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Robert Service immortalized the glamour and romance of the Klondike Gold Rush. His writings vividly recorded the hardships, lust and greed that prevailed among the horde of stampeders who swarmed into the Klondike Gold fields in 1898 - 1900. The names Yukon, Klondike and Dawson City became household words around the world. His writings make mention of a mysterious mental euphoria called the SPELL of the Yukon that was certain to invade ones mind and soul, and from which there was absolutely no known cure. Those that live in the Yukon, or those that linger too long under the Midnight Sun know exactly what Service meant by the SPELL. There is truly a SPELL that remains with you forever, and you find yourself returning from where ever you are to see if the Yukon is still as it was the last time you left. The Land is overloaded with a gift of glorious natural attraction exhibiting a majestic beauty that seems to be forever endless and overwhelming in its unique beauty and charm.
Al Oster is a music composer/song-writer/artist who arrived in the Yukon in 1957 and became an instant victim of the SPELL. He immediately recognized the history and legends of this land as a sleeping giant of wealth for heritage preservation and began writing musical ballads soon after arrival. He subsequently recorded several 45 RPM records to be followed by an LP called`YUKON GOLD'. By 1987 he had recorded and released 14 LP's in Canada,USA, Germany, and Belgium. In 1988 he filmed and released a 30 minute Music/Video documentary on the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. The LP's and Music\Video include 60 of his original compositions, 40 of which are Yukon/Alaska ballads. He left the Yukon in 1975 but keeps coming back each year just to see "how it was and still is".

He was one of the first since Robert Service to write and publish poetry about Klondike Gold Rush folklore; and one of the first Canadians (1957 copyrights) to compose and sing folk music about historical Canadian folklore legends, and to preserve the compositions on LP Records. He subsequently attained national recognition for his musical works in 1968 by being the first Canadian composer to receive the BMI CANADA Certificate of Honour Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to Canadian music in the country / folk music category. In 1993 he received the Yukon Heritage Award from the Yukon Historical and Museums Association for his contribution to the preservation of Yukon history; and in April, 1999 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his contribution to Canadian heritage. In 2002 he was again awarded recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 for his musical contribution to Canada history. His folklore compositions are now preserved forever on LP records, CD's, cassettes, music/videos, sheet music, and song books.

       


 

 

 

 
Building the WPR
 
 
Gold in The Klondike
 
     
 
"I'll remember the times that I've wandered
The streets of an old mining town
And the romance of days gone forever
That's written in the ruins lying around"
 
 
"My Book of Yukon Memories"
 
     


All music and lyrics © Northland Music Co.