About The Artist
Dianne was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. She was the eldest of five children. Growing up she showed no inclination toward a musical career. When she was 15 years old and working as a typist, a cousin heard her sing. He was struck by her 'crystal-clear' voice; he arranged for her to meet a a local rock-harmony group - The Sapphires. The group gave her an impromptu audition and she became part of the band. She was doing songs by Peggy Lee and Julie London with the Sapphires at teen dances and local musical events.
The night she was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, she was interviewed by Vicki MacNutt Pate of Sea and be Scene on the "Green Carpet" as they called it. Vickie asked Dianne what it felt like to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She said "It is amazing; I never tought it would happen." The interviewer noted she had been putting out hits for a while 'back in her day'.
Vicki then asked her how much the music industry had changed since she started. Vicki noted that when she talked to Anne Murray, she said the recording industry had changed so much it was like night and day. Dianne responded, "It's so different now, back then it was like a fledgling type thing with Canadians and country music and really hard to get ourselves out there everywhere. The Americans were doing a fine job and we were just plugging along and trying. But it's changed immensely. Now the new country music is coming in, we're recognized now and we're just as good as anybody in the world as far as I'm concerned."
In an interview with Dave Woods in 2015, she tells of playing for Patsy Cline's band. At the time she was with the Sons of the Saddle. Patsy was doing a tour of Ontario and was tapped to play with Patsy's band - she played the 'cocktail drums' - not the big set of 'boomers' as she described it. Patsy's tour took her through Toronto at the time and while Dianne doesn't recall the exact details of how she got picked, she said she ended up playing the cocktail drums behind Patsy on-stage.
She described Patsy as 'quite a character', 'down to earth' - she was just like anybody else. Dianne said they would get together after the shows, meet up with other people as well. Dianne recalled that Patsy would be sitting at their table or booth after the shows, but no one would ask her to dance. She asked Dianne once - "Why didn't someone ask me to dance?" Dianne told her it was because she 'was a great big star and they were terrified of you.' Patsy just laughed it off.
Mr. Woods asked Dianne who influenced her or got her excited about music when she was first starting out. Dianne told him that it was 'by accident' that she got into country music as she had done a lot of pop tunes when she was younger and was into the pop scene at the time. But she met up with the Sons of the Saddle. She said their music just blew her away and 'it was the country that she enjoyed and she loved it. She started to sing country. As for those who influenced her, Dianne mentions Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Dottie West, and other gal singers back then.
The interview changed course and the listener hears of her first impression of Nashville when she went there to do her first recordings in 1963. Dianne tells Mr. Woods, 'it was overwhelming... I was all eyes and didn't know what was happening and was just overwhelmed by the fact that she was going there to record. She tells a story of when she went there, she slept with the air conditioning on and found the next day, when she was supposed to record, "I coldn't talk!" She said that even though her voice was in bad shape, they were still able to cut the one record. She indicated that Chart Records wanted her to move to the United States; she said "no". Dianne related that she wanted to stay in Canada, she was not too sure about moving to Nashville, she had a family to consider. And in that business, there are a lot people you take your chances with. It would have been hard to just pull up everything and "do something like that."
The interview then delved into her appearances with another Canadian star, Tommy Hunter. She did do his television show, but Dianne tells of working a lot of radio show broadcasts with Tommy, doing live performanes. Dianne said, "...it was fun. He was really a nice fellow to work with."
She also did a lot of shows on the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia. Dianne told Mr. Woods she would start the day early and drive all the way to Wheeling, do her part on the show, then drive all the way back to Toronto that same evening. Naturally one would go to the internet to see how long of a drive that migh be today. Depending on the route, Google Maps says its between 369 and 377 miles from Toronto to Wheeling - taking from 5 hours and 52 minutes to 6 hours and 8 minutes. Any way you look at it, that is a lot of driving in one day. Dianne said, "I would be getting home around six o'clock in the morning."
