Myron Pierman Sutton
When Myron "Mynie" Sutton was a student in Stamford Collegiate in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1922, the principal, A.N. Myer, gave him fifty dollars to start a high school band. This band played not only at school dances but at weddings and other local events. The Niagara Falls Review of 1922 reported that ”The Harmonizers played a successful engagement at Ye Poodle Dog, an ice cream parlor near Maine and Ferry.” The experience in a high school band became the impetus for Sutton’s lifelong involvement in dance bands in both Canada and the United States.
Sutton was born on 9 October 1903. At nine years of age he was sent to take piano lessons from the organist of the British Methodist Episcopal Church. He also learned to play the Clarinet and the Alto Saxophone. In 1924 he left high school and joined The Joe Stewart Band in Buffalo,
New York. In later life he recalled playing in a club that was a front for gangsters. They would often play to an empty room until rival gangs arrived for a shootout.
In 1930 Sutton was part of a band named the Royal Ambassadors. It was with this band that he was confronted by the realities of racial discrimination in the United States. Often the band musicians were black but no blacks were allowed in as patrons. On his return to Canada, he formed a band called the Canadian Ambassadors in Aylmer Quebec. It was one of a very few Black Jazz bands in Canada. They played in clubs in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.
In 1935 Myron Pierman Sutton married Christina Pierson in Montreal.
In 1941 Sutton returned to Niagara Falls to take care of his elderly mother. He formed a band that played in Port Dalhousie, and a Crystal Beach.
Sutton worked at Abex Industries retiring in 1973 at the age of 69 after 29 years of service. He died on 17 June 1982.
Myron Sutton is often called Mynie in newspaper and other accounts. In 2007 he was inducted into the Niagara Falls Hall of Fame. His personal papers were given to the Archives of Concordia University.
see Zavitz A Niagara Note
Niagara Falls Review 18 June 1982
By Fred Habermehl
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