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Hall of Fame Inductees

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Art Wallman

  • Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003
  • Birth: July 12, 1928 - Kelvington, Saskatchewan

BIOGRAPHY:

Art Wallman had one of the longest and most successful careers in Canadian radio. He was on air for more than 36 years at CKSW in Swift Current, where he was recognized with numerous awards and achievements, which is made all the more impressive given that he was unable to walk as a child and was unable to read until the age of 20.

Wallman was born with spastic paralysis, which left him unable to walk. Since his family lived in extreme poverty due to the Great Depression, he did not receive any treatment until the age of 9, when he began the first of 14 operations to straighten his legs and arms, finally leaving him able to walk but only with the use of crutches.

Wallman was first exposed to country music as a child, where he grew up listening to radio at home, following along to songs on his brother’s guitar. Wallman first auditioned for radio in the 1950s but his disability proved to be a factor; no one was willing to take a chance on him, but he didn’t give up his dream. On October 18, 1960 he was finally hired by Wilf Gilby at CKSW, told that it didn’t matter if he couldn’t walk, he just needed to do the job. And do it he did, remaining there until he retired in 1996.

His afternoon show became known for its call ins from listeners and interviews by artists travelling through Saskatchewan. He was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1989; was a member of the C.A.B’s Quarter Century Club and an Honourary Life Member of the W.A.B.

 
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