Al harris and his guitar ctl 5032 squared for mocm

Harris, Al

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Origin: Thornhill, Ontario, 🇨🇦

Smilin' Al was a fixture of the Canadian Music Scene for more than 70 years. Through his teaching and performing he gave pleasure and direction to many fans and pupils. The sweet sound of his guitar will remain with us through many shows, records and tapes. During WWII Al was a featured artist on the Coca Cola Hour Radio Show with the Mart Kenny Orchestra entertaining the troops many times across Canada. A featured guest on the Happy Gang Radio Show and various CBC Radio Shows in the 40's and 50's. Later, on TV the Holiday Ranch Show where he earned the nickname 'Smiling Al Harris', and also the Tommy Hunter Show. Al was one of the many musicians who through the years entertained our peace keeping troops in Germany, Italy, France, Cypress, Egypt, Tanzania, India, Pakistan, Sardinia, Gaza Strip and the North Pole. Until a few months ago Al continued to entertain at seniors residences.

Al Harris, who was one of Canada's best-known guitarists, played with Bert Niosi, Joe DeCourcy, Moxie Whitney, Trump Davidson and their orchestras. Rob McConnell's Spitfire Band. Peter Appleyard. Our Pet Juliette. At Barbara Ann Scott's wedding. And Bobby Gimby's iconic Ca-na-da recording? He was the guitar on that Confederation year hit. He played at the CNE Bandshell, the Palais Royale, the Old Mill, Casa Loma, the O'Keefe, Maple Leaf Gardens, Massey Hall and yes, on the 54th floor, high atop the Toronto-Dominion Centre. Harris wrote the jingle for People's Credit Jewellers. He gave Lenny Breau lessons on reading music. He worked with, to name just a few, Marlene Dietrich, the Ink Spots, Kay Starr, Eartha Kitt, Gene Autry and Danny Kaye, when they came to town. When he was 18, he was voted the #1 guitarist in Canada by DownBeat magazine. He was entertaining troops across Canada with Mart Kenney's orchestra before he was 21.

""Smiling Al" Harris is probably the most travelled guitarist in Canada. With the revue "Canada Entertains", his journeys took him to the Arctic Circle and three times to the Gaza Strip in the middle east area to entertain United Nations forces. With the Mart Kenny [scroll down towards the bottom] Orchestra, Al travelled several times across Canada, performing for members of the armed forces.

At the age of 16, Al began to work professionally with various shows in Ontario and has since been associated with most of the well-known musicians in the Toronto area and many visiting artists from the United States. Al was a member of the cast of TV's "Holiday Ranch" for five years and...a featured artist with the Tommy Hunter Show on radio and "Country Hoedown" on CBC television.

An expert on Spanish and steel guitars, Al enjoys experimenting with his instruments. His Hawaiian guitar is his own design and he delights in creating new sounds. He is a gifted composer and arranger and is kept busy doing radio and TV jingles. He also directs a teaching studio.



Al harris and his guitar ctl 5032 squared for mocm

Harris, Al


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