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TV in Toronto

By Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner (“Rare Bear”)

While watching TV the other night, I saw a program featuring a singer named Robert Goulet. He was portraying a night club performer on a program called  “In The Still Of The Night.” This was filmed in the mid-’70s, about sixteen years after he starred as Lancelot in Camelot.

I was interested in this performer because I knew him. I once worked with him. He was born in Laurence, Massachusetts of Canadian Parents, and for a while in the early fifties, worked in TV in Toronto. He worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and was one of the leaders in joining a long list of Performers who were Canadians, in a unique invasion of the United States, in the early fifties. Some of Canada’s best went state-side where the T.V. industry was developing faster than it was in Canada. 

There were openings for actors and broadcasters…openings that the Canadian Scene could not provide. I worked for a short time with an Advertising Firm that spent many dollars on television. I was a checker, the guy who stood in the Studios, and checked the commercials off as they were delivered. Most of the commercials in those days were done live. As a result, I got to know a lot of Canadian Talent who later became really big in the United States. In addition to Mickey Lester, a Toronto disc jockey who went to Hollywood; were two gentlemen of note. Johnny Aylesworth and Frank Peppiatt, who after a career as comedians, wound up producing the Sonny and Cher show.

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Then there was Raymond Burr, who, as Perry Mason, and then later as Ironsides, delighted audiences as first a lawyer, and then as a police inspector. He hailed from the Vancouver Area. There was a very popular show called “Hee Haw.” It was filled with Canadian guest stars, including Gordie Tapp as “Cuzzin Clem” and Don Heron as the Broadcaster “Charlie Farquarson” from Parry Hoot. They were tremendously popular.

And for those who were born in the twenties and thirties, you may remember Raymond Massey, who also was from Toronto. After the advent of Television, there were many Canadians who found their way into the field of American Entertainment. Some of them are still there… like Alex Trebek.


Determination

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labour of the olive fails
You know that all is fine.

The fields may yield no food,
And the flock cut from the fold,
There’ll be no herd in the stalls
But God’s love won’t grow cold.

So even if life’s barren,
I will still rejoice in God
I will rejoice in the Lord
The God of my Salvation.

Paraphrased from Habakkuk 3:17-18

Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner…8/19.


Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.

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To read more from Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner, check out his book, “Trains, Tracks, Trestles and Round House Tales” by contacting him at barrykentner@outlook.com.

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