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Hall of Fame Inductees

We are proud of all Hall of Fame Inductees and their contribution to Canadian country music. Click on the Inductee name for more information.

Walt Grealis

  • Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999
  • Birth: February 18, 1929 - Toronto, Ontario
  • Death: January 20, 2004 - Toronto, Ontario

BIOGRAPHY:

Countless Canadian recording artists and composers owe their exposure and success to Walt Grealis, a man who was an activist of the Canadian star system; who promoted changes to federal broadcasting regulations in the 1960s and 70s; and who was a founding father of the Juno Awards.

Known affectionately as ‘Canada’s Music Man’, Grealis earned the name by encouraging radio play of Canadian music, rallying the support of the music industry and creating Can Con, which has become a regular reference in terms of Canadian content in broadcasting.

After several years as a record promotion manager for Apex and London Records in 1964 he launched RPM Magazine, with Stan Klees, a weekly tip sheet, not only for the Canadian music industry but also for Canadian radio broadcasters, who quickly adopted it as a vital resource in planning their programming. One significant legacy of RPM Magazine was the Gold Leaf Awards, the forerunner of today’s Juno awards.  In 1975, the magazine founded the Big Country Awards, which were later amalgamated with the CCMA Awards.

After intense lobbying in Ottawa, the CRTC’s radio regulations were revised in 1971 to mandate that 30% of the quota on radio must be domestic content, Canadian music. In 1984, in recognition of Grealis’ contributions, CARAS established the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, which is presented annually to a person judged by his or her peers for making the most significant contribution to the Canadian Recording Industry. In 1993, Walt Grealis was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Walt Grealis passed away on January 20, 2004 at the age of 75.

 
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