Dumas and his Ménestrels, a popular old-time music ensemble of the day, were heard regularly 1938-67 on CBC radio's 'Réveil rural' and performed for other radio series and on TV. They began recording for RCA Victor's Bluebird label in 1940, completing 32 78s by the end of that decade, and they began annual tours of Quebec and New Brunswick in 1942. Their most popular recordings, according to the discographer Gabriel Labbé (who lists Dumas' 78s to 1950 in Pionniers du disque folklorique québécois), were Clog du Lac St-Jean, Le Reel du forgeron, Valse Annette, and La Valse de souvenir.
Personnel of the Ménestrels included Dumas and Eugène Bastien (violins), Jean (double-bassist) Dansereau or Stanley Widman (bass), Americo Funaro (guitar), Armand Gagnier (clarinet), Saturno Gentiletti (accordion), and Ernest Décarie or Léo Le Sieur (piano). Réal Béland and Mariette Vaillant (Dumas's wife) sang with the group, and such noted musicians as the violoneux Albert Bastarache and Isidore Soucy, and the harmonica players Oscar and Edgar Morin, were frequent guests.
Author Gilles Potvin
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Music Centre
Search the extensive CMC website for Canadian composer biographies and interviews, music scores, online newsletters, audio clips, podcasts, and more. Check out "CentreStreams" to listen to online archived recordings featuring outstanding Canadian composers.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...