The Rankin Family

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The Rankin Family
General information
Genre (s) Irish folk , folk , bluegrass , country
founding 1989
Current occupation
Jimmy Rankin
John Morris Rankin († 2000)
Cookie Rankin
Raylene Rankin († 2012)
Heather Rankin

The Rankin Family or The Rankins was a Canadian group from Mabou on Cape Breton Island , Nova Scotia . The music style ranged between Irish folk , American folk, bluegrass and country.


The Rankin Family emerged from a musical family of 12 who entertained their neighbors with their music at folk festivals and in churches.

In 1989 five of the siblings decided to make music professionally. They began with the recording of the two albums The Rankin Family (1989) and Fare Thee Well Love (1990), which contained their own songs as well as a mixture of traditional jigs , reels and Irish folk . They sold 35,000 and 40,000 copies of these albums, respectively.

Her first television appearance was on CBC's show On The Road Again in 1989.

The most successful album was the reissue of Fare Thee Well Love in 1992 on EMI . They went platinum four times and sold over 500,000 copies. In 1993 the album North Country was released, which contained a mixture of pop and Irish folk . The album Endless Season was produced in Nashville in 1995 , with greater emphasis being placed on the inclusion of guitar and keyboard. With the album Uprooted , produced by George Massenburg, the mixture of Irish folk and pop music succeeded again .

On September 17, 1999, the group announced that they no longer wanted to perform together. The reasons given were the members' different plans for the future. John Morris Rankin died on January 16, 2000 in a car accident near Margaree Harbor on Cape Breton Island. Jimmy Rankin is now a successful solo artist. The sisters Cookie, Raylene and Heather appeared as "The Rankin Sisters" . In 2007 there was a reunification. Raylene Rankin died of breast cancer on September 30, 2012 . Heather Rankin released her first solo album in April 2016. Occasionally the remaining Jimmy, Cookie and Heather Rankin perform together.


  • 1989/1992 The Rankin Family
  • 1990/1992 Fare Thee Well Love
  • 1993 North Country
  • 1995 Endless Seasons
  • 1995 Gray Dusk Of Eve (EP)
  • 1996 Collection
  • 1997 Do You Hear ... Christmas
  • 1998 Uprooted
  • 2002 souvenir
  • 2007 reunion
  • 2009 These are the moments


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