Kevin Assoun and his shovel guitar. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge’s Shovel Playing Man to be inducted into the BCCMA Hall of Fame

Kevin Assoun will receive the honour Oct. 21

A local country music legend who famously turned a coal miners shovel into a fully-functional electric shovel guitar, will be inducted into the B.C. Country Music Association Hall of Fame.

Kevin Assoun will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 42nd annual event with good friend, Hall of Fame recipient and past BCCMA director Terry Gray doing the honours.

Assoun was born in 1948 on a small farm in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and was the seventh son of nine children. At the age of 4 he was already showing signs of musical talent and in his early teens was making a name for himself playing anywhere he could. Assoun would eventually work in the coal mine, digging for what was then called ‘Black Gold’. The work was very dangerous and to ease the tension the miners would pretend to play guitar with their shovels, as they were lowered into the dark.

This was the inspiration for The Shovel Guitar that Assoun made in the late 1970’s from a #10 coal miner’s shovel using tuning pegs, strings and even a Popsicle stick. Although he also played the banjo and bass guitar, he became known as the Shovel Playing Man.

Assoun upgraded his shovel guitar in the early 1990’s extending the fret board to the size of a normal guitar. He started collecting signatures on it in 1996. Vince Gill was the first country music artist to sign it followed by the likes of Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Grandpa Jones. More than 65 signatures now adorn the front, back and straps of the guitar.

Assoun is planning to be at the awards show to receive the honour with his wife of 29-years Brenda Williams, who will be bringing along the shovel guitar.

He also has a CD for purchase for $10 with four songs including The Shovel Playing Man and The Devils Coal, both written by Rocky Swanson.

To purchase a CD email

The 42nd annual BCCMA Awards Show takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Molson Canadian Theatre, formally Red Robinson Theatre, at 2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $45 each.

The all-ages show is being hosted by Curtis Pope and Karen Lee Batten.

There will be a cash bar.

For more information or to purchase tickets call 604-533-5088.

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows Community Foundation files extension for AGM

Waiting on financial report, said president Becker

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

No links between rural fires in Pitt Meadows, says chief

Squatters considered possible cause of Sunday’s blaze on Harris Road

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read