Tommy Hunter

Off
Tommy Hunter

Tommy Hunter

Inductee

Tommy Hunter was inducted into the London Music Hall of Fame on March 20, the night of his farewell concert at the RBC Theatre at the John Labatt Centre. Canada’s Country Gentleman was visibly moved by the cheers from the home-town crowd following the induction. It was part of a post-concert finale at the farewell event as Hunter ended his final Canadian tour in London on his 75th birthday. The management team invited the Jack Richardson Music Awards steering committee to make the induction a part of the night. We are honoured to have been able to do so. Hunter was a CBC-TV star, first with Country Hoedown, then with his own show, for 36 years. Hunter brought many of the biggest names in the business to the forefront early in their careers. He was always surrounded by fine musicians from fiddler Al Cherny to guitarist Red Shea and so many others. He made dozens of recordings, published a best-selling autobiography and is a member of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. He is in the Canadian country music Hall and has been honoured in the U.S. As anyone who was at the final show will tell you, he has continued to excel in live performance as a singer, musician, storyteller and standup comic. Tommy Hunter left London in the 1950s as the demands of his career made him a national and then international star. London has honoured him by naming a street near Brisbin St., where he grew up, for him and saluting him at city council. Through it all, Tommy Hunter has never forgotten his London roots. At that final concert, he picked his way sweetly through his acoustic guitar spot on Wildwood Flower. It was a song taught to him by Edith Hill Adams, the East London-tied music teacher who helped the young Hunter turn his love of country music into a 60-year-plus career. Hunter praised her from the stage and there was applause. “I picked the right night to get it right,” Hunter beamed after finishing the last difficult flourish on Wildwood Flower. The JRLMA is happy to have the chance to honour him at last with the induction. We know it was worth waiting for the right moment.

Mario Circelli

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