Don Messer was more than a household name in Canada: he was part of family life, the background music in Canadian kitchens, first on radio, and then on television. Private and unassuming, Don was everyman, and yet someone singular and special: a devoted family man, a rigid Calvinist, ... Read more
Don Messer was more than a household name in Canada: he was part of family life, the background music in Canadian kitchens, first on radio, and then on television. Private and unassuming, Don was everyman, and yet someone singular and special: a devoted family man, a rigid Calvinist, band diplomat, lover of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a musical prodigy who from the age of seven knew and played directly to an audience. .. an audience that eventually protested in unprecedented numbers on Parliament Hill upon CBC's sudden cancellation of his show, Don Messer's Jubilee. Through collected personal anecdotes and careful research, Johanna Bertin shares the inner complexities of the man family and friends knew: the man behind the music that warmed the hearts of three million fans.
Johanna Bertin is a freelance writer who lives in Smithfield, New Brunswick. She has written several books, including Strange Events: Incredible Canadian Monsters, Curses, Ghosts, and Other Tales, Sable Island: Tales of Tragedy and Survival from the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Atlantic Books Today, the Daily Gleaner, and the Globe and Mail.
"This book is a must-read. It offers a glimpse into the enormous generosity, range, and talent of Mr. Messer and his music. I couldn't put it down. "
— Catherine McKinnon
"Front cover to back, Don Messer: The Man Behind The Music is a handsome book, the life story of a Canadian icon told with beautiful simplicity and feeling. "
"For the original fans of the Jubilee, it is a splendid trip down memory lane, meticulously researched and wonderfully well written. If your memory won't take you back half a century to Messer's radio and TV shows, it's a super opportunity to see what you missed. "
— Don Tremaine