Sneezy’s family was musical – his mother, Helen, played piano and sang, and his father, John, had sung in the Hart House Glee Club.
Sneezy, sister Julie and brother John spent weekend evenings singing many styles of folk songs together.
As a child, Sneezy sang in St. Luke’s Church choir with choirmaster Leonard Foss, a performance taskmaster.
Later in his teens, Sneezy started performing folk music in coffee houses, primarily Cafe Le Hibou (Ottawa).
While he performed solo, he also performed in various groups, including Nev and Pete (with Neville Wells).
Later: The Children (with Sandy Crawley, Chris Anderson, Neville Wells and Bruce Cockburn).
Susan Jains and Sneezy played the NAC Terrace in June 1969 as A Rosewood Daydream.
They played at Expo 70 in Osaka and played another year in Southeast Asia.
After Osaka: Hong Kong, Bangkok, Vientiane, All India Radio and Copenhagen.
Upon his return to Canada in 1971, Sneezy became Ottawa’s very first busker.
The Great Sneezy Waters and His Excellent Band toured for many years across Canada.
They played in all provinces and territories and on network and radio T.V. shows.
From 1977 until 1992, under the direction of Peter Froehlich, Sneezy starred in the title role in Hank Williams – the Show He Never Gave in more than 800 performances across Canada, the United States and Europe.
In a subsequent film version of the play, Sneezy won the Best Actor Award in the 3e Festival du Film Musical in Grenoble, France. The film was nominated for Best Country Motion Picture in the 19th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles, losing out only to Tender Mercies.
and The Very Fine Band
Legendary Ottawa-based folksinger Sneezy Waters played over the last several years at the NAC’s Fourth Stage and other local venues to sold out shows, featuring “The Very Fine Band” consisting of Dave Bignell and Vince Halfhide – guitars; Ed Bimm – keyboards; Ann Downey – upright bass; and Peter Beaudoin – drums. They played a very wide range of passionate music from many genres and eras. Ed Bimm died in 2019. He will be dearly missed.
After keyboardist Ed Bimm died, the members of The Very Fine Band re-grouped to form The Marvellous!
This tight band performed their most recent gig at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa on the 8th of February 2020.
The Marvellous! are looking forward to bringing more wonderful music to you in the near future.