Our involvement in the Brandon, Manitoba, Canada and international music scene goes all the way back to the early '60s.
We have compiled dozens of career portfolio/scrapbooks which document our many colourful performance vignettes/anecdotes and the evolution of audiences, venues, electronic equipment, travel, management, costumes, stage presentation, music, Indie record promotion, personalities/entertainers.
Other topics might include:
* the evolution of recording techniques, since we have recorded 12 albums on vinyl, tape and CD since 1971 . . . first in Winnipeg studios and then during our three tours of England in studios in London, Newcastle and Durham -- incorporating top English musicians into our sessions (e.g. Alan Clark of Dire Straits, etc.)
* laying down most of the instrument and vocal tracks of our recordings, evolving from early primitive 4-track to 8-track, to 16-track, 32-track and digital. . . followed by our own jacket design and photography -- released on our own indie label.
* song writing (half of our 100 recorded songs), record production and self-management
* the experience of being a visible minority musician on the prairies, US and UK in "the early years" - Sue-On is a dynamic Chinese girl drummer/keyboardist/singer . . . a bit of an oddity in the '60s/'70s
* the experience of working summer 6-week tours of one-nighters in English clubs - a band from the Canadian prairies competing with a multitude of top UK bands in the '70s
* awarded the M.A.C.A. Manitoba Entertainers of the Year Award in 1979/1980 followed by a string of other nominations
* a multitude of TV and radio appearances, locally and network in Canada and the UK our huge A/V library contains tapes/discs of many of these performances
* a large vintage guitar collection
We have done all of this while balancing our show biz activities with full-time careers in education (40 years as high school teachers and university professors), restaurateurs (265-seat Chinese restaurant), parents of three kids who eventually performed with us on our stage performances, and black belt karate instructors, etc.
A perusal of our thousands of Web pages with the main portal at:
will give some idea of our other accomplishments as Manitoba entertainers:
Festivals: blues, folk, bluegrass, c/w, rock n roll, cowboy poetry, gospel & Christian rock, celtic, etc.
Many Opry North shows national radio show,
Numerous televison and radio series on CKX-TV,
CBC Network Special with top Canadian acts
CBCs Coleman & Co. profile,
Backing band for Tommy Hunters Al Cherney
Formal Party Show and Dance for Johnny Cash troupe, Tommy Hunter show cast, etc. to entertain them after their concert shows with our own 3-hour show and dance.
Big Country, CCMA and Country Music Week TV & live shows as Manitoba Entertainers of the Year,
Centennial Auditorium shows,
Manitoba & Saskatchewan TV Telethons,
Boggy Creek Call of the Wild Country Music and Bluegrass Festival (8 years as performers and organizers),
Canadian Forces Bases including Winnipeg, Rivers, G.A.T.E.S. German Army, Gimli, Shilo (the Guess Who once joined us for a 4-hour jam at Jr. Ranks)
Rodeos (Morris, Dauphin, and across the USA northwest),
Arena shows and dances,
Summer Resorts: Clear Lake, Winnipeg Beach (the old Pavilion), Wascana SK, Kenora ON, etc.,
German Oktoberfest shows,
Shows for inmates at Prince Albert Penetentiary, PA Womens Jail, Brandon Correctional Institute,
Charity shows for seniors, Cancer Society, personal care homes,
TV and radio commercials and film soundtracks,
Manitoba concert hall shows,
Scores of Winnipeg & Brandon & country bars and dance halls,
Feature shows at an early version of Folklorama on blocked-off Portage Avenue in front of Eatons,
U of M graduation dances at major Winnipeg hotels (Marlborough Ball Room, Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg Inn, etc.)
U of W and Brandon University shows,
Cross-Canada Exhibition tours with The Federal Grain Train,
Cross-Canada Exhibition tours representing Treflan Co.
Opening act and backing band for major touring rock and C/W artists (Everly Brothers, Roger Miller, Newbeats, Opry stars, Bobby Curtola, Russ Gurr, etc.)
Manitoba Exhibition, MB Winter Fair, Ag Days, and Red River Ex featured act on grandstands and special stages,
Film Board of Canada music feature,
Expo 67 act in Montreal featured 10,365 times at the Labyrinth Pavilion,
Fly-in tours of Northern Manitoba,
First major recording and touring act out of Western Manitoba.
England Venues: 3 Tours as The Hillmans from Canada
(sponsored by Canadas Traynor Amps and UK promoters)
studios (3 albums recorded at London, Durham, Newcastle charted songs in UK and China)
US Venues as Sue-On and the Western Union from Canada:
(working for Bardine Productions on the US West Coast)
Grandstand shows for county and state fairs,
In addition to our 12 vinyl & CD albums, plus 8-tracks, cassettes, 45s, DVDs, posters, inserts, etc. we also have a vast amount of other career memorabilia including stage costumes such as our EAST MEETS WEST sets (Sue-Ons silk Chinese costumes vs. Bills leather and embroidered denim), instruments, stage banners from the UK, radio & TV tapes, clippings, articles, reviews, photos, etc.
Hillmans Featured at the Manitoba Museum Tribute to Manitoba Musicians.
Murals, Displays and Live Performance:
SEE THE 50-YEAR HILLMAN CAREER
IN A SERIES OF POSTER AND CARD SIZE COLLAGES.
MUSIC CARDS AND POSTERS
Intro | Roots and 60s | 70s Decade | 80s and 90s | 21st Century | Sue-On
Bill and Sue-On Hillman
41 Kensington Crescent
Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6M4
WebMaster: Bill Hillman
Bill and Sue-On Hillman Eclectic Studio
Hillman Musical Odyssey