The interview drifted into how she interacted with the radio stations to promote her records. She mentions she did do that to some extent. But back then, it was more difficult to get attention as a Canadian artist - it was all American at that time. She mentions Canadian artists had a hard time getting radio play.
During the interview, Dianne mentioned that Pierre Juneau was someone who opened the doors for Canadian artists. He was the chairman of the CTRC - Canadian Radio-Television Commission. The commission set forth in 1970 that called for an average of 60 per cent Canadian progrmming over radio and television. As one might expect, the commission was faced with fierce feedback by broadcasters. Burt Heward wrote in his 'Televiews' column see in the Ottawa Citizen in support of the proposal. He said, "...not soul-destroying like most of the beureacracy-bred, ratings-led, profit-blinded Amercian programs slopping over into Canada. I'd sooner have Countrytime any day than the imitative fodder manufactured by the purveyors of the sure thing.The changes were initiated. At the annual RPM Gold Leaf Awards, the Canadian music industry's annual tribute to its most distinguished representatives, held at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto, a non-musician got the most applause. Pierre Juneau was acclaimed to be the 1970 Man of the Year because of the "increased Canadian content regulations imposed on Canadian broadcasters earlier by the CRTC. One regulation in particular caused one industry spokesman to state that it was Year One for a truly Canadian music industry. That regulation required AM radio stations to have at least 30 per-cent Canadian content in their programming.
The CRTC required stations to play more Canadian conent performances, whether it was music composed by a Canadian, performed by a Canadian, a performance by a Canadian or the lyrics were written by a Canadian. She noted that she is happy to see what is happening in today's music; that "people were listening to us (Canadians), doing what should have been done years ago, making stars out of people".
Mr. Woods asked Dianne about a tune he was about to play for listeners, "Shadows Of Your Heart", written by Ray Griff. Dianne said he was a real promoter of country music, he had done so much for Canadians in country music. She said she just happened to get a hold of the song and recorded it. She liked it, she recorded it and indicated that Ray was "quite pleased with it."
Then came the discussion of how she was informed her Hall of Fame induction. She was just doing her usual routine at the time and happened to he at home when the phone rang. It was the CCMA on the other end and they told her they had good news for her. And Dianne was just wondering what was this all about. They told her she had been nominated for the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. She responded, "Are you serious? I'm glad I'm still alive." Further she said, "I was flabbergasted. I didn't know what to say or what to do." Another aspect she mentions is that she had to kind of keep quiet about it except for immediate family. There was the protocol of letting the CCMA do an official announcement as it was the usual practice to not announce who had won what too far ahead of time.
She then recalled meeting some of the other stars in the business during her time with the Carl Smith show, Country Music Hall and the Ronnie Prophet show, such as Jimmy Dean. She tells of an instance where she had to help get Dolly Parton dressed for the show, "I had to put my foot on her back to get the zipper up." But the one that stood out for her was Patsy Cline - she got to know her really well and visited Patsy at her home in Nashville. She felt a bond with Patsy. She indicates she was in London, Ontario when she heard the news of Patsy's passing and felt 'devastated.'
The interview then seques into how she came to record "Why Can't He Be You." Dianne tells Mr. Wood that she happened to be in Nashville and was at Patsy's house. Patsy had just did a session and she wanted Dianne to hear a song that she just recorded. Dianne said Patsy sang the song for her in her living room. It immediately resonated with Dianne and she decided to record it. Mr. Wood pointed out that artists got to hear 'demos' of songs in various ways - cassettes, tapes, records - but in this case she heard the demo in person from Patsy herself. Dianne indicated she had been baking a cake and Ray Price's fiddle player called her and they went over to Patsy's. (Note: Patsy's version was released in September 1962. Dianne's version reached the charts on Capitol in 1966.)
In the 1970s, she was doing a lot of club work, she had her own band, she was constantly away from home and she had gotten to the point where she could not do it anymore. Dianne said, "It was not what I wanted to do. So I gave that up and quit singing for a while." She then started to do 'big shows' instead, like fairs, and the one nighters. She would do the big three-day country music weekend shows when all the campers would come in.
