La Bonne Chanson

La Bonne Chanson. A publishing company dedicated to the dissemination of French and French-Canadian songs of quality.

La Bonne Chanson

La Bonne Chanson. A publishing company dedicated to the dissemination of French and French-Canadian songs of quality. It was founded in St-Hyacinthe, Que, after the 1937 French Language Congress in Quebec City, which emphasized the value of song as a vehicle for the preservation of culture and language. Father Charles-Émile Gadbois, the company's founder, began publishing the words and music of songs of France and Quebec in albums. Eleven albums (550 songs) were published in this manner. La Bonne Chanson also prepared the series Madeleine et Pierre for young people and adapted several programs of solfège and singing for the schools: La Bonne Chanson à l'école, a collection of 50 sacred and secular songs for Christmas; Chants pour le temps des Fêtes; and finally Cent plus belles chansons. A collection entitled Vingt choeurs à voix égales enjoyed considerable success, as did books of accompaniments for many songs.

In 1939 for the Bluebird label of RCA Victor, Father Gadbois produced some 50 78s for the record series issued under the name La Bonne Chanson. Performers for the series included François Brunet, P.-É. Corbeil, Jeanne Desjardins, Jules Jacob, Marthe Létourneau, the Alouette Vocal Quartet, the Bonne Chanson Vocal Quartet, David Rochette, and Albert Viau. The radio program 'Le quart d'heure de la Bonne Chanson,' on CBC and CKAC in Montreal 1939-52, contributed to the popularity of the heritage of song. Les Amis de la Bonne Chanson, founded in 1942, also assisted in the promotion and distribution of the published songs. La Bonne Chanson published 16 issues of the periodical Musique et musiciens 1952-4. The company was owned (1955-89) by Entreprises culturelles Enr, La Prairie, Que. and since 1989 has been managed by Modulo Éditeur Inc, Montreal.


Further Reading

  • 'Quinzième anniversaire de la Bonne Chanson,' Musique et musiciens, vol 1, Feb 1953

    Gervais, Albert. 'Nouvelles rampes de lancement pour La Bonne Chanson,' Le Magister, Oct 1977

    De Surmont, Jean-Nicolas. 'Les conditions de production et de circulation de l'oeuvre de La Bonne Chanson de Charles-Emile Gadbois,' Cahiers de l'ARMuQ, 16, June 1995

    De Surmont, Jean-Nicolas. La Bonne Chanson en France et au Québec: la commerce et la tradition (Montreal 2001)

    Pionniers du disque folklorique québécois