Boris started playing the fiddle at 10 years of age, and at the age of 13, Boris played his first dance. At first, Boris played with a local group in the Pleasant Valley district southwest of Grandview, Manitoba and also with another group from Gilbert Plains, Manitoba.
In 1959, Boris and his father Bill started their own band, which was first called the Valley River Playboys and a year or so later was renamed the Melody Kings, which is the name it is known by to this day. Members of the band have changed over the years, however musicians such as the late Red Wagner were with the band for over 30 years. Mike Tymchuk started his drumming career with the Melody Kings as a teenager, and still continues to play today, more than 30 years later.
Boris has appeared on CKOS-TV in Yorkton as well as CKSO-TV in Sudbury, Ontario. In the fall of 1961 when CKDM Radio in Dauphin began featuring broadcasts of live bands in the area, Boris and the Melody Kings were regular performers on the program. Today, his music is regularly featured on radio stations across Western Canada. With radio becoming a far reaching form of media in the early days, it opened up many opportunities for musicians at the time, as a result, Boris has performed in more than 800 dance halls and venues throughout his vast musical career.
In 1966, Boris began recording with Galaxy Records, producing 5 albums which were in long play, 8-track and cassette format. In 1987, Boris then recorded with Sunshine records, producing 3 albums from 1987 to 1989, which included a Ukrainian Wedding album.
Some highlights of Boris’s musical career include playing a traditional Ukrainian wedding in New York City in 1989 with the late Hans Carlson and Brian Cherwick, as well as performances with Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival Choir, also participating in the video recording of the Ukrainian Wedding, which is still available today.
Boris has also competed in countless fiddling contests over the years, taking him throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He has also competed in the renowned Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship in Shelburne, Ontario. Boris has more than 80 awards to show for his efforts.
56 years later, Boris and the band are still playing and continuing the legacy it started in 1959. Boris’s daughter, Pamela, joined the band in the early 1990’s which made three generations of family in the band. Bill retired from music in 2000, and sadly passed away in 2011. Boris and Pam continue to carry on the family tradition with Pam’s 6 year old son, Dawson, in the early stages of his musical career – learning the art of fiddle from his Gido, with hopes of continuing the long-living legacy of his family.
Boris continues to pass along his knowledge and his talents to others through teaching fiddle. He has taught many young people over the years, passing along his expertise and helping to keep the Ukrainian tradition alive in the younger generations.
Boris remains active in the Ukrainian musical community. His talent and passion for music and the Ukrainian culture will be an everlasting mark for generations to come.