Les réseaux des «lyriques» et des «veillées» : une histoire de la chanson au Québec dans l'entre-deux-guerres par la radiodiffusion au poste CKAC de Montréal (1922-1939)

Authors: Bellemare, Luc
Advisor: Lacasse, Serge
Abstract: This music history thesis studies chanson radio broadcasting at CKAC station in Montreal during the interwar period. The data collected challenges an assumed homogeneity of French Canadian folk-influenced chanson legendary icons such as Madame Bolduc, Charles Marchand, Ovila Légaré and priest Charles-Émile Gadbois’ songbook La Bonne chanson. The analysis focuses on chanson influences that meld French Canadian folk music with the performing arts of singing, dancing, and telling tales. The research seeks to point out radio programs where chanson artists share a common repertory. This thesis thus argues that two artist networks coexist. The first network gathers Art Song performers featured on CKAC program L’Heure provinciale. It favours classically trained voices and benefits from the approval of local music critics, especially from magazine La Lyre. This network includes such featured singers as Charles Marchand and the Bytown Troubadours, Quatuor Alouette, Lionel Daunais and his Trio lyrique as well as priest Gadbois’ songbook La Bonne chanson. Chanson æsthetics among Art Song performers is primarily influenced by Europe. The practices blend opera, operetta and Montmartre chanson, in the spirit of Théodore Botrel and French diseuse Yvette Guilbert. The second network is the one of Veillées (Evenings), featured on CKAC program Living Room Furniture. The name itself echoes the fiddle musicians and actors from Conrad Gauthier’s Veillées du Bon Vieux Temps, presented at Monument National. In addition to Monsieur Gauthier, the Veillées network gathers Ovila Légaré, Madame Bolduc, fiddler Isidore Soucy and several actors. Chanson æsthetics of Veillées performers is largely defined by the Americas in a blend of local burlesque comedy and French Canadian fiddle dance music orchestras, similar to those for jazz swing, tango and rumba. Both networks aren’t homogeneous. One finds among Art Song and Veillées artists a few performers standing on the edge of the two æsthetics. A first category features pop romance singers like Ludovic Huot, Georges Beauchemin, Fernand Perron, Albert Marier and Jean Lalonde, combining operetta, American pop songs and Latin rhythms. A second, with Jeanne Maubourg, Caro Lamoureux, Roméo Mousseau and Gaston Saint-Jacques, performs chansons mixing a sweet lyrical tone and drama sketches. A third category gathers all small and large orchestras that perform dance music in Montreal hotels and theaters. In the past, Charles Marchand has usually been depicted in a simple folk performer style. Madame Bolduc has herself been personified as a mere diddling performer during the Stock Market Crash. The thesis focus on cross-pollinating chanson practices enables one to move beyond a general perception that these artists are mostly one-dimensional.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2012
Open Access Date: 18 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/23676
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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