Conrad Thibault

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Conrad Thibault in 1948

Conrad Thibault (November 13, 1903 – August 1, 1987) was an American baritone vocalist who frequently appeared on radio, recordings, and concert tours.

Early years[edit]

Thibault was born and raised in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he was involved with the church choir. Local resident Calvin Coolidge took notice of him and encouraged him to apply for a scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, from which he later graduated. He also graduated from the Juilliard School and was a student of Emilio de Gogorza, who became his mentor.[1]

Career[edit]

Thibault's professional career began in the late 1920s with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company.[1] His operatic debut came in 1928 in Puccini's Manon.[2]

By the early 1930s, he was a regular performer on radio, appearing on such shows as His Master's Voice of the Air, Showboat, The RCA Victor Show, Music in the Air, and as featured soloist with the Ferde Grofé Orchestra. In 1934-1935, he had the singing role of Jack Hamilton on The Gibson Family on NBC radio.[3] In 1946-1947, he was a singer on The American Melody Hour radio program on the Blue Network.[4] He also was heard regularly on The Chicago Theater of the Air,[4]:152 The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra broadcasts,[4]:179 The Joe Cook Show,[4]:372 and The Packard Hour.[4]:530

He made several 78 rpm recordings for the RCA Victor Red Seal label. Decca Records released several 78 rpm sides by Conrad Thibault in the 1940s.

In 1949 he became emcee for the ABC Television show The Jacques Fray Music Room, holding that position from August through October.[5] In the 1950s he sang for the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[1]

Thibault's repertoire was varied, including baroque arias, spirituals, Wagnerian opera, art songs, Broadway tunes, and patriotic songs. He was known to be personable in concerts, and was expressive with his hands.

Later years[edit]

In his later years, Thibault taught voice in New York at the Manhattan School of Music and in Florida at Palm Beach Atlantic College.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Thibault's first wife was Madeleine Gagne, whom he met when they both acted in an amateur production in Northampton, Massachusetts. They married when he was 20, and she died seven years later.[6] He married Eleanor Kendall[7] in 1935. The couple divorced in 1939. In 1942, he married Mary Clare West,[8] a marriage which also ended in divorce in 1950. His fourth wife, Dee Thibault, died in 1986.

Death[edit]

In 1987, Thibault died at St. John's Hospital in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York at the age of 83. He was survived by a son,[1]

Partial discography[edit]

Decca Records
  • 23346 - The House I Live In / I Spoke to Jefferson at Guadacanal (1944)
  • 24126 - Suzanne, Suzanne, Pretty One / Ah, Suzette Dear (1946)
  • 24127 - Marianne's Loves / Pity Poor Mam'selle Zizi (1946)
  • 24128 - Come Dance, Codaine / When Your Potato's Done (1946)
Montgomery Ward Records
  • 6059 - You Alone / Shortnin' Bread (1933)
(RCA) Victor Records
  • 1583 - De Captaine Of De Marguerite / Sea Fever
  • 1626 - Less than Dust / The Temple Bells
  • 1636 - Kashmiri Song / 'Till I Wake
  • 1677 - Novembre / Plaisir d'Amour
  • 1679 - The Shepherdess / Passing By
  • 11829 - Where'er You Walk / Dedication; Our Native Land; Marie (1935)
  • 24404 - Last Roundup / Shortnin' Bread (1933)
  • 24423 - Love Is the Sweetest Thing / Day You Came Along (1933)
  • 24424 - It's Only a Paper Moon / This Is Romance (1933)
  • 24465 - Yesterdays / You Alone (1933)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Conrad Thibault Dies; An Ex-Radio Vocalist". The New York Times. New York, New York City. August 4, 1987. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Concert Stars on Curtis Program". The Central New Jersey Home News. New Jersey, New Brunswick. December 8, 1929. p. 14. Retrieved January 19, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "Romantic Gibson Family Team". Racine Journal-Times. Wisconsin, Racine. March 15, 1935. p. 26. Retrieved January 14, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b c d e Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 27–28. ISBN 9780195076783. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  5. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 688. ISBN 9780307483201. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  6. ^ Baker, Gladys (July–August 1933). "The Tragedy That Made Conrad Thibault Great". Radio Fan-Fare. XXX (4): 19, 48–49. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  7. ^ Fidler, Jimmie (September 1937). "Behind the Hollywood Front". Radio Mirror. 8 (5): 22. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  8. ^ Banks, Dale (December 1942). "What's New from Coast to Coast". Radio Mirror. 19 (2): 5. Retrieved 22 January 2018.

Sources[edit]

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