Perhaps coincidence (or not), the Country Music Association held its 3rd Quarter Meeting of 1964 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At the time, the Hank Williams biography motion picture, "Your Cheatin' Heart" was one topic of discussion and consideration for promotion by the CMA. A portion of the meeting was devoted to the Canadian Radio and Television Executives Club. Among the entertainers were two performers whose paths would soon cross — Columbia recording Artist Carl Smith, Quality Records' Dianne Leigh as well as Bill Long of CHCH-TV.
Television Show — Country Music Hall
Around 1964, Country Music on television seemed to become a hot commodity. One such show was based in Canada - Country Music Hall. The star and host of the show was Carl Smith. The cast included Canadian performers Dianne Leigh and the Maple Creek Boys. It first aired on Wednesday, September 30, 1964 at 10:30pm (Ottawa time).
In 1964, Dianne had released on Quality records "Little Boy Lost" (written by Lennie Siebert) b/w "Let Love Do The Talking" (written by Les Pouliot). The recording was reportedly picked up by Fabor Records for release in the Unite States market (Fabor 129). This apparently led to Dianne becoming the regular female singer on Country Music Hall.
The show became popular with viewers. Billboard reported in November 1964 that 20,000,000 viewers were watching the show in 12 Canadian cities. The show was said to be signed up initially for 39 shows and was sponsored at first by Lever Brothers. Bookings were handled by W. E. (Lucky) Moeller, Denny-Moeller Talent, Inc. of Nashville. The producer of the show was Sidney Banks for Double B Productions.
The twelve Canadian cities where the show was being aired in 1964 were:
By 1965, country music television shows - usually syndicated were enjoying what Billboard described as a "Coast-to-Coast Hayride." A total of 14 shows were on the air with six more in the planning stages. Older shows such as The Flatt & Scruggs Show (12 years), the Porter Wagoner Show (5 years), The Arthur Smith Show (4 years) and The Wilburn Brothers Show (3 years) were still popular with viewers. During the year several new shows were introduced to viewing audiences - The Ernest Tubb Show, Music Village (Starring Wanda Jackson), The Leroy Van Dyke Show, The Grand Ole Opry, The Billy Grammer Show and The Bobby Lord Show. Country Music Hall hosted by Carl Smith had debuted in the fall of 1964 and was reportedly exploring synication options for the US Market and possibly even the UK and Australia according to Lucky Moeller. American Swingaround hosted by Chris Lane was reported to debut on the ABC television market.
Sid Banks told readers in one 1965 article that he was "always anxious to discover and promote new Canadian talent" and was said to travel far and wide to audition any and all artists suggested to him by various sources. This enabled the show to feature many Canadian country music performers to the viewing audiences. In addition to Dianne and the Maple Creek Boys who were regulars, the show had featured up to that point such perfomers as Cy Anders, Donn Reynolds, Gary Buck and Dave Todd.
Punctuating the selection of Dianne Leigh and Roy Penney as regulars on the show was emphasized when both were named RPM Award Winners for Top Country Singer Female and Top Country Instrumentalist in February 1967.
During the show's run, it featured a mix of both American and Canadian country music perforers. In 1964, guest stars included were Tex Ritter, Faron Young, Grandpa Jones, Stonewall Jackson, Cy Anders, Minnie Pearl, The Country Gentlemen, Chuck Stewart, Jean Carnignan and Ernest Tubb.
