Tommy Hunter isn’t about to rest on his laurels (which he certainly could at this stage). He wants to get things right. His My Playlist show proves the point.
Tommy (CBC style says we should refer to the subject by his last name but I just can’t) came in to record the show last fall. He lives about an hour outside Toronto and for efficiency's sake he combined a few media appointments, including an interview with George Stromboulopolis of The Hour. We had some technical problems before he arrived (no need to bore you but suffice it to say, I was tearing my hair out by the time we actually said hello). Suddenly, instead of our usual two hours to record a one hour show, we had less than 58 minutes. And the minute hand on the studio clock looked like it was on a caffeine jag.
You really don’t want to rush a Canadian icon. There’s something so unseemly about it. But if Tommy noticed me prodding him with a sharp stick while constantly checking the time, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he acted exactly the way you’d expect from "Canada’s Country Gentleman." He was gracious, took direction, (“Is that how you want it?”) was totally focussed and all together a lovely guy to spend time with.
So thanks to Tommy, we got through it. He sounded better than fine. He has a million stories to tell and clearly loves the music and musicians on his eclectic playlist. We said goodbye. That was that.
Except a few days later Tommy left me a message. Could he try it again? He really felt he could better. If cost was an issue, he’d pay for the studio time. I assured him he wouldn’t have to cover studio costs (we’re not there yet) and if he wanted to come in and give it another whirl we'd make it happen.
A few weeks later he made another drive into the city and you can hear the results for yourself.
Tommy Hunter likes to get things right.
And he does.
Listen to Inside the Music on Radio 2 on Sunday 3 p.m. (3:30 NT) and Radio One on Sunday 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)
Here are today's My Playlist tracks with links to iTunes:
"Man of Constant Sorrow," (soundtrack to O Brother, where art thou?)
"Sunday Morning Coming Down," Johnny Cash
"Paper Rosie," Dallas Harms
"My Bonny," Laura Smith
"Wabash Cannonball," Roy Acuff
"Evening Bells," Ivan Rebroff
"Sonny's Dream," Ron Hynes
"Bird on a Wire," Jennifer Warnes
"There's a Love Knot in my Lariat," Wilf Carter
"Now is the Hour," Kiri Te Kanawa
Tommy Hunter's last show
Tommy Hunter makes sure his exit, just like everything, is right
On set with Canada's Country Gentleman
on Jun 22, 2012