CBC Digital Archives

A chat with Tommy Hunter

Gordon Lightfoot, Celine Dion, Oscar Peterson, Sam Roberts, Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies. What do these artists all have in common? They've all won Juno Awards. Since 1970, the Junos have been held each year to celebrate excellence in Canadian music. In honour of the annual ceremony, the CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a diverse collection of radio and TV clips that shine the spotlight on some notable past Juno winners.

"I'm a country singer and I'll remain a country singer," says Tommy Hunter, well-known to fans as Canada's Country Gentleman. Hunter is in the Take 30 studio in 1968 to chat with co-hosts Adrienne Clarkson about his upcoming tour in western Canada, and to reminisce about his start in this business. As the popular host of his own variety show since 1965, Hunter is firm in his belief that he owes his fans the kind of show they've come to expect.
• Born in London, Ont., in 1937, Tommy Hunter was a child performer who got his start in local radio as a teenager before landing a spot on the cast of CBC-TV's Country Hoedown, a country music program, in 1956.

• In 1965 Hunter became host of his own eponymous show, bringing viewers a weekly dose of country music and an impressive roster of guest stars including Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Alison Krauss, Hank Snow, Minnie Pearl, Carl Perkins, Tanya Tucker, Pete Seeger, Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood.

• Hunter's theme song was "Travellin' Man," a song written for him by musician Al Rain. The theme extended to Hunter's TV backing band, who were known as the Travellin' Men.

• In 1992 the CBC cancelled The Tommy Hunter Show after 27 years on the air. By then it had become the world's longest-running weekly TV country music show, according to Hunter's website. The program was also broadcast on The Nashville Network in the United States starting in the early 1980s. 

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: May 28, 1968
Guest(s): Tommy Hunter
Host: Adrienne Clarkson, Paul Soles
Duration: 7:28
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Last updated: April 18, 2013

Page consulted on April 18, 2013

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