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Michael T. Wall still promoting Newfoundland and Labrador throughout the world.

Michael T. Wall — or as he may be better known, “the singing Newfoundlander” — has had quite the successful career in music.

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Since 1956, Wall has been making music.

“You could say I paved the way for all the young guys coming up,” Wall said.

A leather jacket with a bejeweled image of Newfoundland and Labrador is one of Wall’s trademarks.

 “Way back in the early days I wanted to be different,” Wall said. “I got the idea I’m going to carry Newfoundland on my back for the rest of my life.”

Since 1961, all of his guitar picks and garments have portrayed a symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The iconic jacket embedded with 500 green rhinestones will be going into the Corner Brook museum upon Wall’s retirement.

That retirement may be coming sooner rather than later.

“I’ve done it all,” said Wall. “I’m still here, which is a blessing.”

But at age 77, he said it’s soon time to retire.

When that day comes Wall said you will probably find him fishing, something he has always loved to do.

“I want to go to Newfoundland when I retire. I want to find a little place in Newfoundland close to the ocean and get myself a big Newfoundland dog,” said Wall.

He has a secret to his longevity and his active, energetic lifestyle within the music industry.

 “My secret is I’ve never drank, smoked or took drugs,” Wall said.

He has been friends with many people in the music industry who have passed away “While they were drinking, I was thinking,” Wall said.

In 1961, when Wall first went to Toronto, his music idol Johnny Cash was playing at Massey Hall.

“I always wanted to meet him. He was my hero,” Wall said.

Cash used to do a bit of hunting and fishing in Newfoundland.

Wall met Cash’s guitar player and told him of his wishes to meet Cash.

Wall said as soon as Cash heard he was from Newfoundland, he invited him back and they actually became good friends after that.

Wall has always stuck true to his Newfoundland roots. Whenever he played at the Grand Ole Opry, Wall said he performed songs about Newfoundland.

 He wasn’t trying to fool anyone or trying to become a Nashville country singer, he said.

 “I just wanted to do my own songs about Newfoundland and other parts of Canada,” Wall said.

“I had a goal to promote Newfoundland. I still never really left Newfoundland in my heart.”

Wall hopes to do a final tour of Newfoundland and Labrador before retirement but ultimately has achieved everything he wanted to do.

“I have written my farewell song,” he said.

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Contributed photo

Country music singer Michael T. Wall wears his iconic jacket embellished with over 500 rhinestones making up the map of Newfoundland.

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