Lucille Dumont | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Lucille Dumont

Lucille Dumont, OC, OOQ, singer, teacher (born 20 January 1919 in Montréal, QC; died 29 July 2016 in Montréal).

Lucille Dumont, OC, OOQ, singer, teacher (born 20 January 1919 in Montreal, QC; died 29 July 2016 in Montréal). She received some early guidance from Léo Le Sieur, who arranged her radio debut in 1935 on CKAC with the Sweet Caporal orchestra. That same year she had her own series, 'Linger a While,' on CFCF. Initially Dumont relied largely on songs from the repertoire of the French singer Lucienne Boyer. She participated 1935-49 in many CBC radio series - eg, 'Rêverie,' 'Variétés francaises,' and 'Refrains d'hier et d'aujourd'hui'. In April 1945, for a CBC Victory Loan radio promotion, she premiered 'Insensiblement'. The song, by the French composer and conductor Ray Ventura (who conducted for Dumont's performance), would become an international hit as recorded by Jean Sablon and several others.

She performed 1949-52 on the CBC's 'Tambour battant,' 'Le Petit Bal des copains,' 'Les Chansons d'hier,' and 'Aux rythmes de Paris'. The first singer to be named Miss Radio by readers of the Montreal weekly Radiomonde (1947), Dumont was hailed on the 15th anniversary (1950) of her career by the CKVL radio host Jean Baulu as the 'Grande dame de la chanson,' a name that remained associated with her. Dumont also was popular on TV in the early days of the medium, starring in SRC 'Café des artistes' and 'Feux de joie' and serving 1956-60 as host for 'À la romance'. She was host for several other programs, including CFTM-TV's 'Entre vous et moi' 1961-2, 'Histoire d'une étoile' 1967-9, and 'Le Temps d'aimer' 1972-3 and CBC TV's 'Lucille Dumont' in 1965.

Dumont is considered Jacques Blanchet's greatest interpreter: she won first prize in the 1957 Concours de la chanson canadienne with his 'Le Ciel se marie avec la mer,' and second prize in the 1962 Belgian competition Chansons sur mesure with his 'Tête heureuse'. Following a Dumont recital at the Comédie-Canadienne, Claude Gingras wrote: 'It's always the same warm voice, caressing, poignant, immediately recognizable... And what Lucille Dumont sings better than ever are those tender, sentimental songs, the repertoire sometimes referred to contemptuously - though wrongly so - as "love songs"' (Montreal La Presse, 22 Oct 1968). Among her principal LPs are Mes Premières Chansons (RCA Victor Gala CGP-243) and Lucille Dumont pour toi (Harmonie HFS-9055). She also recorded an LP ca 1960 of popular French-Canadian songs for RCI (album 169). In her later years she has taught voice and interpretation in Montreal. Marie-Denise Pelletier is among her pupils.