It is not every day that we are given to read a biography that makes it a bit nostalgic. Especially if it begins with a preface by the poet and immense storyteller Michel Garneau, with its words covered in morning dew and fragrances of macadam, its words that are too rare as it is only out of shear more or the radio, or in books, too accustomed to that are some new authors to look at the navel and forgot to look at the other.
Robert Blondin is known mainly to people of my generation, for whom the radio was an essential vehicle to discover the world and its creators of beauty. It is part of these “prébébés boomeurs” that we have opened the way for free-thinking. At this time, that of his childhood in the early 1940s, the Quebec city is still immersed in the great darkness, while ” the culture away from the bliss of Heaven almost as much as a sexual relationship outside of marriage.”
It is through the conservatoire Lassalle, incubator of many talents, that Blondin will be initiated in the arts and that it will make its first appearances in the radio theatre of Radio-Canada. De fil en aiguille, playing sometimes the children’s choir at church, or small roles in plays of a religious character climbs to the school district, Blondin trace the first steps of his artistic career.
After a brief stint in professional theatre on the stage of the Green Curtain, he will opt for a career as a radio host, where he soon will leave its mark, giving proof of all the audacities. “This is the beginning of a new time and the earth is the year zero,” sings Renee Claude. With a dozen friends, Blondin installs a commune in the upscale neighbourhood of Westmount, in the midst of the October crisis. Invited to visit this commune, Michel Garneau will comment that it has given a good idea of what it is the hell. The experience of the commune lasted for four years.
Of the urban municipality, it will go to the countryside, Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley, more precisely, not escaping to the mode of the return to the earth. Rabbits, hens, bullocks charolais cattle and arabian horses will be part of his farms, even though his directorial work with Radio-Canada, the flake somewhat.
Blondin, it is a box of surprises. He is of large innovative projects in radio communication, as his tour of the globe in the framework of the series of programs for The Happiness, or the Grand Jase, animated, live at the Grand Café, on the rue Saint-Denis, by Michel Garneau and Armande Saint-Jean, or The Trip, hosted by Raoul Duguay.
But before that, he will have his bath of radio as a facilitator to CHNC, an affiliate of Radio-Canada, in New Carlisle, ” the French voice of the Gaspésie and the Maritimes “. It will be left to himself in front of a microphone for four long hours. This is what is called learning on the job. He was barely nineteen years of age. From this grueling experience, he will seek to become the best, but refuses to be cast in the mould of radio-canada. This did not prevent him from being respected by his bosses.
After a brief stop at CBAF, a regional station of Radio-Canada in Moncton, where he learned the craft of filmmaking, Blondin returned to Montreal to produce a daily broadcast of information on Radio-Canada. His experience will be of short duration, his colleagues do not share his taste for risk and novelty.
It will then offer its patrons a radio series called The Adventure, which will appeal to many people. On the air for nine years, from 1987 to 1996, this series, ” a convivial meeting with a man and his subject “, will mark the annals of the radio, leaving, literally, the confines of the studio and by involving the listeners, ” in the most unusual places in the world “.
Robert Blondin was ” director, producer, facilitator, 24 hours per day throughout her career of 37 years as a permanent employee of Radio-Canada “. Its authenticity has been able to make difficult moments, but he retains no bitterness.