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HomeCanadian NewsHistorical past By means of Our Eyes: Sept. 23, 1977, Roger Doucet

Historical past By means of Our Eyes: Sept. 23, 1977, Roger Doucet


Roger Doucet, the Montreal Canadiens’ legendary nationwide anthem singer, had followers from coast to coast.

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On Sept. 23, 1977, the Montreal Canadiens performed the season’s first exhibition recreation on the Discussion board. To mark the event, we revealed a front-page characteristic on Roger Doucet, the staff’s legendary nationwide anthem singer.

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“That anthem is to Roger Doucet what White Christmas is to Bing Crosby. By the tip of the hockey season, his seventh as home singer on the Discussion board, Montreal’s virtuoso of the patriotic music can have given about 500 public renditions of O Canada,” we wrote.

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Not one to take something with no consideration, Doucet would rehearse earlier than every recreation. “I maintain a hairbrush or one thing in my hand to present me the sensation of a microphone, and stand in precisely the identical place as on the market on the ice,” he informed us.

As soon as he’s singing, “he thinks about Canada. In regards to the Prairies, the 2 coasts, the buddies he made throughout the Second World Battle when he toured with the Canadian Military Present right here and abroad, concerning the individuals who ship him fan mail from all around the nation,” we wrote.

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Doucet, who had studied opera in New York and had been singing professionally for nearly 40 years, would belt out the anthem half in French, half in English.

In 1980, Doucet was made a member of the Order of Canada.

He died on July 19, 1981, at age 62, of a mind tumour. The subsequent day, the unhappy information was carried on the prime of the Montreal Gazette’s entrance web page, and inside, an editorial paid tribute.

This 1977 photograph by Tedd Church seems to have been taken in reference to the characteristic, nevertheless was not revealed with it.

Historical past By means of Our Eyes: Images of Individuals and Occasions That Formed twentieth Century Montreal, which compiles the unique 2019 sequence in e-book type, is accessible on-line from montrealhistorybooks.com and at native bookstores. A portion of proceeds from books bought on the on-line tackle will go to the Gazette Christmas Fund.

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