Fonds PR1529 - Gaby Haas fonds

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Gaby Haas fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

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    • 1970-1986 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    10 audio reels. – 1 audio disc

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Gabriel "Gaby" Haas was born November 7, 1920 in Frantiskowy Lázne, Czechoslovakia. In 1939, he and his family immigrated to Canada and settled in Loon Lake, Saskatchewan. Later that year, Gaby continued on to Edmonton, Alberta.

    He started work at CKUA radio in 1939, playing his accordion. Gaby's first regular show was for CFRN Radio, where he played accordion with Ameen (King) Ganam's orchestra. Gaby became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1943. In 1945, he was approached by CKUA to start a German-language radio program, which he did and hosted for twenty-one years. He also had a live music show on CKUA called "The Sourdoughs." From 1946 until 1951, Gaby hosted "Alberta Ranchhouse" on CKUA, which was carried by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Dominion Network.

    On September 15, 1946, Gaby, who could speak six languages, began hosting "Continental Musicale," a sixty-minute program of old-time European music, on CKUA. On September 21, 1986, "Continental Musicale" celebrated its fortieth anniversary, and at that time was the longest-running radio program in the world. Gaby also hosted 'The Noon Show" for CFRN Television from 1956 until 1971. Other shows included "European Music Shop," and "World Showcase of Music" and "An Hour with Gaby Haas," both for QCTV Limited.

    From 1967 to 1972, Gaby operated a restaurant, Hofbrauhaus, on 97th Street in Edmonton, and also operated the European Music Shop, also on 97th Street, which closed in 1971. An accordion virtuoso, Gaby was known as "Canada's Mr. Polka," and made over fifty recordings. He performed with his band, The Barndance Gang. In October 1987, Gaby was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Alberta Recording Industry Association.

    Gaby married Dorothy Marie Anderson (d. 1987) in Edmonton in 1944, and together they had two sons, Danny (Pepe) and Larry, and one daughter, Sari. After divorcing in 1963, Gaby later married Lee around 1970.

    Gaby Haas died November 22, 1987.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of a long play (LP) audio disc "Gaby Haas 'Live' at the Hofbräuhaus" (1973), and audio recordings of radio programs including "Continental Musicale" (March 31, 1985 to November 2, 1986), "European Music Shop," (September 12, 1970) and "Showcase of Music" excerpts.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The Provincial Archives of Alberta purchased an audio disc from Gaby Haas in 1984. Richard Liukko, of Freecloud Records, a secondhand record store in Edmonton, deposited the audio reels in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2000. Mr. Liukko found the reels in a box of audio discs Freecloud Records had purchased.


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        Language and script note

        The material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is not available.

        Associated materials

        Dave Leonard, former Provincial Archives of Alberta archivist, deposited audio recordings of Gaby Haas and the Barndance Gang which can be found under accessions PR1988.0305, PR1994.0297 and PR1997.0499. As well, see the CFRN Television fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the biographical sketch is from the records, from CKUA: Radio Worth Fighting For, which is available in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 384.54 W35, from the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and “Canada’s Mr. Polka by Olaf Svven,, both accessed February 18, 2005 and from the November 24, 1987 Edmonton Journal.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR1984.0316 and PR2000.0931.

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