilton.