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The Memory Project: Doug Raynbird

Doug Raynbird (Army) of Winnipeg, MB was being shelled when he accidently stabbed himself (the knife came out of the scabbard) while serving in Korea. After recuperating in hospital, he was recruited to be part of a traveling entertainment group called the Johnny Canuck Revue.


 

Doug Raynbird (Army) of Winnipeg, MB was being shelled when he accidently stabbed himself (the knife came out of the scabbard) while serving in Korea. After recuperating in hospital, he was recruited to be part of a traveling entertainment group called the Johnny Canuck Revue, for which he sang, played guitar and danced. He and 20 others traveled around Korea and Japan performing the show to boost troops’ morale.

[audio http://www.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Raynbird_Doug-EDIT-REV.mp3]

EXCERPT:

So anyway, I could play the guitar, not great but good enough. I sang a few Hank Williams songs and I could yodel. And that went over great. So as soon as he heard that, he [Gordon Atkinson] said, “You’re on. Then I’ll get you transferred to the show.” So for the next 10 months, that’s what I did, played the guitar and sang. We went to a two-week tour up to Tokyo. We went two tours over to Korea with the show, two different shows. And after that, I came home.

But an interesting story while we were up in Tokyo, we were playing the U.S. bases, Air Force bases, hospitals, everything, we played the Ernie Pyle Theatre in Tokyo, which is not there anymore. It’s—I don’t know what it is now—but the officer in charge of it had come up to our officer, Gordon Atkinson, and he said, “I don’t think your show has enough quality to play this theatre.” Oh, okay. We filled the theatre two nights in a row and after that, he came to each and every one of us, shook our hand and apologized. So that was kind of nice.

 


 
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