Guests in 1965 included Faron Young, Tex Ritter, Lefty Frizzell, Grandpa Jones, Cy Anders, Minnie Pearl, Stonewall Jackson, Jean Carignan, Ross Allen, Stoney Mountain Cloggers, Ernest Tubb, Jimmy James, Ron Fradgley, Mac Wiseman, Johnny Clark, Jimmy Dean, Dave Todd, Carl and Pearl Butler, Blake Emmons, Johnny Bourke, Ron McLeod, Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Bill Phillips, Hank Smith, Sonny James and his Southern Gentlemen, Norma Jean, Donn Reynolds, Porter Wagoner, Cameron Whyte, Wilburn Brothers, Ray Francis, Carl and Pearl Butler, Bobby Bare, Christy Allen, Gerry Cole, Billy Walker, The Hammond Brothers, Martha Carson, Don Gibson, Debbie Lori, Kaye and Max Falkin, George Hamilton IV, Margie Bowes, Stoneman Family,
The reader should be aware of the fact that Country Music Hall was on the CTV network in Canada - a privately owned network. The other network, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) was a government funded operation and seemingly had a larger budget to work with. Roy Shields wrote a column in 1975 that highlighted the differences between the Canadian networks. CBC took three days to show and tell the press about their upcoming programming for the new season. On the other hand, CTV took a very low profile approach - no news converence or screening. The CTV president at the time, Murray Chercover stated, "...we believe in keeping a low profile." But Mr. Shields points out - Mr. Chercover had learned that the reaction of TV critics and editorial writers had little impact on the viewing public.
Another key difference was from an economic standpoint. Mr. Shields noted, "...CTV simply cannot afford to experiment with new programs inthe manner of CBS. It has no public purse to dip into." Mr. Chercover also noted that while documentaries did not necessarily draw large audiences, they were "...reaching the decision makers of the country within that audience."
Another contrast was that CBC producers struggled to stay free of "meddling middle and upper management" in their shows. But at CTV, it was not uncommon for a producer to call Chercover in the middle of the night for advice on how to treat a controversial subject.
The area where competition was stiffest between the two networks was U. S. shows and sports. CTV realized they could not match CBC's coffers to televise the Olympics from Montreal, they did get the broadcast rights for the Winter Olumpics at Innsbruck, Austria and critics noted the package of 10 Olympiad specials during the Montreal event.
The television of that era was one of change. In 1966, CTV announced that over 90 per cent of its programs would be telecast in "color." The network had also invested $50,000 to develop Canadian night-time programming. As this article is being written in 2020, the news of 'color' broadcasts was quite a novelty and investment by networks and local stations alike. The city of Ottawa, for example, only 220 color television sets had been sold; the remainder of the 226,000 households watched in black and white. One station noted it had to spend about $1.3 million dollars to become a color broadcasting operation, investing in new equipment. That same April 1966 article indicated that there would be only 70,000 households in Canada with color televsion sets. But also on the horizon was cable TV.
Canadian Flag — 1964
In 1964, the Prime Minister of Canada, Lester B. Pearson wanted to resolve the issue of the lack of an official Canadian flag by forming a committee. It did spark a debate across Canada. In the end there were three choices and the design that won out is now the official Canadian flag. But songwriters also made an effort to influence the choice through the songs they crafted.
One writer in Toronto, Ben Kerr, wrote a patriotic country and western ballad about a proposed flag when the debate about a new flag began. It was "Three Red Leaves" and was recorded by Dianne Leigh and released on the Quality label. Through the song, the hope was that it would unite the English, French and new Canadians.
Quality Records later deleted the song from their catalog. Michael Hanlong of Toronto wrote Ormond Turner in Vancouver in December of 1964 that Mr. Kerr wrote another song about the chosen design - "One Red Leaf."
In a phone conversation in May of 2020, Dianne told us that she was asked to do the song. But it did not find its way to becoming a hit.
Pesonal Appearances — On The Road, Night Clubs
In the summer of 1964, Quality had released Dianne's first single, "Let Love Do The Talking" which was recorded in Nashville in the fall of 1963. At the time, she was appearing regularly at the El Mocombo Tavern with The Sons Of The Saddle (Vic, Lenny and Gene Siebert and Johnny Allen).
As the popularity of Country Music Hall grew, a tour of Western Canada was undertaken by Carl Smith with the cast members of the show in April 1966. Dianne along with the Maple Creek Boys, Roy Penney and others. Irene Beeler reported that the show's cast was to do a tour of Western Canada in May and June of 1966, appearing in all the cities where the show aired.
