Twenty-four years after his death, the legacy of the singer Paul Brunelle will again be celebrated. A pioneer of country music in Quebec, the artist granbyen is the subject of a biography from the pen of the journalist Roger Lafrance. A way to keep alive the memory of this artist snubbed for many years.
“Paul Brunelle is a character exciting, it is a pioneer, a true ! “lance Roger Lafrance, author of the book Paul Brunelle, the knight singing.
If it is considered as a part of the three artists, the originators of country music in Quebec with Willie Lamothe and Marcel Martel, his first 78 rpm in 1944 to enable him to claim the paternity of this genre of music in the province. However, unlike Willie Lamothe, very few written traces remain of his forty years of career. Roger Lafrance wanted to address it.
“I’ve always loved country music american, but not so much that of Quebec. It is by Willie Lamothe that I started to get interested in Brunelle. However, I didn’t find it normal that he has not been the subject of a biography until now. ”
Hundreds of hours of work later, it is with evident pride that the author has presented the result of his investigations to his family and to the curious who were displaced Sunday at the centre culturel France-Arbour for the launch of the book.
“I’m a little surprised, but I’m mostly really happy !” points out Jean Brunelle, son of the legend. Jean, like her sisters, Francine and Sylvie, has largely contributed to the documentation of the biography.
“We spent the afternoon complete with chat, remember dates and details. And then to read the result and to correct some of the elements. But with my father, there is nothing to hide, “says John Brunelle, who considered his father as his” best chum “.
Apart from a few newspaper articles, with few traces remain of the career of the singer. “The country has always been snubbed by the media. Paul Brunelle has not given so much interviews, so I’m there at the right time. I had the chance to speak to those who had known him in his lifetime, ” said Roger Lafrance.
The testimony of relatives has also helped to know some details unknown to the life of the artist. “His love for horses was genuine. When we had a house on the street Gill, one even had a small stable in the rear and when I had a farm, he came to help me, ” said Mr. Brunelle.
Paul Brunelle would have been for thirty years the best seller of discs country in Quebec, in front of Marcel Martel, and Willie Lamothe. However, the sales figures were not revealed at the time. “What is certain is that his influence is still major in country music. Guylaine Tanguay, who is the most prominent today, is the medley of the songs of my father. On television we often hear again and what surprises me the most is that it does not loose over the years. It still gets money from SOCAN for the dissemination of his music. Not millions, but it means that there are still people who listen to it regularly, ” says his son John.
According to the author Roger Lafrance and music historian Jean-Pierre Sévigny, who has also contributed to the documentation of the biography, the singer born in Granby in 1923 would be the last francophone artist to have turned in New England in cities with a strong French-speaking minority.
In addition to the ability to purchase the book a few weeks before its release in bookstores, the people present at the launch centre, France-Arbour have mostly been able to admire the artifacts guarded carefully by the Brunelle. Show posters, photos and even an article written by none other than Gérald Godin. Music lovers have also been entitled to a performance of a duo Brunelle. Jade and her cousin Victor have interpreted the piece My child I forgive you output in 1944 by their great-grandfather.