I would just like to correct a few of the facts about the show, Singalong Jubilee. It started as the summer replacement show for the very popular fiddle and square dancing programme, Don Messer's Jubilee, that was on CBC in Canada in the 60's and 70's. It was an opportity for up and coming young Maritimers to showcase the more "modern" folk music that was growing in popularity. It was one of the first national shows to come out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

It was on air for 13 years and gave a start to people like Anne Murray, Catherine McKinnon, called Canada's "Voice of an Angel", Gene McLellan (who wrote "Snowbird" and "Put Your Hand in the Hand"), Bill Langstroth, who hosted the show (and later married Anne Murray), Jim Bennet, a very clever folk writer and co-host, Brian Ahern who later went on to work with (and marry) Chrystal Gayle, the young songwriter, Shirley Eikhart and other famous Canadian artists.

Frank's Bandstand and Let's Go were the shows that had everyone dancing. Singalong Jubilee had more of a "homey" atmosphere, like when people "dropped in" to sit around the living room and sing.

The folk songs, often original, were playful in nature, and lent themselves to an early version of "music videos", where the cast members would get dressed up in costume and act out the songs "on location", in zany and imaginative ways. There were also many shows taped on location at summer festivals around the Maritime Provinces as well.

The sound tracks were laid down before the video was taped, so the cast had to "lip-synch" during the "taping to video". There was a lot of fun on the set as cast members would try to get the soloist to crack up in the middle of their solo, during the recording of the video portion of the show!

There were also some more serious moments when lovely ballads and spirituals were included. The signature tune for the show was "Farewell to Nova Scotia", sung at the end of each show by the cast, led by Catherine McKinnon.

My father, Lorne White, was the only person who was cast for the first show, and was still there when it ended, 13 years later. He was a soloist, member of the "The Dropouts", a trio with Karen Oxley and Vern Moulton, and also one of the chorus with the rest of the cast.

Canada's musical scene began to change in the 70's. It was sad when the CBC "big wigs" in Ontario decided that "no one" was interested in this folk show any more, because they were wrong! However, looking at longevity in TV today, a 13 year run is pretty respectable! There have not been too many shows that have captured the heart of Canadian culture and provided a forum for Canadian talent, in the same way since.

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