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Modes of Transmission: The Montagnards Laurentiens on Quebec Radio

By 1930, radio broadcasts had begun reaching living rooms throughout Quebec. Accordionists could learn new tunes by listening to a variety of programs featuring leading performers and groups.

Black and white photograph of the Montagnards Laurentiens in evening dress. Some are wearing bow ties and others are wearing regular ties. A microphone, marked “CHRC,” is in the centre. Lévy Beaulieu is playing the diatonic accordion and Edmond Bélanger is playing the piano accordion.

The Montagnards Laurentiens

Listen as Francine Desjardins describes the influence of the Montagnards Laurentiens:

Listen to the interview (FR) with transcript (EN).

The Montagnards Laurentiens

Quebec City radio station CHRS began airing the Montagnards Laurentiens in 1931. Right up until 1962, thousands of Quebec households with a taste for traditional French-Canadian music tuned in every Saturday evening from 9 to 10 p.m. The show even proved more popular than Saturday night hockey on Radio-Canada!

The original lineup consisted of Paul Drolet (fiddle), Henri Émond (fiddle, musical saw), Bill Harris (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Charles-Henri Harris (fiddle, banjo). Later, they were joined by accordion greats Lévis Beaulieu, Gérard Lajoie and Théodore Duguay. This band inspired so many other musicians over the years!

The musicians are dressed in traditional garb, some with scarves and others with hats. Behind them is a false backdrop with images of houses.

The Montagnards Laurentiens, 1929

Listen to these excerpts from performances by the Montagnards Laurentiens, featuring compositions by Joe Bouchard:

Listen to the audio excerpt (FR) with transcript (EN).