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Jocelyn Hamelin – Singer

Currently from Peers, AB
Interviewed March 9, 2014

Jocelyn Hamelin was born in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.

She spent 18 years in Ft. McMurray, and also lived in Edson before she last settled down in Peers, Alberta.

The evening I interviewed Jocelyn, March 9, 2014, she had performed three songs at the Magnolia Hall Jamboree:

1) “Anita you’re dreaming”, originally sung by Waylon Jennings
2) “Swinging Doors”, originally sung by Merle Haggard, and
3) “If Teardrops were Pennies”, originally sung by Kitty Wells

Jocelyn was very close to her husband and son, and spent a lot of time with them. She also had what you might call unusual jobs for a woman – she worked in the woods, using a chain saw to cut trees, she built wharfs for ships to dock at, and she also fished lobster.

Jocelyn has actually only been singing now for about two and a half years. And here is the story of how it all started:

While watching some of the Jamborees, Jocelyn would turn to some of her friends sitting near her and say “I could do that”, as she listened to people performing. Finally, after being encouraged by Loretta, someone who often performs at the Jamborees, she finally agreed, not willingly, to sing on the stage at Wildwood. Jocelyn says that she was so petrified she thought she would die and she froze up and shook and shivered so badly she thought she could never do it, and for about three months, she would perform with her back to the audience, because she just couldn’t face them. She didn’t just do this once or twice – she did it for about three months – and at the time she was attending and performing at about seven Jamborees a month! These were in Edson, W.W., Entwistle, Magnolia, Sangudo, Ravine and Niton Junction. That is a long time to perform with your back to the audience!

I asked her how she had gotten over the fear and paranoia, and this is what she said: “Finally, one day, when I had my back to the audience and was singing, another performer named Nelson shouted out ‘Hey, look at me!’, and I turned to look at him while continuing to sing.” From that time on she continued to keep her face to the audience and got over her shyness. That was the encouragement she needed and has “never turned her back” since!

Jocelyn’s family back home in Newfoundland have actually never heard her sing. Her husband Richard passed on about eight years ago and her son has since gone back to Newfoundland. Her grandmother is now 93 and Jocelyn’s wish is that before her grandmother passes on, she would be able to hear her grand-daughter sing to her.

Jocelyn didn’t socialize at all in the past, and mainly spent her time with her husband and her son, and doing cooking and cleaning. She really didn’t have many friends before she started attending the Jamborees, but now she has friends all over Alberta. They phone each other between their hall performances. Singing opened many doors for Jocelyn and changed her life in many ways. She got through the challenges of her extreme shyness and although it was hard, she advises other to “give it all you’ve got if you enjoy it”. Jocelyn says “Making people happy and seeing them laughing and having fun makes me happy.”

Some of her inspirational singers are: Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Conway Twitty. Jocelyn often sings songs sung by men. She said that she remembers when she was young she loved watching Nashville and that she would imagine herself on the stage singing with Kitty Wells. Her next dream is to sing in person to her mom. Her goal is to make a CD of herself singing many different songs and that she would be able to make a trip back to Newfoundland and present it in person to her mom. We wish you the very best Jocelyn, and hope that your dream, and even bigger dreams are fulfilled!