Ken MacKenzie's Career

Ken MacKenzie's career began at the age of 18. Ken started his career in Manchester N.H. with a weekly radio broadcast. He toured NH, VT. and MA. with the Ken MacKenzie Tent Show until 1938, when he moved to Maine to broaden his audience. He began on Radio WGAN on 3 January 1939 with a daily country music broadcast. As his popularity grew, he started to book live performances throughout the states of Maine, NH and into the Canadian Maritimes. His first country music variety show in Maine was in Aug, 1939. Ken's daily radio broadcast ran continuously (except for two years away from home to serve in WWII) from 1939 to 1957. He started his weekly television show in 1954, about the same time that tv came to Maine. The television show ran from 1954 through 1971, when he retired from show business.

Ken and Simone (the Mrs.)

Ken/Simone - 1946
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    Ken is credited with bringing the first Country Music Variety Show to Northern New England. His shows packed the house for over thirty-five years. Ken and his wife Simone (who started in 1941), became a team, both professionally and privately. He, like many other regional performers, brought live country music shows to thousands of people who became true country music fans and loyal followers of the MacKenzie's. He brought his show to every sizeable grange hall, cityhall and auditorium in the tri-state area. Ken and Simone were truly Country Music Pioneers in the NorthEastern United States. He was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978 (the first year of it's existence), Simone was inducted in 1984. True to the impact that they had as a team, they now share a cubicle in the Maine Hall of Fame. Three other regular members of his show have also been inducted in Maine's Country Music Hall of Fame (Betty Gribbin, Pete Dixon, and Dickie Monroe); a true testiment to the popularity of his show. He also received the Down East Country Music Association Pioneer Award in 1983, as well as numerous other broadcasting awards. The (MCMA) Maine Country Music Association began to give an award in the names of Ken and Simone MacKenzie last year, this award is presented for the preservation of traditional country music. The Down East Country Music Association (DECMA) will begin this year to present the Ken MacKenzie Award, given for showmanship and professionalism.

Ken and Simone


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    Like so many other talented performers in the early years of Country Music, he never released a recording. After his death in 1993 (Simone died in 1984), the MacKenzie Family produced a one hour cassette and CD, entitiled "I'm Following The Stars", remastered form 1951 and 1952 radio transcriptions. The family produced this music to preserve some of the history of old time country music and as a tribute to Ken and Simone. The family has released a second tape, featuring five Maine Hall of Famers, both are available, for more information follow the link for available products.

    Ken and Simone MacKenzie were fortunate to have worked with many Country Music greats: Betty Gribbin, Buck Nation and Tex Ann, Doc and Chickie Williams, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Carl Smith, Mac Wiseman, Bradley Kincaid, Yodeling Slim Clark, Dick Curless, Gene and Flo Hooper and many more.

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