Adanac Quartet

Adanac Quartet(te). Name of two related male-voice quartets, active in turn 1915-19 and 1921-7. Adanac - Canada spelled backwards - has been a popular trade name for many years.

Adanac Quartet

Adanac Quartet(te). Name of two related male-voice quartets, active in turn 1915-19 and 1921-7. (Adanac - Canada spelled backwards - has been a popular trade name for many years.) Little is known about the first, which gave its inaugural concert 1 Jan 1915 at Columbus Hall, Toronto, except that it was active in Ontario during World War I on behalf of such patriotic causes as the sale of war bonds, and comprised Redferne Hollinshead (tenor), George Dixon (tenor), Arthur Blight (baritone), and H. Ruthven McDonald (bass). The tenor J. Elcho Fiddes also is said to have sung in this first Adanac Quartet, which disbanded at war's end.

Reorganized on a professional basis in 1921 by McDonald with Riley Hallman (tenor), Ernest Bushnell (tenor, pianist), and Joseph O'Meara (baritone), the quartet performed widely on Chautauqua vaudeville circuits in the USA and Canada from 40 to 45 weeks each year and made two 78s of Scottish songs for the Apex label, the first released in 1923. In 1926 Bushnell, a pupil of Arthur Blight and later a major figure in Canadian broadcasting, was succeeded by another Blight pupil, Lawrence Dafoe. Various other singers, including Charles Shearer and Cavan Jones, have also been mentioned in connection with the quartet. It disbanded in 1927 after its style of singing had gone out of fashion.


Further Reading

  • Stursberg, Peter. Mister Broadcasting: The Ernie Bushnell Story (Toronto 1971)