(Joseph Gaston) Marcel Martel
Marcel Martel. Songwriter, composer, singer (Drummondville, Que, to US parents of French Canadian descent, Feb 1, 1925 - Drummondville, Que, April 13, 1999). Born into modest circumstances, he sang and accompanied himself on the accordion from the age of 10 and took part in many amateur nights. About 1941 he began to sing the songs of Le soldat Lebrun, which were in fashion at the time, accompanying himself on the guitar. After serving in the army, he made a tour of Quebec radio stations in 1944. In 1945 he began writing both the words and music of his own country songs, whose nostalgic character and simplicity made him very popular. The success in 1947 of his first 78 for Starr, "La Chaine de nos coeurs" and "Souvenir de mon enfance", resulted in a series of engagements in New England. This record was followed by about a hundred more on the Starr and Apex labels. Martel and his musicians were the stars of the weekly radio program "L'Heure de Drummondville" (1947-49) on CHLN, Trois-Rivières. With his wife, Noëlla Therrien, and his daughter Renée, he toured (1951-57) in Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick. His own TV program, "Marcel Martel" (1962-65) on CHLT, Sherbrooke, Que, was extremely popular. In the early 1980s he co-hosted "Les grands noms du country" with Lévis Boulianne. Marcel Martel continued performing until 1987. In 35 years, he sold nearly two million records, including 130 singles and 47 LPs for Compo, London, and Bonanza. One of these was recorded with his wife (Un coeur, un amour, un bonheur, Bonanza B-29604), and others were made with his friend Paul Brunelle or with other singers. His memoirs, Au jardin de mes souvenirs, written with André Boulanger, were published in Montreal in 1983.
Godin, Gérald. "Ils ont inventé le cowboy québecois", Maclean's, Dec 1965
Boulanger, André. Marcel Martel : au jardin de mes souveinrs, Montreal : Editions de montagne, 1983