Signs of Spring
As this brutal winter for most of the country slowly comes to an end, Canadians everywhere are looking for signs of spring. Rewind looks to the CBC Radio archives for spring peepers and cardinals, rain boots and crocuses, floods and taxes. All that and some great spring music to get you dancing.
It's been a brutal winter, hasn't it? We Canadians love to talk about the weather, but honestly, this winter we've had a lot to talk about. And now as the end is in sight, we're all looking for signs of spring.
We will, for the moment ignore the people on the West Coast who will tell us spring sprung there weeks ago. Instead we'll agree that for most of the country it's just starting to happen. (PHOTO: CBC Still Photo Collection/Neith MacDonald)
It seems that every year at this time Canadians look eagerly for hopeful signs of spring and CBC Radio has always been happy to help. We started with an essay Michael Enright wrote a few years ago for his other show The Sunday Edition.
That was followed by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, a piece of music that you may recall caused riots when it was first performed back in the spring of 1913. Spring can do that.
Then, a little further back in time, to 1970 and Assignment with Bill McNeil. Bill was chatting with Jehane Benoit, Canada's answer to Julia Child.
Madame Benoit, as she was known, appeared regularly on CBC Radio and Television, both French and English, demonstrating cooking techniques from a variety of cuisines.
PHOTO: (1971 (l-r) Jehane Benoit, Ed Reid, hosts Adrienne Clarkson and co-host Paul Soles. The CBC TV program Take 30 was geared toward homemakers but went beyond receipies and childrearing.)
She opened one of the first vegetarian restaurants in Canada and was the author of several best-selling cookbooks, including the much-loved The Canadiana Cookbook.
But on this occasion she and Bill were talking about spring as she saw it from her sheep farm in Quebec in May 1970.
Morningside and The Radio Show
The program Morningside had a yearly tradition of looking for signs of the season. In 1983 they asked listeners to call in with their own signs.
In the mid 1980s, Saturday afternoons were home to The Radio Show with host Jack Farr, known more colloquially as Captain Radio. The program came out of Winnipeg and featured a cast of characters who talked about music, culture, politics, and in this case, spring. Jack Farr was joined by Gary Dunford. (PHOTO: Host Jack Farr, Capitan Radio / CBC Still Photo Collection.)
After that, we moved from Manitoba to Alberta with Ian Tyson and then some signs of spring from the Grievous Angels, who are fronted by a man with a voice that has been described as flatter than a dirt road in Saskatchewan, Charlie Angus of the Grievous Angels. Angus is not only a musician, he is also an MP representing the riding of Timmins- James Bay.
The Downside of Spring
We have been assuming all along that spring is a wonderful thing. But, spring brings its share of challenges as well.
Floods, black flies, exams, allergies and taxes, to name just a few. Our clip was with a tax accountant called Tom Morton who spoke with Shelagh Rogers on the program Sounds Like Canada.
Birds and Frogs
After that, we went back to more pleasurable signs of springs. The first was from As It Happens, the second from Morningside.
We moved on to a program called Dayshift, which aired weekday afternoons. The hosts for this particular show were Danny Finkelman and Mary Ambrose. It first aired in 1988. (PHOTO: Puddles/CP)
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Sacre du Printemps) - Claire Oullet, Sandra Murray, Jean Marc Gagnon
Vivaldi's Spring (Primavera) - Robert Lafond and Toy Orchestra
Springtime in Alberta - Ian Tyson
First Signs of Spring- The Grievous Angels
Spring Fever- Lou Hooper
When Spring Comes- Jane Siberry