Georges Beauchemin, performer (1891-1957)

Born on June 17, 1891, in Nicolet, a small municipality near Trois-Rivières, Georges Beauchemin became a veterinarian for the federal government. He was posted to Winnipeg from 1922 to 1924, and then assigned to the Montréal offices.

A fan of popular music, he agreed to occasional radio performances for the Montréal station CKAC, accompanied on the piano by his wife, Marguerite Duval. These performances led to proposals from record companies. He recorded two songs at Starr in 1926 and then changed over to His Master's Voice (Victor), a company for which he recorded 45 songs between 1928 and 1932.

His repertoire consisted, in equal parts, of remakes of popular French songs and French versions of American hits, some 15 of which were written by Roméo Beaudry. His best-known songs were "Jeannine au temps des lilas", "Y'a des loups" and "Un coin de ciel bleu". He also recorded 2 original songs by playwright Henry Deyglun and Montréal pianist Fred Carbonneau.

Engrossed in his veterinary career, Beauchemin limited his musical activities to records and gave up performing completely after his move to the city of Québec in 1936. He did not possess a powerful voice and, as such, was part of the first generation of variety singers who took advantage of microphone technology — first on radio and then on records. The Duprex company (of the department stores Dupuis & Frères in Montréal) reissued 2 of his recordings under the pseudonym Roger Mainville. The performer died in Montréal on February 25, 1957.

Selected recordings available

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Source: Unpublished research notes by Robert Thérien, music researcher, Montréal

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