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Edith Butler, songstress of Acadia

The Story

Until someone transcribes, records or otherwise preserves them, folk songs live only as long the people who sing them. That's why, in the mid-1960s, Edith Butler traveled through New Brunswick's Acadian villages to collect songs that otherwise might have been forgotten. Butler, a francophone musician from Paquetville, N.B., is one of Acadia's best-known exports who has been especially successful in France. In this 1980 CBC Radio profile, Butler talks about how her performing career began and where she hopes to take it.

Medium: Radio
Program: The Entertainers
Broadcast Date: Jan. 26, 1980
Guest(s): Édith Butler
Duration: 5:27

Did You know?

• Born in 1942 into a musical family, Edith Butler first ventured onstage as a 20-year-old student in Moncton, N.B. According to the Globe and Mail, she taught school for a time while performing on weekends. In 1969 Butler obtained her master's degree at Laval University, studying the ethnography of the Acadian people. She turned down a job managing the folklore archives at the Moncton library to pursue a career as a performer.

  • In the 1960s she appeared regularly on the CBC Television program Singalong Jubilee, performing traditional songs in French and popular songs (sometimes with lyrics translated into French) by Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Mamas and the Papas and Gordon Lightfoot. Butler performed in the Canadian pavilion at the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, Japan and at Toronto's Mariposa Folk Festival the same year. 




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