'Les Joyeux Troubadours'
'Les Joyeux Troubadours'. Popular half-hour CBC radio program broadcast from Montreal at noon five times a week, Monday to Friday, with a cast of singers and instrumentalists. The program was devoted to humorous or sentimental songs, instrumental solos, and comic skits. Broadcasts began on 13 Oct 1941 and continued without interruption until 2 Sep 1977, achieving a record of longevity for a Canadian radio program of this kind.
The program was more-or-less a French adaptation of 'The Happy Gang,' a program on the CBC English network which had begun in 1937. The original cast of 'Les Joyeux Troubadours' consisted Henri Letondal (host and scriptwriter), Lucille Laporte and Paul Charpentier (singers), André Durieux (violin), Raymond Denhez (trumpet), Eddy Tremblay (saxophone), Émilia Heyman (accordion), Georges Vincent (guitar), and Séverin Moisse (piano). Raymond Forget took part 1945-77 as bassist and folksinger.
There were numerous changes in the cast over the years. Lucien Martin succeeded Durieux in 1942 and was replaced by Lionel Renaud in 1949. Lucille Laporte was succeeded by Marie-José Forgues and Lise Roy, followed by Rolande Désormeaux in 1944, Marie-Thérèse Alarie in 1950, and Estelle Caron in 1951. Robert L'Herbier replaced Charpentier in 1942; André Rancourt followed in 1950, and Gérard Paradis in 1951. Saturno Gentiletti replaced Émilia Heyman on the accordion, and Margot Prud'homme took over at the piano when Moisse left. After Letondal, the hosts were Clément Latour and Jean-Maurice Bailly. André Rufiange, who began writing the scripts in 1952, also wrote a book of reminiscences and impressions of the show. The producers were Paul-Émile Corbeil 1941-53 and François Brunet 1953-7, followed by Simon and Gabriel L'Anglais, and then by Pauline Goyette-Whiting.
The show's format varied only slightly over the years. After a knock, knock, knock on the door, a voice asked 'Who's there?' and the whole cast replied 'Les Joyeux Troubadours'. Then the voice said 'Well, come on in!' and the cast struck up the theme song '... never believe all those stories, you are happier that way. Love life and its follies..'. The cast was also asked to travel outside the city, and thus broadcasts were heard from Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Drummondville, Ottawa, Joliette, St-Jean, and L'Assomption.