The 39 Casino Band

The "39 Casino Band":  Bob Hayter, Jack Hayter, Wally Gladding, Jack Smith, Bill Fowler and Merv Doerr 

  1. Don’t get around much anymore.   
  2.  Oh baby.  
  3. A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square. 
  4.  I’m beginning to see the light. 
  5.  Oh lady be good.
  6. Embraceable you. 
  7. A smooth one.   
  8. Fidgety feet. 
  9. God bless the child. 
  10.  12th Street rag.  
  11. Angel Eyes. 
  12.  Just a closer walk  
  13. In a mellow tone  
  14. Sweet Sue. 
  15.  Spring is here.  
  16. Indiana.  
  17. I may be wrong.  
  18. Show me the way to go home.  
  19. Sleepy time down south.

During the late thirties and just before the war, dance bands were the rage. The Casino now the Tom Paterson Theatre was the mecca for the crowd and the big bands from the USA were featured form time to time: Count Basie, Duke Elington, Shep Fields. Erskine Hopkins and Woody Herman were also booked for one-night stands. 


Stratford had its own 12-piece dance bands , Tony Cryan, Hap Corman and Herbie Fink.. After the war, it was The Paul Cross Band and the Skyliners. During this time, members of the "39 Casino Band" played with some of these organizations at the Casino. 

Cam McLean started the "39 Casino Band" with musicians who were interested in keeping alive the beloved music of the 40s and 50s.  

The group plays for various functions around the community and can be heard on the Razzamajazz barge every Friday night on the Avon River during the summer. The ages of the members are from 69 to 76 . All member started their careers in the Stratford Boys' Band 


Band Members bios are taken from the "I MO TYM" cassette cover:  Provided by Susan Wigam daughter of Bob Hayter.

Jack Hayter sax, clarinet , flute

Jack Hayter started in the Boys Band in 1933 and graduated to dance bands in 1936 and then played with local dance bands Hap Corman and Herbie Fink.  He joined the army in 1941 and eventually went overseas as a member of the Canadian Armoured Corps. The need for bands and entertainment groups was apparent to the upper echelon and he was fortunate to join the Royal Canadian Artillery Band. 


Further good fortune followed when they were selected to broadcast on BBC in London to the troops on the continent. Seven broadcasts a week kept them out of the pubs. They also toured Italy, France, Belgium Holland and Germany playing parades, dances, church services, and concerts for residences and troops. Returning to Stratford Jack joined the Skyliners Band and played with Johnny Kostigan and Leisure Lodge for 15 years. He has been with the 39 Casino Band since its inception and is M.C. and front man. see Jack Hayter  on Erie Street

Bob Hayter clarinet , alto sax

Bob joined the Stratford Boys Band at the age of eight and played symbols for two years. At age 10, his father bought him a soprano saxophone to play in the Boys Band. At age 16, he bought an alto sax and joined Herbie Fink's band.  He went overseas, auditioned for and joined the Royal Engineers Band and toured Europe in that capacity as a musician. Since returning home, he has played with eight different groups, including the 39 Casino Band, which he joined in 1980.

Walter Gladding bass

In the early 1930s a friend of his family bought him a guitar and six lessons:  He soon befriended a guitar player who was very knowledgeable about the chord progressions and learned the chords to all the popular songs of the day. This was in the Toronto area, and Walter was about 15 years of age at the time. Returning to Stratford after the war, he purchased a string bass and joined the newly formed Skyliners band. After the band disbanded, he joined Jack Hayter at Leisure Lodge in Cambridge, where they played for several years in the John Kostigan Orchestra . He played with the Ken Varley Trio several times and then the 39 Casino Band

Jack (Smitty) Smith  trumpet and flugel horn

Jack began cornet lessons with James Malone at the age of nine and went on to join the Stratford Boys Band. He played trumpet in the Perth Regiment Band, the CNR Concert Band, the Festival Theatre orchestra in 1954 and the Paul  Cross band for eight years. In 1955, he moved to Toronto and then Montreal. He played trumpet in the Montreal Alouettes football team for 12 years, the Black Watch Regiment Band for 30 years had his own dance band for 10 years and played in many concerts and dance bands in Montreal. He retired in 1986 and with his wife Dolores returned to Stratford.   While playing trumpet in the Stratford Concert Band in 1988, he was asked to play a gig with a 39 Casino Band and has been playing trumpet with them for the last eight years.

Bill Fowler flute, piccolo, clarinet, guitar

Bill played with the Stratford Boys Band from 1939 to 1943 and following two years in the Navy joined the Stratford Royal Canadian Legion Band and later the Stratford Concert Band. He played nine years with the Paul Cross Orchestra beginning in 1947 and then two years with Ted Keane's Dixieland Band, followed by 17 years with the Owen Geiger Combo in Kitchener and five years with Cross Roads Country Rock Group. Bill joined the 39 Casino Band in 1987. Pictures thanks to Nancy Fowler.

Mervin Doerr  trombone

Merv was a child prodigy playing any instrument he had even though he couldn’t read a note. he joined in the Boys Band at 13 and at 15 he was playing in dance bands with Herbie Fink , Cliff Gordon and Tony Cryan. He played in this navy band from 1941 to 1945 and after the war with Paul Cross for 10 years. He was a member of the Festival Theatre orchestra for 14 years. He also played with several other orchestras and bands, among them. Keith Bell, Spud Grant, the CNR Concert Band, the Legion Band and the Stratford Concert Band . He has been a member of the 39 Casino Band for 10 years .

Gail Selkirk  piano, keyboards

Gail studied piano and theory at the Royal Conservatory and went on to Humber College on a piano scholarship. She has studied big band, arranging and orchestration, has co-authored, and co-published a keyboard method for beginners and is also an adjudicator and arranger. Gail has recently switched to jazz from classical and rock. 

Cathy Whelan  vocalist

Cathy Whelan has been making music all of her life: first, as a professional actress and singer in both Canada and United States, and most recently as a featured vocalist in the 39 Casino Band. During her years on stage, Cathy spent four sessions as a member of the acting company at the Stratford Festival appearing in such productions as Candide and Midsummer Night's Dream. A frequent soloist at Knox Presbyterian Church in Stratford, she also performs with the Cathy Whelan trio.