Biography

Pioneer

Juliette, "Juliette" Cavazzi

(1927- )

She was born Juliette Augustina Sysak in Winnipeg. Her married name was Cavazzi – she married musician Tony Cavazzi who was also her manager. But she used only her first name on stage from 1940 when she sang as a young teen with the Dal Richards band at the Panorama Roof at the Hotel Vancouver.

Juliette was introduced to Dal by Ivan Ackery who heard her sing at the Kitsilano Showboat. He operated the Orpheum Theatre and had invited Dal to play for 45 minutes between movies. Dal asked Juliette to sing and she brought the Orpheum crowd to its feet with a standing ovation for There'll Always Be An England.

Juliette and Tony moved in 1954 to Toronto where she had earlier appeared on the Alan Young radio show. Now she appeared as a guest on Holiday Ranch and sang on The Billy O'Connor Show on CBC-TV. There was friction as she built her popularity and in two years Juliette broke away from the show and took its Saturday time slot.

She was introduced by announcer Gil Christie as “Your Pet, Juliette” and her shows and songs were conservative and wholesome. Her set represented her living room and she addressed her audience as guests, greeting them with “Hi there, everybody,” and ending with “Goodnight, Mom.” Her popularity continued to grow. In early years the show included Bobby Gimby on the trumpet and singing, and male singers billed as Juliette’s escorts. From 1959 to 1965 the show included the Four Romeos – Rick Stainsby, Alex Ticknovich, Vern Kennedy, and John Garden – and from 1960 to 1964 the Four Mice – Diane Gibson, Sylvia Wilson, Angela Antonelli, and Carol Hill. The show’s final season was 1966, when Juliette was joined by the Art Hallman Singers. In the final year the show made an effort to attract a younger audience by also featuring performers appearing in current shows and concerts.

After 1966, Juliette made regular CBC appearances in specials and she returned for the 1974 season in a daily, half-hour talk show Juliette and Friends.

In 1975, living in Vancouver, Juliette Cavazzi was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

In 1999 she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame which pays tribute to Canadian stars by placing their names on cement stars in the sidewalk in Toronto’s Theatre District.

Written by Jerry Fairbridge - August, 2002

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