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No.: PR1529
TITLE: Gaby Haas fonds
CREATOR: Haas, Gaby
DATE RANGE: 1970-1986
EXTENT: 10 audio reels. – 1 audio disc
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Gaby Haas was born November 7, 1920 in Frantiskowy Lázne, Czechoslovakia. In 1939, he and his family immigrated to Canada and settled in Loon Lake, Saskatchewan. Later that year, Gaby continued on to Edmonton, Alberta. He started work at CKUA radio in 1939, playing his accordion. Gaby's first regular show was for CFRN Radio, where he played accordion with Ameen (King) Ganam's orchestra. Gaby became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1943. In 1945, he was approached by CKUA to start a German-language radio program, which he did and hosted for twenty-one years. He also had a live music show on CKUA called "The Sourdoughs." From 1946 until 1951, Gaby hosted "Alberta Ranchhouse" on CKUA, which was carried by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Dominion Network. On September 15, 1946, Gaby, who could speak six languages, began hosting "Continental Musicale," a sixty-minute program of old-time European music, on CKUA. On September 21, 1986, "Continental Musicale" celebrated its fortieth anniversary, and at that time was the longest-running radio program in the world. Gaby also hosted 'The Noon Show" for CFRN Television from 1956 until 1971. Other shows included "European Music Shop," and "World Showcase of Music" and "An Hour with Gaby Haas," both for QCTV Limited. From 1967 to 1972, Gaby operated a restaurant, Hofbrauhaus, on 97th Street in Edmonton, and also operated the European Music Shop, also on 97th Street, which closed in 1971. An accordion virtuoso, Gaby was known as "Canada's Mr. Polka," and made over fifty recordings. He performed with his band, The Barndance Gang. In October 1987, Gaby was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Alberta Recording Industry Association. Gaby had two sons, Danny (Pepi) and Larry, and one daughter, Sari. Gaby Haas died November 22, 1987.
CUSTODIAL HISTORY:The Provincial Archives of Alberta purchased an audio disc from Gaby Haas in 1984. Richard Liukko, of Freecloud Records, a secondhand record store in Edmonton, deposited the audio reels in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2000. Mr. Liukko found the reels in a box of audio discs Freecloud Records had purchased.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of a long play (LP) audio disc "Gaby Haas 'Live' at the Hofbräuhaus" (1973), and audio recordings of radio programs including "Continental Musicale" (March 31, 1985 to November 2, 1986), "European Music Shop," (September 12, 1970) and "Showcase of Music" excerpts.
RELATED RECORDS: Dave Leonard, former Provincial Archives of Alberta archivist, deposited audio recordings of Gaby Haas and the Barndance Gang which can be found under accessions PR1988.0305, PR1994.0297 and PR1997.0499. As well, see the CFRN Television fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the biographical sketch is from the records, from CKUA: Radio Worth Fighting For, which is available in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 384.54 W35, from the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and “Canada’s Mr. Polka by Olaf Svven,, both accessed February 18, 2005 and from the November 24, 1987 Edmonton Journal.
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