Network: CBC Radio
Broadcast Run: 1935 to 1952
Broadcast Medium: Radio
The first program of popular music broadcast on a Sunday by the newly-created CRBC. Launched in the fall of 1935 from the former CNRV studios in Vancouver at 8.00 pm (Pacific time) to the CRBC Western Network, the 30-minute program featured “Mart Kenney and his Seven Western Gentlemen”, augmented by a string section. The first announcer was Dick Claringbull, succeeded by Don Wilson or Bill Herbert. “Sweet and Low” was conceived by the CRBC’s Western Canada program director Horace Stovin. It became a fixture on the CBC and the Trans Canada networks for almost 20 years. By 1945, the seven Western Gentlemen had increased to 16.
The Seven Western Gentlemen: Reeds – Mart Kenney, Bert Lister, Art Hallman (doubling on piano and vocals); Trumpets – Jack Hemmings, Glen Griffith (also piano); Bass – Hec McCallum; Drums – Ed Emel.
Other vocalists successively: Eleanor Bartelle (1936), Georgie Dey (1938),
Beryl Bodenne (1940), Judy Richards (1940), Veronica Foster (1943), Norma Locke (1944), Roy Roberts (replaced Hallman in 1947), Wally Koster (replaced Roberts in 1948, staying until 1952).
Written by J. Lyman Potts – January, 2002