Last night, Canada's Country Gentleman played his final concert , celebrating his 75th birthday with an official retirement performance. Tommy Hunter's show at the John Labbatt Centre in London, Ontario, was a fitting farewell for the man who spent years as one of Canada's most pre-eminent musical icons.
CBC's The National sent another Hunter (this one named Paul) to cover the event:
March 19, 2012 Tommy Hunter, Canada's Country Gentleman, will play his last concert ever tomorrow, Tuesday March 20th, in his hometown of London, Ontario - the place where he first picked up a guitar at the age of nine. That was over 65 years ago: tomorrow is also Tommy's birthday, and he's turning 75.
Tommy's best known for his country music variety series, 'The Tommy Hunter Show', which ran for 27 years on CBC Television, from 1965 to 1992. Tuning in to the program on Friday nights was a tradition for Canadians across the country, and lots of the musicians who performed on the show went to do big things in the music industry, including Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and The Judds.
Tommy's farewell show takes place at the John Labbatt Centre tomorrow night. If you're in town, you can get tickets right here to see Tommy perform some of his signature tunes, and celebrate his legacy and his 75th birthday. CBC Live will also be covering the event, following 'Marketplace' co-host Tom Harrington - Tom actually appeared on Tommy's show as a child, when he was a member of vocal group The Sanderlings.
Tommy was in the red chair recently talking about his long career as a Canadian icon, and how it feels to be laying down his guitar at last. You can see that interview below: