Charles-Émile Gadbois

Gadbois, Charles-Émile. Publisher, composer, b St-Barnabé-Sud, near St-Hyacinthe, Que, 1 Jun 1906, d Montreal 24 May 1981. He studied piano with Télesphore Urbain (organist at St-Hyacinthe Cathedral), violin with Maurice Onderet, and harp with Juliette Drouin.

Gadbois, Charles-Émile

Gadbois, Charles-Émile. Publisher, composer, b St-Barnabé-Sud, near St-Hyacinthe, Que, 1 Jun 1906, d Montreal 24 May 1981. He studied piano with Télesphore Urbain (organist at St-Hyacinthe Cathedral), violin with Maurice Onderet, and harp with Juliette Drouin. After his ordination as a priest in 1930 Father Gadbois began teaching, and for five years was director of the band at the St-Hyacinthe Seminary. In 1937, influenced by the Congrès de la langue francaise held in Quebec City, Gadbois established La Bonne Chanson to assemble and publish the best French and French-Canadian songs. A tireless promoter of 'la bonne chanson,' he organized festivals, contests, and congresses, including those at the Montreal Forum (1942) and the Quebec Coliseum (1943) and in Lewiston, Me (1944). He composed some 60 songs and wrote about 20 folksong arrangements. In collaboration with Conrad Letendre, he launched Musique et Musiciens, a review which appeared monthly 1952-4. He received the golden cross of St-Jean-de-Latran in May 1943 for his dedication to 'la bonne chanson'. His papers are held at the St-Hyacinthe Seminary. The Foundation Abbé-Charles-Émile-Gadbois, established to 'perpetuate his heartfelt wish to instill a love of song in all levels of society,' awarded its first scholarships in 1988.


Further Reading

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