Like so many traditional country artists entering the 1980's, Donn struggles amidst a society progressing towards modern country tastes. Music agencies offer less work and greater reluctance to Donn's now obscure talents. Donn's worldwide popularity was gradually diminishing to mostly local performances and guest appearances.
Donn performs on CBC TV's "Take 30" atop the CN Tower as the worlds highest suburban yodeler. The event inspired additional television appearances and local media coverage including a performance with Claude King at the Buffalo Convention Centre in New York, USA. During the performance Donn establishes a new record for the world's fastest yodel of five tones (three falsetto and two natural). Representatives from the Guinness Book of Records are present to validate the achievement.
Donn guest appears on the Tommy Hunter show and accepts acting roles in the movies "Canada Confidential" and "The Edge".
The great success of Donn's Buffalo, NY appearance with Claude King repeats itself as the two reunite for multiple performances at O'Reilly's Landing in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He later joins Ronnie Hawkins for performances at the Toronto Musician's Association Festival.
Donn accepts a flood of invitations to guest appear on television shows across all network stations. He is a contestant on the Goodson-Todman TV show "Claim To Fame" and guest on the CBC TV show "Daytime Challenge". He is then interviewed on CTV's Canada AM and appears on the Global Television show "That's Life". Donn is also featured on CKCO-TV's "Tempo Ontario" and performs on BCTV's "The Alan Thicke Show".
Donn appears on Global Television's "Pizzazz" to break his previous world record for the fastest yodel. Ripley's Believe it or Not! inducts the new world record and publishes a cartoon depicting Donn in more than 300 newspapers world-wide.
Feature stories on Donn circulate throughout all local newspapers and magazines including Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, International Musician, Canadian Composer, Close Up, and Maclean's magazines.
Unfortunately, for Donn, letters of rejection begin to exceed those of acceptance for his live musical talents. Donn is pressured to focus more on his Limousine business allowing little time to perform.
An interview and performance for the CTV television show "Lifetime" provides a brief return to the spotlight, but the collapse of a Johnny Carson Show appearance marks an inevitable road Donn reluctantly follows.
Donn performs in the Malton Festival and CKGL radio's Summerfest Jamboree in Kitchener, Ontario. He also guest stars in the Royal Canadian Winter Fair at the Canadian National Exhibition. His world record achievements are highlighted by an article in the Country Music News.
Donn sells his limousine business and hopes that the new free time will provide more opportunity for his love of country music entertaining. Interviews with Donn and stories of his career continue to reach the press, but performing opportunities are scarce.
Donn signs with RCA Records to release a compilation of his favourite songs titled "King of the Yodelers". He is delighted to promote it when invited to perform in the Appalachian Jubilee, Pennsylvania, USA. He visits the studio again to record a new single titled "Song of San Jose" which remained unreleased.
The National Library of Canada requests a copy of "King of the Yodelers" for listing in the national bibliography Canadiana.
Donn guest appears on BBC-TV's "Record Breakers" in support of a segment highlighting his yodeling world records.
Donn becomes a member of the Masonic Order in April of 1990 (Flower City Lodge No. 689) as health issues become a factor and limit his ability to travel. He performs in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Jamboree in Kitchener, Ontario.
A video recording highlighting all of Donn's performances is entered into the Country Music Hall of Fame library in Nashville, Tennessee.
Accepting his musical restraints, Donn settles down in his hometown of Brampton, Ontario focusing on family life with Cindy and his three sons. He dedicates his time to family activities and functions, helping to raise money for children's charities, and enjoying plenty of fan-mail correspondence.
Donn Reynolds passed away Saturday, August 16, 1997, following complications
from Alzheimer's disease.
CLICK TO ENLARGE