Gaby Haas

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Gaby (Gabriel) Haas. Accordionist, composer, b Frantiskovy Lázne, Czechoslovakia, 7 Nov 1920, d Edmonton 22 Nov 1987, naturalized Canadian 1943. He moved to Saskatoon at 18 and began playing accordion at local dances and on CFQC radio. His broadcasts from Edmonton 1940-58 on CFRN and after 1944 on CKUA were carried 1946-55 on the CBC's national networks, establishing him as a popular oldtime and country music performer. On CKUA the multi-lingual Haas was host for more than 40 years (until shortly before his death) of 'Continental Musicale' and was also heard on other ethnic-music programs including 'The German Show' and 'European Music Shop'. Concurrently on CFRN-TV he starred 1955-69 on 'Chuckwagon,' 1956-71 on 'The Noon Show' (later known as 'Eye-Opener') and 1969-74 on 'Country Music'. Haas was later the host for such QCTV programs as 'QC on Country Music' and 'World Showcase of Music'.
Haas once operated an Edmonton record store, the European Music Shop, and was part-owner (and a featured performer at) several of the city's restaurants. Haas, who was given the appellation 'Canada's Mr. Polka' (and latterly shared it with Walter Ostanek), began recording in 1950 with his band, The Barndance Gang and made over 50 albums and 60 singles, mostly of polkas and waltzes, many his own pieces, for the Apex, Point, London, Quality, and Royalty companies. Several folios of his oldtime compositions were published by Empire (Sharrell Music Publishers) and Canadian Music Sales.