Wishart Campbell. Baritone, songwriter, pianist, b Oro Station, near Lake Simcoe, Ont, ca 1905, d Islay, The Hebrides, Scotland, 5 Nov 1983; ATCM voice 1927. A church organist as well as a movie-house and dance-band
pianist in his youth, Wishart Campbell attended the University of Toronto and became a school principal in Haliburton and then in Galt, Ont, before studying voice at the Toronto Conservatory of Music
. After his radio debut in 1927 on CKGW, Toronto, he sang 1928-32 on the CNR network from Jasper Park, Alta. He was apparently the first singer to be heard from coast to coast in Canada. Campbell also appeared in 1930 on the CNR's "All-Canada Symphony Hour" under Luigi von Kunits
, sang as a church soloist in Ontario, and performed on many of Toronto's commercial radio stations.
Known as "The Golden Voice of the Air," Campbell joined the CRBC in Toronto as a staff artist in 1933 and then, after a brief period in New York, sang 1938-42 on CBC and CFRB. During World War II he performed in the RCAF Blackouts; his composition "The Airman's Prayer," with words by G.L. Creed, was adopted as a hymn by the RCAF. His song "We're Flying to a New Horizon" was also popular. Campbell was music director 1945-60 for CFRB, then retired to private business in the Hebrides. He recorded singles for the Gavotte record label in the 1950s and an album of his own songs, A Campbell Comes Home, for RCA in 1960; he also composed a number of popular, religious, and other songs. His spiritual "By His Word" was recorded by Mahalia Jackson and by the Andrews Sisters. Campbell also wrote under the pseudonyms Neil Munro and Neil Connor.
See also Songwriters and Songwriting (English Canada) 1921-1954; Songwriters and Songwriting (English Canada) 1954-2000s
Edward B. Moogk Revised: Betty Nygaard King