Don Messer's Jubilee
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|Don Messer's Jubilee|
|Opening theme||"Goin' to the Barndance Tonight"|
|Ending theme||"Till We Meet Again"|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Original network||CBC (1957–1969)
|Original release||7 November 1957 – 1973|
Taking its name from band leader and fiddler Don Messer, the half-hour weekly program featured Messer and his band "Don Messer and His Islanders", as well as a guest performer. The show followed a consistent format throughout its years, beginning with a tune named "Goin' to the Barndance Tonight", followed by fiddle tunes by Messer, songs from some of his "Islanders" including singers Marg Osburne and Charlie Chamberlain, numbers by the Buchta Dancers, the featured guest performance, and a closing hymn. It ended with "Till We Meet Again (1918 song)".
The series began 7 November 1957 as a regional program limited to CBC's Nova Scotia and New Brunswick stations. On 7 August 1959, CBC stations throughout Canada carried the show as a summer replacement for Country Hoedown's Friday evening time slot. That fall, Don Messer's Jubilee became a regular season CBC series as of 28 September 1959, becoming a Monday night fixture until its final 1968-1969 season when it returned to the Friday evening timeslot.
Outside of Hockey Night In Canada, in the mid-1960s Don Messer's Jubilee was the #1 show in the country, earning higher ratings than even the imported CBS variety show, The Ed Sullivan Show. The guest performance slot gave national exposure to numerous Canadian folk musicians, including Stompin' Tom Connors, Catherine McKinnon, Ann Murray, Gordon Lightfoot and Bud Spencer.
The cancellation of the show by the public broadcaster in 1969 caused a nationwide protest, including the raising of questions by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. The last CBC broadcast was on 20 June 1969. Independent TV station CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ontario picked up the show for about four years and was distributed to stations throughout Canada in syndication—the show ended following Messer's death in 1973.
- Singalong Jubilee, another musical series produced at CBC Halifax at the same time as Don Messer's program, and which featured many of the same performers.
- The Pig and Whistle, CTV's highly rated variety programme
- Folk Songs With Ed McCurdy, a short-lived (1961 only) folk music show on CBC TV
- Don Messer's Violin: Frank Leahy
- Queen's University Directory of CBC Television Series, accessed 4 February 2007
- Don Messer's Jubilee at the Internet Movie Database