Friday, May 21, 2010


My husband, Cliff Carter, Mr. Nostalgia of RCA Records, was a talented gentleman who played his piano with ease and sang melodies that mellowed his supper club and lounge audiences.
What most people don't know is what goes on behind the scenes. I am talking about the Montreal nightclub scene in the 1980's.
Cliff and I were walking on St. Denis Street in Montreal late one afternoon when we came upon a club called The Casablanca. Anyone who ever met Cliff Carter would understand that The Casablanca would have a special appeal to us. We found the door open before business hours and went in. A couple of gentlemen met us and took one look at Cliff and asked if he could play something for them. And he was hired.
And the owners put a brass star with Cliff Carter's name into the pavement in front of the door of The Casablanca. I often wonder where that star is now.
But it wasn't that simple. Every pay day, the brother of one of these men came for his "cut". Even though he had done absolutely nothing to get Cliff the gig, he claimed he was an agent of the Montreal Musicians' Guild, and maybe he was. But it made no difference. I was too scared to protest, and Cliff was resigned to this kind of business. He just paid him every week.
While playing at Le Touche Bar in the hotel on the north east corner of Sherbrooke and Peel Street, Cliff had to pay another "agent" who had done absolutely nothing to get him his job.
One day we sat in the sun porch of Le Touche Bar with this Musicians' Guild agent who had his hand reaching under the table for his money, and I asked him what would happen if someone didn't pay.
I will always remember his answer, "Well, I'm not one of those who break fingers but..." So Cliff paid. And I remember how helpless we were to do anything about it.


The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.
Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Act 3- William Shakespeare.
In the early 1980's, my husband, Cliff Carter - Mr. Nostalgia of RCA Records - was pianist at The Abacus Restaurant on Shakespeare Rd. in the West island of Montreal. His employer was Marc Schwartz.
Marc Schwartz had a business partner named Stephen Locke.
After Cliff had worked at The Abacus for quite some time, he was to end his gig there. Stephen Locke was to bring Cliff his last pay cheque.
But that cheque never came. At first, Locke said there was some delay, but don't worry. When we pursued it, Stephen Locke said that his car had been broken into and Cliff's pay cheque had been stolen.
He never explained why Cliff should be deprived of his pay because of this bizarre "crime". He refused to replace the "stolen" cheque.
Very soon afterward, Stephen Locke opened Le Piment Rouge on Metcalf Street at Dominion Square in Montreal. One may wonder if Cliff's missing pay cheque was the only irregularity in this strange business. 
As I recall all these years later, we appealed to the Musicians' Guild, but I can't recall the outcome with certainty. I believe there was some compensation from the union. But money was not the only issue. The real issue was honesty and respect, both of which were sorely lacking in this matter.
Cliff Carter was not only a beautiful pianist and singer, he was a fine, gentle, decent man, admired and respected by his fellow artists and fans. I honour his memory with great love - and truth.
Time does not erase injustice. I don't know or care where Stephen Locke is today, but I do care that injustice be recorded for all the world to see and remember. The evil that men do .....
Lest we forget.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010



Mr. Nostalgia, Cliff Carter.

His trademark Stetson fedora (seen on the album jacket) was known to audiences on television and in supper clubs and lounges in Montreal and far beyond. When Cliff appeared in an episode of SEEING THINGS for CBC TV with Louis Del Grande, the producer specifically asked that his trademark Stetson fedora be placed on the grand piano for the scene.

On October 7, 1996, Dawn McSweeney stole Cliff's Stetson along with everything of value that I had worked for all my life and everything Cliff had left me.

While the hat might not have the commercial value of all the jewellery Dawn McSweeney stole, she knew it would hurt me terribly to lose it and, apart from greed, Dawn's motive was to hurt me terribly.

All the details of these crimes have been reported to the Montreal Police and members of government at all levels for thirteen years. To this very day, the thief and her "partners in crime" continue to enjoy their ill-gotten gains.

If you have information that will lead to bringing the "partners in crime" to justice and the return of everything they stole, there is a reward being offered. Please leave a message at this site.