Television Show — Grand Old Country
In 1975, Dianne became part of a new music / variety show on the CTV network - Grand Old Country. One article describes as 'starring an Anglo-Quebec farm boy, Ronnie Prophet, as the musical anchorman of the show.'
Dianne became one of the regulars on the show (the article spelled her name Diane Lee) — 'a warm-voice solo turn'. The show would also feature a 'step dance' group - perhaps similar to a square dance group as they were said to perform like their own barn dance. There was also an eight-piece house band. At least that's how the pilot show was previewed. Chet Atkins was quoted as stating, "(Prophet was) the greatest one-man show I'v ever seen."
The article implied that Ronnie was the only regular, but subsequent TV listings always included Dianne. The early shows included Canadian stars such as The Peaches, Zeke Sheppard and Lucille Star. American country stars Dottie West, Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, Charley Pride, George Jones, Narvel Felts and Doug Kershaw were alsobooked for those early shows.
The show was being taped before audiences in the studios of CFTO-TV in Toronto for the CTV network.
While Ronnie Prophet was born and raised on a farm in Calumet, Quebec, he had made his home in Nashville since 1969.
When the show was renewed for a second season, Cy True took over as producer.
The week of September 17, 1979 saw the show gain an award. Canada had an annual "Big Country" meeting in Toronto that year. Awards were given for various categories. Grand Old Country won in the video category that year.
In 1981 Billboard reported that Grand Old Country had received a 'silver medal of excellence' at the 23rd International Film and Television Festival of New York. The award was said to be the highest given in the category of television musical series. The show was among 3,500 international entries. However, in its sixth season, the show was retitled "The Ronnie Prophet Show."
Television Show — Countrytime
While doing research on Dianne, quite a few searches show that Dianne made regular appearances on this show. Subsequently, research shows that the show was the result of an unpopular decision to cancel Don Messer's television show. The CBC network decided to start this show that would broadcast after the Saturday night hockey games. It was first broadcast on February 28, 1970.
The cancellation of Messer's show did raise an outcry and gave writers and critics a chance to weigh in. Don Peacock wrote "Remember the hullabalooof not so long ago when the popular DonMesser Show was scuttled, despite angry protests from all over Canada? The CBC reasoning was something along the line that the show had outlived its usefulness as TV entertainment." Then perhaps sarcastically he noted that CBC was replacing the new show with Countrytime and was originating from Nova Scotia - where Don Messer was from. He noted at the end of his bit, "Its enough to rekindle the Messer controversy!"
Bob Harvey wrote a long critical article of CBC's programming and used Countrytime as an example of what could have been done better. He was of the opinion that too often "...the CBC settles for a pale imitation of U.S. programs, instead of doing something very different." He noted that country shows featuring Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell were doing well. But he felt Countrytime would not be in the same class. His point was "It's not that Canadians can't do a good country show. In Nashville, there was ample evidence of Canadian talent — producers John Aylesowrth and Frank Peppiatt, director Bill Davis, writer-performers Gordie Tapp and Don Harron (Hee Haw regulars), Johnny Cash's Canadian co-producer Stan Jacobson, writer Les Pouliott, director Allan Angus and set designer Bill Zaharuk. He ended his essay, "It would have been a lot simpler to bring a few Americans to Canada then to send all those Canadians to Nashville."
The show was broadcast from an auditorium in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Sandy Lumsden of CBC in Halifax, Nova Scotia noted that the auditorium sat 850 people. A 1970 article quoted Sandy, "We thought we'd be lucky if it was half filled for the show. In the end, we had to turn away more than a thousand people. We couldn't believe it."
The show initially featured Vic Mullen and The Hickorys. Vic led the way with his talent on the banjo, fiddle and mandolin. The Hickorys featured two Spanish and one Steel guitar, drums electric bass and fiddle.
