You know his face and you know his voice, but The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell went behind the scenes to learn more about Charles Prévost Linton, the man who sings the national anthems before Canadiens games at the Bell Centre.
“Once you’ve sung a song 3, 400 times it’s always a challenge to sing it again and make it live, and make it real, and try to get it across,” Prévost Linton told Branswell last Saturday after singing both anthems before the Canadiens’ game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
But it’s great material — they’re great songs, he added.
“And it’s an incredibly privileged position to be a Montrealer and to be singing the national anthem for the Canadiens de Montréal at the Bell Centre. It’s like a unique job. Every big city with a hockey team has one guy who does that thing and it’s great to have those peers. It’s surreal, but it is great fun.”
His work as an anthem singer has made Prévost Linton known to a wider audience in Quebec, including many anglophones who probably don’t know that he once performed with a Québécois rock group in the 1960s called Les Sinners. Their biggest hit was a French version of The Beatles’ single Penny Lane.
Prévost Linton’s face now graces campaign posters in Outremont, where he’s running in the upcoming municipal election for a borough councillor position with Équipe Conservons Outremont. He’s lived in the borough since his early teens and raised his family there.
(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)