The man behind the voice at the Bell Centre

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)

The man behind the voice at Bell Centre, by Brenda Branswell

Bibaud living dream as Habs organist, by Brenda Branswell

10 Comments

  1. kalevine says:

    With no disrespect intended for these two fine gentlemen, you know things are bad with your team when the only inspiring stories are off the ice

  2. FormalWare says:

    Linton is the best of the four singers in the La Traviata quartet (IMNSHO). As a classically-trained baritone, myself, I really appreciate the Habs’ hiring a “real” singer to do the anthems. So many franchises make do with singers who may be fine musicians, but just don’t have the vocal chops to do justice to a stately anthem.


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Love these articles.
    Both great aspects of the Canadiens.

    Anybody else notice that the announcer was different for the first couple of games? What’s up with that?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Bigsteph says:

      Michel Lacroix was working for RDS at the President’s Cup. He is a Golf analyst on RDS.

    • Habcouver says:

      Great read, I agree.
      I’ll have to pay attention to CPL the next time a Habs game is televised on the Westcoast.
      However I still fondly recall Roger Doucet in my childhood.

      BTW… Can someone please resurrect Dutchie?

      Waiting patiently for #25

  4. db says:

    I get goosebumps every time I hear the anthem in that building.

  5. Stevie.Ray says:

    How much do you think that guy gets paid to sing the National Anthem?

    And what do you think his take is on the “in all thy sons command”/”in all of us command” controversy?

    Personally I’m for the change (restoration), but I think Anthems are dumb and will also always stand on the side of change. But why change for change sake? Why not change for not changing sake?

    If there was a zombie apocalypse, I would be first in line to sign up. Don’t be afraid of change.

  6. Big Buffy Boat Club says:

    Sure I’m not cutting any new ground, but let’s call this therapy.

    Pretty embarrassing watching the 1st period with my (Flames fan) coworker last night. He’s a good guy, and other then owning us the Flames normally have sucked the last few years so he’s not being too cruel about it.

    PK really messed with my head. For 1/2 the game there was no one even remotely close to his level. I liked what I heard in the interview between periods but he’s got to channel the emotions on the ice. What I really didn’t like from the D and there was plenty to choose from was the lack of puck support (except the EEG line) when clearing the zone. The stretch passes and cute plays burned us again and again. Though I would be fine seeing PK going end to end on every breakout.

    I’ve never been into bashing any players (I could even find ways to enjoy Gomez) but yes a benching of DD would be appropriate. He’s too smart a player not to reflect, retool and reenergize. PATCHES CANNOT BE WASTED…take the line apart. Perfect excuse to reshuffle right now. Here’s what I’d go with:

    Gallchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher
    Paccioretty-Plekanec-Gionta
    Bournival-Briere-Bourque
    Moen-White-Prust

    A good team, which I think they are, will come out flying tonight. Only time I enjoy a back to back is after a loss.

    ———————————————————————————-
    “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women.”

  7. flowerpower_74 says:

    FIRST?

    No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them. ~ Elie Wiesel


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