Mullen was a veteran of country music for over 21 years at the time andwas a regular on the Don Messer show until CBC cancelled it in the spring of 1969. Vic decided he wanted to start his own group and 'do his thing.'
Cy True was the show's producer and promised to have only Canadiantalent on the show. He said, "There (is) a lot of country music being played not only in the Martimes but right across Canada, so we have a lot of talent to draw from."
True further stated, "But what the show has going for it mostly is its honest charm ... good country musicians on a stage, playing to a live audienc that likes them and their sound."
Another member of the Don Messer television show was announcer Don Tremaine. Don introduced Messer's shows for over ten years. Bob Harvey perhaps tongue-in-cheek noted that perhaps Tremaine's long history with country music had 'gone to his head' as he quoted Don: 'What is country music? Maybe you might compare it to love. When you feel it, you know it. With country music, when you hear it, you know it." Mr. Tremaine was the senior staff announcer at CBC Halifax at that time, and lived close by to the Dartmouth Senior High School where the Countrytime show was taped.
Some of the Canadian television critics did not speak too highly of the show. But give Bob Shiels a bit of credit for relling readers that CBC had reported that the Countrytime show was the highest rated show for them in that timeslot since a show named Juliette. Another article reported that ratings indicated the show had 2.4 million viewers. Bob Shiels could not seem to let the CBC news of the show doing well in that time slot. He stated in one column, "...watching Countrytime isn't my idea of a gay, mad way to spend Saturday night." Then in response to the CBC news of the show's popularity, he wrote, "And I couldn't argue with that, if only because all the other entries were at least equally dull." You can just feel the sarcasm oozing from his keyboard - "Myrna, who sang a couple of songs farily well; host Don Tremaine, who's unobstrusive; Vic Mullen, a capable banjo picker..."
In the show's debut season in 1970, guests included: Julie Lynn, Johnny Gold, Joey Carver, Doug Bell, Mercey Brothers, Sharron Lohnes, Robert Bouchard, Keith DeLong, Eric Browers, Doug Trineer, Joanne Newman, George Longard, Gerry Cole, The Countrymen, Doug Bell, The Goldstrikers, Lynn Crowell, Cliffy Short, Lynn Jones, Brent Williams, Gene MacClellan, Myrna Lorrie, Terry Roberts, Hal Lone Pine, Jeannie Ward, Blake Emmons, Willie Wallace, Stu Phillips, Bill Gosse, Ruth MacLean, Donna Ramsey, Gary Buck, June Eikhard, Tom Connors, Fern Dauth, Honey West, Dianne Leigh, Graham Townsend (North American Fiddle Champion),
As time went on, the show wouls sometimes film at different venues. On one occasion, the taping was done in front of a crowd of over 10,000 at the Charlottestown (Prince Edward Island) Old Home Week celebrations in August.
1971 saw the following guests: Tom Connors, The Chapparals, Gary Buck, Neil and Nancy Joan Mattews, Gene Barry, Fiddler June Eikhard, Dianne (Dione) Leigh, Graham Townsend, The Fogartys, Mercey Brothers, Johnny Gold, Keith DeLong, Ralph Carlson, Norma Gail, Fred McKenna, Blue Diamonds, Marg Osborne, Jerry Cole, The Countrymen, Lucille Starr, Bob Regan, Harry Rusk, Harry Hibbs, The Family Brown, Tommy Common, Sharon Lohnes, Conn Archer, Dusty King, Margie, Betty Mae, Gerry Hatton, Jimmy Arthur Ordge, Dick Damron, Wilf Carter, Allen Sisters, Humphrey and the Dump Trucks, Jerry Hatton, The Rainvilles, King James Version (Gospel Group), Ruth McLean, Mike Graham, Hames Sisters, Orval Prophet, Denise Cochran, Don Reed (Junior Champion Fiddler), and The Hillsiders,
Appearing on the show in 1972 were: Dianne Leigh, Jerry Cole, The Countrymen, Gary Spicer, Julie Lynn, Mike Graham, The Fogartys, Fern Dauth, Roy Payne, The Family Brown, Johnny Gold, Lucille Starr, Bob Regan, Fred McKenna, Blue Diamonds, Stevedore Steve, Lynn Nicholson, Blake Emmons, Jane Malton, Keith Hampshire, Tommy Common, Sharon Lohnes, Donna Ramsay, Gary Hooper, Ralph Carlson, Norma Gails, Smiley Bates (fiddler), Stu Phillips, Ned Landry, and a Salute to Railroads (Season Finale June 24, 1972). Appearing on the 4th season beginning in September, Stu Phillips, Bonnie Lou Nolan, Dick Noland, Fern Dauth, Ron Payne, Gary Buck, Loose Change, George Hamilton IV, Nancy Ryan, George Hamilton IV, Caroll Baker, Bill Gosse, Blue Diamonds, The Family Brown, Brent Williams, Gary Buck, Loose Change, Colin Butler, Blake Emmons, The Stringbusters; Mike and Bill Elliott, Dianne Leigh, Allan Sisters, and Stevedore Steve.
