Bernard Johnson

Bernard Johnson. Baritone, announcer (born 18 June 1918 in Rhani Ket, India, of English parents; died in August 1982); FTCL 1950. Taken to England at two and to Canada at five, Johnson was raised in Hamilton, Ont.

Johnson, Bernard

Bernard Johnson. Baritone, announcer (born 18 June 1918 in Rhani Ket, India, of English parents; died in August 1982); FTCL 1950. Taken to England at two and to Canada at five, Johnson was raised in Hamilton, Ont. He studied voice with his mother, Winnifred Johnson, a concert and operetta singer (London, early 1900s), who taught speech and singing in Hamilton and was the local TCL representative. Johnson made his radio debut in 1937 on CHML, Hamilton, and, after service in World War II, sang in 1946 with the CKOC Concert Orchestra. Johnson was the winner in 1947 of the first 'Opportunity Knocks' series and was heard that year on his own show, 'The Night and the Music,' and subsequently on other programs. With the CBC Opera he sang Schaunard in La Bohème (1948), Masetto in Don Giovanni (1949), Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (1950), and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (1951).

Johnson made his TSO debut 23 Dec 1949 in a pop concert and returned 14 Mar 1952 as a last-minute replacement for Thomas L. Thomas. Johnson sang in TV productions of the ballad opera The Broken Ring (1956) and Carmen (1957) and in the radio premiere of Beckwith's Night Blooming Cereus in 1959 and the stage version in 1960. Though he continued to sing on radio and TV and in concerts, in 1959-60 he was also the announcer-host for CBC radio's record program 'Much Ado about Music'.

Johnson is heard on the 1954 recording of Timber!!


Further Reading

  • Duff, Michael 'Jude sings the blues,' Stoney Creek News 1 Mar 1989