The Ellis Family Band:
From the early years 1970's until the early 1980's the band played at dances, festivals and weddings across P.E.I. In 1983 they decided to live their dream of playing music professionally and went to Nashville, Tennessee. On this trip they met many influential people in the country music industry, they learned that they would need to work very hard make it in the business. The first song they recorded was Easy To Love a song written by Ethel and Rick Ellis. When they released the song to radio, things began to happen very quickly. Easy To Love, became an instant hit across Canada, this led to a Juno award nomination for Top county group of the year . They decided to set out on their first professional tour in June of 1984, this tour gave the band a chance to see if their music would be widely accepted. They werent disappointed. One of many hi-lights would come on the first tour when The Ellis Family Band played at what was billed as at that time the largest outdoor country music concert in Canada . They shared the stage with Jerry Reid (Smokey and the Bandit), Joe Stampley, Gary Morris and the legendary George Jones. Over 44 thousand people attended and the band was very well received by the enthusiastic crowd. Over the next four years the Ellis Family Band toured extensively and recorded two more albums in Nashville. They released 20 singles from their three albums and had great success having all 20 singles reach the top 50 on Canada s nation music chart magazine RPM . They had a #1 song Thank you for being my friend written by bass guitarist Greg MacDonald and also had top ten hits with fan favorites Summer Nights written by Steve Ellis, Why Am I still Crying written by Rick Ellis, and arguably their most popular song Mother of Mine written by their mother Ethel Ellis. With this chart success came many accolades, including Top Group nominations at the CCMA s (Canadian Country Music Awards) for five consecutive years. The bands third album Heart on Fire garnered some attention from CBS Records in Nashville and the band was offered a record deal, something that they worked hard for. However after four years of playing music professionally on the road, priorities had changed and they decided to return to their home province and play music as a hobby again. They played until Christmas of 1999 and decided to retire from publicly performing. The family has endured many changes since their retirement, Russell Ellis (father of the four brothers) passed away in 2001 and Arnold MacDonald (father of Greg) passed away in 2003. These events have caused the boys in the band to talk about simply getting together for some jam sessions and reminiscing. Dave and his wife Georgia have recently built a house and it includes a home recording studio in the basement. This room is called the Music Room and is dedicated to Russell and Arnold. The boys in the band have enjoyed getting together to reminisce and sing and record some of their favorite songs.
In the fall of 2005 the band released a digitally re-mastered compilation cd entitled The Ellis Family Band. If youre interested in ordering cd(s) contact the band through their web site.
The Ellis Family Band:
Brian Ellis (Rythum Guitar and Harmony Vocals)
Rick Ellis (Lead Singer, Drums)
Steve Ellis ( Lead and Harmony Vocals, Percussion)
Dave Ellis ( Lead Guitar, Harmony Vocals)
Greg MacDonald (Bass Guitar, Harmony Vocals)
Ethel Ellis ( Song writer, biggest fan, mom)