January 1973 rolls around and the guests on the show during that calendar year were: The Family Brown, Doug Bell, Stu Phillips, Bill Gosse, Theresa Cleary, The Blue Diamonds, Dianne Leigh, Al Cherny, Jim and Don Haggart, Wilf Carter, Blake Emmons, Marg Osborne, Graham Townsend (fiddler), Mercey Brothers, Stompin' Tom Connors, Nancy Ryan, Sharon Lowness, Donna Moon, Julie Lynn, Gary Spicer, George Hamilton IV, Maurice Bolyer, Harry Hibbs, Wilf Carter, Lynn Jones, Bill Gosse, Honey West, Gary Hooper, Julie Lynn, and Orval Prophet.
Artists appearing on the show when it started its fifth season in September 1973 was Marg Osborne; the show was a broadcast from Kennedy Coliseum in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Others appearing that year were: The Islanders, Mike Graham, Dianne Leigh, Clint Curtis, Graham Townsend, June Eikhard, Roy Warhurst, Donnie Reid, (Julie Lynn and Blake Emmons - taped at Old Home Week in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island), Mercey Brothers, Tribute show to Hank Williams, Bob Murphy, Big Buffalo, George Hamilton IV, Dorothy St. George, and The Calamity Brothers.
Calendar year 1974 saw the following artists appear: Lynn Jones, Jerry and Joanne, Gary Buck, George Hamilton IV, Angus Walker, Julie Lynn, Wilf Carter, Jim and Don Haggart, Cornelia Boucher, Ruth MacLean, Lee Cremo (fiddler), Sharon Lohmes, Mercey Brothers, Dianne Leigh, Big Buffalo, and Bob Murphy.
But in the late spring of 1974, the CBC network announced their fall schedule. Countrytime had been cancelled. Myrna Lorrie would have a three part mini series in July titled "Country Sunshine with Myrna Lorrie". Stompin' Tom Connors would get his own show. But perhaps the show was the victim of CBC's decision to move it to Wednesday nights from Saturday nights.
During the week of September 10, 2015, Dianne was invited to "Country Music Week" in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada by the Canadian Country Music Association. She was to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
Don Green, then President of the CCMA stated the following about Dianne and fellow inductee Elizabeth (Ma) Henning (inducted in the Builders category):
"It is truly an honour to recognize these exceptional women who have paved the way for females in the Canadian country music industry today. Whether on the stage or behind the scenes, both Dianne Leigh and Elizabeth (Ma) Henning were leaders, trailblazers and forces to be reckoned with. The Hall of Fame Electors Committee could not have done a better job at selecting our inspirational inductees this year."
Dianne's Hall of Fame plaque is on display at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in Merritt, BC in the Nicola Valley. It is a permanent building meant to house the plaques and memorabilia of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame program.
Read More About Dianne Leigh
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