Canadian country singer Tommy Hunter played his last gig before an adoring hometown crowd Tuesday night, ending his career on his 75th birthday.

The concert in London, Ont., came 66 years after his first appearance on a London stage – as a nine-year-old guitar player with dreams of being a singer.

Hunter was a familiar companion to a generation of Canadians, coming into their living rooms Friday night with The Tommy Hunter Show, a country music variety show that ran 27 years on CBC, ending in 1992.

Hunter showcased big stars like Johnny Cash and Gordon Lightfoot, and gave a break to young talent like Shania Twain and Garth Brooks.

Among his finds was a youngster called Tom Harrington, part of a group called The Sanderlings, who ended up making most of his career at CBC, most recently as co-host of Marketplace. He was just one of many Hunter fans who shared their memories of the singer known as "Canada’s country gentleman" at Tuesday's concert.