Skookum Jim Hall and the De Mands Band

Every time I see my good friend Malcolm Dawson (pictured), memories of yesterday come to mind, such as dances at Skookum Jim Hall. At one time Malcolm played in a band called The De-Mands.

Every time I see my good friend Malcolm Dawson (pictured), memories of yesterday come to mind, such as dances at Skookum Jim Hall.

At one time Malcolm played in a band called The De-Mands, which was the house band at Skookum Jim Hall about 30 years ago.

Malcolm, with Bob Charlie, Edwin Scurvy and Willie Silverfox, used to thrill and charm the crowd around Skookum Jim Hall, especially the girls.

The smooth voice of Bob Charlie and the performance of “Screaming” Eddie Scurvy was great entertainment. Malcolm was both a singer and a drummer with the group, singing Buddy Holly- and Little Richard-type of songs.

“Screaming” Eddie Scurvy used to sing a song called “Jimmy Johnsona,” which was a well-known First Nation song originating from the Burwash-Kluane area. Eddie and the band played it to a rock ‘n’ roll beat. (This was at the height of the rock and roll craze.) The kids absolutely loved it and requested it about 20 times a night.

I used to help run dances and make posters promoting them. The posters were put up at the local pool hall and at the Whitehorse Inn Cafe. I remember some of the more interesting dances and posters, like the Ice Worm Wiggle and the Sugar Shack Dance. We always had the place packed every weekend.

By the way, Malcolm Dawson is still drumming wildly. At one time, he was a printer for the Yukon News. He held that position for many years, having started early, when the Yukon News was called the Yukon News-Advertiser.

Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook – Can You Identify? c/o the Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4, or email through the News website,

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