Tragedy in Vancouver

Veterans of the Regina music scene will surely remember Donny & the Moondogs. The classic blues rockers were a mainstay at Goodtime Charlie’s at the Plains Hotel, and played at many other venues and events in the city and around Saskatchewan. The band was fronted by Don Ramsay, and through a family member of his I learned that a tragedy had befallen Don and his wife Wendy at their North Vancouver home. Their son Jordan had a history of mental illness, and on the weekend he allegedly bludgeoned his father to death and severely injured his mother who is now in hospital. Here’s a link to the Vancouver Sun story.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

25 thoughts on “Tragedy in Vancouver”

  1. I was a friend and colleague of Donny’s. I haven’t the words, and sincerely hope that Wendy pulls through. So very sad.

  2. Jeeze, I’m speechless. Donny was just a real nice guy. And Wendy a great spirit. I last saw him playing at the folk fest. 2010. We were sad to see them move a couple years ago, but this news just sucks for anyone who knew the Ramsays.

    From the Tomczaks, Mark and Louise

  3. This is so sad RIP Don,I always had a blast playing with him.So horrible for the Ramsey family.

  4. I have such great memories of two very wonderful people. I cannot imagine what this family will have yet to go through. Break on through Don. Thanks for the article.

  5. Whoa. I used to run into him all the time at the Plains. I didn’t know him well but he was a good guy. Wow.

  6. Like loosing family…
    My heart & prayers are with Wendy & the rest of the family.
    Donny u will always & forever be music.. Rip

  7. I send a loving heart out to all family, friends and colleagues of Don and Wendy. Some of my best times in my 20’s included dancing to Donny and the Moondogs at Barts. This is a huge tragedy and such a shock. I live in North Vancouver so it is very close to home. Sending love to you Regina.

  8. Don was a unique individual and free spirit. I have fond memories of playing with him in the Moondogs, Moraccan Roll, and at the jams at the plains and especially at Bart’s. I will fondly remember rolling into town from my new home of Ottawa and being welcome on stage with many friends making great music with each other. Quirky tunes like piece of S$&t car and ending the night with the jingle to the 70s commercial classic to “hub city glass” among other great tunes Don loved will always. E remembered fondly. Bye Don you will be always remembered fondly and missed

  9. this is so very sad…..
    i had a chance to get know and play with donny back in the “plains sat jam” days. great guy!
    “if there’s a rock’n’roll heaven………”

  10. this very tragic..i’v known Donny for years
    and have had many great jam’s @ the planes
    he will be missed…we love you Donny!

  11. Donny and the Moondogs played at Planet Billiards in Estevan a few times and that is where we got to know, like and respect Donny and the Band. This is such a tragedy and we pray that Wendy recovers. God Be with you Donny and with all who mourn your passing.

  12. Horrific, and so very sad. I hope that Wendy pulls through and that emotional healing will someday be possible for her. This is so tragic.

  13. I just wanted to note that I live in North Vancouver and if there is anything I can help to do for Donny or Wendy’s families, can any of you pass that on. (if you know them) I would like to be of service if needed. You can reach me at or call 778-896-8546

  14. I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to such beautiful people. Donny was responsible for getting me back into music. I don’t know how it would have worked if he hadn’t asked me to come and sing with him, and do the jams at barts and the plains. Rest in peace my brother, and Wendy, love and rainbows all around you sweet sweet lady. Love is the only way. RIP your friend in music forever Heidi Little

  15. I’m in shock… The world is short another dreamer… Wendy, I’m praying for you and yours!

  16. You will be Sadly missed Donny ….R I P Donny …My prayers are with you and Wendy …God Bless You Both!!!

  17. Too sad for words.
    I’m sure you, Donny, will be jammin’
    the good song on the other side.
    R.I.P. My friend.

  18. I was informed last night by our mutual friend Trish Elliott about Don and Wendy. We are close friends in the early 80’s before I moved to Winnipeg. We played together on numerous occasions and even wrote a couple of songs together.

    Don was one of the meloist, nicest and warmest people I have ever met. And he was a top notch musician. I felt like a real pro playing with him, because he made everyone around him sound better. I always loved his writing too… to me he was the next Gordon Lightfoot in waiting. I lament that he never really made it to such heights in the industry – because his music was worthy of international success.

    And Wendy, what can say… sweet Wendy. She shared Don’s warmth and I have never really seen two people so much in love with each other. If anyone has ever heard Wendy sing, you would know that she is one of the most dynamic and sexy vocalists around.

    I am so sorry that all of this happened. It is such a tragedy. I got the call when I was in the middle of a jam session (the first one I had since coming back from Trish and Don’s wedding anniversary in the summer).

    Don, if you can hear me out there, know that I have a song dedicated to you.. I call it The D Train… an upbeat acoustic number that you would like – even though it is far beneath your talent.

    Love always Rammer…

  19. Saturday jams at the plains in the 90s. Man that takes me back. Sorry this has happen! my heart gos out to the rest of the family . Hold on wendy God Bless

  20. I remember Don from Formerly’s(Hotel Sask)and working together in the hotel. He was always relaxed, fun to be with and go out with. I haven’t seen him for years, but the idea that he died in such a horrible way saddens me deeply. I met Wendy several times and found her an incredible sweet and warm woman. the boys were still small back then. A lovely family living in the crescents.

  21. I am so sorry i only found this now.
    I was a bartender at Bart’s when Donny first started Sunday night staff nights, then the Monday night jams from 96-2001 before I got done school and left.
    Don was a special friend I got to know after hours with the other band mates and I think about those Bart’s days very fondly. Wendy was always as radiant as ever coming to watch.
    I was just seeing what he was up to when I found this. My deepest condolences to Wendy and the family. He was truly a great person and musician. I am very very saddened by finding this out.
    RIP Don, I’ll always remember the musical lineup you played at Bart;s while I worked sponsered by visine and doritos.
    Please make sure no country music is playing in heaven my brother from a different mother…we’ll see you there some day.
    Old Bart’s Bartender

  22. There are really so many more people that would be posting if they knew.
    We had a great family of people downtown regina staff that all came to Bart’s..and we all would hang out together in the 90’s after work and during.
    I see names like Heidi , darcie from applause, colin was on horns…….etc.
    those were great days and would never thing we would ever not one day have a huge re-union.
    Since this is late finding out we need to get a celebration of Donny’s life night.

  23. Dear LeeAnn –

    I just found out about this and am so sorry and shocked to hear it. Donnie was a great boyhood friend in Regina, two doors down on Grant Road. We did all kinds of “stuff” together over those years and kept up correspondence for a time when I moved down east after high school. Those letters were hilarious kidstuff and I still have them if you want to see them.

    In 2005, he saw my mom’s obit in Victoria and he and Wendy and the kids and Janice showed up at her memorial service. That was so sweet of them. I had visited them in 1999 in Regina and was impressed. Donnie never bragged about having his own band! What a great guy he was, and I’ll sorely miss him.

    Heartfelt condolences and please pass that on to Ronnie and your family. I hope we can connect on Facebook.


    Gordon Brown

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