Betty was born into a large, singing family in the tiny, remote community of Caribou Gold Mines, Nova Scotia. From parlour gatherings with generations of relatives to harmonizing with her five sisters she learned from a broad repertoire that covered the current Hit Parade and reached back across the centuries. Singing was intertwined with work and play. While attending the University of Kings College in Halifax Betty began to perform in Maritime coffeehouses and so began the pursuit of roots music. In a career spanning some forty years she has learned from and performed with a lengthy list of singers, songwriters and musicians.
From folk songs with The Privateers, R&B and jazz standards with Bill Stevenson, western swing with Those Fabulous Cliches and old-time country with The Mighty Oak String Band, Betty’s music has found a home in various genres while still reflecting the essence of her heritage.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Betty worked as a back-up singer and vocal arranger appearing on numerous recordings and national radio and TV shows including performances with Jesse Winchester, Gene MacLellan, Stan Rogers, Denny Doherty, Peter Rowan, Flaco Jiminez and Bill Monroe.
Betty is particularly known for her ear in harmony singing and reviving rare, old songs from the roots of early country, blues and old-time music of North America by giving them new life with unique harmonies and instrumentation.
A timeless advocate of old-time music, Betty has co-produced two of her own CDs, The Harvest is Ready, 1997 and A Song in the Air, 2002, both recorded with The Mighty Oak String Band and released independently to critical acclaim. In 2002 she produced In The Pink, a collection of vintage songs sung by her, then octogenarian, mother and aunt, Dolly Belmore and Bobby Annand.
As a songwriter, Betty has had her songs recorded and performed by Denny Doherty,Clary Croft, Theresa Malenfant, Penny MacAulay and Marg Osborne.
The self-produced CD, These Fields, is the first collection of original songs.