Michelle Ann Kratts

Take her to the Indian Room

In Dine and Dance in Niagara, Hotels of Niagara on December 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

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Niagara’s history resonates with music. Even as the mighty Falls has always mastered her own music, it was inevitable that men would follow suit. The hotels that grew along the river became temples to music from the very beginning.

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Ernie Whistler was one of Niagara’s finest musicians. Born in Niagara Falls to Canadian parents, Hayden Whistler and Lucinda Roe, Ernie was destined to make music. Census records show that as early as 1910, when he was 19, he was listed as “musician.” He taught music and was the band leader for various swing bands over the years in Niagara Falls and in Lockport.   His first wife, Olive, was a singer. It was said that she “held her audiences spellbound with the rendering of her solo numbers.”

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For some time Ernie lived at 947 Ontario Avenue. He was most well known for his ten piece swing band as well as the Indian Room Ramblers. He had a radio show up in the Hotel Niagara called, Piano Paragraphs. During the late 1930’s, WHLD was piped out of a studio in the Hotel Niagara.

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